If you believe that you are addicted to hydrocodone or believe that a loved one has become addicted to hydrocodone, there are a few things you need to understand. Although Treatment for Opiate Addiction and treatment for hydrocodone addiction as well as the nature of the addictions overlap greatly, there are few differences. The following are a few general things to understand about addiction to hydrocodone.
Anyone prescribed this medication is at risk of addiction
Just because you have a prescription, doesn’t mean you cannot become addicted. Many people have become addicted to hydrocodone without realizing it. They simply think of the pills as being medication. It is true that this serves as a medication, but because of the opiate component, codeine, it becomes addictive in the same way heroin or morphine can become addictive.
Get professional help in quitting
You can begin the process of quitting by talking to the prescribing doctor. Your primary care physician can help point you in the right direction for treatment. It is important to find a facility that has experience with hydrocodone addiction. It is a legal medication and those who abuse now did not start out with any intention other than relieving pain. The final destination for a hydrocodone addict may be the same as illegal drugs, but the road taken is different, so it is important that those treating this type of addiction understand the path that you have traveled.
Quitting now prevents a worse addiction
The government has recently re-categorized hydrocodone, so it is now in the same category as morphine. There have also been attempts to make it more difficult to get refills and renewals for your prescription. What this means is that it is getting more difficult to get hydrocodone if you run out, and as you become more addicted, you will run out more frequently. This means attempting to get it on the black market, or doing what so many people in the country are starting to do: use heroin. Although illegal, heroin is stronger and cheaper than hydrocodone, so what has been a legal pain killing medication has now become a gateway drug to heroin. You may find it unthinkable that you could take a step from hydrocodone to heroin, but many people have already done this, and you could be next. The time for drug treatment is now.
Unique health issues related to this addiction
There are many health issues that relate to hydrocodone, and many of them are common to other opiate type drugs. This is due to the codeine ingredient of the drug. However, this medication also contains acetaminophen. It is a well documented effect that this chemical has on the liver. In fact, even when taken separately, as an over-the-counter medicine, acetaminophen has a warning label about limiting the dosage per six hour period. Hydrocodone addicts have no regard for this, so over time, they can develop serious problems with their livers. Getting control over your addiction now, can save your life. No one can live without their liver.
Alternative medication for pain management
Getting drug treatment for hydrocodone is different than other drugs. The reason for this is that hydrocodone addiction begins with a prescription that is needed for pain. If you go through successful treatment, and stop using hydrocodone, you will still have a problem with pain; therefore, the pain issue must be addressed as a part of the treatment. In general, pain management without hydrocodone will utilize a variety of techniques. Some of this may be non-addictive substances that are available without a prescription such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. There are also non-addictive pain relief medications available with a prescription that may be effective, but it will depend upon the nature of your pain.
Non-medicinal strategies for pain reduction
Working with a doctor, there are a variety of ways to reduce pain that are not related to chemicals. You may have already heard about the effectiveness of acupuncture for addiction treatment, but acupuncture is something that can help to reduce pain as well. A change in your diet can help to reduce pain along with certain exercises. You doctor may be able to recommend certain vitamins and minerals. There are various herbs used in alternative medicine that may provide relief for your pain as well.
Getting help today for your hydrocodone addiction is a big step in protecting your health and preventing your life from spiraling out of control. The physical pain that has been kept at bay from ever increasing dosages of hydrocodone will come back when you eliminate this pain killing medication from your life, but don’t despair, there are many techniques and alternatives to hydrocodone to reduce pain.