- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Hydrocodone
Zydone addiction and other types of substance abuse are on the rise in the United States. Now more people are addicted to prescription drugs like Zydone than to heroin. Currently there are about 1.9 million Americans addicted to prescription drugs like Xodol, compared with only 329,000 heroin addicts.
General information about Zydone
Zydone contains hydrocodone, the most widely abused prescription drug. Hydrocodone is widely available - it is also the most widely prescribed drug in the United States. In 2010, American pharmacists filled more than 139 million prescriptions for products that contain hydrocodone.
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid, prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone, like other opioids, is associated with a high rate of abuse because of the euphoric feeling it causes.
Zydone comes in three strengths of hydrocodone bitartrate: 5 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg. Each Zydone tablet contains 400 mg of acetaminophen.
The hydrocodone component of Zydone acts directly on the central nervous system, or CNS, to provide pain relief and euphoria. It also works on smooth muscle groups, like those in the digestive tract. Because hydrocodone works primarily in the CNS and digestive tract, withdrawal symptoms associated with Zydone detoxification will affect the nervous system and gastrointestinal tract dramatically.
Acetaminophen interferes with the production of chemicals that help deliver pain messages to the brain. Together, hydrocodone and acetaminophen work better to relieve pain that either drug could alone. Acetaminophen is not associated with high rates of addiction or abuse.
Abuse, Dependence and Addiction
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies controlled substances according to their relative potential for abuse. Schedule I narcotics present a high risk for abuse while schedule V drugs pose little threat. The DEA classifies hydrocodone as a schedule II controlled substance, meaning recreational users are likely to target this drug.
To reduce the risk for abuse, Zydone is available only by prescription. Furthermore, the DEA requires drug manufacturers combine hydrocodone with other analgesics that do not pose a high risk for abuse. The manufacturer of Zydone, Endo Pharmaceuticals, complies with this law by combining hydrocodone with acetaminophen. As a result, the DEA classifies Zydone as a schedule III controlled substance with a moderate risk for abuse.
Despite a lowered risk for abuse as compared to pure hydrocodone, consuming high doses of Zydone or using this drug for a long time increases the risk for abuse, dependence and addiction. Non-medical use also raises this risk. Using a drug non-medically means to consume it to get high or to treat a condition for which it was not intended.
Anyone can become dependent upon or addicted to Zydone. It usually takes several weeks of continued use for a person to become dependent on Zydone, but some individuals show signs of opioid-dependency after using Zydone for only a few days.
The Definition of Addiction
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a "disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry." Addiction changes the nervous system on a cellular level, causing physical symptoms and behavioral patterns characteristic of addiction, including cravings and drug-seeking behaviors.
Zydone addiction is a primary condition, meaning it arises on its own and not as the result of another illness or injury. Addiction to Zydone is a chronic condition, marked by cycles of relapse and remission. Without proper treatment, Zydone addiction is progressive and may result in disability or premature death.
Addiction versus Dependence
Addiction and dependence are separate and independent medical conditions, associated through substance abuse. A person can be addicted to Zydone, dependent upon it, or both.
A doctor would say a person is dependent on Zydone if the patient suffers flu-like symptoms when he misses a dose. The physician would say the patient is addicted to Zydone if the person craved the drug and engaged in drug-seeking behavior when his supplies run low.
Dependence and Tolerance
The human body responds to the presence of Zydone or other substances by adjusting itself to maintain a safe chemical balance. With long-term use, the body may start to depend on having a certain level of Zydone to feel "normal." If hydrocodone levels fall unexpectedly, the body struggles to regain chemical stability. The opioid-dependent person feels this battle through physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Doctors call the process of lowering opioid levels "detoxification." Detoxification can be caused by a missed dose, an insufficient dose, or after the administration of certain medications, such as naloxone. Emergency room doctors administer naloxone to overdose patients to reduce opioid levels quickly.
The detoxification process causes flu-like withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent person. These symptoms can be relieved with anti-withdrawal drugs, replacement drugs that act similar to Zydone or by taking more Zydone.
