- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Hydrocodone
- An unusual loss of interest in things that once were important
- A drop in academic or athletic performance
- Loss of motivation or energy
- A child who finds ways to sneak off and has trouble explaining his absence
- Money issues that seem sophisticated for a child
- Items missing from the home
- Unexplained Weight Gain or Weight Loss
- A Change in Sleep Patterns
- Deteriorating Physical Appearance
- Nagging Cough
- Diminished Hygiene Care
- Body or Clothing May Have an Unusual Odor
- Bloodshot Eyes with Large or Small Pupils
- Slurred Speech
- Inability to Abstain Consistently
- Impairment in Behavioral Control
- Cravings for Drugs or Intense Reward Experiences
- Diminished Capacity to Recognize Significant Personal or Relationship Problems
- Dysfunctional Emotional Response
- Breathing that Stops
- Cold, Clammy Skin
- Extreme Drowsiness
- Pinpoint Pupils
- Shallow Breathing
- Weak Pulse
- Improves Survival
- Increase Retention in Treatment
- Decreases Illicit Opioid Use
- Decreases The Risk for Hepatitis and HIV
- Decreases Criminal Activities
- Increases Employment
- Improves Birth Outcomes for Pregnant Women Battling Addiction
Addiction to opioids such as Lorcet is a growing problem in the United States. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports the U.S. admission rate for opioids other than heroin jumped 414 percent between the years 1997 and 2007, from seven people per 100,000 to 36 per 100,000 people. This increase in opioid abuse may be because Americans take more opioids than another other country on earth. Even though Americans represent only about 5 percent of global population, they consume 80 percent of the world's supply of opioids, according to the Institute of Addiction Medicine.
The Definition of Addiction
Addiction is a chronic, neurological disease that negatively affects the function of the brain's reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to biological, psychological, social and spiritual symptoms that define Lorcet addiction. The dysfunction causes the individual to pursue reward by taking drugs or participating in other addictive behaviors.
Doctors diagnose a person as being addicted to Lorcet when the patient is unable to abstain from using this drug consistently and craves Lorcet when he runs out. The addicted individual may be unable to control his behavior in other ways and become unable to recognize how his behavior causes problems for himself and for others. A person with a Lorcet addiction may display a dysfunctional emotional response, seemingly uncaring how his drug use affects others.
As with other chronic diseases, a person struggling with Lorcet addiction may experience several cycles of relapse and remission. Without proper treatment, Lorcet addiction progressively gets worse, and may result in disability or premature death.
Addiction versus Dependence
Lorcet addiction and dependence are similar in that both conditions relate to opioid drug use. Some use the terms addiction and dependence interchangeably, but these two conditions are independent and different from one another. A person can be addicted to Lorcet or dependent upon it, or both.
The human body adapts to the occurrence of certain drugs, such as Lorcet, by adjusting its own chemistry. A consumer can develop a tolerance to Lorcet, which means he must take an ever-increasing amount of Lorcet to relieve pain or to get high.
With prolonged Lorcet use, even at prescribed doses, the body begins to depend on a certain level of the substance in order to feel "normal." When Lorcet levels drop, the body of an opioid-dependent person struggles to maintain its chemical balance, a process known as detoxification. The individual feels this battle for chemical stability through unpleasant, flu-like withdrawal symptoms.
While Lorcet addiction is a physical disease that makes actual changes to the central nervous system, addiction changes the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. An addicted person will crave opioids and will spend much of his time looking for drugs, getting high or recovering from drug abuse.
Someone can become dependent upon a drug but not addicted to it, and vice versa. For example, a patient might depend on an anti-hypertensive to keep her blood pressure within safe levels. If she were to stop taking her medication, her blood pressure would rise but she would not feel cravings for the drug. She is dependent on this drug but not addicted to it.
In contrast, a person can be addicted to cocaine but not physically dependent upon it. When an addicted individual runs out of cocaine, she will experience cravings and participate in drug-seeking behavior but she would not experience the flu-like symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. She is addicted to cocaine but not physically dependent upon it.
Addiction: What Family Members Should Know
Anyone can become addicted to Lorcet or other substances or activities. Addiction is a disease that affects the central nervous system on a cellular level. This neurological condition causes some people do things they would not ordinarily do, such as neglect important responsibilities, mistreat a family member or miss important events. Erratic behavior associated with Lorcet addiction is a reflection of this disease and not an indicator of moral character.
