Does Hydrocodone Get You High?
How Much Hydrocodone Gets You High? Hydrocodone Abuse and Addiction. Hydrocodone Side Effects. Why Do People Abuse Hydrocodone? Opioid Addiction Treatment
What Is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is a schedule II semi-synthetic opioid medication used to treat pain. Hydrocodone is also an antitussive indicated for cough in adults. In January 2018, the FDA required safety labeling changes for prescription cough and cold medicines containing hydrocodone or codeine to limit the use of these products to adults 18 years of age and older. Hydrocodone is pharmaceutically available as an oral medication with formulations, including tablets, capsules, and oral solutions. Tablets and capsules are not to be crushed, chewed, or dissolved, as this can lead to uncontrolled rapid medication delivery and opioid overdose.
Immediate-release (IR) hydrocodone is available as a combination product (combined with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.). Hydrocodone IR combination product dosages typically range from 2.5 mg to 10 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Clinicians should initiate hydrocodone therapy with 50% of the initial dose in patients with severe hepatic impairment. Similarly, initiate hydrocodone therapy with 50% of the initial dose in end-stage renal disease(ESRD) patients. In hydrocodone formulations combined with acetaminophen, the dosage of acetaminophen should not exceed 4 gm/day.
Prescription drug overdoses are far more common than those for illegal drugs and are responsible for more deaths. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) , from 1999 to 2019, nearly 500,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids. Like any opioid pain medication, Hydrocodone can be addictive, and some individuals build a tolerance to it. This means that the person takes larger doses of this drug or does so compulsively without stopping. Physical dependence means that the person will experience opioid withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication. This can be dangerous because hydrocodone can be highly addictive, and overdoses and death are common.
Does Hydrocodone Get You High?
Since 2004, hydrocodone has been the most commonly prescribed drug in the United States and is often misused as a drug of abuse. Hydrocodone is frequently encountered in the postmortem setting, both as a cause of death and incidentally. Unfortunately, information regarding the concentrations of hydrocodone found with chronic high-dose use is lacking, and interpretation of postmortem concentrations can be difficult. When it is abused, it produces a feeling of euphoria or “high.” Knowing the signs of a hydrocodone high may help you to distinguish the signs of opioid abuse.
A hydrocodone high may look different in different people, but in most people, there is one common effect. Opiates can make people have a false sense of euphoria. if someone is high on hydrocodone, you may also notice the following symptoms:
- Slurred speech
- Drowsiness or “nodding off”
- Changes in mood
- Relaxed state
- Inability to answer simple questions or perform simple tasks
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Feeling more social or content
- Unresponsive with slow heart and breathing rate
- Low blood pressure
- Weak pulse
- Combative or aggressive when aroused
How Much Hydrocodone Gets You High?
Hydrocodone, like most other opioids, induces euphoria, an extreme sense of well-being. Hydrocodone binds to specific receptors in the brain. Although opioid drugs like hydrocodone are used primarily to treat pain, some of the central nervous system processes that reduce pain perception also produce a state of well-being. So when hydrocodone causes the neurotransmitters which control movement, moods, and physiology to fire at high rates (as high as they would fire in times of extreme stress) the body and mind experience both pain relief and an uplift in mood simultaneously. In fact, because hydrocodone is considered to be “morphine-like” in every aspect, it is easy to see why the use and abuse of hydrocodone are possible.
When a person takes hydrocodone and they’re following the instructions of their doctor, they’re often given the smallest dose that might be effective for their pain, and then the doctor may gradually increase it as needed to avoid the potential of getting high. When a person gets high from hydrocodone, they put themselves at risk of forming a hydrocodone addiction. The same mechanisms that create euphoria when someone takes opioids are also responsible for triggering reward cycles in the brain that contribute to addiction.
How much hydrocodone gets you high? It’s not only the dose that a person takes which determines whether or not someone will get high from hydrocodone, but it’s also how they use it. Hydrocodone is intended to be used orally, but sometimes people will crush it up and either snort it or dissolve it so they can inject it directly into the bloodstream. Using hydrocodone in these ways gives people a faster high and also one that’s more powerful. However, this kind of use is more likely to lead to addiction.
Hydrocodone Abuse and Addiction
Hydrocodone or hydrocodone-containing drugs are sold under many brand names including Vicodin, Lortab, and Norco. Many opioid painkillers are a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen—a drug that when abused can cause severe liver damage. Abuse occurs whenever you use the medication in a manner other than that recommended by a doctor. If you take a larger dose of hydrocodone than prescribed, take it for a longer period than recommended, or take it more often throughout the day than directed, you are abusing hydrocodone and will most likely experience hydrocodone side effects.
Hydrocodone Side Effects
If someone abusing hydrocodone continues taking the medication long enough, the person’s body and brain can adapt to the presence of the drug in their system. It can change the way it responds to the drug in a process called tolerance.
People who develop a tolerance to hydrocodone need to take larger doses of the drug, or take it more often, to experience the same positive effects. In seeking a greater “high,” or in an effort to overcome the effects of tolerance, abusers may take such large doses of hydrocodone that place themselves in danger of an overdose.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- Generalized muscle weakness
- Slowed breathing
- Slowed heartbeat
- Cold or clammy skin
- Profound drowsiness
- Loss of consciousness
Hydrocodone Abuse Symptoms
The most common symptoms of hydrocodone abuse include the following:
- Reduced heart rate
- Weight loss or gain
- Tightness in chest
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing
Why Do People Abuse Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone addiction isn’t a reflection of a person’s willpower or character. Instead, it’s an indication of the power of a drug that interferes directly with the way a person’s brain experiences pleasure and pain. Recovering from hydrocodone side effects and addiction requires changing the way a person experiences the drug psychologically and physically.
Hydrocodone changes the way the brain works. The drug alters the balance of chemicals in the brain and creates ongoing cravings that are difficult to overcome without professional opioid addiction treatment. The drug stops the natural production of positive feelings, so when a person no longer takes hydrocodone, he feels anxious and depressed and experiences opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Opioid Overdose Crisis
The opioid crisis began In the late 1990s when pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread recreation and abuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive. Opioid overdose rates began to increase. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. That same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
First and foremost, if you think that a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction like the painkiller hydrocodone, you should first research the drug and addiction associated with it so that you can better understand what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, make sure that you offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, offer your support throughout the entire opioid addiction treatment process.
In addition, prolonged hydrocodone abuse can have severe physical and psychological effects, so it is essential to seek opioid addiction treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you get through the early stages of opioid withdrawal promptly.
Detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of withdrawal, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.
Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.
Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.”
- Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
- Solution Focused Therapy – is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the opioid addiction treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.
Now that you’ve answered the question “ does hydrocodone get you high?” it is important to follow the special precaution to avoid addiction. Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued opioid addiction treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to medically assist your recovery. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our opioid addiction treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
 NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537288/
 NIDA – https://nida.nih.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis#:~:text=In%202019%2C%20nearly%2050%2C000%20people%20in%20the%20United,health%20as%20well%20as%20social%20and%20economic%20welfare.
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