Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that is derived from codeine and thebaine, two opiates that occur naturally. It is also called dihydrocodeinone and is an antitussive or cough suppressant as well as a narcotic painkiller (analgesic) that is orally active. It is currently available by prescription in capsule, syrup, and tablet form and is oftentimes compounded with ibuprofen or paracetamol. The latter two are lesser effective compounds that are non-opioid in nature.
Dependency and recreation use
According to the DEA in a report released for 2009, hydrocodone is a member of a group of opiate-based painkillers that are illegally trafficked and considered a primary drug threat in the US. Additionally, the health and medical community views hydrocodone as a serious public health threat based on millions of annually reported cases involving serious illnesses associated with these medications. Due to its potential for producing opiate related side effects, it is a popular recreational drug and its popularity continues to grow.
The recreational use of hydrocodone has caused many addiction rehab centers to implement hydrocodone addiction treatment programs to treat addicted individuals and help them recover from their dependency on the medication. Hydrocodone is now one of the most popular recreational drugs in the US and is prevalent among the teenage crowd and young adults due to the widespread availability of the drug. Just like with other opioid based medications, hydrocodone causes physical dependency.
When the consumption of hydrocodone is stopped after long periods of use, severe withdrawal effects are not uncommon. These withdrawal effects oftentimes include
extreme drug cravings
sensation of pins and needles throughout body
There may be other withdrawal symptoms that are equally unpleasant and are indirectly associated with stopping the usage of hydrocodone, but the ones listed above are the most common that are experienced. As a result of the above, many of the addiction treatment and recovery facilities out there provide their clients with hydrocodone addiction treatment programs to help them overcome their addictions and fully recover.
Symptoms of overdose
There are a number of symptoms of hydrocodone overdose, some of which can be fatal if medical attention is not sought out immediately. These include:
blue, clammy, or cold skin
Additionally, recreational consumption of hydrocodone can result in jaundice, liver damage, and eventually liver failure. This is a drug that should only be used for medical purposes.