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Painkillers That Kill

Mar 9, 2008
The prescription was almost out and Jim knew he wouldn't be able to get another fill from his doctor. He didn't think he was addicted, but he wanted the euphoria to continue. There must be another way to get his prescription refilled...just one more time.

Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone is a synthetically derived opioid providing the user with pain and cough relief. It has been recorded that out of the 40% of Americans prescribed some form of hydrocodone, addiction occurred, usually taking hold around four weeks after the beginning of usage. There are over 200 products in America that have hydrocodone in some form or another, making the addiction very hard to identify and combat.

There are usually two types of hydrocodone addicts. There are those people that after being prescribed hydrocodone ultimately become addicted and there are those that use hydrocodone like an illicit drug, knowingly taking hydrocodone for it's euphoria producing effects. The latter group is as much affected by it's disposition to addiction in general as their desire to play out this inclination using hydrocodone. This means that hydrocodone is merely the vehicle the addict chooses to play out the addiction with. It could easily be cocaine or heroin.

Those people who fall into hydrocodone addiction through prescriptions essentially create tolerance and dependence without knowing it. This is why hydrocodone addiction is so insidious and hidden. Many Americans are surprised by their dependence on their prescription drugs and by the tough withdrawal symptoms that go hand in hand with stopping usage.

Withdrawing from Hydrocodone

Appearance of withdrawal symptoms from Hydrocodone can occur from a few hours to a full day after the last dose. These withdrawal symptoms tend to mimic other opioids like Percocet and Oxycodone. Addicts who stop using hydrocodone infused drugs experience excessive sweating and yawning, running nose and eyes, bouts of diarrhea and vomiting, shivering and goose bumps, muscle aches and cramps, restlessness and insomnia, irritability and anxiety, loss of appetite, and severe cravings for hydrocodone many days and weeks after the rest of the withdrawal is finished.

Tolerance Growth and Celebrity Influence--Two Draws to Addiction

Recently a lot of fuss has been made about the death Heath Ledger from a combination of six different prescription drugs, one of them being Hydrocodone. Of course the combination of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine was sure to inflict the deadly "punch," but enough of any prescription drug can inflict the necessary level to be deadly. Here in lies the problem with hydrocodone based drugs--tolerance and social influence. The more one takes Hydrocodone and any drug for that matter, they build up a certain level of tolerance. This tolerance means they need more and more of the substance to feel an effect. Sooner or later this will lead the user to take too much and he or she will over dose. Coupled with the tolerance factor is the "cool factor" brought on by hydrocodone's celebrity profile. Heath Ledger was not the only celebrity to link their name to hydrocodone (of course he did so through dying), Brett Favre, Mathew Perry, and Niki Taylor are just some of the celebrities to have been connected to hydrocodone usage and abuse. Vicodin, a hydrocodone based pain killer has even found itself tattooed on the arm Eminem.

Being Aware

The most important thing to be with any prescription painkiller is be aware that addiction is a possibility. This requires the user to be extra cautious and display self control when taking hydocodone. Of course one's doctor should always be kept aware of any possible problems when taking hydrocodone.
About the Author
David Mark writes for numerous websites that focus on spreading useful information to humanity. Learn more about Hydrocodone Addiction.
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