Hydrocodone is classified as an opioid, a classification which also includes morphine, codeine, fentanyl, and oxycodone. It is used to control pain, and is typically found in combination with other drugs such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen to help prevent addiction to the drug. Like all drugs, hydrocodone often carries side effects. Side effects of hydrocodone include the following:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Dry mouth
- Trouble thinking
- Impaired motor function/clumsiness
- Trouble breathing or slow, shallow breathing
Because of these side effects, hydrocodone should only be used if prescribed by a doctor and only used as directed. Taking hydrocodone in ways not prescribed can lead to dangerous consequences, including addiction and memory loss.
Hydrocodone and Memory Loss
While taking hydrocodone for a short period as prescribed by a doctor can cause minor memory problems, this impaired thinking usually goes away after drug use is terminated. However, if a person misuses hydrocodone or becomes addicted, longer-lasting memory problems can occur. An article in the Huffington Post reported that the more hydrocodone a person takes at one time, the greater the risk of mild cognitive impairment. In addition, if a person takes hydrocodone along with other drugs known to cause impaired memory function – even over-the-counter drugs like Claritin or eye drops – the ultimate damage may be even greater memory loss.
Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction
Over time, a person can develop an addiction to hydrocodone, even without realizing it. The drug may impair a person’s thinking, causing him to dismiss even the largest warning signs of addiction. Common signs of hydrocodone addiction include the following:
- Poor school or work performance
- Anxiety and or agitation
- Defensiveness over hydrocodone use
- Distancing self from family or friends
- Stealing from loved ones
- Sudden or recurring lack of money despite financial resources
- Selling personal property
- Taking higher doses of hydrocodone than prescribed
- Taking hydrocodone more often than prescribed
- Visiting more than one doctor to acquire multiple prescriptions
- Constricted pupils
- Lying to cover up hydrocodone use
- Constant lethargy
If you notice these signs in yourself or someone you love, seek help immediately. The longer a person is addicted to hydrocodone, the greater the withdrawal symptoms and the more difficult rehab will be.
Getting Help for Your Hydrocodone Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with a hydrocodone addiction, we can help. You can call our toll free number any time, 24 hours a day. You can talk to an addiction recovery specialist who will discuss your symptoms and help you find the best treatment options for your unique situation. Your memory is too important to lose to a hydrocodone addiction. Call us today.
Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.