Lorcet addiction does not replace the love a person has for his family but the neurological changes caused by the disease of addiction sometimes makes a person act differently towards the ones he cares about.
Lorcet addiction is not necessarily an indication someone engaged in criminal behavior. Someone can become addicted to opioids such as Lorcet after using it as directed by a physician. Opioid addiction is a predictable outcome of using powerful opioid medications for a long time, and not an indicator of moral character.
Causes of Lorcet Addiction
Heredity plays a role in addiction to Lorcet and other substances. Researchers recognize that addiction passes from one generation to the next. Family members should know that having an addicted relative increases each individual's risk for developing an addiction.
Environmental factors play a role in the development of addictions too, increasing the risk for addiction for every member of the household. These environmental factors include stressful interpersonal relationships like between spouses or parents and their children, hypersensitivity to stress and poor coping mechanisms. Children frequently learn how to deal with stress by observing their parents; children of addicted parents learn dysfunctional ways to deal with everyday stress, increasing the child's chances for developing addiction later on in life.
Addiction negatively affects and jeopardizes the whole family. Illicit opioids are costly, so Lorcet addiction depletes the household of money otherwise intended for groceries or bills. Addiction can prevent a person from working, or reduces the quality and quantity of this work, in a way that may cause the addicted individual to lose his job. Addiction also causes the individual to engage in activities he would not usually participate in, such as associating with drug dealers or committing crimes to pay for his Lorcet habit.
Addiction: What Parents Should Know
Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem among children and teenagers. According to results of the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 2 percent of 12 and 13 year olds report using psychotherapeutics including opioids like Lorcet for non-medical purposes. The number of drug abusers rises to 3 percent among 14 and 15 year olds. Almost 4 percent of 16 and 17 year olds use this class of drugs either to get high or to treat a medical problem for which the doctor had not prescribed.
It is normal for a child's interests and behaviors to change as they grow older, so it may be difficult for a parent to spot behavioral patterns that might indicate Lorcet addiction.
Parents should look for warning signs including:
Caring for a Family Member with an Addiction
Communication is Key
A child, parent or any other family member struggling with Lorcet addiction needs the love and support of a strong family unit more than ever before. Caring for a family member with a Lorcet addiction requires dedication, patience, teamwork and communication. Family teammates work together to develop a care plan that details how each individual will participate in recovery efforts.
The first step of any rehabilitative care plan is to open lines of communication between members of the family. Schedule family meetings to discuss treatment options and measure progress. While it may seem difficult to talk about Lorcet addiction at first, it will become easier with time and practice.
Invite the addicted person to attend these family meetings but do not require it - the meetings should continue with or without the individual facing Lorcet addiction. In fact, the person will likely be angry at first; the neurological changes resulting from this disease cause the addicted individual to feel possessive about his condition. With time, love and patience, he will feel more comfortable communicating with his family and be more receptive of their help.
Lorcet addiction imparts negative consequences for both the drug user and for her family, but participating in the recovery can have a profoundly positive influence on the entire family. The family unit becomes more tightly knit as individuals join forces to battle this chronic disease. The family learns to work as a team, sharing responsibilities and creating a supportive network the addicted person can rely on during her recovery process.
Each member of the family participates in recovery from Lorcet addiction according to age and abilities. For example, grandparents can take over childcare while older children perform light household tasks while the addicted parent is in rehabilitation. A teenager with a driver's license can run errands while an aunt or uncle prepares meals.
The family is an important asset to recovery. Many addicted individuals seek treatment because a family member pressures them into it. Frequently, a family member locates the treatment center the addicted individual ultimately attends.
It is possible to arrest the progression of Lorcet addiction at any time. Do not let your loved one hit "rock bottom" before you encourage him to seek treatment. Rock bottom might be overdose, jail time or even death. Letting addiction continue unchecked causes terrible collateral damage and health hazards to both the addicted individual and to his family. Early prevention and treatment reduces this damage and may even prevent disaster.
Support versus Enabling
Family members should recognize addiction as a neurological condition, such as Parkinson's disease, and avoid blaming the individual for his illness. The treatment and recovery experience works best when the addicted individual feels safe in his own home. With this in mind, there is a fine line between supporting a loved one's recovery and enabling his drug use.
