Understanding the Dangers of Hydrocodone Abuse
While common and often thought of as an easy way to get high, hydrocodone abuse is dangerous and can cause problems for you and those you love. Consider the dangers of hydrocodone abuse before you start.
The NLM states that “hydrocodone may be habit-forming” if you abuse it. This means that you could become addicted to the point where you cannot stop taking the drug on your own. The best way to avoid this is to only take the drug when you are prescribed it and to not take more than that dosage. However, hydrocodone abusers will take the drug often to feel its euphoric high and other issues will result.
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Drug-seeking behavior
- Illegal activities (stealing prescriptions and drugs, faking prescriptions, buying hydrocodone from illegal sources)
- Risky behaviors while under the influence of hydrocodone
- Decrease in life satisfaction
- Poor performance in work or school
- Relationship and family problems
- An inability to stop taking the drug
Addiction will make you unable to stop yourself when it comes to hydrocodone. You may do something dangerous to get more of it or do something illegal. You could also take more than you can handle, leading to overdose.
Overdose from hydrocodone becomes much more likely when you abuse the drug. Hydrocodone overdose can result in death because of the severe respiratory depression that is often caused. The DOJ states that, “like other opioids, hydrocodone overdose is associated with cold and clammy skin [and] severely constricted pupils.”
Many people die from hydrocodone overdose. According to the DOJ, “an estimated 82,480 emergency department visits were associated with nonmedical use of hydrocodone in 2011.” Unfortunately, the number “represents a 107% significant increase from the number of ED visits reported in 2004.” Hydrocodone abuse is dangerous and can easily lead to overdose in those who might not know their tolerance level, and even in those who do.
The abuse of hydrocodone also has many health effects, some that other opioid drugs do not necessarily cause. “Large doses of hydrocodone in combination with
acetaminophen may cause severe liver damage,” according to the DOJ, and this is common as Vicodin is more commonly abused than any other type of hydrocodone drug.
Other health effects caused by hydrocodone abuse are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Respiratory depression that can be even worse when the drug is combined with alcohol or other medications that depress the central nervous system
- Problems with urination
- Dry throat
Many of these health effects can cause problems depending on where you are, as people can get into accidents while on hydrocodone. The drug’s effects not only put people into unsafe positions but are also life-threatening on their own.
Hydrocodone abuse is a dangerous path to begin because many people do not realize that they need help until something very bad happens. If you get help now, it will be easier than when you have already become addicted or experienced overdose or other consequences of hydrocodone abuse.