Facts About Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid, a narcotic analgesic designed to manage pain in patients following surgery or injury. It works by attaching to the opioid receptors in the spinal cord and brain, blocking the pain signals the body is sending. When taken as prescribed for a short duration, these drugs are effective and safe. The problem occurs when an individual becomes addicted to the euphoric effects of the drug and continues to seek that feeling.
Hydrocodone is most commonly prescribed in drugs that are combined with acetaminophen. Only Zohydro ER is pure hydrocodone medication. These drugs are widely available, and, with over 136 million prescriptions written in the U.S. in 2013, is the most prescribed drug in the country, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In fact, the DEA reports that more than 24 million Americans over the age of twelve have misused hydrocodone.
Hydrocodone works by suppressing the effects of physical pain through modifying the signaling in the central nervous system by the body’s opioid receptors. By blocking the pain signals, the perception of feeling pain is thwarted, explaining why these medications are welcomed following surgery or injuries. Unfortunately, the drugs in this category are also highly addictive.
Signs of Vicodin Addiction
It is important to understand how a hydrocodone addiction develops. Continued use of the drug leads to increased tolerance. This means that more of the drug is needed to experience the initial pain-relieving and euphoric effects desired. As the frequency of dosing increases, physical dependence or addiction can result. When someone abuses or develops an addiction to hydrocodone they may exhibit particular behaviors and symptoms. These might include: