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Prescription Drug Addiction Can Happen To Legitimate Users Too
Law enforcement and drug treatment officials are saying the numbers of people becoming accidentally dependent to the widely-prescribed, and highly addictive painkiller hydrocodone are alarming, and growing faster than expected. Whether used legally or illicitly, hydrocodone is playing an increasing role across the country in the prescription drug addiction epidemic.
No one knows precisely how many cases of prescription drug addiction are linked to hydrocodone. But it is the active narcotic ingredient in dozens of popular medications such as Lortab and Vicodin, and is available everywhere generically simply as ‘hydrocodone’.
What’s really worrying drug abuse experts are the thousands of people taking legitimate prescriptions who are becoming accidentally dependent to the highly addictive drug.
But whether used legally or illicitly, the result of dependency is the need for drug detox to overcome it, and drug rehab if the dependence has escalated to a prescription drug addiction.
Hydrocodone (or dihydrocodeinone) is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from two naturally occurring opiates, codeine and thebaine, both of which are produced from the opium poppy. It’s been in use in the U.S. since the early 1940s as a painkiller, but prescriptions have skyrocketed in recent years and it’s found its way into millions of homes. The result is a corresponding rise in dependencies, if not prescription drug addiction, among users of legitimate prescriptions.
Additionally, there are thousands of unsuspecting teenagers and young adults surprised to find themselves dependent or addicted after pilfering hydrocodone from the medicine cabinet at home. Now they need medical drug detox to handle withdrawal from a narcotic dependency. And for many, there will be lengthy stays in drug rehab facilities alongside heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine and prescription drug addicts, to deal with what escalated from an innocent experiment in ‘getting high’ on pilfered hydrocodone, to full-bore narcotic prescription drug addiction.
Check the names on the pill containers in your medicine cabinet, and if it’s of those listed below, lock it up. Many victims of prescription drug addiction became addicted to hydrocodone swiped from the medicine cabinets of parents, friends and relatives:
The most common drugs containing hydrocodone are:
Anexsia, Bancap HC, Bekadid, Calmodid, Ceta-Plus, Codinovo, Co-Gesic, ComfortPak, Dicodid, Dolagesic, Dolorex Forte, Duocet, Duodin, Hycet, Hycodan (or generically Hydromet), Hycomine, Hydrocet, Hydroco, Hydrogesic, Hydrokon, Hy-Phen, Kolikodol, Liquicet, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, Lorcet-HD, Lortab, Margesic-H, Maxidone, Mercodinone, Norco, Norgan, Novahistex, Orthoxycol, Stagesic, Synkonin, Tussionex, Vanacet, Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Vicodin HP, Vicoprofen, Xodol and Zydone.
All of these hydrocodone prescriptions can unexpectedly catch law-abiding pain patients just as easily as recreational drug abusers in the dwindling spiral of dependence and prescription drug addiction.
And never share hydrocodone with someone else. Apart from being illegal to do so, there is always the danger that the drug may react badly on the person, or they might not know they can’t combine it with alcohol or other drugs that could result in injury or even death. If you want to do someone in pain a favor, don’t play doctor, take them to a health care practitioner.
Hydrocodone, a Central Nervous System Depressant, causes serious, life-threatening side effects if combined with other similar drugs, or alcohol. Also, your friend or relative could have any of a number of unknown conditions that hydrocodone might make worse. Even if you’re not concerned about dependence or prescription drug addiction, hydrocodone can cause liver and kidney damage in someone with a pre-existing condition.
And never take more than the prescribed dose of hydrocodone — it is an addictive narcotic. And beware of symptoms of ‘needing’ or ‘craving’ more than the prescribed dose, or suffering ill effects when you stop taking it. People can become dependent on hydrocodone even at the prescribed dose.
Finally, understand that it isn’t a crime or morally reprehensible to become dependent on hydrocodone — it happens to people every day. And everyone who does fall prey to a hydrocodone dependence will require a detox to withdraw from it, and a medical drug detox program is the safest way handle deal with a hydrocodone dependence.
Rod MacTaggart is a freelance writer that contributes articles on health.
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