Opioids are a powerful pain reliever that helps people with chronic or severe pain. Hydrocodone is a type of opioid that is in many brand-name pain medications, such as Vicodin and Dolorex Forte, which also contain acetaminophen. Recognizing hydrocodone side effects is imperative if you or a loved one is taking this pain medication. While it is safe to take for an extended period of time, there is a high risk of forming an addiction to this medication.
Evoke Wellness welcomes Massachusetts residents who are struggling with an addiction to opioid pain medication and are ready for a healthy change. Our team has years of experience treating all types of addiction and the underlying reasons behind it. We work closely with each patient to understand what started the abuse and teach them healthier ways to manage their symptoms and triggers.
What Is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is an extended-release opiate analgesic that changes the way your brain responds to pain. It binds with the mu-opioid receptors in your body and blocks neurotransmitters from sending pain signals from the central nervous system to the brain. It can also cause a euphoric and relaxing state that can be very addicting for certain people.
Anyone who takes more than prescribed or uses hydrocodone with alcohol or other drugs puts themselves at risk of forming a dependence and addiction to the medication. Those with a family history of mental health disorders are likely to have a more intense reaction to this medication and are more susceptible to hydrocodone abuse.
The pain benefits of this medication far outweigh the risks of addiction. If you or a loved one is prescribed hydrocodone, remember to:
- Never take more than prescribed
- Continue talking with your doctor about changes in pain levels
- Do not use alcohol, cannabis, or other depressants while taking hydrocodone
Evoke Wellness is a full-service addiction treatment facility that works with individuals who develop an addiction to their pain medication. Our day treatment and outpatient treatment programs use a mix of behavioral therapies and medication-assisted treatment to ease withdrawals and cravings while still providing pain relief.
Recognizing Hydrocodone Side Effects
Using opioids to treat pain is the preferred method for pain relief in the U.S., with around 132 million opioids dispensed in 2022. Of those taking opioids, roughly three million people will struggle with opioid use disorder. Each year, opioid-related deaths continue to rise, with 2021 seeing over 80,000 overdose deaths.1
Here are the hydrocodone side effects that you should familiarize yourself with if you know someone taking this medication:
- Itchy skin
- Respiratory depression
These side effects will be more intense when you first start taking hydrocodone but will diminish as your body adjusts to the medication. Those who experience constipation while taking hydrocodone should eat more fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly.
If you are taking hydrocodone and stop suddenly, you may experience opioid withdrawal symptoms that include:
- Enlarged pupils
- Increased anxiety
- High blood pressure and body temperature
- Runny nose
- Muscle spasms
You can avoid these hydrocodone withdrawal side effects by working with your doctor as your pain levels decrease. They will reduce the prescribed amount slowly to give your body time to ween itself off the medication.
Those who have developed an opioid use disorder can enroll in an addiction treatment program to break the addiction safely with minimal risks of relapse.
Enroll in Evoke Wellness’ Opioid Rehab in Massachusetts Today
At Evoke Wellness in Waltham, MA, we welcome individuals who are abusing their opioid medication and need help stopping the abuse before causing irreparable harm. At the start of your recovery, therapists will talk about what caused the abuse to begin and find healthier ways to manage their symptoms and triggers.
Our programs use a number of beneficial therapies that include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Trauma therapy
- Family counseling