When you find yourself deeply hooked on hydrocodone abuse, side effects can include a long list of symptoms that will disrupt your life. You can expect to experience fatigue and drowsiness, anxiety or a general sense of uneasiness, dizziness, constipation, headache, nausea, itchiness, muscle aches, insomnia, and even nightmares.
Some of those symptoms can worsen into life-threatening conditions. The body’s general slow-down could lead to an irregular, slow heartbeat. The person could experience vomiting and have difficulty urinating. Someone suffering from constipation might find that their condition worsens to the point of bowel obstruction, which would require hospitalization.
What Are Long-Term Hydrocodone Abuse Side Effects?
If you take hydrocodone over a long course of time, the hydrocodone abuse side effects can lead to tolerance of the medication. You will require larger doses just to feel the same degree of pain management, and forget about the euphoria that turned you on in the first place. Many people become fixated with obtaining hydrocodone, and then they find that the family doctor no longer feels comfortable prescribing it. You will put your determination to obtain more hydrocodone ahead of your family, your job, and your health, and that’s where dependence becomes addiction.
What if you live with someone and you suspect them of hydrocodone abuse? Side effects demonstrating that the person has graduated to dependence include the person’s refusal to follow label directions—they take more than they’re supposed to. They wash it down with alcohol because it helps it work a little better. They may try to take it along with other medications such as Xanax or similar benzodiazepines because they believe those pills will enhance the effects of the hydrocodone. And even when they no longer need it—the broken leg is healed, the medical condition has resolved—they still want more of it. You have a long job ahead of you, talking them into getting the kind of long-term medication-assisted treatment that can help them kick the addiction.
The Scope of Abuse
Prescription opiate abuse has grown to such proportions that the government has declared it to be epidemic. Hydrocodone abuse side effects do nothing to deter the person who can’t wait for his next dose of medication. Opiates are much more compelling than other prescription medications. For every 45 prescriptions written for stimulants such as Adderall, there are 210 prescriptions written for opiates.
Heading Toward Heroin Addiction
Hydrocodone abuse side effects include the long journey toward heroin addiction. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in a study of eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade students, learned that only one percent of eighth graders had tried Vicodin and OxyContin, and the percentage rose similarly at the tenth grade level, at 3 percent for OxyContin and 3.4 percent for Vicodin. However, just two years later at the twelfth grade level, 4.8 percent of students were using Vicodin while the number of OxyContin users changed very little. By the time those twelfth graders reach the end of their college years—if they make it that far—how many of them do you think will be abusing hydrocodone? How many will turn to heroin?
Heading Toward Prison
Hydrocodone abuse side effects, by the time those students graduate, will cost society much more in terms of addiction treatment and legal costs. The person who is caught abusing hydrocodone in Texas will face penalties ranging from fines, to loss of the driver’s license, to probation, or even jail time. They will have to bear the costs of prosecution. Just a DUI alone costs the average person about $10,000. You can expect to spend a great deal more than that if you’re arrested for hydrocodone.
In Texas, illegal possession of hydrocodone previously was a misdemeanor, provided you did not have a large quantity. However, all formulations of hydrocodone have been changed to felony possession. According to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas County resident, John Conte Smith, also known as Leo, was sentenced to 46 months in jail for floating hydrocodone and alprazolam, or Xanax, prescriptions. He was convicted in 2014 along with at least three co-conspirators, Nicole Burks, Keith Deon Noel, and Lee Santrell Boston.
Smith gave signed prescriptions to the other three, who had them filled at various pharmacies in Dallas, Lubbock, and Abilene. Smith gave them the money to fill the prescriptions. In some cases he gave money to Burks, who gave it to the others. The other three turned in their pills to Smith, who kept some and sold the rest. They were all arrested in July; Smith was just sentenced in April 2015, and the other three will be sentenced later in 2015.
Heading Toward Recovery
You can no longer take the stand that the side effects of hydrocodone addiction are insignificant. Before you end up in jail, you need to get into treatment. Methadone treatment offers a way to seek help with a minimum of stress. The counselors and medical staff at methadone treatment programs understand what you’re struggling with. The treatment itself reduces your withdrawal symptoms and wipes out your obsession with hydrocodone. Make a phone call today that can change your life.