Taking Zydone for a long time can increase the body's tolerance to hydrocodone. High tolerance means it takes more Zydone to cause the intended analgesic or euphoric effect. Low tolerance means the body is more sensitive to the effects of Zydone.
When considering a diagnosis of Zydone addiction, doctors look for characteristics associated with addiction. An addicted person will crave Zydone and engage in drug-seeking behaviors when his supply of hydrocodone runs out. She is unable to abstain consistently from Zydone use, even though she says she wants to quit or cut down. She may be unable to recognize the consequences of her addiction, or unwilling to attribute her problems to her drug use. She may have other behavioral control issues or a dysfunctional emotional response.
Cravings and drug-seeking activity are the benchmarks of addiction to Zydone. Physical cravings drive the addicted individual to seek out more hydrocodone constantly to feed his habit. Drug-seeking behavior includes "doctor shopping" to gain as many written prescriptions as possible, or filing bogus prescriptions with pharmacies. Some individuals tamper with written prescriptions to gain more Zydone or to increase strength. Others show up just as the doctor's office is closing, in an attempt to pressure staff members into writing a prescription so they can go home on time.
Many individuals get Zydone from the medicine cabinets of friends or family. It is common to hold onto prescription painkillers just in case of future injury or illness and most people do not monitor their leftover medicines closely.
Other addicts purchase Zydone from drug dealers. Hydrocodone is widely available on the street. It is illegal to sell or give Zydone to another person.
Addiction: What Family Members Should Know
Family members should know that Zydone addiction is a neurological disease and not an indicator of poor moral character or improper upbringing. It is important that the family avoid blaming the individual for his illness.
As with other neurological diseases, treatment works best with the support and help of a strong family unit. Counseling gives family members the tools they need to support their loved one without enabling her disease.
Family members should know each of them shares a risk for developing an addiction at some point in life. While no one is doomed to be an addict, researchers think heredity plays a strong role in the development of addiction. Heredity makes a person more vulnerable to addiction.
There is not a single "addiction gene" but scientists believe addictive behaviors are the result of an interaction between a group of genes. This interaction makes a person more susceptible to becoming addicted to substances he consumes, such as Zydone.
Nobody is born to be an addict - other environmental factors affect the development and progression of addiction. Stress within the home or workplace increases the risk for substance abuse and addiction for everyone within that environment. This stress could include frequent arguments or tension between individuals, violence, criminal activity, unequal workloads, substance abuse or financial pressures.
Some people are hypersensitive to stress and research shows that a large number of addicted individuals suffer from hypersensitivity. These individuals become overly anxious as a response to minimal stress and may abuse Zydone or other opioids as "self-medication" for this anxiety.
Parents may pass this hypersensitivity to their children; they may also pass on poor coping mechanisms. Children frequently learn how to deal with stress by watching their parents. A parent who uses Zydone to relieve stress may be teaching his child to deal with ordinary hardship by taking drugs.
Zydone addiction causes collateral damage, such as loss of income, separation or divorce, loss of child custody, criminal activity, disease, imprisonment or even death. The collateral damage associated with Zydone addiction affects and endangers the entire family.
Family members should know that it is illegal to keep Zydone in the home without a prescription. Illegal possession of a controlled substance increases the risk for police raid, arrest and conviction that may result in seizure and forfeiture of the family home.
Keeping drugs in a home with small children increases the risk that a child will discover and accidently consume a toxic dose of Zydone. In cases of suspected overdose, take the victim to the nearest medical facility immediately. Bring any remaining Zydone tablets to the hospital to help doctors make a diagnosis. Toxic overdose can cause death.
Addiction: What Parents Should Know
Parents should know that a large number of teenagers and young adults admit to abusing prescription drugs like Zydone. Responding to a recent national survey, about one in ten students between the ages of 12 and 17 said they were currently using illicit drugs such as marijuana or non-medical use of prescription opioids. About 3 percent of these respondents confessed to using psychotherapeutic drugs such as Zydone. By comparison, only 0.2 percent of students confessed to current heroin use.
