Developed in the 1920's, by a German pharmaceutical company, hydrococodone was formed by adding a hydrogen atom to codeine molecules. Hydrocodone is more commonly known as Vicodin. Because of the high rate of opiate cough syrup addiction in the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Social Hygiene funded a study to examine the effects of hydrocodone and other drugs to be used as less addictive types of painkilling medication.
Hydrocodone was one of the most effective drugs in the study in terms of the painkilling ability it had and because the side effects were predictable, the drug became favored for use in the medical field. However, because it had a tremendously powerful effect on the animals used in the studies, researchers also knew the the propensity for hydrocodone addiction was likely.
Despite the reservations within the medical community, hydrocodone became an instant favorite in America and as it grew in popularity, so did the risk for hydrocodone addiction. Many people with an addiction will travel from physician to physician or fake illness or pain, in order to secure prescriptions for the medication to feed their habit. Even as we move forward into the 21st century, hydrocodone and addiction remain a growing concern.
Within the past 10 years alone, hydrocodone addiction has risen more than 500 percent. The effects of hydrocodone are very similar to what a person experiences when using heroin, which is why medical professionals feel it has such a strong likelihood of abuse. A person using hydrocodone in excessive amounts can experience the following side effects; allergic reaction, heightened anxiety, unusual bleeding, decreased libido, breathing difficulties, constipation, dry mouth, ringing in the ears, mental confusion, hives, muscle aches and fatigue.
The two most common signs of a hydrocodone addiction can be an increased need for the drug and diminished effects of the drug. Other symptoms and signs that can indicate an addiction are continued drug use as a tolerance is built up, continued use of drug to alleviate side effects of withdrawal, increased desire to stop or cut down consumption of drug, person gives up on important social or recreational activities to spend time doing drugs and continued abuse despite knowing there is a physical problem.
Without treatment, a hydrocodone addiction can go on for a long period of time and cause many harmful effects to health such as liver toxicity. Withdrawal symptoms from hydrocodone can occur within as little as 24-48 hours after the drug is stopped and last on average between 10-14 days. Detoxification is a miserable experience as addicts struggle with physical cravings, extreme mood swings, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, dilated pupils, sweating and moderate to severe depression.
Treatment for an opioid addiction is never an easy prospect for the addict, family or friends. The right approach to rehabilitation includes therapy, counseling and medical intervention to determine which course of treatment will work to the patients advantage.
If you or someone you love is in the throes of an addiction to hydrocodone, it may help to speak to the admissions office at Transformations Treatment Center. Recovery is possible and help is available, it is important to reach out and make the choice to embrace sobriety and make a conscience choice to fight back against the ravages of drug addiction.