When To Seek Treatment For Hydrocodone Addiction

September 21, 2016

How To Tell If You Are Addicted To Hydrocodone

This post covers the following information. The post will cover the primary signs and symptoms of an hydrocodone addiction, how to tell if your loved one is addicted and hydrocodone treatment options.

Hydrocodone Addiction Signs

Hydrocodone is a prescription painkilling drug sold under the names ‘Vicodin’, ‘Lorcet’ and ‘Lortab’, in addition to generic versions. Prolonged use of this drug will created a physical dependence upon it. For some individuals this physical dependence leads to a full blown addiction.  Spotting an addiction can be tough as prolonged use is not the only sign. Hydrocodone might be legally prescribed for an individual’s chronic pain. Addiction to oxycodone will manifest itself in a complex collection of physiological, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms where abuse of hydrocodone is the hallmark of this condition. There are (3) other main signs of addiction:

  1. Loss of ability to control dosages.
  2. Ignoring the negative consequences of oxycodone use.
  3. A preoccupation or cravings for hydrocodone.

Individuals addicted to hydrocodone will display ‘drug-seeking behavior.’ An individual displaying this type of behavior will seem obsessed about obtaining the drug and have noticeable behavioral changes.  Satisfying cravings for the drug becomes the central focus of the user’s life driving them to behave in ways they normally would not.

There are physical, psychological and behavioral consequences to hydrocodone abuse. If you or a loved one show changes in any of these areas, there is a possibility they have become addicted. The earlier someone receives help the greater the chance of recovery. Look for the following signs:


Physical Symptoms Of Hydrocodone Abuse

  • The eyes – small puplis, bloodshot.
  • The nose – having the sniffles or a runny nose frequently.
  • Appetite – not normal, either increased or decreased.
  • Hygiene – does not show care in appearance.
  • Coordination – slurred speech or impaired motor movement.
  • Sleep Patterns – not normal, either increased or decreased.


Psychological Symptoms Of Hydrocodone Abuse

  • Anxiety – acting paranoid or unusually fearful.
  • Motivation – lacks drive, seems ‘spaced out.’
  • Personality – unfamiliar changes to attitude.
  • Mood Swings – seemingly euphoric to irritable and angry.
  • Energy – abnormal excitement or nervousness.


Behavioral Symptoms Of Hydrocodone Abuse

  • Decreased interest in socializing or hobbies.
  • Legal troubles stemming from fights or accidents.
  • Secretive behavior, acting suspicious.
  • Unexplained financial problems and need for money.
  • Change in friend group and hangout spots.
  • Neglecting responsibilities such as work, school or kids.


Symptoms Of Oxycodone Addiction

The DSM – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders– describes the clinical criteria defining hydrocodone addiction and provides the outline health providers need to identify the magnitude of addiction based on certain symptoms. Hydrocodone is an opioid class of drug, symptoms of addiction to this substance include:

  • Abnormally large amount of time spent on behaviors to obtain, use or recover from the effects of hydrocodone.
  • Increased tolerance to hydrocodone. The drug has a diminished effect with continued use of the same amount. Increased amounts of hydrocodone are needed to achieve the ‘high’ the addict desires.
  • Continued use despite chronic or persistent social/interpersonal problems.
  • Continued use despite chronic or persistent physical/psychological problem.
  • Giving up on social, occupational or recreational activities once perceived as important.
  • Failure to fulfill commitments at work, home or school.
  • Hydrocodone is taken in larger amounts for a longer period of time than prescribed.
  • Persistent yet unsuccessful attempts to quit or control use.
  • Taking other opioids (or similar substances) to avoid withdrawal symptoms.


A medically managed hydrocodone detox has shown to be an effective treatment option. Using drugs like Suboxone, methadone or nalterxone which contain buprenorphine significantly increase the chances of a successful hydrocodone addiction rehabilitation. These drugs inhibit hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings therefore decreasing the chances of a relapse.

Combining a medical assisted drug detox and behavioural/psychotherapy will yield the best results. Both physical and physiological dependency issues must be addressed simultaneously  in order for hydrocodone addiction treatment to be successful.

How To Help A Loved One Seek Treatment For Hydrocodone Addiction

There are many ways that someone can help a hydrocodone addict. One of the most effective ways to help is to plan an intervention. Start by researching hydrocodone rehab facilities in your area. During the intervention share personal experience about how the users addiction has negatively impacted not only the user’s life but the lives of the user’s loved ones. Hopefully the addict will have increased awareness as to the consequences of continued hydrocodone use. A recommended model to follow is the CRAFT model. This model is a 12-16 week family counseling method that has shown to increase the chances of motivating an addict to seek help.

Becoming addicted to hydrocodone can happen to anyone because of hydrocodones method of action in the brain. When the hydrocodone molecule is inside a human’s brain it obstructs the user’s mind from processing pain, both emotional and physical. This is why someone high on hydrocodone will seem euphoric. Over time and prolonged use of hydrocodone a user’s brain chemistry will change. Once addicted a user can get stuck in a cycle of use because of hampered decision making and a low tolerance to pain. Once stuck in this cycle hopefully the user has a support group that pushes them to find treatment for hydrocodone addiction.

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