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Hydrocodone Addiction

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A growing crisis in the U.S. is the addiction to the drug hydrocodone. Cocaine, marijuana and heroin abuse is in the news regularly, but the fact that hydrocodone may be the most abused prescribed drug in the U.S., according to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), is not widely known. In the last ten years the use of this drug has quadrupled. Also, visits to hospital emergency rooms have increased by 500 %. A person can become addicted to hydrocodone in as little one week.

Hydrocodone affects the way the brain release a chemical that calms nerve cells and after long-term use of the drug the brain stops the natural release of this chemical. A person begins with a small dose and then need more and more to relieve the pain.

People often feel that they cannot become addicted to a prescription drug because a health care professional gave them the drug and what doctor wants to see his patient turn into an addict.

More than 200 products contain hydrocodone and these are regulated by federal and state laws. They are not as controlled as other more powerful painkillers and this makes them easier to get illegally. Theft, "doctor shopping", and forging prescriptions are some of the methods used to obtain the drug. Vicodin, Lortab and Oxycontin all contain hydrocodone and they are the most widely prescribed painkillers.

The age group 18-25 is the largest of prescription drug abuser. One of the reasons for this can be attributed to the fact that hydrocodone is so widely prescribed. The Internet is full of websites that will sell these drugs cheaply and without a prescription.

Today the trend for young people is to have what is known as "pharm parties". At these parties drugs that are obtained from home medicine cabinets, bought off the streets or are stolen are all placed together and then each person swallows a few. Everyone reacts differently to a drug and often times this type of behavior leads to tragedy. Overdosing on prescription medicine accounts for one-fourth of all emergency room visits.

Many celebrities have had an addiction and their sequence admission to a drug rehab or alcohol treatment center has made using drugs more appealing to young people as they feel that there is always a way to "kick" their habit. Often that is not the case. Many celebrities and common folks alike have died from drug overdoses.

If a person has an alcoholic or drug abuser in the family they may be more inclined to become an addict. It is sometimes the genetic makeup of person that causes the problem.

Treatment for the addiction to hydrocodone is best done under the care of trained professionals. These programs consist of many different elements. The first step is to withdraw the person from the drug. This is done slowly and often with the use of another less harmful drug. One of the focus of these programs is to make the person understand the reason they feel the need for their drug use.

REFERENCES:
http://www.justice.gov/dea/concern/hydrocodone.html
http://fairbankscd.org/education.html

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