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What to Know About Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone is an opioid commonly prescribed by doctors to relieve moderate to severe pain after injuries or procedures. However, it also comes with the risk of addiction if misused or abused. There’s a lot you need to understand about how hydrocodone addiction can happen, how to recognize it, and how specialized treatment and addiction recovery support can help.

How Addiction Typically Develops

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, hydrocodone is the most popular prescription opioid, with an estimated 5.1 million misusers annually. For many people, addiction starts with a legitimate prescription for pain relief or recovery from surgery. However, some begin misusing hydrocodone to get high and experience euphoria. Over time, tolerance builds up, meaning more hydrocodone is required to achieve the same pleasurable effects. Taking higher doses or dosing more frequently ultimately increases the risk of both physical and psychological addiction. As dependency grows, the brain’s own reward pathways become reliant on hydrocodone, making addiction increasingly likely. People who are addicted to hydrocodone will start to exhibit drug-seeking behaviors, feeling they need it to feel normal and function. If hydrocodone use is abruptly stopped, both psychological and physically painful withdrawal symptoms can develop, which further fuels the addiction.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction

It’s critical to recognize the signs of hydrocodone addiction, which can be subtle at first but become more apparent over time. These may include taking more hydrocodone than originally prescribed, even after the initial pain or recovery period has passed. People addicted may continue using despite negative consequences like financial problems, relationship conflicts, or career struggles. Other red flags are failed attempts to cut back or quit entirely, along with spending significant time either obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of hydrocodone. Powerful cravings and withdrawal symptoms also emerge when not taking hydrocodone as the addiction progresses.

Seeking Professional Treatment

Overcoming a hydrocodone addiction requires professional treatment, as willpower alone is rarely enough. Both inpatient and outpatient addiction recovery programs offer counseling, support groups, coping strategies, and medication-assisted treatment to help manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. For many people recovering from hydrocodone addiction, 12-step programs provide critical community support and accountability. The social stigma around addiction should not prevent someone from getting help – addiction is best treated with compassion as a chronic but treatable disease.

The path of addiction recovery is challenging but eminently possible by taking advantage of the many resources available. Don’t struggle alone – support and hope is out there. Call Peace Medical to schedule a consultation to get help with recovery.

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