Lortab (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) is a legal opiate (narcotic) medication prescribed by doctors to relieve severe pain. It functions by altering how the brain and nervous system react to pain. It can also function as an antitussive, because it decreases activity in the part of the brain that causes coughing.
Lortab can be habit-forming and must be taken exactly as directed by your doctor. Taking a larger dose, or taking Lortab more frequently or for a longer period of time than prescribed, will lead to physical dependence and addiction.
If you or someone you love is addicted to Lortab, call 800 774 5796 now, and let us connect you with the right substance abuse treatment center for your unique needs.
Understanding Lortab Abuse
Lortab is a blend of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Although only available by prescription, in both pill and syrup forms, Lortab is sometimes taken recreationally, leading to addiction. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s fact sheet on the drug, “hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opioid in the United States and is associated with more drug abuse and diversion than any other licit or illicit opioid.”
The hydrocodone in Lortab attaches to opioid receptors in the brain, blocking pain signals. Because opioid receptors are located in the brain’s reward center, they can also cause the brain to release more dopamine, commonly known as the “feel-good” chemical. Seeking to repeat this experience will lead to addiction, which the National Institute on Drug Abuse describes as “a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by inability to stop using a drug despite damaging consequences to a person’s life and health.”
Even when taking as directed, patients can potentially become addicted to Lortab. The potential for addiction increases exponentially when the drug is taken more often, or in higher doses than prescribed. Higher than normal doses of Lortab will produce feelings of euphoria and extreme relaxation.
Signs and Symptoms of Lortab 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.” In addition, opioids are popular drugs of abuse, and when taken at high doses, are extremely habit-forming.
Some signs and symptoms of Lortab abuse may include:
- Needing to refill a prescription earlier than scheduled
- Changes in appearance or hygiene
- Changes in eating habits
- Mental clouding
- Isolation from family and friends
- Nervousness and restlessness
- Changes in mood
- Lack of interest in activities the user previously enjoyed
Dangers of Lortab Abuse
Sustained use of Lortab will create a tolerance for the drug, forcing addicts to increase their dosage to experience the same effects. Taking large amounts of Lortab will increase the number and severity of side effects, and cause the user to run a much greater risk of fatality.
The fact sheet on hydrocodone from the Drug Enforcement Agency explains that Lortab “can cause drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, urinary retention and in higher amounts, depressed respiration. Long term use can lead to dependence and addiction. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, and vomiting.”
Drinking alcohol with Lortab or taking Lortab in combination with other drugs will increase the likelihood of adverse effects, including fatalities.
Who Abuses Lortab?
A person of any age, gender, financial status, or ethnicity can become addicted to Lortab. Some people become addicted accidentally while taking it as a prescribed pain reliever. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, “regular use [of opioids]—even as prescribed by a doctor—can produce dependence, and when misused or abused, opioid pain relievers can lead to fatal overdose. The current epidemic of prescription opioid abuse has led to increased use of heroin, which presents similar dangers.”
Addicts may take dilaudid to combat feelings of anxiety, to self-medicate depression, to remedy insomnia, or to enjoy feelings of euphoria, but tolerance will require larger quantities of the drug to produce the same effect, increasing the risk of withdrawal symptoms and serious medical consequences, including death.Call for a free
treatment referral 800 774 5796
Anyone, from any walk of life, can become addicted to Lortab. When used appropriately, under a doctor’s instructions, the medicine can improve a patient’s quality of life during illness or recovery from surgery or injury. If untreated, chronic pain can have devastating effects on a person’s life, sometimes leading to depression and suicidal thoughts.
But overuse and abuse of Lortab will lead to addiction, and serious mental and physical consequences. Even using Lortab as prescribed will sometimes lead to dependency and addiction.
Like most opioids, Lortab induces euphoria, sedation and alters the perception of painful stimuli. These effects are dangerously tempting for users. In addition, withdrawing from opioids is both physically and emotionally painful, which makes users unlikely to quit once a dependency develops.
Because this medication is prescribed by doctors, some users believe that Lortab is harmless, and non-addictive. This is a dangerous misapprehension. Lortab is only safe when taken in a small, precise dosage, as determined by a medical doctor, to treat a specific medical concern. When you use Lortab to self-medicate or get high, addiction occurs.
Am I Addicted to Lortab?
If you fear that you are addicted to Lortab, read and honestly answer the questions below:
- Do I abuse Lortab every day?
- Do I abuse the drug in order to combat feelings of unhappiness, loneliness, depression, etc.?
- Have friends or family members mentioned more than once that they are worried about my drug use?
- Do I become hostile or angry when they do so?
- Do I ever experience side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, urinary retention, or feeling irritable or anxious, or withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, and vomiting?
- Do I feel like I can’t have fun, be normal, or complete everyday tasks without Lortab?
- Am I secretive about my drug use, and/or do I lie about when I use or how much I take?
- Do I need more and more Lortab each time I abuse the drug in order to feel its effects?
- Have I experienced any major problems in the last year, such as a breakup, job loss, car accident, family problems, financial problems, or getting arrested as a result of my drug use?
- Despite these problems, do I feel unable to stop using Lortab on my own?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be addicted to Lortab and in need of professional substance abuse treatment.
Lortab Addiction Treatment
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. The NIDA explains that “repeated drug use changes the brain, including parts of the brain that enable you to exert self-control. These and other changes can be seen clearly in brain imaging studies of people with drug addictions.”
This is why addicts require professional help to break the cycle of addiction. The treatment specialists at a qualified drug and alcohol rehab are trained in how to manage substance abuse issues and lead addicts safely to recovery.
There are a wide variety of affordable treatment options available, but all of them begin with abstaining from drug use.
Detoxification is the first step to any recovery plan. A person needs clarity of mind and a body free from addictive substances before they can be effectively treated. Because withdrawing from Lortab can be very unpleasant, detoxing in a rehab center under the care of medical professionals is ideal. A doctor may have you taper off of Lortab gradually, to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Whatever the approach, having expert assistance will ensure that you detox safely, with as little discomfort as possible.
Whether addicts choose inpatient residential treatment, and/or outpatient treatment, all substance abuse recovery plans will include talk therapy.
Individual therapy allows patients to work intensively on issues specific only to them, while group therapy allows them to both support and experience support from other addicts who are struggling with similar challenges. Family therapy is a valuable tool to ensure individuals encounter the best possible environment at home, to prevent relapse.
Other treatment options include:
- 12-step meetings: Meetings based on the 12-step program that originated with Alcoholics Anonymous are an invaluable resource to support long term sobriety.
- Treatment for co-occurring conditions: most addicts suffer from undiagnosed mental health issues that underlie and fuel their substance abuse. These co-occurring disorders must be addressed as a part of recovery.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT teaches patients to retrain their brains with new methods of coping with stress and cravings, and avoiding trigger situations
- Nutrition, fitness and recreational therapy: a strong body is just as important as a strong mind when it comes to long-term recovery. The better a person feels, the more prepared they will be to handle life as it comes.
Seek Help Today
Although addiction to Lortab can have terrible consequences for users and their loved ones, recovery is possible. Call 800 774 5796 now to speak to one of our treatment advisors. We will direct you to the ideal form of substance abuse treatment for you.
Don’t wait another moment. Start transforming your life today.