Hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin, is widely prescribed medication used to help alleviate pain. This prescription is extremely effective, however, is also extremely habit-forming and, thus, addictive. Furthermore, because hydrocodone belongs in the category of opioids, particularly in a class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics, it is also known to cause a “euphoria” feeling in the user, especially if abused. As a result, a person addicted to this “high” may end up taking more of the drug over time in order to feel the original effect, causing a tolerance upon the drug. This tolerance can oftentimes lead to a dangerous cycle of addiction. 

In order to avoid heading into the dark grips of addiction it is, therefore, essential that before one starts taking hydrocodone that they learn what the side effects of hydrocodone are, what the signs of addiction are, what to expect when detoxing off this medication, and how to get help if addicted to this prescription medication. 

Side Effects of a Hydrocodone Addiction 

Because hydrocodone is under the class of opioids, it mirrors many of the same effects of most other opioid drugs. Since opioids interfere with the way the brain perceives pain, as well as how one emotionally acts to pain, someone who suffers from pain may become addicted to the relief or “high” they feel when taking hydrocodone. Additionally, opioids are extremely habit-forming, even addictive, and can lead a person down the dangerous path of drug-seeking tendencies in order to continue taking the drug. 

Abusing hydrocodone can be dangerous to the user. Therefore, it is essential that if you are taking hydrocodone that you discuss any uncomfortable side-effects with a professional medical doctor. Although side effects can vary person to person depending on a variety of individual, unique factors, some common symptoms of hydrocodone addiction can include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slower heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Increased fear or anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Slowed breathing
  • Sleepiness
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Muscle weakness

Signs of a Hydrocodone Addiction

Addiction is a disease that can raise havoc on one’s mind and body, as well as one’s relationships. Recognizing addiction at hand is essential to getting the help and treatment one needs to recover. A person struggling with an addiction finds it extremely difficult to control their use of a particular substance, engaging in drug use even when they become aware of the harm they are doing to their body or to their relationships. Furthermore, addiction is characterized by intense cravings for a drug and the inability to stop taking the drug despite earnest efforts to quit. Signs of addiction can vary depending on a variety of factors unique to that individual such as, their family history, personal circumstances, and the substance they are abusing. Some other signs of addiction to be on the lookout for include:

  • Obsession: When a person becomes addicted to a drug, obsessive thoughts about taking the drug will take over. As such, this person may spend increasingly more time finding ways to get the substance and even how they can use it once getting it.
  • Risk-taking behavior: Typically a person struggling with an addiction will find themselves more willing to engage in risky behaviors to obtain the substance. They may even find themselves engaging in risky activities, like unprotected sex, dangerous driving, or violence.
  • Taking more than recommended: An individual taking more of the drug than prescribed, especially over a duration of time, has a high risk of becoming addicted to the drug.
  • Losing interest in things once enjoyed: As an addiction gets worse, most individuals will find themselves losing interest in things they once enjoyed. The addiction will become the forefront of their interests and the pastime enjoyments will often fade off in the background.
  • Secrecy: Most people engaging in an addiction will hide their addiction from others, especially those they are closest to. They may even find themselves isolating to avoid their loved ones in order to keep their drug habit a secret.
  • Financial problems: Even if an individual doesn’t have enough money for their drug of choice, they will still find ways to obtain it. Sacrificing all of their savings or belongings, even resorting to stealing, are some of the ways in which an addiction can run havoc on an individual. 
  • Having legal issues: It is more likely for someone addicted to a substance to encounter legal issues, whether it be as a result of impaired judgement from drug use or because of a risk-taking behavior they engaged in. 
  • Change in appearance: Personal hygiene typically takes a backseat in the life of someone suffering from a substance abuse disorder. A person addicted to a drug may appear more tired, disheveled, or unkept as a result of drug use. 

Withdrawal Symptoms from a Hydrocodone Addiction

Because withdrawing off hydrocodone can cause intense withdrawal symptoms, it is vital that one detoxing off hydrocodone seeks professional, medical guidance first. 

Some early withdrawal symptoms that one may experience around the first 24 hours after the last dose hydrocodone can include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Anxiety 
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Profuse sweating
  • Excessive yawning
  • Lacrimation (eyes tearing up)
  • Difficulty/inability to sleep

More intense withdrawal symptoms, often experienced after the first day or so, can include:

  • Goosebumps on the skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Blurry vision

Although symptoms can feel intense and uncomfortable, withdrawal symptoms typically subside or begin to improve within 72 hours and should be significantly better after a week. However, some symptoms may continue for weeks or months after detox. As such, it is vital, as previously mentioned, that one seeks the help of a medical professional when considering detoxing off hydrocodone.

How to Get Help for a Hydrocodone Addiction 

Addiction is a serious, and often fatal, disease. As such, it is imperative that anyone addicted to any drug, whether it be hydrocodone or another drug, that they seek help immediately. Inpatient drug rehab is one of the best ways to ensure that anyone suffering from an addiction gets the appropriate help they need and deserve. Furthermore, inpatient rehab removes the individual from all outside distractions and temptations to give the individual the space to heal and recover long-term. 

If you or a loved one struggles from an addiction to hydrocodone, or any other substance, there is hope. Reach out to a friendly representative today who can guide you through the process of recovery right now. Your future self will thank you for taking the time to recover right now.