Hydrocodone Addiction in California: Signs, Treatment, and More

Hydrocodone Addiction in California: Signs, Treatment, and More

To ease chronic pain, Dr. Gregory House popped the drug Vicodin like candy. His use of Vicodin—and his compulsion to acquire it—led him to impulsive, even dangerous behavior. Although House was a fictional character on the television show House, M.D., the harmful effects of his Vicodin use are very real. That’s because Vicodin contains hydrocodone, a drug that can help or hurt, depending on its use.

Usually prescribed to treat severe pain or coughs, hydrocodone is often combined with other drugs. This is the case with Vicodin, a brand name for hydrocodone combined with acetaminophen. These two ingredients also form drugs sold under the names Lortab and Norco. Hydrocodone is an analgesic, which means that it is a drug that blocks pain. Hydrocodone blocks pain because it is also an opioid, a drug that changes the way the brain and nervous system function. Addicts can become quickly overtaken by the drug’s powerful ability to relieve pain.

Because of these brain changes, using too much hydrocodone can prompt the brain to want more, which creates hydrocodone abuse. This abuse is common in real life, not only with fictional characters like Dr. House. Still, hydrocodone addiction treatment in California can treat this abuse and other conditions.

Signs of Hydrocodone Use

Using hydrocodone can produce different side effects:

  • euphoria or anxiety
  • depression or confusion
  • dizziness or drowsiness
  • nausea or dry throat
  • constipation or urination problems
  • insomnia or fatigue
  • rashes or itching

These symptoms affect general health and mood, illustrating how hydrocodone affects the body and the brain, which demonstrates why finding hydrocodone addiction treatment in California is crucial.

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Symptoms of Hydrocodone Addiction

Using (and misusing) hydrocodone can lead to harmful side effects:

  • nausea
  • constipation
  • hearing loss
  • breathing problems
  • liver damage

The above symptoms are not just symptoms of hydrocodone use, but signs of hydrocodone addiction. Other signs of hydrocodone addiction include the craving for hydrocodone, as well as increased tolerance.

Hydrocodone abuse prompts abusers to want more hydrocodone, so they use more. But with heavy use, tolerance increases. Addicts use even more hydrocodone, which introduces more hydrocodone to their systems. This increases the amount of hydrocodone in their bodies, which increases the risk of dangerous side effects.

Dangerous symptoms of hydrocodone addiction occur during hydrocodone overdose:

  • blackout
  • coma
  • severe respiratory problems
  • vomiting
  • clammy skin and itchiness
  • tiny eye pupils

People should not let anyone with these symptoms fall asleep. Rather, they should get immediate medical help. An overdose of hydrocodone can kill.

Detox of Hydrocodone and Withdrawal of Hydrocodone

Since hydrocodone can produce such dangerous short-term and long-term effects, detox is important. Detox is a process that removes toxic materials—like hydrocodone—from a person’s body.

Hydrocodone addiction treatment in California can help with a detox of hydrocodone. Medical professionals at treatment centers such as Monarch Shores help monitor this process. Detox typically involves gradually weaning addicts from hydrocodone. Patients use smaller and smaller doses of hydrocodone to allow the body to become accustomed to smaller doses, but those small doses still give them the hydrocodone the body and brains craves.

This tapering off process helps ease symptoms that stem from hydrocodone withdrawal. If patients still experience withdrawal symptoms, hydrocodone addiction treatment in California can administer medications to help with symptoms.

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Other Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction in California

The pain of hydrocodone addiction in California is not just physical, but also mental. Hydrocodone addiction can cause depression or anxiety, or that anxiety and depression prompted addicts to use hydrocodone in the first place. In fact, hydrocodone addicts sometimes have a condition called dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis occurs when doctors and therapists diagnose someone with a substance abuse problem and a mental illness.

Types of mental illnesses typically diagnosed during rehab include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Dual diagnosis treatment can be tricky because both conditions feed off of each other. Depressed people might turn to hydrocodone or other substances to try to cope with depression, but using hydrocodone might make them even more depressed, which could lead them to use even more. Hydrocodone addiction treatment in California treats conditions such as dual diagnosis.

Monarch Shores, uses different treatment components to treat dual diagnosis:

  • education about dual diagnosis
  • group meetings with families and staff members
  • individual and group therapy options
  • holistic therapies (acupuncture, nutritional counseling)
  • management of different medications
  • follow-up care after rehab

The final component, follow-up care after rehab, is especially important to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. This care ensures that addicts receive help for both hydrocodone addiction in California and mental illnesses. If addicts receive treatment for only one of those conditions, the untreated condition could threaten recovery in other areas.

Monarch Shores can provide such dual diagnosis treatment and treat other aspects of hydrocodone addiction in California.

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