When accidents, injuries, or surgery result in feelings of pain, doctors often prescribe hydrocodone to patients. Hydrocodone is a pain relieving medication that is used for moderate to severe pain. While the drug was developed as a medication for pain, it is a highly addictive substance. Even with proper medical supervision, it is possible to develop a hydrocodone abuse problem.
Forms of Hydrocodone
The form of hydrocodone refers to the different methods of taking the medication. While the medication is primarily given to patients as a pill, it is found in other forms and recreational use can alter the original form.
Doctors usually prescribe a pill form of the drug for pain relief. Depending on the specific brand of medication, it may include hydrocodone and other active pain-relieving medications like paracetamol or acetaminophen. The pill form of hydrocodone is taken with a glass of water as directed by a medical doctor. The dosage of the medication varies based on the injuries, the severity of pain, and the patient’s tolerance for the drug.
In many cases, the pill form of the medication is used recreationally due to the availability and ease of obtaining the drug. Those involved with hydrocodone abuse might alter the form by crushing the pill into a powder or putting the pill in water to cause an immediate effect rather than the delay that is common with pills.
While hydrocodone is most commonly prescribed as a pill, it is also found in some cough medications. Hydrocodone has an impact on cough and is sometimes used as an antitussive drug when patients are suffering from painful coughing and illnesses.
Ingredients in the Drug
The active ingredients in any medication are the elements that impact pain, illness, or other problems. In the case of hydrocodone, the main active ingredient is the opiate element.
Hydrocodone may or may not be the only active ingredient in a medication. In most cases, the opiate element of the pill is only one of the active ingredients due to the highly addictive nature of the medication. Other pain-relieving ingredients are commonly included with the drug to further relieve pain with a lower dosage of hydrocodone.
Active ingredients in pain relievers might include acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. Since hydrocodone is stronger than codeine, the dosage of the opiate ingredient is usually very low. The dosage of a non-addictive pain relieving ingredients is often a moderate amount due to the risks of health concerns. When used in a cough medication, hydrocodone is often paired with antitussive ingredients, antihistamines, or similar active ingredients that help relieve coughs, colds, flu and similar symptoms. This type of medication is less common than pain relief drugs. Inactive ingredients are designed to help form the pills or provide a base for the drug. Depending on the particular medication, the inactive ingredients vary. In most cases, the inactive ingredients are not shown to have adverse side effects.
Addictive Properties of Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone is a highly addictive substance that is developed from the opium poppy. While the medication is not as strong as morphine, it is more addictive than codeine.
The addictive properties of the opiate come directly from the plant substance. Hydrocodone is created from the opium poppy and has the addictive properties that are found in all opiates. The opioid compounds found in the drug bind to the receptors in the brain, causing pain relief and other side effects.
Depending on the individual, opioid compounds may cause addiction quickly or slowly. Some individuals will become addicted to the drug within one or two uses, while other patients taking the drug will require extended use of the medication to become physically dependent.
Since opioid compounds bind to receptors in the brain, the drug can alter the chemical balance. The results of taking the drug include feelings of euphoria, sedation, and relief from pain. Over time, the receptors in the brain will decrease the natural production of chemicals, which results in taking more drugs to achieve the same result. Addiction occurs when the body becomes physically and emotionally dependent on the drug for normal activities. Withdrawal symptoms develop when the drug is taken in lower dosages or eliminated.
Treatment for Hydrocodone Abuse
While hydrocodone is a highly addictive substance, treatment can result in fighting the addiction and achieving a normal lifestyle. The treatment for hydrocodone addiction includes detox programs, addiction recovery groups, addiction counseling, and alternative activities to receive relief from discomfort without taking the addictive drug.
Hydrocodone abuse can develop after taking the medication for pain relief. Despite the addictive nature of the opiate, doctors will prescribe the drug after surgery or severe injuries. With help from Best Drug Rehabilitation, it is possible to find the treatment program that is most suited to your needs.