If you’ve ever undergone surgery or suffered an injury, hydrocodone may well have been prescribed as a pain medication. Overall, hydrocodone exists as the most frequently prescribed pain reliever across the globe, according to the Connecticut State website.
Hydrocodone also produces certain unintended side effects that account for its use as a highly popular recreational drug. Considering hydrocodone’s classification as an opiate, hydrocodone addiction rates run high.
Likewise, living with hydrocodone abuse and addiction through the holidays comes with certain risks in terms of the drug’s addictive effects. With all the pressures that come with the holiday rush, getting needed drug treatment sooner rather than later may well save you much heartache and frustration in the long run.
Commonly used to treat conditions involving moderate to severe pain, hydrocodone combines hydrocodone, an opiate similar to codeine, with acetaminophen a non-opiate pain reliever, to enhance the drug’s pain-blocking effects. As with any opiate-based drug, long-term use places individuals at risk of abuse and eventual addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, hydrocodone’s addictive effects develop out of a cycle of abuse driven by rising brain tolerance levels and the withdrawal effects of the drug. During the holiday season, the temptation to use hydrocodone to cope with the demands and expectations characteristic of this time of year leaves users susceptible to the more dangerous aspects of drug abuse.
Dangers of Hydrocodone Addiction
Holiday Stress Effects
For many, the demands of everyday life can be hard to keep up with let alone the added tasks of preparing meals, attending family gatherings and shopping that come with the holiday season. These added stress factors only work to aggravate hydrocodone addiction.
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, stress plays a central role in the development of drug abuse and addiction. In effect, people living with hydrocodone addiction use the drug as a means to cope with daily life stressors. With additional stress factors to deal with, the likelihood of increasing drug use runs high.
Withdrawal Effects & Tolerance Level Increases
More than anything else, the withdrawal effects and tolerance level increases brought on by long-term hydrocodone use account for the dangers associated with this drug. Hydrocodone alters the brain’s chemical workings, creating a state of physical dependency over time.
Physical dependency sets the stage for withdrawal episodes to happen with greater frequency as the drug continues to reconfigure the brain’s chemical pathways. For someone trying to keep up with the holiday rush and the mounting stress this brings, drug-using behaviors can easily increase without a person even knowing it.
Like most all opiates, hydrocodone acts as a depressant, slowing the chemical processes that regulate the body’s major systems. With frequent drug use, users reach a point where they’re ingesting incredibly large doses of the drug at a time to compensate for rising brain tolerance levels. With large enough dosage amounts, hydrocodone can essentially shut down one or more of the body’s major system, which is how overdoses occur.
In effect, what was once a “manageable” drug problem can easily become life threatening during the holiday season. Even in cases where a person intends to get treatment help after the holidays, he or she takes a big risk overall.
If you’re struggling with hydrocodone addiction, the time to get needed treatment help is now. If you have any questions about addiction or need information on treatment program in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-405-7172.