Lortab Addiction And Abuse
What Is Lortab?
Lortab is a brand of prescription pain medication used to treat moderate to severe pain symptoms. More specifically, Lortab it is contains hydrocodone a synthetic opioid and acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain medication found in Tylenol.
Why is Lortab Addictive?
Opioids like Lortab are effective pain relivers that impact several areas in the brain and body via the central nervous system. By activating these areas, opioids are able repress and even block pain receptors in the body. As part of this process, opioids increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. For people taking Lortab, this leads to feelings of pleasure and euphoria.
The problem with opioids is that overtime, their effects lead to tolerance and dependency. Those taking Lortab may notice that overtime their prescription becomes less effective. This can sometimes lead to misuse as individuals try to treat their chronic pain. This can cause them to rely on their medication to get through the day which can result in dependency and eventually addiction.
Those abusing Lortab often start off start of receiving Lortab in conjunction with an injury or a bout with chronic pain. Because people believe prescription opioids like Lortab are safter, they are more likely to ignore the risks and warning signs. Dependency can happen quickly and suddenly (as early as 2 weeks).
Once a person is dependent on Lortab, they experience intense physical and psychological urges to use.
Doctors and legislators are becoming wise to doctor swapping and as a result, have been cracking down on medical fraud both on the part of patients and physicians. This combined with the expense of prescription drugs has led to an upsurge of activity on the black market meaning it is now possible to obtain medications like Lortab in addition to other opioids like fentanyl or oxycodone.
“Sales of opioids through US cryptomarkets represented 13.7% of all drug sales in July 2016”
What Are Lortab’s Side Effects?
Lortab being a mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen has unique side effects from other opioids especially when abused. This includes
Large doses of acetaminophen can cause liver disease and intestinal bleeding. It also has the ability to raise the raise the blood pressure which could contribute to heart attack and stroke.
- Blurry vision
- Respiratory depression
- Difficulty breathing
- Stomach cramping
- Muscle aches
- Lack of Appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Runny nose
- Stomach pain
Addiction rewires the brain. When a person becomes addicted to Lortab, it is common for them to experience changes in behavior. This in part due to the physical and psychological symptoms of Lortab dependency as well as behaviors associated with seeking the drug.
- Powerful urges to use Lortab
- Financial troubles (due to spending money on drugs)
- Engaging in risky or illegal behaviors
- Combining multiple drugs to increase the high
- Is constantly making doctors’ appointments (to obtain new prescriptions)
- Appears unkempt or has poor hygiene
- Poor performance at work or school
- Has difficulty meeting obligations or keeping promises
- Valuable items go missing when they are around
Addiction Treatment for Lortab
For individuals struggling with Lortab abuse and dependency, it may be necessary to find treatment rather than continue without help. Opioid withdrawal symptoms are rarely deadly but when combined with substance addiction, can lead to a cycle of chronic relapse.
Rehabilitation for Lortab abuse is a systematic and comprehensive approach that begins by treating the physical symptoms of Lortab dependency. This often involves a medication assisted detox where individuals are given specialized drugs to ease withdrawal symptoms or a medically supervised “cold turkey” detox.
Usually, strong physical symptoms subside in a week or more, but behavioral patterns and urges that reinforce drug use remain. Inpatient and outpatient rehab programs provide psychological and educational services that help people reclaim their independence while getting to the root problems of drug use.