The Side Effects of Hydrocodone Addiction

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

The Side Effects of Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone is a powerful and dangerous narcotic painkiller. Although it’s a prescription medication, people often abuse it. An addiction to hydrocodone isn’t without consequences. Take a closer look at some of the most dangerous side effects of hydrocodone addiction.

Drowsiness and Sleep Problems

Some of the most common side effects of a hydrocodone addiction are related to sleep. Taking hydrocodone can make you feel very tired and drowsy. At the same time, it can cause insomnia. The result may be completely disrupted sleep cycles and a lack of energy day and night.

Some people who use hydrocodone also struggle with a condition known as nodding. This is when people fall asleep suddenly, even if they’re in the middle of an activity or conversation.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Like many other opioid drugs, hydrocodone can cause a number of digestive problems. Gastrointestinal concerns are par for the course for anyone that relies on hydrocodone for any amount of time.

Constipation is the side effect that users most commonly report. This can lead to nausea, abdominal cramping and even a perforated bowel in some extreme cases. The only way to end these problems is to stop using opioids altogether.

Cognitive Concerns

Some of the most worrying effects of hydrocodone use are cognitive. Many people with addictions to hydrocodone report that they feel confused after using the drug. They also often experience dizziness and memory loss. In addition, blurred vision and slurred speech are cognitive effects of hydrocodone abuse.

Many people who experience these side effects can appear drunk. However, these alcoholic symptoms are actually a result of hydrocodone use. The symptoms will only worsen if individuals consume hydrocodone along with alcohol.

The Slowing Down of Vital Functions

Hydrocodone depresses many of the body’s all-important systems and functions. The circulatory system and the respiratory system are especially at risk after hydrocodone use.

A hydrocodone addiction can lead to lung damage. Individuals may feel that breathing is more difficult than normal. It can also cause a lowered heart rate. Both of these symptoms are more likely during an overdose, and both can cause permanent physical damage.

Psychological Side Effects of Hydrocodone Addiction

Abusing hydrocodone can also cause psychological side effects. This can include anger, an increase in irritability, depression, anxiety or paranoia.

If individuals already struggle with a mental illness, hydrocodone addiction will only make it worse. During treatment, therapists need to treat co-occurring disorders simultaneously for a lasting resolution.

Treating a Hydrocodone Addiction

Like any form of substance abuse, professional help is necessary for hydrocodone addiction. After a medically supervised detox, patients will need to put in the work to transform their lives and embrace sobriety.

During addiction rehab, patients can benefit from any and all of the following treatment methods:

  • Family therapy
  • Individual talk therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Life skills and relapse prevention training

The only way to erase the side effects of hydrocodone use is to end the addiction for good. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you’ll be able to take your first steps toward better health. Begin the journey to recovery by calling (866) 319-6126.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.