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No one enjoys having to suffer from pain of any kind. So, when a doctor prescribes pain pills like Norco (hydrocodone) the drug is welcomed with open arms. Most patients are able to take this drug for a week or so with no problem. But for others, even two weeks on the drug can lead to addiction. In fact, Norco addiction sneaks up silently, with little or no warning that a problem is developing.
The first sign that there is an issue comes when the patient runs out of the pills. Without warning, they find themselves having withdrawal symptoms. These physical and psychological symptoms reveal that the brain has already become altered with daily Norco dosing. When the drug is withheld, someone who has become dependent on the drug will feel very sick.
What happens next is what can be the blueprint for drug addiction. If the person just toughs out a day or two of feeling sick, like having the flu, they will be fine. Their body will adjust to its normal state soon and all is good.
Many people, though, go through that sickness and quickly request a refill of the Norco. Some doctors will go ahead and refill the script, thus making things worse. Other doctors will offer them an alternative pain reliever, which is the safest option.
Patients who accept the advice of the doctor and accept a non-opioid pain control option instead of Norco will likely be fine. Others will simply seek the Norco elsewhere, which can lead to a substance use disorder.
Signs of Norco Addiction
When a doctor will not agree to refill the Norco script the person may seek other means of finding the drugs. These include:
- Doctor shopping or a pain clinic that will prescribe more Norcos.
- Stealing the drugs from friends or relatives.
- Using counterfeit scripts to buy the drug.
- Purchasing Norcos online.
- Purchasing Norcos from drug dealers on the street.
Adding to the drug-seeking actions that point to an SUD, someone with a drug problem may show these signs:
- Pinpoint pupils.
- Mental confusion.
- Extreme mood swings.
- Nodding off or losing consciousness.
- Slowed breathing.
- Isolates from friends and family.
- Becomes obsessed with getting access to the Norco and taking the drug.
- A decline at work or school.
- Mounting money problems.
- Problems with relationships.
- Tries to quit the Norco but can’t.
- Has withdrawal symptoms when the drug wears off.
Getting Help For a Norco Addiction
When the signs of a Norco problem are noticed, it is time to look into treatment options. The first step in recovery will be detox. This is the period in which the body adjusts to no longer having the drug in the system. Detox will include three distinct stages, with symptoms peaking on days 2 or 3, before starting to subside.
Norco withdrawal begins with symptoms coming on about 6-12 hours after the last dose. The early mild flu-like symptoms give way to more intense and highly unpleasant symptoms after about 48 hours. Then over the next 2-3 days the symptoms will taper off.
- Stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting.
- Excessive yawning.
- Muscles and bone pain.
- Teary eyes
- Runny nose
- Irregular heartbeat.t
- Problems with concentration.
- Elevated blood pressure.
- Drug cravings.
- Mood swings.
- Anxiety symptoms.
- Depression, malaise.
- Thoughts of suicide.
Although these symptoms are hard to endure, the detox team will be closely monitoring the patient’s needs. As he or she passes through the stages of withdrawal from Norco, they will be given meds as needed.
Moving Forward in Recovery
Once the detox is over, it is time for shifting to the treatment phase of recovery. Treating Norco addiction is the same as treating other opioid use disorders, as the drugs produce similar effects on the brain.
Norco treatment blends various forms of therapy that are designed to work together. These include:
One-on-one therapy: At the center of SUD treatment, therapy helps addicts make changes in their thought patterns and their response to triggers. This is done by using a number of evidence-based therapies, including CBT, DBT, and CM, to name a few.
Group sessions: During small group sessions, peers are able to share their stories and discuss their feelings. This provides social support in a safe setting and allows the members of the group to bond. 12-step program themes may also be woven into group sessions.
Family-focused group: Many rehabs include a family piece in their programs. These sessions invite the client’s family members to join in. The sessions assist the family members in the healing process, while also helping them learn better ways to relate.
Classes: It helps for people to learn, early on in the treatment process, how Norco affects the brain. Relapse prevention planning also is part of these classes. Clients will be guided to list their triggers and make action plans to avoid a relapse.
Holistic methods: Learning ways to reduce stress is essential in today’s rehab programs. Stress is the number one trigger to relapse, so providing clients with these coping skills can help them better manage stressors.
Recreation and nutritional counseling: Outdoor fitness and sports provide a break from the treatment sessions. Clients are also advised on how a healthy diet can help restore brain health and improve wellness in recovery.
Ken Seeley Communities Provides Treatment for Norco Addiction
Ken Seeley Communities is a full service treatment program. Covering all aspects of treatment for a Norco SUD, KSC offers a medical detox program that will launch recovery. The team will help clients manage the stages of Norco detox prior to starting treatment.
We offer many options for treatment, including IOPs, PHPs, and inpatient rehab. For those looking for an outpatient option, sober living housing is also offered at KSC. For more details about our program, please reach out to us today at (877) 744-0502.