Hydrocodone Abuse & Addiction in Orlando
What Makes Hydrocodone So Addictive?
Hydrocodone is a prescription drug used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. Hydrocodone can be prescribed either on its own or as a substance that is paired with others in medications. For example, hydrocodone is paired with acetaminophen in Lortab, Norco and Vicodin. Hydrocodone is classified as an opioid, which is a class of drugs that all can change how the brain emotionally responds to pain. Opioids like hydrocodone also change how pain signals are sent and how the body feels pain.
While hydrocodone is prescribed relatively frequently, the medication has risks. In the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), classifies drugs based on their medical uses and their potential to be addictive. Hydrocodone, like many other prescription opioids, is a Schedule II drug, which means it has a high risk leadoff leading to addiction and physical dependence. Schedule II drugs are second only to Schedule I substances in addiction potential.
Hydrocodone activates opioid receptors located in the brain and the entire central nervous system. By interacting with these receptors, feel-good chemicals are released that trade feelings of pain for feelings of pleasure. Some people who use hydrocodone may experience a sense of relaxation, a feeling of well-being or euphoria.
When the this pleasing feeling occurs with the use of opioids, a reward cycle can form. The body can rely on the drug to relieve painful feelings, and the brain can link the use of the drug to positive experiences. By forming these connections between hydrocodone and pleasurable feelings, people can become addicted to the substance. Someone who is addicted to hydrocodone may continue using it despite negative consequences or side effects. When a physical dependence forms, withdrawal symptoms will occur if someone stops using the drug.
If someone is prescribed hydrocodone, there are steps they can take to lower the potential of becoming addicted. For example, it’s important not to use hydrocodone in any way other than what’s prescribed and instructed by a medical professional. Doses shouldn’t exceed than what was prescribed. However, even when someone follows their doctor’s orders and takes hydrocodone as prescribed, they can still become addicted.