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Prescription opioid abuse can start off with hydrocodone addiction. Prescription opioids were first used by approximately 80% of those who have, at some point or another, tried heroin. In fact, up to 6% of prescription opioid users find their way to heroin. An opioid disorder is developed by between 18% and 12% of patients who have been prescribed chronic pain treatment using opioids.

What is Hydrocodone?

Sold under brand names like Zohydro ER and Vicodin, hydrocodone is technically classified as an opioid. When other measures are not sufficient, it can be used to treat pain that is severe and lasting over a prolonged period. In adults, it is sometimes used as a cough suppressant. It is typically combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Common side effects for those using hydrocodone can include constipation, nausea, sleepiness, and dizziness, as well as others. Hydrocodone goes by a number of different street names including the following

  • Watson-387
  • Vike
  • Vic
  • V-itamin
  • Hydros
  • Fluff

How does hydrocodone work? Opioid receptors in the body are activated by hydrocodone – mainly in the spinal cord and brain. Comparatively, taking 10 mg of morphine by mouth can be similar to 10 mg of hydrocodone.

What are the Side Effects of Hydrocodone Addiction?

Just by using hydrocodone for five consecutive days, even under prescribed conditions, you can significantly increase the chances of developing a chronic hydrocodone addiction. The abuse and misuse of hydrocodone can result in the following immediate effects:

  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Nodding off
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Sleepiness
  • Reduced breathing rate
  • Seizures
  • Pinpoint pupils


  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Itchiness
  • Euphoria
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion

Not only does it change the way the brain functions, when long-term abuse of hydrocodone is present, it can have lasting effects on thought patterns and mood. Long time abusers can suffer the following:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease and more

Understanding Hydrocodone Overdose

In the United States, there was a seven pill per patient prescription rate increase when Vicodin/hydrocodone was changed from a Schedule lll to a Schedule ll substance. Back in 2014, hydrocodone prescriptions written by doctors numbered approximately 120 million. Physicians today are more hesitant to prescribe opioids in general.

After ingesting too much hydrocodone, a potentially life-threatening and serious condition can occur. Signs and symptoms of hydrocodone overdose can include the following:

  • Profound weakness and physical tiredness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Clammy skin
  • Sweating
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Difficulty staying awake/severe drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stopped breathing or respiratory arrest that can lead to death or brain damage
  • Breathing difficulties including shallow or slowed breathing

How to Treat Hydrocodone Addiction

Because the rapid decrease of hydrocodone use can result in opioid withdrawal, those wishing to kick the habit should do so under the supervision of a qualified medical professional. During therapy, both emotional and mental aspects of drug use will be addressed.

Why Work with Spark To Recovery?

Spark To Recovery provides treatment plans that are individualized to the circumstances and specific needs of each individual. We understand that a one-size-fits-all method is not the way to go about treating various people with differing addictions. Around the needs of each precise person, we design customized treatment plans using therapies, programs, and more.

Start your hydrocodone addiction therapy today. Call Spark To Recovery at 818-849-5467 today if you want to schedule an appointment with us.

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