Norco is one of the myriad prescription painkillers that is meant to deliver hydrocodone as a form of pain relief.
The dose of hydrocodone in each unit ranges from 5 mg to 10 mg and is always paired with 325 mg of acetaminophen. Acetaminophen itself is not an addictive substance and acts as a slightly safer pain reliever (although it is toxic in very high amounts).
Despite having a lighter potency than other examples of its pharmaceutical family, it is still widely abused by people searching for a recreational high. While there are numerous uses for this painkiller in a medical setting, there are also many dangers associated with the misuse.
What Is The Purpose of Norco?
Hydrocodone is an opioid analgesic that has been a schedule II controlled substance since 2014. When taken, it affects users by granting feelings of euphoria and relaxation. This reaction is caused by hydrocodone molecules binding to mu-opioid receptors in the brain, along with several smaller biochemical interactions. The combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen blocks the chemical signals in the brain that trigger pain. At proper doses, this medicinal cocktail merely eliminates discomfort; however, at higher concentrations, it will give users a narcotic effect.
The human endocrine system manufactures similar chemicals to regulate emotion, but pharmaceuticals such as this cause extreme responses that seldom happen in nature. Highs can last from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the user’s tolerance and the amount dosed. Over time, the body purifies itself of the unnatural substance– but this process creates toxic leftovers that are damaging to organs. It is habit-forming, and there are side effects that become more severe the longer the drug is used.
Even though there are apparent risks related to Norco, that doesn’t prevent it from being a useful drug for people that honestly need pain relief. Doctors will prescribe Norco for pain management. Someone that has unavoidable pain from a medical condition is recovering from a procedure, has a lasting injury, etc. can benefit significantly from hydrocodone. Its bioavailability as a pill also makes it convenient compared to some other pain relief options that must be injected.
Why Is Norco Dangerous?
Any opiate that isn’t medicated under the guidance of a doctor presents serious health risks to users. The more that a person uses addictive drugs, then the more they need to reach the same effects. This is because users build a tolerance to the drug that limits its effects. Addicts face a torturous cycle that leads to a constant rise in their daily intake so that they can overcome a compounding tolerance. Eventually, the monetary, as well as a medical sacrifice to maintain this habit, becomes unmanageable.
Aside from long-term risks, hydrocodone slows down breathing and can trigger a heart attack at high doses. Someone that is overdosing on Norco can even enter a comatose state from their muscles losing function. Left untreated, these symptoms will lead to death. A person that is going through withdrawal can also experience intense strain on their faculties; mental breakdowns are possible from psychological factors, but physical dangers also exist when addicts suddenly lose the ability to feed their habit. Suffering users can go through panic attacks, nerve pain, urinary dysfunction, insomnia, and more.
Norco is just one of many similar drugs that are available through legal and illegal means. All of these pills have varied traits, yet the high that they produce is nearly identical. An individual that merely wants to enter a state of euphoria will take any opioids they can find. Therefore, someone may start their foray into opioid addiction by taking Norco, but then upgrade their consumption to a more potent substance. The feeling that they are searching for may diminish, but the risk of overdosing does not.
What Are The Signs of Norco Addiction?
Norco addiction will check all the same boxes that common opioid addiction does. While the minute complexities of drug addiction on the state of a person can be eternally analyzed, some common behaviors are apparent from addict to addict. As the need for the drug becomes more intense, an addicted person will start to shift their life to focus on their need to stay under the effects of the drug over other primary responsibilities. Soon, an addict will lose the capability to care for themselves and only work to achieve the next dose.
Nobody can stay addicted to pills without having a source of funds to buy their supply. The path that a person takes to get their Norco may be through a doctor (although this is becoming more difficult thanks to improved regulation of pharmaceuticals) or through an illegal dealer. Regardless of where it comes from, Norco can only be acquired with money. A significant reason that deadly narcotics remain within reach of vulnerable Americans is because of the profits that can be made from selling them on the street.
All of this means that an addict will do everything they can to get enough money to pay for their drugs. Someone that is unable to work, or isn’t able to make enough money to support their habit, will have to resort to other ways of getting funds. It’s common for destitute users to sell family possessions or perform criminal acts to attain short term payment.
It should also be mentioned that not every drug addict is too poor to afford their habit. There is an increasing prevalence of functioning addicts that have the assets to pay for an impressive array of drugs. That’s why it’s important not to expect only the poorest section of society to be at risk for Norco addiction– people of any economic class have the chance to be exposed.
Other visible signs of addiction include depression, irritability, and disinterest in basic tasks. An opioid addict becomes less responsive to a stimulus that isn’t as intense as the euphoria they seek to experience. The high that they enjoy also drains the body of chemicals that produce positive emotions. Constipation will alter their appetite so and bring constant discomfort, which can only be alleviated by getting clean or getting another fix.
What Can Be Done To Prevent Norco Addiction?
The war against opioid addiction ramped up to a new dimension during the 2010s. Rapidly rising deaths from opioid abuse forced the governments to launch a political and civic response that changed the way people view pharmaceuticals. Medical providers are now held to a higher standard than they were in the past, which has helped reduce the amount of available drugs. Legal punishments for selling addictive substances were drastically intensified.
Unfortunately, there is only so much that the legal system can do to prevent such a saturated vice from claiming the wellbeing of citizens. It’s the responsibility of each person to stay educated on the kinds of drugs that cause opioid addiction. It’s commonplace for doctors to assume that patients understand what results in a pure drug as Norco can bring. In reality, many people fall into the trap of opioid addiction through drugs that were prescribed to them legally. Multiple countries around the world are still coming to terms with just how cautious doctors should be about giving patients habit-forming drugs.
The best way to mitigate the societal damage caused by opioid abuse is by relying on specialized shelters that are designed to help people that need help with their addiction. These facilities have medical supplies that can make the difference between life and death for people that are losing the battle against drugs. The staff of these taxpayer-funded places is trained to give addicts resources that can aid them in finding a path to recovery. Some governments aim to save money by reducing funding for programs that help combat addiction, which inevitably leads to social unrest from the repercussions of floundering addicts.
Watching a loved one suffer from opioid addiction is a harrowing experience. There is little that a person can do to cure a drug addiction without the help of advanced medical science. Luckily, many countries offer programs such as the shelters, as mentioned above, as well as other recovery programs. It’s important not to ignore an opioid addiction, as it can’t be expected to get better on its own. Overall, by restricting opioid use to what the doctor recommends, and seeking professional guidance regarding misuse, Norco addiction can be dealt with in a way that helps the addict reach a truly higher level in life.