Recovery can only begin when the individual accepts responsibility for the problems caused by his Lorcet addiction. It is sometimes tempting to shield a loved one from the pain of his disease but it is important that the individual understand how his addictive behaviors affects everyone around him. For example, resist the temptation to pay your addicted family member's electric bill when you know he has spent all his money on Lorcet. Family members must work together to support the addicted individual consistently without enabling his addiction; one enabling family member can undo all the progress made towards rehabilitation.
Signs of Addiction
Diseases make changes to the body resulting in signs and symptoms doctors use to diagnose the patient's illness. Lorcet addiction changes the neurological system and causes the individual to behave, think and feel a certain way. Doctors use these behavioral, cognitive and emotional signs to diagnose addiction to Lorcet or other substances.
Behavioral, Cognitive and Emotional Changes
These behavioral, cognitive and emotional changes may be profound or subtle. Not every person exhibits all of these changes; the extent of these changes depend on the duration and severity of the Lorcet addiction.
Lorcet addiction changes the way a person behaves. An addicted person uses opioids such as Lorcet excessively, often more frequently or at higher doses than he intended. The addicted person may say he wants to cut down or quit Lorcet even as he is seeking or using drugs. The addicted individual seems unwilling or unable to control his own behavior.
He spends an ever-increasing amount of time looking for drugs, using opioids or recovering from Lorcet use. This decreased interest in his own life has a significant adverse impact on the addicted person's relationships, family responsibilities and ability to perform his job. Despite these negative effects of drug addiction, the addicted person continues to use Lorcet.
With continued drug abuse, the individual's focus narrows. Eventually, drug addiction eclipses everything unrelated to Lorcet. The addicted person stops participating in important activities such as going to work and school and only engages in those things that result in getting high. In time, the person forgets everything he used to love, including friends, family and personal goals.
Lorcet addiction changes her thought process. She grows increasingly preoccupied with doing drugs. Addiction impedes her ability to see the risks associated with Lorcet clearly; she can only recognize the benefits of Lorcet or other opioids.
As her addiction progresses, it destroys many aspects of her life. Addiction will blind her to the root cause of her problems - she will blame her troubles on her family, her friends or her boss.
Although many people self-medicate with prescription painkillers, addicted individuals are frequently in intense emotional pain. The neurological changes associated with Lorcet addiction usually result in increased anxiety, sadness and emotional pain.
Addiction also increases a person's sensitivity to stress because the disease affects the brain's stress systems. Many addicts will say that things "seem more stressful than they used to be" and that they could imagine quitting Lorcet if things were less stressful.
The individual may have trouble identifying his feelings, distinguishing his emotions from his bodily sensations, or describing his feelings to others. His emotional responses may become dysfunctional; he may be unable to tell the difference between love and hate, for example.
Symptoms of Addiction
Addiction to Lorcet and other opioids makes real physiological changes to the body, manifesting itself in actual physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms appear as long as the individual is addicted Lorcet and may continue long after he stops abusing opioids. Physical symptoms of Lorcet addiction are difficult to overcome while psychological symptoms may be hard to detect.
Physical symptoms of drug addiction include:
Psychological symptoms of addiction to opioids include:
When left untreated or inadequately treated, addiction to Lorcet can cause disability or premature death.
Treatment for Lorcet addiction consists of two phases: detoxification and rehabilitation. Detoxification is the process of lowering the level of Lorcet in the body. Detoxification from opioids typically includes five or more days of intense withdrawal symptoms as the body adjusts to the lack of opioids.
Rehabilitation focuses on the behavioral aspect of Lorcet addiction. Rehabilitation includes behavior modification and counseling which helps the individual learn how to live without opioids.
A person may try to break their Lorcet addiction by himself, without the help of medicine to ease his withdrawal symptoms. He will experience five or more days of flu-like symptoms, including diarrhea and muscle aches, along with insomnia, malaise and anxiety. During self-detoxification, only time or another dose of Lorcet will reduce withdrawal symptoms.
A person who attempts self-detoxification risks dangerous complications, such as dehydration from excessive diarrhea. He may also vomit and inhale the stomach contents, known as aspiration, resulting in fluid in the lungs and lung infections.
The primary complication to detoxification is the relapse to Lorcet addiction. When going through the long, grueling process of self-detoxification, many give up and take another dose of Lorcet.
