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Hydrocodone is a prescription pain reliever. It is used to alleviate severe pain.
The drug is only used to treat people who require painkillers to relieve pain around-the-clock for an extended time and cannot be treated with other medications.
The pain reliever is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. Popular brand names of hydrocodone pain medications include Vicodin, Lorcet, Norco, and Dicodid.
If you take hydrocodone combination products, it’s essential to read all the ingredients on the product’s packaging. If you are unsure about any ingredients listed, ask your healthcare provider for more information.
Hydrocodone works by adjusting the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.
Hydrocodone is a powerful semi-synthetic opioid, and patients can become dependent on it within a week of use. Hydrocodone opioid addiction usually starts with a prescription that patients develop a tolerance to within a short timeframe.
To overcome the body’s tolerance and increase the effects of hydrocodone, users will have to start ingesting more pills over time. Or, they may crush and snort hydrocodone pills for amplified effects.
Despite an awareness of the adverse effects of hydrocodone addiction, many people experience a compulsive desire to obtain the drug.
Hydrocodone and alcohol misuse can lead to both psychological and physical effects.
Being dependent on opioids, such as hydrocodone, and drinking alcohol can lead to a range of psychiatric issues. The misuse of hydrocodone and alcohol can lead to:
If a person exhibits at least two of the below criteria within the same one-year timespan, they may be addicted to hydrocodone and alcohol.
The continuum varies from mild to moderate to severe, depending on the number of present symptoms.
Common physical effects of hydrocodone include:
If these side effects are severe or persist, speak to your doctor.
Some side effects of hydrocodone can be severe. Severe side effects of hydrocodone include:
If you experience any of these severe side effects, speak to your doctor immediately, or seek emergency medical treatment.
Common physical effects of alcohol include:
Medical professions recommend avoiding combining opioid drugs like hydrocodone with other depressive substances like alcohol. Both hydrocodone and alcohol produce similar effects in the brain. This means the two can compound each other’s intoxication, making the user feel extremely high or drunk.
As alcohol and opioids are both depressants, they lead to relaxation, pleasure, adjustments to breathing and heart rate, and difficulties thinking clearly or remembering events.
The riskiest symptoms of combining hydrocodone and alcohol involve breathing and heart rate. When two drugs cause these side effects, mixing the two increases the likelihood that a person will pass out, stop breathing, or experience heart failure and die.
When hydrocodone and alcohol are mixed the results can cause life-threatening interactions. Excessively drinking alone can lead to alcohol poisoning. Together, the risk of opioid overdose and death becomes significantly high.
There is no specific limit to how much hydrocodone and alcohol would cause an opioid overdose. This is because it depends on how large the dose is or how the substances are consumed.
If a person overdoses on alcohol and hydrocodone, it’s essential to call 911 immediately. The person requires emergency medical attention to survive and mitigate long-term damage.
Signs of an opioid overdose on hydrocodone and alcohol include:
There are various treatments available if you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol and drug abuse.
Withdrawing from alcohol and hydrocodone without professional help can be an uncomfortable and dangerous experience. Withdrawal can be deadly due to the severe withdrawal symptoms. Medication-assisted treatment may also be necessary to control symptoms, depending on the individual.
Withdrawing from the combined use of hydrocodone and alcohol can lead to:
Due to the potential consequences, a professional detox under supervision is one of the primary treatments for alcohol and opioid addiction.
Detox with help from medical staff assists with comfort and safety while leading to better long-term outcomes. This is because cravings and the risk of relapse are high during this time.
Once detox is complete, the focus on long-term recovery starts with various addiction treatment options. Inpatient hospitalization is a short-term program to assist with physical and mental health issues.
Residential rehab is another option, lasting between one to three months with continuous supervision from medical staff. Daily addiction treatments at recovery include group and individual therapy, medication management, and teaching patients how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Outpatient therapy includes an extensive selection of addiction treatments ranging from one hour weekly to six hours daily. Therapy addresses triggers of substance abuse and methods to avoid relapse.
Therapy is an excellent option for patients with a robust support system in place at home. It’s often used in conjunction with residential addiction treatment. Many patients in recovery attend informal support groups, including 12-step meetings, to gain support and information from people with similar issues.
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