Lortab addiction is a growing problem in the U.S. While illegal drugs like cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and heroin remain in the headlines many individuals may be surprised to know that Lortab addiction could lurk right behind them as one of the most widely abused drugs . The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says that Lortab use has quadrupled in the last 10 years, while emergency room visits attributed to Lortab abuse soared 500 percent.
Lortab is a narcotic that can produce a soothing state similar to heroin or morphine. Despite such important and obvious benefits in pain relief, evidence is pointing to a serious risk of chronic addiction. Pure hydrocodone, the narcotic in Lortab, is a Schedule II substance, which means it is closely controlled with restricted use. But very few prescription drugs are pure hydrocodone. Instead, small amounts of hydrocodone are mixed with other non-narcotic ingredients to create medicines like Lortab. This means they can be classified under Schedule III with fewer restrictions on their use and distribution.
Like Lortab, more than 200 other products contain hydrocodone. These products are regulated by state and federal law, but as Schedule III substances they are not controlled as closely as other powerful prescription painkillers. The lack of regulation makes them vulnerable to widespread abuse and addiction through forged prescriptions, theft, over-prescription, and "doctor shopping." Lortab pills have been sold for up to $10 per tablet and $40 per 8-ounce bottle on the street.
Subject to individual tolerance, many medical experts believe dependence or addiction can occur within one to four weeks at higher doses of Lortab. Published reports of high profile movie stars, TV personalities and professional athletes who are recovering from Lortab addiction (and other forms of prescription drug addiction) are grim testimony to the effects of Lortab .
Lortab is structurally related to codeine and is approximately equal to morphine in producing opiate-like effects. The first report that Lortab produced a noticeable euphoria and symptoms of addiction was published in 1923; the first report of Lortab addiction in the U.S. was published in 1961.
Lortab addiction is prevalent in many communities and age groups. The prescription painkiller is widely available, affordable (with insurance) and seemingly safe compared to illicit street drugs. Although it is sometimes seen as a "white-collar" addiction, Lortab addiction has increased among all ethnic and economic groups, and has been associated with deaths from individuals of all ages. However, the average Lortab abuser is a 20- to 40- year- old white female, who abuses Lortab because she is addicted to the prescription painkiller or is trying to commit suicide.
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What are the side effects of Lortab?
Lortab's side effects include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Nausea / vomiting
- Unusual fatigue or weakness
- Allergic reactions
- Blood disorders
- Decreased mental and physical capability
- Difficulty urinating
- Undue fear
- Hearing loss
- Mental clouding
- Mood changes
- Skin rash
- Slowed breathing
- Pinpoint pupils
- Dry mouth
Drug Interactions for Lortab
Other medications that may interact with Lortab are:
- Medicines for seizures
- Medicines for high blood pressure
Because Lortab can cause severe drowsiness, other medicines that also cause drowsiness may increase this effect of Lortab. Some other medicines that cause drowsiness are:
- Alcohol - containing medicines
- Barbiturates such as Phenobarbital
- Certain antidepressants or tranquilizers
- Muscle relaxants
- Certain antihistamines used in cold medicines
People who become addicted to Lortab often get multiple prescriptions from different doctors to support their Lortab habit. Addictive drugs activate the brain's reward systems. The promise of reward is intense, causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus his or her activities around taking the drug. The ability of addictive drugs to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and their ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems can produce an addiction. Drugs also reduce a person's level of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.What are the symptoms of Lortab overdose?
The symptoms of Lortab overdose include:
- Muscle spasms
- Slow, shallow, labored breathing
- Pinpoint pupils
- Bluish skin (fingernails and lips)
- Cold and clammy skin
- Heavy perspiration - sweating
- Stomach spasms, cramps, pains
- Weaked pulse
- Low blood pressure / slow heartbeat
- Extreme sleepiness
- If extreme overdose: death
Long-term use of Lortab for pain relief can result in abuse, and eventually Lortab addiction. While some people use the drug to get high, others fall prey to Lortab addiction after an accident, injury or other health problem.
Signs of Lortab addiction include:
- Getting prescriptions from multiple doctors
- Using Lortab in higher doses or more frequently than directed by a doctor
- Experiencing Lortab withdrawal when abruptly stopping use of the drug
- Suspicious behavior
- Trying to quit Lortab unsuccessfully
- Changes in mood or behavior
Treatment for Lortab addiction typically begins with Lortab detox (sometimes using methadone or Suboxone for a safe, gradual and comfortable withdrawal period). After ridding the body of the drug, the best Lortab rehab centers will create an individualized treatment plan that includes therapy, 12-Step meetings, group support and relapse prevention planning. In Lortab rehab, you will discover safer, healthier ways to get your needs met than abusing Lortab or other prescription drugs.
Lortab addiction is a serious threat to a person's health and well- being. Do you think you, or someone near you, is abusing or addicted to Lortab? The way out is to reach out for help: 866-323-5612. Call today for a free assessment and more detailed information about Lortab addiction treatment options.
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