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Hydrocodone is an opioid that belongs to the class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics.

It is sold under the brand name medication Vicodin, which is made up of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), “Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.” Hydrocodone works by blocking pain signals from one’s central nervous system and brain to the rest of the body. As an opioid analgesic, hydrocodone binds to the opioid receptors in one’s body interfering with the communication of certain neurotransmitters as it inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin. It also stimulates the dopamine receptors and interferes with the release of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the central nervous system. 

Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as a chronic mental health disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli (e.g., abusing opioids) regardless of the negative ensuing consequences. An individual that struggles with hydrocodone addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her drug cravings above all else, which can wreak havoc in all areas of one’s life. 

Signs and Symptoms

Every individual is different and will respond somewhat uniquely to the abuse of hydrocodone. There are, however, several common signs and symptoms that an individual struggling with hydrocodone addiction may exhibit, which can include any combination of the following examples, as provided by Healthline:

  • Slower heartbeat
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Fear and depression
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Slowed breathing
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sleepiness

The severity of symptoms will differ from person to person, as will the duration of symptoms an individual experiences. If left untreated, addiction to hydrocodone can result in severe short and long-term effects. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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