When you go through illness, surgery or other conditions that leaves you in deep and debilitating pain, doctors have ways to bring you comfort and relief. Such treatments may include electrical stimulation, antidepressants, anticonvulsants and prescription pain relievers. Some conditions requiring extensive pain treatment includes shingles, HIV, cancer, arthritis, cramping, broken bones and the deep discomfort that comes from surgery recovery. One of the most recommended prescription medications for the relief of pain is called Norco. Dosage and length of use depends on the severity of the pain and potential side effects.
Norco is a prescription pain reliever that treats moderate to severe pain and contains a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Opioids are pain relievers under the classification of hydrocodone medications also branded as narcotics. Acetaminophen helps to increase the effectiveness of the hydrocodone. Too much acetaminophen is risky for liver damage and liver disease. Norco should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor, avoiding all alcohol while being treated.
Liver conditions while on this medication will result in dark urine. Other side effects may include persistent vomiting and continual nausea, abdominal and stomach distress, extreme fatigue and jaundice of the skin and eyes. If taken as prescribed, Norco will provide short-term pain relief but can become habit-forming with dangerous side effects. Other common short-term side effects reported from the use of Norco include:
Long-term side effects can lead to an addiction to Norco along with respiratory distress, urinary retention, itchiness, coma, hearing loss and sometimes fatality and death. Many individuals in pain increase their dosage without medical authorization in order to feel better, not considering the negative consequences and risk of overdose. Any ill side effects should be reported to your physician immediately or go to your local hospital emergency room.
There are other pain relievers in the same class as Norco containing the combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Such medications are:
All of these Opioids are at risk for becoming addictive if not used strictly as prescribed.
Norco is not always used as prescribed and some recreational users abuse the medication for the euphoric state it provides. It is a narcotic that can easily be abused. This opiate medication works within the brain and central nervous system and can lead to a need for more in order to feel better and happy. This grows into a dependency on Norco. The brain is altered because of the presence of the painkiller while the body also ceases to produce natural body painkillers known as endorphins since it now relies on the opiate.
A chemical dependency of the drug redefines what the body considers as aches, soreness, and swelling, requiring more of the opiod in order to function. Norco does not only create a physical but also a psychological dependency in order for the body to work according to the needs of the addict. A tolerance continues to escalate while on Norco and leads to additional doses and addiction. Most doctors monitor its use in patients to ensure this does not happen, but some individuals are crafty in finding ways to acquire more of the drug without medical supervision.
If you know someone that is using Norco with the possibility of addictive behavior, there are signs and symptoms that indicate the medication is being abused. Overuse and overdose of Norco can be life-threatening and fatal, needing immediate medical attention. Be aware of such warning signs as:
When Norco suddenly becomes habit-forming and addictive, it is very difficult to quit taking it and may need medical and therapeutic intervention to find relief of any pain and addictive behavior. Take all symptoms and indications of abuse seriously and seek the help you need for yourself or that of a loved one at risk for an addiction to Norco.
While being treated for a Norco addiction, it is important to realize it is not only a physical problem but is also a mental problem that needs to be addressed. The drug can have devastating effects on the brain. Treatment options will involve a detoxification program, therapy, and counseling. The object of the whole process is to address the reasons that led to the overuse of Norco through education and techniques on how to live a drug-free life.
Treatment options vary and usually begin with detoxification in order to get your life back on track and rid the body of harmful toxins related to the use of Norco. When going through detox, you will be under medical supervision due to possible withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal can differ according to the severity of the addiction and may involve physical or emotional indications such as:
Going through a detox program as part of the treatment and rehab process is the most difficult aspect in healing from an addiction, including the habit-forming Norco. The process of detox typically involves tapering the use of the addictive drug and slowly reducing its intake. Sometimes medical therapy is necessary as a way to ease the severity of the symptoms and stop the abuse.
All treatment plans include a detox program, whether it is done within rehab or going to a special detox facility prior to the rehabilitation center. Detox addresses the physical effects of the drug while a rehabilitation program progresses with therapy and counseling to instill other values and a life without drugs. You may engage in self-esteem classes, techniques on how to live without drugs, family therapy and support groups along with behavior modification. Treatment and rehabilitation options include:
Inpatient Norco rehab that provides fully monitored and structured treatment geared around the individual’s needs and severity of the addiction. Care is both medical and psychological and involves cognitive strategies for a long-term drug-free life, help to reduce and rid your cravings and a full recovery from withdrawal. Inpatient rehab centers ensure a life without the addictive drug while removing all possibilities for a relapse. You are educated with coping techniques to manage your health, stresses in life, finances and other tensions along with a return to work or school. You will have to work through any underlying issues such as depression and anxiety that led you to a life of addictive drugs like Norco in order to cope. You must realize the impact that this drug has caused you in your day-today life. The next step is to focus on techniques geared toward living a Norco-free lifestyle once returning to your home and society. Inpatient care also includes regular therapy and counseling sessions, individually, in groups, and often with family. The rehab is geared towards preparing you for a life after an addiction.
Outpatient treatment rehabilitation begins with a detoxification process followed by structured outpatient therapy and counseling sessions. Such meetings will be on specified days weekly at a medical or clinical facility to meet with qualified addiction professionals. Outpatient rehab can be a follow-up to an inpatient treatment facility or as an aftercare treatment beyond intensive healing in a facility in order to stay clean. Outpatient allows you to carry on with regular day-to-day activities like school, work, hobbies and other fun behaviors while still attending schedule meetings until you and your professional decide you are no longer in danger of returning to a life of drug dependency.
For long-term success, it is important to involve family and close friends in order to have a good support system. Outpatient also involves therapy to build up your self-esteem, giving you the will to succeed for you. Some behavior modification methods in outpatient follows the same curriculum as inpatient through some cognitive therapy in order to recognize and acknowledge your addiction, avoid all situations that can lead you down the darken path and how to cope with difficulties without returning to drug and substance abuse.
Sober living facilities are not just for those with alcoholic addictions, but are geared to help individuals with a drug addiction problem. Sober living facilities allow you to live your normal life with work, school and other activities while returning to the center at day’s end. How long you engage in a sober living facility depends on your particular healing progress and the chance for a relapse.
Aftercare for Norco addiction helps the abuser to live a productive life after drugs. There are a multitude of options for aftercare treatment aside from outpatient care, which is as intensive as the inpatient option. Options for aftercare include private and group counseling sessions at least once a week as determined by your addiction professional along with support groups. You may need to meet with your psychiatrist at least monthly or every couple of months, depending on your progress. An additional option may include having a mentor that you can turn to during difficult times for reinforcement. Most often your rehab treatment facility will provide you with a 24-hour help line to call in times of weakness.
Life can be difficult even for the healthiest of souls. Never lose hope if you seem to have a relapse; call your doctor and get yourself back track. Allow your loved ones to engage in your life and help you to a happier existence. Just remember, when taking drugs such as Norco for the relief of substantial and severe pain, take only as directed without the fear of becoming addicted to a substance that can cause you more harm than good when misused.
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