What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is a type of opioid medication that is commonly combined with acetaminophen and used to treat pain. It is the most commonly prescribed pain prescription pain medication in America, given for everything from tooth removals to back pain to surgery recovery and more. Common brand names for Hydrocodone include Vicodin, Lortab, Zohydro, and Norco.
While primarily used for pain relief, hydrocodone’s opioid base means that it is also addictive, and is one of the primary ‘entry drugs’ into prescription pain reliever addiction. Legally prescribed, these medications can help people recover and get their life back. But it’s very common for initial prescriptions to lead to serious addictions, and these, in turn, can lead to serious problems in the lives of those who become addicted to the drugs. Addiction can shatter lives, fracture relationships, destroy careers, and more, and hydrocodone addiction is, simply put, potentially deadly.
Use of Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone is a type of drug known as an opioid. These drugs are prescribed by doctors to help people manage pain, often after an injury or medical procedure. They work by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain, which imitates chemicals that then block the nerve receptors from receiving pain signals. In the process, the drug can also create sensations of pleasure, relief, and more. Due to this, they are highly addictive. And because of that addictive nature and the fact that they are widely prescribed, hydrocodone mediations are among the most frequently abused drugs in the world.
When used illegally, hydrocodone is often altered in some way. The most common method for this is in grinding the drug up into a powder. Then, users often smoke or snort the drug to increase the high and the intensity of it. As the addiction progresses and tolerance levels build, many users begin to mix the powder with water and inject it directly into their bloodstream.
Addiction to hydrocodone can occur quickly, with physical dependence developing within a matter of just one month in some instances. Psychological dependence can occur even quicker, sometimes as fast as a matter of a few days of use of the drug. Sadly, many dependencies occur while the addict is using hydrocodone in a completely legal manner as prescribed by their doctor.
Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse
Hydrocodone abuse can have a number of very serious effects that can impact virtually every aspect of a user’s life. Physical, social, emotional, and mental consequences can all occur due to Hydrocodone abuse, and these effects can be short or long term. The effects that are often noticed initially include things like:
- Reduced anxiety
- Feelings of euphoria
However, once that the amount of the drug is increased, issues like confusion, nausea, drowsiness, and more can begin to occur. In serious cases, breathing is suppressed and death could potentially occur. Addiction begins quickly, and frequently using hydrocodone leads to abuse and addiction. This, in turn, can lead to prioritizing the use of the drug over responsibilities or loved one, and will often lead to issues at school or at work, loss of work entirely, social issues, and numerous health issues. In short, the abuse of Hydrocodone can quickly lead to a major dependency which can lead to negative impacts on your entire life.
Symptoms of Hydrocodone Abuse
Hydrocodone has properties that are very similar to heroin or morphine. When mixed with alcohol and other drugs, problems can be even more pronounced and obvious. Symptoms of abuse aren’t always easy to initially spot for those who are around the person abusing the drugs. Some symptoms could include things like physical agitation, mental irritability, increased sexual arousal, increased blood pressure, sleep issues, increased heart rate, and reduced breathing.
Those symptoms are often much more difficult for the average person to recognize. However, behavioral symptoms are more apparent and begin to be seen as the addiction increases in severity. Things such as missed days of work, abandonment of activities, avoidance of social situations, changes in behavior with loved ones, and more can all be seen in a person who is abusing Hydrocodone in a major way. The feelings of ‘high’ can often be noticed as well, as can lower motivation levels, anxiety changes, depression, and more.
In severe cases, the symptoms are very apparent and could include trouble staying awake, theft, and more. The initial signs are harder to spot, but will increase over time as the addiction and the abuse of the drug increases. These signs include someone withdrawing socially, stealing from friends or family members, exhibiting extreme behavioral changes, distorted perception of reality, and more could all be signs that an addiction is present. One of the greatest issues with these drugs is that the initial use is often legal, under the direction of a medical professional. Then, over time, the addiction develops. As such, those close to the drug user may not realize an issue exists until the addiction is well established.
Testing for Hydrocodone
Standard drug tests used today will almost always include opiates, but may not initially include Hydrocodone. Extended drug panel testing commonly called expanded opiates or Opioids; will include hydrocodone in all of its forms, and are generally done using hair or urine samples. However, hydrocodone only stays in urine for a short time – normally up to two days after use. And in some instances, the drug could be out of the system within a matter of just a few hours. In chronic users, this timeframe can be longer. Hair sample tests can detect the use of Hydrocodone for up to 90 days, while urine tests may identify drugs for up to 48 hours after the use of the Hydrocodone.
Tests are often administered as part of a pre-employment screening, but could also be used in the event of an accident to reduce the possibility of drug-related activity leading to the accident. Different companies will use different drug screening panels or testing policies to identify drugs, but due to the increased amount of drug users who are addicted to hydrocodone, it has become a very common addition to drug panel screenings.
You Have Options to Order a Drug Test for Hydrocodone
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