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What Is Hydrocodone Addiction?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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When a person is addicted to a prescription drug called hydrocodone, he is said to have a hydrocodone addiction. This type of addiction often begins in people who have to take this drug because of moderate-to-severe pain, but then they eventually become dependent upon it and no longer consume the drug solely to relieve their discomfort. Instead, they begin to use it for the relaxed euphoric state the drug produces. Many also find crafty ways to supply their drug habits, such as finding doctors who are unaware of their addiction to prescribe the drug for them long after they need it; some even buy the drug illegally on the street.

There are many types of drug addition to which a person may prove vulnerable. Many people think of drug addition only in terms of addiction to illegal drugs, but increasing numbers of people are struggling with addiction to prescription and nonprescription drugs as well. One type of prescription drug addiction is referred to as hydrocodone addiction. This type develops when a person becomes addicted to the narcotic prescription drug hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone is a drug that is used to provide potent pain relief. It is often combined with another pain-relieving drug called acetaminophen for the purpose of providing reliable pain relief. Acetaminophen is far less potent than hydrocodone, but the two drugs work well together for helping people with moderate-to-severe pain. This medication can be very beneficial for a person who is suffering from a painful injury or condition, but unfortunately, it can also prove habit forming. The addictive quality of such pain relievers is typically due to the hydrocodone rather than the acetaminophen.

There are many signs that can indicate a person has a hydrocodone addiction. They include requesting refills early because one has used more of the prescription than expected as well as unusual mood and behavior changes. A person who has a hydrocodone addiction may withdraw from his loved ones and take increasing interest in new friends who also abuse hydrocodone or other prescription drugs. Often, people with this addiction lie about losing their prescriptions in order to secure more medications from their doctors or lie and steal in order to get money to buy the drug on the street.

Some people with hydrocodone addictions may also engage in doctor shopping. This involves finding new doctors who are unaware of the patient's history in order to get prescriptions for the drug or switching providers to get hydrocodone after the patient's regular doctor has noted the addiction.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

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Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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