Parents should know the warning signs of Zydone addiction in teenagers and young adults. It is normal for a child to go through phases, gaining and losing interest in a variety of things as they age, so spotting addiction can be difficult. An addicted child will show an unusual loss of interest in things that were once important, such as abandoning old friends or quitting life-long hobbies. His performance in school, sports, clubs or work deteriorates. He seems to lack the energy or motivation to perform better.
A young person with a Zydone addiction faces special challenges, such as finding time to get high or money to buy more drugs. Parents should be alert to a child who sneaks off and has trouble explaining these absences. Zydone addiction is expensive, forcing a child to deal with financial problems too advanced for her age. Parents must remain vigilant for money or items missing from the home.
Parents should know that it is okay to require a child to be accountable for her whereabouts or to keep tabs on a child's spending habits.
Caring for a Family Member with an Addiction
Caring for a family member suffering from Zydone addiction, like any other neurological disease, requires dedication and persistence. Family member should expect long-term treatment that frequently involves multiple bouts of relapse and remission. Recovery includes many trips to the doctor, counseling sessions, medications and time away from work and home. A family can work together as a supportive network that allows the addicted individual to participate in meaningful rehabilitation.
Family members are often the first to intervene in a loved one's Zydone addiction and it is common for a family member to discover the treatment center the addicted person eventually attends. Every member of the family should encourage the addicted individual to start and complete treatment, and look for ways to help him do that.
Family members can develop a care plan. For example, a grandparent may take over bill payment responsibilities while an uncle serves as chauffer. An older child with a driver's license can run errands while a younger sibling can do light housework.
It is okay for family members to educate themselves about Zydone addiction and talk with each other about what they have learned. Zydone addiction affects everyone in the household, which gives each person the right to discuss the impact of Zydone addiction. Family members may talk amongst themselves, with trained substance abuse counselors, or with other people who have experienced a similar situation.
The family may wish to schedule regular meetings to develop a care plan and discuss progress. The addicted person does not have to participate at first and, in fact, may be quite angry when she discovers her family has been talking about her illness. These negative feelings will fade in time as she grows more comfortable discussing her condition.
It is not necessary to "hit rock bottom" before seeking treatment. At rock bottom, the addicted individual may find immense collateral damage and health hazards that could interfere with recovery efforts. It is possible to arrest the progression of addiction at any time. Early and adequate treatment reduces the collateral damage associated with Zydone addiction.
Addiction can devastate a family but recovery can have a positive effect on everyone who participates. Each member of the family discovers hidden talents and strengths in themselves and in each other. Recovery helps individuals recognize how important a strong family unit is during disaster.
Recovery can only begin when the individual recognizes the problems his Zydone addiction causes. It is tempting to shield a loved one from an illness but this protective instinct actually enables progression of the disease. It is critical that the addicted person understand the consequences of his drug abuse.
Signs of Addiction
Zydone addiction causes an individual to act in certain characteristic ways. She might engage in anti-social, abnormal or criminal activities, such as prostitution or selling drugs. Addiction may cause her to act erratically or have violent outbursts. She may have mysterious financial issues or serious legal trouble.
She may be at the pharmacy all the time, filling Zydone prescriptions for herself or for her family. She prioritizes drug use over normal activities, like going to work or taking care of her family. Zydone addiction makes her withdraw from social circles and be secretive about her whereabouts. She may lose friends or become divorced from a loving relationship. Unfortunately, addiction causes behavioral changes that separate the addicted individual from those best suited to recognize these changes and intervene.
Behavioral, Cognitive and Emotional Changes
Zydone addiction changes the central nervous system on a cellular level. These alterations affect the way a person behaves, thinks and feels. These behavioral, cognitive and emotional changes usually drive the progression of the disease.
The addicted individual tends to use higher doses of Zydone more frequently than he intends. It is common for a Zydone addict to say he wants to quit or cut down, even as he is consuming large doses. It may seem to others that the Zydone addict is unwilling or unable to control his behavior.
The addict spends substantial time looking for Zydone, getting high or recovering from drug use. As his addiction progresses, he participates only in activities that result in getting high. This takes time away from work, school, personal relationships and household responsibilities; this can result in loss of income, failure in school, divorce, child neglect and more. Addiction will cause the individual to continue using Zydone, despite these negative consequences.
