The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that nearly 6 million people are addicted to prescription painkillers in the U.S. and the number continues to rise. Opiate medication such as Lortab, that was prescribed for surgical pain or during recovery from an injury has become a popular recreational drug and has led to an increase in abuse and addiction.
Tolerance and Abuse
Lortab is a narcotic and part of a family of drugs known as opioids or opiates. Opiates affect the central nervous system and brain by blocking the receptors (opioid) that create feelings of euphoria by stimulating dopamine. When the opioid receptors are blocked and there is an increase in dopamine, the individual experiences feelings of pleasure and happiness.
Chronic abuse of the drug may lead to a developed tolerance. When tolerance is a factor, it results in having to increase the amounts of the drug in order to experience the same level of elation as before. At some point the individual will not be able to function if they do not continue taking the drug. Symptoms of Lortab abuse may include:
- Constipation and abdominal pain
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty urinating
Danger of Overdose
Taking increased amounts also puts the individual at a risk for overdose. Lortab overdose may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bluish tint to fingernails
- Slowed heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Shallow breathing
- Loss of consciousness and coma
Lortab is a combination of Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). There is an increased potential for liver damage due to the Acetaminophen. Chronic and habitual use of Lortab does not give the liver time to heal and the result is the buildup of scar tissue which may lead to liver failure.
Signs of Addiction
Once someone develops an addiction to Lortab, they may begin to “doctor shop” in order to get another prescription for the drug. Another indication of drug abuse is that the individual may habitually lose their prescription so that the doctor will give them another prescription and get more of the drug. Many try to buy the drug from an internet pharmacy or off the street. Quitting a Lortab addiction cold turkey is not recommended and most health care professionals recommend medical detox assistance. Withdrawal symptoms may begin within a few hours after the last time the drug was used and the symptoms may include flu like symptoms, muscle pain, insomnia and anxiety. If you or someone you know are struggling with a Lortab addiction and are in need of detox, Gallus Detox Centers can help. Gallus Detox Centers specializes in IV therapy medical detox, a safer and more effective method for detox from Lortab and will provide you with a customized plan to meet your individual needs. Call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today at 855-338-6929, to see if our treatment program is right for you.