Narcotic analgesics, such as hydrocodone and its combinations with other drugs including acetamiophen, have their uses in pain relief. But these can also be addictive, thus, the warning of drug manufacturers and regulatory agencies about careful compliance with the medication’s prescribed uses. This is also true for Vicodin, a prescription medication used as a pain reliever for patients with moderate to severe pain.
In fact, hydrocodone is consistently listed as among the most commonly used opioid substances in the United States. It’s also classified as a Schedule II drug because of the high risk of abuse and, thus, addiction.
Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent and treat addiction to hydrocodone. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Adopt Preventive Measures
Hydrocodone is generally safe and effective as a narcotic analgesic when it’s used according to the doctor’s prescription, preferably for a short period. But it can become addictive because it changes your brain’s pain perception and your own emotional reactions upon its ingestion. Many people actually enjoy the feeling of euphoria that comes with its use.
And this is where the addiction can potentially begin. You become hooked to the euphoric feelings, aside from your increasing cravings for it. You also start building tolerance to it so you take an increasing dosage just to get the same effects with your regular dose.
When you start feeling these symptoms, you should immediately talk with your doctor as this is the first sign of a budding hydrocodone addiction. You may also be overusing hydrocodone when you have symptoms like a slower heartbeat, fear and depression, headaches, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears, among others.
You can prevent hydrocodone addiction by:
- Taking it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
- Record your reactions to the drug, especially your levels of pain, while taking it.
- Review your pain diary on a regular basis to determine your progress and talk to your doctor about it.
- Discuss with your doctor the possibility of a reduced dosage.
- Never stop taking the drug suddenly or reduce the dosage on your own.
Your determination to avoid hydrocodone addiction will also be important in it.
Seek Treatment ASAP
But if you become addicted to hydrocodone, you should seek medical treatment ASAP. You have hope in professional addiction treatment programs, if you comply with its requirements. You can quit on your own but you will likely have better results with a professional program.
Indeed, there’s no shame in seeking treatment because it’s for your own sake!