Neurological changes associated with addiction changes the way a person thinks. She becomes preoccupied with substance abuse to the point where she can think of nothing else. Substance abuse changes her perception of the relative benefits and risks of drug abuse, so that she believes the positive aspects of Zydone and discounts any negative attributes of opioids.
The Zydone addict may even think that other people or events caused the troubles in her life rather than recognizing her problems as being a predictable consequence of her substance abuse.
Some people self-medicate with Zydone to calm emotional pain or to cause a pleasant sense of euphoria, but Zydone addiction can have the opposite effect. Addiction to Zydone is associated with increased anxiety, intense emotional pain and the emotional opposite of euphoria, dysphoria.
Zydone addiction recruits the brain's stress system to keep the addicted individual in a heightened state of anxiety. This is especially true for those who are hypersensitive to stress.
Many people suffering from Zydone addiction have trouble identifying emotions or describing them to others. Addiction may also interfere with a person's ability to distinguish between emotions and other bodily sensations.
Physical Symptoms of Addiction
Zydone addiction will result in certain telltale symptoms that doctors look for when considering a diagnosis of addiction. These symptoms include an unexplained change in weight or sleep patterns. The patient may look sickly or have a poor physical appearance or a nagging cough; his eyes may be bloodshot and his pupils will be unusually large or small. He may have tremors and his speech might be slurred. The individual may have poor hygiene and his body or clothing may have an unusual odor.
Women are less apt to abuse illicit drugs but more likely to abuse prescription drugs like Zydone. Females are also more likely to combine Zydone with alcohol, marijuana or other opioids.
Men and women abuse drugs differently. Males get high in social settings whereas women tend to abuse drugs privately. Women with substance abuse problems have small social circles while addicted men tend to have many friends. This could be due to the strong social stigma against drug abuse among women and the relatively lax attitude about men who get high.
Males and females start abusing prescription drugs like Zydone for different reasons. Men who abuse drugs recreationally started out using drugs to get high; women typically start abusing prescription drugs after receiving them legally to relieve pain.
Women do not complete treatment at the same rate as males. This may be because women face additional barriers to recovery, such as being able to afford quality treatment at a specialized treatment facility or finding someone to care for children during her absence.
Without adequate treatment, an addicted person may become disabled or die prematurely. Using Zydone continually for a long time increases the risk for adverse reactions and toxic overdose. Drug abuse is associated with infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C.
More than 23 million Americans needed treatment in 2010. That year, only 11 percent of those received treatment from a specialty facility staffed with individuals trained in detoxification and rehabilitation techniques. The rest sought help from general hospitals or tried to overcome Zydone addiction alone.
There are two phases of treatment: detoxification and rehabilitation. Detoxification is the medical process of lowering hydrocodone levels. Rehabilitation focuses on changing the behaviors associated with Zydone addiction.
Many people attempt self-detoxification, facing withdrawal symptoms without the help of medicine or specially trained professionals. Self-detoxification is sometimes called "going cold turkey," a reference to the skins appearance during withdrawal: pale, cold and clammy with goose bumps, similar to a plucked turkey.
During self-detoxification, the individual endures five or more days or uncomfortable flu-like symptoms. While detoxification is not usually life threatening, withdrawal symptoms may cause dangerous complications. A person may vomit and then inhale stomach contents, a condition known as aspiration that may result in lung infections and fluid in the lung. Extreme vomiting and diarrhea may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
The primary complication associated with detoxification is relapse to Zydone use. Without anti-withdrawal medications, many people who attempt self-detoxification take more Zydone just to make the symptoms go away.
The Thomas Recipe
Some people use a homemade treatment plan that includes medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms. One such remedy is The Thomas Recipe, which calls for valium to calm anxiety and induce sleep, Imodium to curb diarrhea and L-Tyrosine with B6 for a burst of energy. Vitamins, supplements and hot baths soothe body aches.
While The Thomas Recipe eases withdrawal symptoms somewhat, it affords little protection against complications such as aspiration, dehydration and relapse.
