Is Hydrocodone Rehab Right for Me?
A drug behavior that’s gone out of control tends to drive a person to isolate and stay alone much of the time. Hydrocodone addictions are no different. Even when a person does realize a potential addiction problem exists, the last thing he or she wants to do is enter a rehab treatment facility.
Unfortunately, the effects of hydrocodone abuse on brain and body functions no longer make it possible to go it alone through sheer force of will. Understanding how hydrocodone affects brain and body processes over time can help in determining whether hydrocodone rehab is right for you.
Hydrocodone acts as an active ingredient within a wide variety of prescription pain relievers and cough suppressants, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. When mixed with other ingredients, such as acetaminophen or aspirin, hydrocodone produces different effects, though most all effects work to slow down the body’s central nervous system (CNS) functions.
When taken as prescribed, hydrocodone can be an effective treatment for conditions involving pain and inflammation. When taken for longer than prescribed or taken for recreational purposes, the potential for addiction increases considerably.
As a CNS depressant, hydrocodone effects cause the brain to secrete large amounts of endorphins, the body’s own pain-relief chemicals. With continued use, brain cell receptors become unable to secrete endorphins on their own. As a result, it takes increasingly larger doses of hydrocodone to produce the same desired effects. Over time, the overall structure of the brain starts to change as brain cell receptor functions continue to weaken.
Hydrocodone abuse also alters the brain reward system to the point where the drug’s effects become the primary motivation in a person’s life. By the time a person becomes addicted to hydrocodone, changes in brain physiology and function make it all but impossible to stop using the drug. Without some form of hydrocodone rehab treatment, it’s likely addictive behaviors will continue indefinitely.
Physical Treatment Needs
After long-term use, any attempts to reduce hydrocodone dosage amounts or stop taking the drug altogether are met with unpleasant withdrawal effects.
Withdrawal effects may take the form of –
- Aches and pains
- Chills, cold sweats
In many cases, people will continue to take hydrocodone to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Because of the way hydrocodone interacts with brain receptors, attempts to go “cold turkey” can make withdrawal symptoms unbearable. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hydrocodone rehab treatment offers a type of medication therapy that works to wean a person off hydrocodone’s effects and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Mental Treatment Needs
With long-term use, hydrocodone’s effects can offset brain chemical imbalances to the point where psychological symptoms and/or disorders start to take shape. A person may start to experience –
- Mood swings
- Unusual thought patterns, such as paranoia
With ongoing use, these conditions become progressively worse leaving a person unable to function in everyday life regardless of continued drug use.
Hydrocodone rehab programs offer ongoing psychotherapy treatment help, group counseling and 12-Step support group work. Over time, recovering addicts develop needed coping skills for managing daily life stressors while dealing with the underlying issues that drive them to use drugs as an escape.