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Addiction & Recovery Board Index

Hydrocodone is an opiate used as an anti-cough agent as well as for pain control. It is about six times as strong as codeine and comparable to morphine in potency. It works by binding to pain receptors in the brain and blocking feelings pain. Hundreds of narcotic drugs contain hydrocodone. It is combined with aspirin to make Lortab, acetaminophen to make Vicodin, inbuprofen to make Vicoprofen as well as countless others. It comes in various forms including tablets, capsules, and syrups.

Hydrocodone, as an ingredient of any narcotic, can cause dizziness, nausea, sedation, vomiting and constipation. It is not uncommon to overdose on many forms of hydrocodone.

The DEA reports that hydrocodone may be the most commonly abused prescription drug in the country. Abuse of hydrocodone is most common through oral administration rather than intravenously.

Hydrocodone produces a high similar to heroin. Some describe it as calm. It also produces pain relief. Because hydrocodone is combined with other non-narcotic medicines to create prescription medication, these drugs are classified as Schedule III. There are still regulated by federal law but have fewer restrictions on use and distribution. They are more easily accessed, abused and sold on the street.

Norco, the brand name for a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, normally prescribed for pain relief, is one of the most commonly abused drugs containing hydrocodone. Acetaminophen stops the production of a hormone like substance that causes pain and increases the effects of hydrocodone. Norcos combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen make it very powerful. Norco will increase the effects of other drugs such as alcohol, anxiety medication and antidepressants.

Vicoprofen, a short term pain reliever which contains hydrocodone, is frequently abused. Vicoprofen combines hydrocodone with ibuprofen, Similar to norco, it produces a very powerful high.



Valium is the brand name for diazepam which is a benzodiazepine in the opioids category. This simply means that Valium is a powerful depressant that slows down brain activity and triggers the reward system. Valium is prescribed for anxiety and insomnia but is very easy to abuse. Many people who are sensitive to addiction find themselves taking more than the prescribed amount of valium. This can lead to physical dependence and Valium addiction.

When a person first takes Valium they may feel euphoric, sluggish, tired and painless. Soon however after continuous use those feelings diminish. For normal users this is fine and treatment continues as prescribed. For those heading for valium addiction however the pursuit of that euphoria and that feeling of ease that comes from downing a few pills becomes an important part of the day. Problems begin because the body has an amazing ability to adapt to the effects of all drugs including Valium. For the addict this means that double or triple the dose is now necessary to accomplish what the prescribed amount used to. It is not unusual for recovery centers to have clients that are up to 20,30 or 60 or more a day habits.

Since the body has adapted to a continuous supply of Valium it expects this supply to continue and has made the necessary adjustments. So when this supply is stopped because the individual recognizes the problem, the mind begins to race because the drug was slowing it down. This can cause high anxiety and at worst brain seizures.

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