The Thomas Recipe
Other Lorcet addicts come up with a homemade treatment plan including medicines designed to ease withdrawal symptoms. One such home remedy is the Thomas Recipe, which includes valium or some other prescription benzodiazepine to help the addicted individual relax and sleep. Imodium eases diarrhea while mineral supplements address muscle aches. On or about the fourth day, the individual awakens with overwhelming malaise and lack of energy. He counteracts this with L-Tyrosine with B6, which gives him a surge of energy.
While the Thomas Recipe reduces the intensity of withdrawal symptoms a bit, the individual can still experience complications such as aspiration, dehydration and relapse. Relapse to opioid abuse may result in life threatening overdose. Tolerance to Lorcet drops throughout the detoxification process; a person can overdose on a smaller amount of Lorcet than he used to take before he went through the detoxification process.
Lorcet addiction may result in overdose, which can be fatal. Symptoms of Lorcet overdose include:
Overdose of any drug is a serious, life threatening medical emergency that requires immediate professional care. In the emergency department, doctors administer naloxone and other medications to reduce Lorcet to non-toxic levels. Nurses establish an airway to help the patient breathe and monitor his condition. Nurses may empty the patient's stomach or administer charcoal to absorb excess Lorcet. If necessary, nurses and doctors perform life-saving measures such as CPR.
Drug Replacement Therapy
Individuals who are not in immediate danger of Lorcet toxicity can participate in drug replacement therapy, or DRT. During DRT, rehabilitation specialists prescribe methadone, Suboxone or other drugs that mimic the opioid effects of Lorcet but do not get the patient high. DRT allows the individual to put off the detoxification process until after he has gone through rehabilitation and behavioral modification. Once he learns how to live without Lorcet, he weans himself from the replacement drug by taking successively smaller doses increasingly further apart.
Some people have a difficult time weaning themselves from the replacement drug. Harvard Medical School estimates that 25 percent of methadone DRT patients eventually quit using altogether, while another 25 percent continues to take the drug and 50 percent go on and off methadone.
DRT is just one type of MAT, or medically-assisted treatment. Rehabilitation experts agree that MAT helps people kick their Lorcet addiction.
Another type of MAT for patients facing Lorcet addiction is inpatient detoxification. During inpatient detoxification, doctors give the patient naloxone and other medications to reduce his Lorcet levels, and still other drugs to relieve his withdrawal symptoms. Nurses monitor patients for complications and take appropriate action, such as starting an IV or clearing the throat of stomach contents.
While inpatient detoxification eases the severity and duration of physical withdrawal symptom a bit, the patient still suffers from demoralizing psychological withdrawal symptoms that frequently go unnoticed or untreated. These psychological symptoms can make the individual feel incapable or unworthy of recovery.
Experts agree, rapid detox is the most humane and efficient way to detoxify the body from Lorcet. During rapid detox, board certified anesthesiologists administer sedatives and anesthesia along with the standard detoxification medications. The patient rests comfortably in a sort of "twilight sleep" during detoxification. When she awakens a few hours later, she will have no recollection of the demeaning and uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. She will be in better physical and psychological position for effective rehabilitation for her addiction to Lorcet.
Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse. Rehabilitation is necessary to help an individual overcome her Lorcet addiction. There are many forms of rehabilitation but most include behavioral modification techniques to help the person learn how to live without opioids like Lorcet. Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function, through processes and behavior.
No one treatment is appropriate for everyone; some people respond best to multiple treatments. Individual, group and family counseling are commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment. Treatment needs to be readily available, and effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse. It is critical that the patient remains in treatment for an adequate time.
Medications are an important aspect of rehabilitation for many patients, especially when combined with behavioral modification and counseling. Many people facing Lorcet addiction have co-existing problems requiring medication, including depression.
Counselors must assess the patient's treatment plan continually and modify the plan as necessary to accommodate the individual's progress and personal needs. Counselors and physicians should screen for drug use, as lapses during drug treatment do occur frequently. Treatment supervisors should test all patients for the presence of HIV/ AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, and provide risk-reduction education to help patients modify or change behaviors that place them at special risk for contracting or spreading infectious diseases.
Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. According to NIDA, individuals under legal coercion tend to remain in treatment longer than and do better than those not under pressure.