Returning to drug use after any amount of detoxification increases the risk for toxic overdose. Any amount of detoxification lowers the body's tolerance to Zydone. A person could potentially overdose on a smaller dose of Zydone than they used to take before experiencing even moderate withdrawal symptoms.
A person can overdose on the hydrocodone or the acetaminophen components of Zydone. Acetaminophen overdoses are frequently the result of taking multiple preparations containing acetaminophen.
Overdose of the hydrocodone component of Zydone may cause respiratory depression, a serious breathing condition where the lungs do not properly exchange oxygen for other gases. Symptoms of respiratory depression include slow or shallow breathing, unusual breathing patterns and a bluish tint around the eyes, mouth and fingertips.
Overdose from prescription painkillers such as Zydone killed nearly 15,000 people in the United States in 2008. In case of suspected overdose, contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go directly to the emergency department.
Emergency department doctors will administer naloxone. Nurses will establish an airway to help the patient breathe and monitor the patient's condition for complications. Nurses may pump the patient's stomach or absorb excess Zydone by introducing charcoal into the patient's stomach. Doctors and nurses will perform CPR or other life saving measures as necessary.
Drug Replacement Therapy
A person who is not in danger of immediate drug overdose may try DRT, or drug replacement therapy. DRT replaces Zydone with drugs that mimic the way hydrocodone acts in the body but do not cause euphoria. Methadone, buprenorphine and Suboxone are types of DRT drugs.
DRT allows the patient to put off the detoxification process temporarily while he engages in behavior modification that teaches him to live without Zydone. After some amount of rehabilitation, the individual weans himself from the replacement drug by taking successively smaller doses further apart.
About half of DRT participants go on and off the replacement drug forever. Approximately 25 percent of DRT patients eventually quit drugs forever while another 25 percent never quit DRT.
DRT is one type of medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. Rehabilitation professionals recognize that MAT improves survival rates and increases retention in treatment. MAT also decreases illicit opioid use and lowers the risk for infectious diseases. MAT curbs criminal activities and encourages employment. MAY improves birth outcomes for pregnant women battling Zydone addiction.
The most common form of MAT is the detoxification procedure offered by inpatient facilities. During this procedure, physicians administer naloxone to bring down hydrocodone levels and then give the patient medicine to deal with the ensuing withdrawal symptoms. Nurses watch for complications.
Standard detoxification procedures reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms but the patient must still struggle with the psychological aspects of withdrawal, which makes the individual feel unworthy or incapable of recovery.
Rapid detox is the most humane detoxification procedure available. During rapid detox, board certified anesthesiologists administer the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs, but they also give the patient sedatives and anesthesia. As a result, the patient dozes in a comfortable "twilight sleep." When she awakens, she will not remember the difficult and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. She is in a better psychological state, ready for meaningful rehabilitation in a few hours rather than in a few days.
Detoxification is just the first step in treatment and, by itself, does little to change the behaviors associated with Zydone addiction. The individual must engage in some degree of behavior modification to reduce the risk for relapse.
Rehabilitation usually involves behavior modification along with individual, family and group counseling. Medications are often an important component of addiction treatment; many addicted individuals have co-existing mental problems, such as depression, that could interfere with recovery efforts.
Zydone addiction is a complex neurological disease that requires an individualized treatment approach. Zydone addiction affects everyone differently, so no single treatment plan is right for everyone. Many people require several types of treatment as they progress through rehabilitation. Treatment should address the many needs of the individual and not just focus on his drug abuse.
Treatment should be readily available to encourage participation. It is critical that the individual remains in treatment long enough to restore some of the neurological dysfunction caused by Zydone addiction.
The rehabilitation counselor is an important tool in recovery efforts. The counselor will create a treatment plan according to the patient's needs, and then continually assess and modify this plan as necessary to make sure it continues to provide maximum benefit to the patient.
The counselor may require drug testing throughout the treatment program. Relapses are common; regular testing reduces the risk for relapse.
The counselor may request the patient be tested for infectious diseases and then provide educational resources to reduce the risk for contracting or spreading these diseases.