Hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab is a prescription drug for pain management. However, because hydrocodone is a narcotic it is can also be highly addicting.
In 2013 over 11 million people used a painkiller for non-medical reasons. Meaning over 11 million people abused prescription painkillers. Abuse of, and addiction to, hydrocodone is a very serious matter and can have life-threatening consequences.
Continue reading to learn about addiction to hydrocodone symptoms and warning signs.
Symptoms of Addiction to Hydrocodone
While it may seem impossible to tell someone is abusing drugs without seeing them in the act, there are a few signs that indicate someone is abusing hydrocodone:
- Constricted pupils
- Slowed or shallow breathing
These are all physical signs to watch out for, however, they don’t by themselves mean an addiction or abuse is happening. Be on the lookout to see if he or she has a legitimate prescription but is taking it more frequently than prescribed. Also check to see if your loved one is still using an expired prescription, or past when they should no longer need the painkiller.
Changes in behavior can also be noted in those addicted to hydrocodone. An addict will spend much of their time figuring out ways to get hydrocodone and use it. Often they will blow off social events and gatherings, family functions, even work in order to get more.
Because of this, the addict becomes withdrawn and introverted causing tension amongst family members and loved ones. If the addict is married or in a romantic relationship their relationship may start to suffer as a consequence.
Warning Signs a Loved One May Be Abusing Hydrocodone
As mentioned above anyone taking their prescription painkiller in a way other than is prescribed by their doctor is at risk for abusing and becoming addicted to hydrocodone.
Not everyone who is prescribed hydrocodone becomes addicted to it. However, it is a good idea to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and addiction just in case.
Is My Child Using Hydrocodone?
If you’re not sure if your child is addicted to hydrocodone first check to see if they have a prescription. If they are still living with you and under 18 you should already know the answer to this. If your children are adults, you can try to ask but be prepared for them to lie.
If your child does have a legitimate prescription another thing you can do is read the instructions on the label and count the pills to see if you notice more missing than there should be.
Pay attention to any new friends your child makes, and whether or not he or she is skipping school a lot. Children will skip school and ditch their old friends in favor of new friends to get the drug and get high with.
Your child may also begin to experience changes in behavior typically seen as being euphoric one moment and the next sliding downward into a depression. They may also become irritable and hostile if they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Is My Parent Using Hydrocodone?
The first thing to do if you think your parent has an addiction to hydrocodone is to approach them about it and ask them. Point blank ask the hard questions: are you addicted, where is your prescription, why do you need painkillers, etc. These are all questions you should ask.
Be prepared, however, because they will probably lie, get upset, or just refuse to answer. There are ways to know for sure though if they do any of those things.
One way to tell if your parent is addicted is to notice how often they are taking their painkillers. If they are addicted the parents will be taking their medication much more frequently than prescribed and will continue to take it even when the pain n longer requires its use.
Take note of behavioral and social changes as well, they will become withdrawn and anti-social the more addicted they are. They will also blow off family functions and even small get together so they can get high.
Intervention for Hydrocodone Abuse
If your loved one is addicted to hydrocodone then it’s time to step in and set up and intervention for them. There are a couple of options for treatment available.
During the intervention is the time to let your loved one know how much they mean to you, why you are worried about them and want to them to seek help, and offer options for treatment that are available to them.
Typically a person addicted to hydrocodone needs to be treated within a rehab center. There are in-patient and out-patient facilities to help with hydrocodone abuse.
In-patient programs are the preferred way to treat an addiction to hydrocodone. By checking into a rehab center with an in-patient program, the patient can be monitored for withdrawal symptoms and treated, as well as being able to focus solely on recovery and their health.
Out-patient programs are less effective as the patient will still be exposed to temptations and may not have the willpower yet to resist. Therapy and treatment take time, and part of that time is dedicated to learning to remove oneself from bad situations. However, if the patient never gets a break from those situations it is hard for therapy and treatment to begin to work.
Abusing Hydrocodone Symptoms and Warning Signs
Seeing a loved one suffer the effects of a hydrocodone addiction is one of the toughest things to do. However, there is help.
While there is no “cure” for hydrocodone addiction there are forms of treatment to help with the road of recovery. In-patient treatment is the best option and preferred way to treat addicts of hydrocodone.
Hopefully, the addiction to hydrocodone symptoms and warning signs explained above will aid you in helping any potential loved ones who may be suffering from the addiction.
If you want to know more about addiction and treatment options for yourself or someone you love, contact us today!