Lortab Abuse & Addiction Symptoms, Signs, Causes & Effects

Lortab addiction can rob you of your health, your dignity, and your hope for a better tomorrow. At Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center, you will reconnect with your best self, and begin to build the foundation for a more promising future.

What is Lortab Abuse

 Learn More About Lortab Abuse

Lortab is the brand name for a narcotic pain reliever comprised of two different pain medications, hydrocodone and acetaminophen and is one of 200 hydrocodone products on the market. Commonly prescribed to chronic pain sufferers trying to manage moderate-to-severe pain, Lortab is also considered a moderately addictive medication available by prescription only.

Those who are prescribed Lortab for pain management take the medication in tablet form, however those who abuse this narcotic are more apt to crush the tablet to snort it or dilute it so it can be injected. These illicit forms of Lortab abuse provide the user with a more intense rush and high.

While Lortab isn’t considered to be a particularly dangerous medication, many people become psychologically and physically addicted to the drug and may begin using it in a manner not intended. This is called prescription drug abuse. Due to the similarities Lortab has to heroin and morphine, this medication is sold on the black markets, on the street, or via illegal prescriptions. On the street, people often call Lortab by the names of similarly-acting street drugs such as “Norco,” “Vicodin,” “Vikes,” “Tabs,” or “Viko.”

Most individuals who are prescribed Lortab for legitimate pain control go on to use Lortab according to the doctor’s directions to relieve chronic pain. Unfortunately, some individuals who are prescribed Lortab for legitimate reasons go on to develop an addiction. Many times, this addiction is precipitated by stressful life events and unpleasant emotional situations. Lortab induces pleasant and care-free feelings in those who use it, and many find this a welcome relief from coping with these emotions.

If you’re facing a Lortab addiction, you may feel as though your whole world is crumbling around you. Your personal relationships may flounder, you may be fired from your job or suspended from school, and your entire life may feel as though it’s spent getting or recovering from getting high. However, with prompt treatment at Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center and management of your addiction, you can go on to live a normal, happy life free from a Lortab addiction.


Statistics on Lortab Abuse

In 2005, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2.2 million individuals abused prescription pain relievers, like Lortab, for non-medical purposes. Alarmingly, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network in 2004 there were 1.3 million emergency room visits that were associated with drug addiction and abuse. Of those, 33% involved the usage of narcotic pain medication, such as Lortab.


Causes of Lortab Abuse & Addiction

Addiction is a chronic illness that does not, as yet, have a single defining cause. Likely, addiction is caused by a number of factors working together. These factors may include:

Genetic: Many individuals who grow up in a household in which one or both parents are addicts grow to develop an addiction themselves. While not a definitive cause for addiction, a first-degree relative with addiction does increase the likelihood for developing addiction.

Brain Chemistry: It has been proposed that certain individuals are born lacking neurotransmitters or receptor sites for neurotransmitters. In order to correct this deficiency, some may resort to abusing drugs to feel “normal.”

Environmental: Growing up in a chaotic household in which addiction is present can lead a child to “normalize” the presence of drugs of abuse. This can cause a demystifying effect for children who may grow to become addicts themselves.

Psychological: A number of mental illnesses can predispose an individual to develop an addiction. Many mental illnesses go undiagnosed and untreated for long periods of time and individuals, desperate for relief from symptoms, may attempt to self-medicate in order to alleviate symptoms of their mental illness. Additionally, many people who struggle with Lortab addictions may be attempting to numb out the pain from a previous emotional trauma or life stressor in an attempt to cope with it.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-Occurring Disorders and the Complexity of Lortab Addiction

Many people who struggle with addiction to Lortab also struggle with some sort of co-occurring mental illness. The most common co-occurring disorders are:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Alcoholism
  • Other substance abuse

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Lortab Abuse

Symptoms of Lortab addiction can range from mild to extremely severe depending upon the amount the user is taking, the frequency of abuse, and the interactions with other substances. The most common symptoms include:

Mood symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increasing mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Irritability

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Withdrawing from friends and loved ones
  • Being consumed with obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of Lortab
  • Cessation of previously-enjoyable activities
  • Forging prescriptions to obtain more Lortab
  • Stealing prescriptions for Lortab
  • Persistent money issues
  • Stealing Lortab tablets from friends and family
  • Inability to stop using Lortab no matter what the effects
  • Reckless behavior
  • Risk-taking

Physical symptoms:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Dizziness
  • Muscular twitches
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Decreased urination
  • Hearing loss
  • Extreme weakness
  • Clammy skin
  • Jaundice
  • Bruising

Psychological symptoms:

  • Worsening of emotional well-being
  • Exacerbation of mental illness
  • Emotional numbing
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations


Effects of Lortab Addiction

The effects of addiction to Lortab are far-reaching and life-threatening, which is what makes prompt treatment and addiction management vital. Effects of Lortab addiction may include:

  • Acute hepatotoxicity
  • Financial ruin
  • Social isolation
  • Damaged interpersonal relationships
  • Job loss
  • Poor academic or occupational functioning
  • Divorce
  • Damage to organ system
  • Damage to emotional well-being
  • Acetaminophen toxicity
  • Intense mood swings
  • Altered reality perception
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death


Withdrawal Symptoms of Lortab Addiction

Depending upon the amount and frequency of Lortab abuse, the symptoms of withdrawal can vary. Withdrawal from Lortab generally begins within twelve hours of the last dose and intensifies over the following days. The acute withdrawal symptoms from Lortab addiction dissipate over several weeks. Lortab withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Body chills
  • Aggressive and agitated behaviors
  • Cramping in the abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Extreme sweating
  • Goosebumps
  • Pupil dilation
  • Major depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Pupil dilation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • All-over body pain
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Chills
  • Tachycardia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Runny nose

Going to BRMRC was exactly what I needed to begin my walk in recovery.

– Logan

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