It can be painful to watch someone you care about battling substance abuse of any kind. If your loved one is abusing prescription opioids like hydrocodone, it can feel even more complicated.
When it comes to opioid abuse, it’s important to know that your loved one may already be physically dependent on the drug. Even if they have a legal prescription, they may need professional help to overcome their dependence on opioids.
Fortunately, addiction is a highly treatable disease. Rehab centers like The Bluffs provide comprehensive addiction treatment to people who suffer from opioid abuse. By discussing treatment options with your loved one, you open the door of communication and offer them the opportunity to seek professional help.
What Is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is an opioid analgesic. It is prescribed to treat pain after surgery or injury. Hydrocodone is often sold under the brand names Hysingla, Zohydro ER, or Vicodin.
Hydrocodone is part of the opioid overdose crisis currently hitting the United States. In the U.S., more than 130 people die every day from opioids like hydrocodone. Narcotics have a high potential for abuse, and taking large or frequent doses can lead to dependence, tolerance, and addiction.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hydrocodone Abuse
Prescription pill abuse can be difficult to spot, as many people start out with serious pain concerns and legal prescriptions from their doctor. However, if a person becomes addicted to hydrocodone, they may begin to show signs of opioid abuse over time.
Signs that a person may be struggling with hydrocodone abuse include:
- extreme drowsiness
- falling asleep at inopportune times, or “nodding out”
- depression, anxiety, agitation, or other mood changes
- preoccupation with doctors, injuries, pain, and medication
- doctor shopping (visiting multiple providers to get more prescriptions)
- missing large amounts of time or money
- change in appearances, such as weight loss or poor hygiene
- drug paraphernalia, including prescription bottles, pill cutters, or razor blades
When a person who is dependent on hydrocodone stops taking the drug suddenly, they will likely experience symptoms of opioid withdrawal. These symptoms can include irritability, sweating, loss of appetite, nausea, and muscle aches.
How To Approach Someone About Their Hydrocodone Abuse
If you are concerned that someone you love is battling hydrocodone abuse, the best thing you can do is talk to them. While this conversation can seem daunting, it’s important that they hear about your concerns directly.
It’s normal to feel apprehensive about approaching your loved one, and you may want to seek some support before doing so. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are no-cost support groups that aim to support the loved ones of people who use substances.
Types Of Interventions
Talking to a person about their addiction is sometimes called an intervention. The overall goal of an intervention is to communicate your concern, and help the person find treatment.
There are several types of interventions. Because each situation is unique, you can determine the type of intervention that you think is a better fit. If you choose to stage an intervention, there are several ways to do so, including:
Friend And Family Interventions
This personal approach to an intervention may include the person’s spouse, children, friends, or coworkers. The group gathers in a predetermined location, and a select member of the group brings up the person’s substance abuse. Each member may share their own concern for the person, and voice that they will support them in recovery.
As you can imagine, these conversations can be very emotional. Your loved one may feel defensive or upset. Try not to take these reactions personally — they are probably well aware of their substance abuse and scared about their current situation. Stick to the goal of sharing treatment options, in a caring yet firm manner.
Another option people choose is a professional intervention. Many families opt to use professional intervention specialists to guide the supportive confrontation, and to ensure everyone feels heard.
Professional interventionists are usually licensed therapists. They may specialize in addiction, family dynamics, or communication. An intervention specialist brings a voice of experience and expertise, and helps to keep the conversation focused on the goal of treatment.
However you are feeling, you are not alone. Most people find it difficult to talk openly about addiction. At The Bluffs, we provide the necessary support to families that are navigating a loved one’s addiction.
Finding Treatment For Hydrocodone Abuse And Addiction
Opioid addiction is a growing problem across the U.S. In 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, and opioids like hydrocodone account for a majority of the problem.
Fortunately, addiction is highly treatable. In order to stop taking opioids, your loved one may need medical detox, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and specialized treatment therapies. At The Bluffs, we provide these services in a serene and supportive environment.
Our treatment facility is equipped to help people recover from hydrocodone addiction and rebuild their life in sobriety. Nature-based therapies, group counseling, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are offered on our state-of-the-art campus. The Bluffs treatment program also offers family therapy sessions, in order to promote healing for the whole family.
How To Help Someone During Rehab
One of the best ways to support someone during addiction treatment is to take care of your own needs. Often times, concerned loved ones are so wrapped up in the person’s addiction that they neglect their own well-being. People in this position may benefit from speaking with a therapist, or attending a 12-step support group like Al-Anon.
Recovery is a process, and tends to look different for every person. In order to fully overcome opioid use disorder, many people require long-term recovery services and aftercare support. While your loved one is getting help, use this time to tend to your own needs.
How To Support Someone After Rehab
Experts agree that treatment lasting at least 90 days is associated with more positive recovery outcomes. This can be accomplished in an inpatient program or outpatient “aftercare” therapy sessions.
Once your loved one has completed the recommended course of treatment, they will need your support more than ever. You may want to catch up over coffee or offer them a ride to a 12-step meeting. Feel free to ask them about their treatment experience, and allow them to steer the conversation. Early sobriety can be a sensitive and overwhelming time, and they may not be ready to completely open up about their experience.
Recovery is possible, but it doesn’t happen overnight. For more information about how to help someone abusing hydrocodone, or to learn more about treatment at The Bluffs, contact a specialist today.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Opioid Overdose
National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus — Hydrocodone
National Institute on Drug Abuse — Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Opioid Overdose
- National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus — Hydrocodone
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)