Lortab is one of several brand names for hydrocodone products. In Lortab, hydrocodone and acetaminophen are combined to provide pain relief for moderate to severe pain. Like all opioid painkillers, Lortab has a high potential for abuse. It is one of many prescription opioid pain medications that presents addiction issues in the United States and the world. In fact, in 2012 there were an estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. alone that were suffering from addiction related to pain medication like Lortab, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH).
It seems that young adults are the most at risk. The NIH indicates that abuse of prescription drugs is most pronounced in people age 18 to 25.
While addiction to Lortab and other prescription opioid medications is certainly a serious problem, fortunately it is possible to get effective treatment. A quality opioid treatment center will have the staff, the training and the tools to help you or your loved one get your life back on track.
What is Lortab?
The configuration of Lortab – hydrocodone and acetaminophen – has been shown to be very effective at minimizing pain. The combination of the two drugs enhances the effectiveness, with the hydrocodone providing substantial pain relief and the acetaminophen helping to relieve pain and reducing inflammation, including fever.
When someone abuses Lortab, it is the hydrocodone that is attracting the user. As a semi-synthetic opioid derived from the opium poppy, hydrocodone can produce significant euphoria in users. Many people start out using Lortab for pain, only to discover that they go through withdrawals when they stop – so they keep using. Or, they may discover that they get a great feeling when they take their medication. Either way, soon they are unable to cope without Lortab.
How is Lortab Abused?
Most people who start using Lortab take it orally to begin with. The doctor will prescribe it in pill form, so the user will swallow the recommended dosage. As tolerance builds, the user will start taking higher and higher doses to get the same desired effect.
Some people will try to crush up Lortab to snort or even to dissolve in a solution and inject. When people crush the pills they are hoping to get a greater or more rapid effect from the drug. However, the additives in the Lortab, particularly the acetaminophen, can make snorting and injection problematic. They can cause damage to the nasal cavity, resulting in acetaminophen overdose and clog the veins when injected.
Effects of Lortab Addiction
The hydrocodone in the Lortab seeks out and binds with the opioid receptors in the brain to produce a feeling of warmth, fuzziness, and euphoria. The user feels relaxed, in a good mood and generally positive. Sometimes the drug can be motivational, leading to increased productivity for a short time. Unfortunately, like all highs, eventually the good feelings wear off and the user is left feeling worse than before the drug was taken.
Negative effects from Lortab usage include:
As usage continues, the brain will stop producing opioids because the drug is overloading the brain’s receptors. Without the body’s own opioids, the user’s mood will quickly deteriorate and stay in a low place for an extended period of time. It can take weeks for the body to start producing enough opioids to return the mood to normal.
The acetaminophen in Lortab can cause serious liver complications if the user takes too much. Liver toxicity related to acetaminophen overdose is dangerous and can be fatal. The person using Lortab might not be aware of the damage, either, as he or she keeps taking more and more to feel good.
The hydrocodone in Lortab has the potential to cause respiratory failure if the user takes too much, or if the Lortab is combined with other drugs.
Lortab Rehab Options
Although Lortab may be considered less extreme than other opioids like heroin or Oxy, it can still create a very strong dependency that is hard to fight on your own. Rehab programs approach opioid dependency as a serious problem regardless of the type of opioid.
There are a variety of treatments available for Lortab addiction, including:
Medically Assisted Detoxification
As your brain tries to adjust to life without Lortab, you can expect to experience some uncomfortable side effects. The side effects, known as detox, can be painful and stressful, and are often enough to make people try to find more Lortab or other opioids. Medically assisted detox will help you ensure that you can detox as painlessly and as safely as possible.
Depending on the severity of your addiction, inpatient residential treatment may be the best way to start down the road to rehabilitation. You can stay at a treatment center for a specific time period, such as 30 days, where you will be able to engage in a number of proven therapies. You do not have to worry about distractions or having access to Lortab. For as long as you are at the center, you will be taken care of.
The outpatient treatment options for Lortab addiction include individual and group therapy, among other options. You can get treatment on a regular basis, for as long as you need it.
Help Finding Lortab Rehab
Please contact us today if you or a loved one are suffering from Lortab addiction. Let us help you locate the right treatment center for your specific needs.