Lorcet, a brand name for the combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, is a legal opiate narcotic prescribed by doctors to relieve moderate to severe pain. It works by affecting the way your central nervous system processes pain signals.
Lorcet can be habit-forming and must be taken exactly as directed. Taking large doses will produce a sedating and euphoric effect that is psychologically alluring. Sustained abuse creates a physical dependence that makes giving up the drug difficult to accomplish on your own.
Understanding Lorcet Abuse
Lorcet is the brand name for a combination form of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a widely prescribed medication that is equally widely diverted for illicit use.
The hydrocodone in Lorcet binds itself to opioid receptors in your brain, blocking pain signals and stimulating the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. This process leads to the feeling of well-being and peace that may aid in pain relief, and prevent damage from the shock that surgery or injury can have on the body.
Taking higher than recommended doses of medications containing hydrocodone, or taking it without a prescription when you aren’t actually in pain, leads to an unnaturally swift release of dopamine, and an intense level of sedation and euphoria that some users become psychologically addicted to almost immediately. As they seek to repeat the experience, they develop a physical addiction that makes drug use even more difficult to give up.
Signs and Symptoms of Lorcet Abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “as many as one in four patients receiving long-term opioid therapy in a primary care setting struggles with opioid addiction.”
Some signs that a loved one may be struggling with an addiction to Lorcet addiction may include:
- needing to refill or acquire new prescription earlier than scheduled
- visiting multiple doctors or clinics to get prescriptions
- lying about pain to medical professionals
- withdrawing from favorite people and activities
- neglecting hygiene and appearance
- unusual sleep patterns
- difficulty performing well at work or school
- foggy thinking
- nervousness and restlessness
- mood swings
- secretive behavior
Dangers of Lorcet Abuse
Sustained use of Lorcet will make you tolerant to its effects, forcing you to take more of the drug to have the same experience. This will increase the number and severity of the adverse effects the drug can cause, even when taken as directed. This will also ensure that you develop a physical dependency that will cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you try to give up the drug.
The fact sheet on hydrocodone from the Drug Enforcement Agency explains that this medication may cause:
- urinary retention
- depressed respiration
- liver damage
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- muscle and bone pain
Drinking alcohol with Lorcet or taking it in combination with other drugs will increase these adverse effects, and is a clear sign of a substance abuse problem.
The risk of overdose increases the longer you abuse Lorcet. MedlinePlus explains that overdose on a hydrocodone combination product may include the following symptoms:
- narrowed or widened pupils
- slow, shallow, or stopped breathing
- slowed or stopped heartbeat
- cold, clammy, or blue skin
- excessive sleepiness
- loss of consciousness
Who Abuses Lorcet?
Becoming addicted to Lorcet is not a sign of weakness; it can happen to anyone. Admitting that you have a problem and seeking help, however—that is a sign of strength.
A person of any age, gender, financial status, or ethnicity can become addicted to Lorcet. You may start taking Lorcet to combat feelings of anxiety, remedy insomnia, self-medicate depression, or to simply get high, but over time, you will need dangerously large doses of the drug just to counteract the painful withdrawal symptoms you suffer whenever the drug’s effects begin to wane.
When used appropriately, under a doctor’s instructions, Lorcet can help you heal from surgery or injury by relieving pain and protecting your body from shock. But overuse and abuse of Lorcet will lead to addiction, and devastating consequences for you and your loved ones.
No one wants to suffer, or cause the suffering of loved ones, but addicts often feel like their drug use is too overwhelming to control.
Am I Addicted to Lorcet?
According to criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5, you may have a substance use disorder if at least two of these issues occur within a 12-month period:
- You often take larger amounts of the drug over a longer period of time than you intended
- You want to cut down or quit, but haven’t been successful
- You spend a good deal of time getting the drug, using the drug or recovering from the effects of the drug
- You have intense urges for the drug that block out any other thoughts
- You aren’t meeting obligations and responsibilities because of your substance use
- You keep using the drug, even though you know it’s causing problems in your life
- You give up or cut back important social, occupational or recreational activities because of your substance use
- You use the substance in situations that may be unsafe, such as when driving or operating machinery
- You use the substance even though you know it’s causing you physical or psychological harm
- You develop tolerance, which means that the drug has less and less effect on you and you need more of the drug to get the same effect
- You have physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug, or you take the drug (or a similar drug) to avoid withdrawal symptoms
Lorcet Addiction Treatment
Addiction to an opiate such as Lorcet is the most commonplace drug addiction there is—but that does not mean that all of these addictions should be treated the same way. You are a unique individual who will benefit from a customized approach inspired by your personality, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and goals.
There are some therapies that all recovery plans will include, due to their proven effectiveness.
Detoxification is the first step to getting clean. You can’t enjoy the full benefit of substance abuse treatment while you still have substances clouding your brain and damaging your body.
As with all opiates, withdrawing from Lorcet can be very unpleasant, so it may be best for you to detox in a rehab center under the care of medical professionals. Even if you choose to detox on an outpatient basis, you will need a doctor’s guidance for tapering off of Lorcet gradually. It is never a good idea to abruptly stop taking medications containing hydrocodone.
No matter what kind of treatment program you decide works best for you, your recovery will undoubtedly include talk therapy.
- Individual therapy will allow you to work one on one with a therapist, delving into issues in a focused, in-depth manner. This will help you to uncover and address any co-occurring conditions that may be contributing to your drug use.
- Group therapy, and/or 12-step support groups, are a great way to connect with other addicts and learn from them. Often, it is just as beneficial to give support to others, as it is to receive support. Group counseling and meetings also foster a feeling of community, reminding you that you are not alone in this journey.
- Family and/or couples counseling is invaluable for working through problems in your relationships that contribute to your drug use, or have been caused by it. These problems must be addressed to ensure that you return to a positive, supportive environment after you are discharged from your treatment program.
Many rehab facilities take a whole-person approach to addiction recovery, incorporating an array of therapeutic modalities to heal your body, mind and spirit.
Some of these options may include:
- Recreational therapy to help you find appropriate physical outlets for stressful emotions. Staying active also promotes a healthy body and a healthy brain.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you rid yourself of negative thought patterns and learn new ways of coping with trigger situations.
- Alternative Therapies such as yoga, mindfulness training, and acupuncture. These treatments can have an impressive impact on your progress in recovery.