Hydrocodone remains an opioid drug that is frequently used as a prescription painkiller that comes prescribed for short-term discomfort relief. This medication, also called Vicodin, works very well for pain relief from surgery and injuries.

One of the problems with using this medication, as well as other medicines in the opioid family, remains that they are highly addictive. That’s why doctors only prescribe a few hydrocodone tablets at a time. And that’s why these prescriptions are highly regulated by the state and local government. But if it is used frequently or for a long enough time, it has a high rate of becoming addictive.

Are There Risks to Using Hydrocodone? 

Hydrocodone abuse has several various risks included with its use. If used as directed, the drug will help you feel better while you heal from surgery or an injury. You might start by having withdrawal symptoms, then move on to mood disorders, increased tolerance to the medication and finally, develop an addiction to the drug that was initially supposed to help you. Unfortunately, there can be a thin line between using the prescription as described and becoming addicted to it.

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Are You Addicted to Vicodin?

Are you addicted to hydrocodone? Is someone you love addicted to the drug? You’ll know you’ve passed over the thin line of addiction if you exhibit a few of the following signs and symptoms.

1. Drug tolerance. Hydrocodone causes the development of tolerance to the drug. Drug tolerance means that you feel like you need to use more of the drug to get the same feeling of being high.

2. Using other people’s medication. If you are “borrowing” prescriptions from others like elderly family members or friends, you are most likely an addict.

3. If you are buying your Vicodin or hydrocodone from someone who is not a doctor or health care provider, you most likely have a hydrocodone addiction. Plus if you or someone you are concerned about is always broke or needs money, suspect a drug addiction.

4. If your prescriptions are running out early, you’re using more than the prescribed amount of medication. This behavior indicates a developing drug tolerance and possible addiction.

5. If you take hydrocodone to feel good but are not really in that much pain, you have a problem and need to be evaluated for drug addiction.

6. If you keep the amount of medication you take a secret, or how often you take the drug a mystery from even your doctor, you possibly are an addict.

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7. If you are doctor shopping, you have a problem. Doctor shopping is when you or a friend go from one doctor to another to seek hydrocodone. While at the appointment, you don’t let the health care provider know how much or how often you take the drugs. And you’d never let a doctor know that you’ve already received a prescription of Vicodin from some other health care provider or on the streets.

8. Continuing to use hydrocodone even when your personal, work or school life starts to falter or fall apart.

9. You experience the side effects of withdrawal when you stop taking this drug for a while. Some of the side effects of withdrawal from Vicodin include:

• Abdominal pain.
• Cottonmouth.
• Pain in your back.
• Discomfort or tightening in the muscles.
• Problems with urination.
• Tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
• Having problems with urination.
• Feeling itchy.
• Having anxiety or panic attacks.
• Frequent changes in mood.
• Dilated pupils.
• Depression.
• Flu-like symptoms.
• Problems breathing.

Some people use hydrocodone to feel better. Unfortunately, the only thing that happens when a person uses and abuses the drug for an extended period is new mental and physical disorders can be caused by using the drug.

In many cases, you or the person you’re concerned about may take so much hydrocodone that they stop breathing and overdose. People frequently die from using opioids. Please call 911 if the person in question shows signs of:

• Dizziness and blurry vision.
• Pale skin.
• Blue skin on the lips or fingernails.
• Weak muscles.
• Cold or clammy skin.
• Vomiting and nausea.
• Tiny pupils.
• Falling asleep after suspected drug use.
• Being unable to wake up.
• Seizures, especially in those who don’t have epilepsy.
• Confusion.
• Slowed breathing.
• Not breathing.

Treatment Options for Hydrocodone Addiction 

Detox, treatment, and aftercare remain the ideal choice for a person with any addiction. The discomfort of detox can be relieved with proper withdrawal techniques and medication. You may receive a dual diagnosis and be able to take care of the reason you started using in the first place. Behavioral therapy and other types of counseling can help you get a healthier life.

To learn more about treatment options, please visit