Norco – A Popular Street Drug that Can Control The Mind
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When the brain’s receptors receive synthetic versions of brain chemicals, it stops producing the natural versions altogether and relies on the synthetic ones to function. This is how tolerance and addiction to certain drugs begin.
The Norco drug is one of the most abused painkillers in the US, accounting for the more drug abuse instances than any other narcotic. Combining the highly addictive hydrocodone and liver-damaging acetaminophen, Norco acts so powerfully that it is often compared to morphine.
Norco was elevated to a Schedule II drug by the DEA in 2014 to implement stricter control over the use of the drug. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most popular street drugs today.
Is Norco addictive?
Yes, Norco is addictive due to its compounds, hydrocodone, and acetaminophen. When taken, Norco introduces synthetic endorphin to the brain, which makes an individual feel satisfied and pain-free. In the long run, the brain stops producing its own endorphin, which creates a dependence on the drug in order to feel good.
What Does Norco Do To The Body and Brain?
Like other opiates, Norco introduces synthetic versions of the brain chemicals, endorphins, into the body. At first, they increase the number of endorphins present to make a person feel satisfied, less in pain. However, the same synthetic chemicals make the brain stop producing the natural ones, ultimately depending on the introduction of such chemicals from external sources The user’s body thus becomes dependent on Norco to feel good.
Later on, an individual develops a certain level of tolerance to the amount of Norco that enters their body. At this point, a person will need to take higher doses to get the same satisfaction as they did before.
What are the long-term effects of Norco addiction?
The long-term effects of Norco addiction include urinary problems, hypoventilation, jaundice, liver damage, and hearing loss. There is also an increased risk of heart attacks and even coma.
Symptoms of Addiction to Norco
Knowing whether a person is addicted to the drug due to prescription or non-medical use is easy. Some of the most obvious symptoms include:
- Taking more doses than prescribed.
- Asking for a prescription from different doctors, also known as doctor shopping.
- Taking Norco with other painkillers or opiates.
- Trying to stop taking the pill, unsuccessfully.
- Panic in cases when the pill is not taken on time or as planned.
- Inability to function normally without Norco.
Side Effects of Taking Norco
When taking Norco, the immediate effects include treatment of different pains in the body. Some of the unwanted common Norco side effects are :
- mental clouding
- cardiac arrest
Taking the opiate for long periods can cause respiratory depression, difficulty in urinating, jaundice, coma, liver damage or failure, hearing loss, and heart attacks.
Norco can be taken orally with or without food, however taking it with food may help to reduce negative side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and disorientation. Laying down after taking Norco can also help with nausea.
Trying to quit the drug comes with severe withdrawal symptoms that will need proper medical attention. In most cases, trying to quit an addiction without any help results in relapse.
What Should I Do If I Recognise Signs of Addiction?
If someone has noticed that they are having to take additional supplements of Norco to have the same effect then they may be building up a tolerance. This could quite easily become an addiction if not dealt with correctly, therefore such a person should tell their doctor as soon as possible. An individual should also tell their doctor if they are starting to crave a higher dosage.
It is likely that the doctor will recommend a substitute drug or herbal remedy to avoid any potential addiction.
How Does Norco Affect Pregnancy?
It is unknown how Norco affects pregnancy because there has been little to no controlled studies surrounding the drug. However, it can cause breathing problems, as well as dependency and withdrawal in a baby. It can also cause problems with breastfeeding. Therefore, it is not recommended to take Norco whilst pregnant, due to the lack of information and withdrawal issues it creates.
Alcohol should be avoided when taking Norco as it can increase the chance of liver damage when mixed with acetaminophen. Furthermore, alcohol can increase and enhance Norco’s side effects such as fatigue and dizziness. Because of this, a person should not drive or engage in any task that may endanger oneself or others whilst taking Norco.
Other Drugs and Medications
The doctor should always be consulted before taking Norco with other drugs. Overall, an individual should avoid other narcotics, due to the mixture of the two being highly dangerous and in some cases even life-threatening.
Antidepressants and antihistamines are also dangerous when taken alongside Norco, so the doctor should always be consulted. It is likely that the patient will need to reduce their dosage of either one or both of the drugs if they want or need to take them at the same time.
Acetaminophen is common in many painkillers, so a patient should check any other prescriptions or medications just in case. This will ensure they do not take too much acetaminophen and overdose.
For a complete understanding of the drugs Norco may interact negatively with, please consult a doctor.
Older adults and young children may need smaller dosages of the drug due to being highly susceptible to its effects, especially dizziness and breathing difficulties.
Narco may have a stronger effect on those with diabetes or those going through surgery. It is important to inform the doctor of any past head injuries, seizures, sleep apnea, as well as any previous drug or alcohol abuse. This is due to the addictiveness of the drug.
Norco comes in two dosages, both of which contain 325mg of acetaminophen.
The difference is the levels of hydrocodone. One of which is 7.5mg whereas the other is 10mg.
If the pain no longer persists then a person does not have to take the maximum dosage.
Most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle pains
- Mood changes and irritability
- Increased heart beat
- Nausea, vomiting
Addiction to Norco, or any other illicit drug, not only harms the body. It also puts a career, family, relationships, kids, and school at risk. This does not simply end when a person stops taking the drug. Withdrawal is just as difficult and damaging as addiction, which is why it is important to find the right treatment from a dependable rehabilitation center.
Norco Addiction Treatment
Are there treatments for Narco addiction?
Yes, there are treatments available for Norco addiction. There are various options for anyone who needs help with their addiction. Rehabilitation centers offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. While a person can choose to stay at home while receiving treatment, inpatient rehab programs are more effective for the majority of addiction cases.
Benefits Of Inpatient Rehab
- Living without a drug after an individual has become mentally and physically dependent on it is very challenging. An inpatient rehabilitation program will make sure that a patient is weaned or tapered off of the drug using proper medication, or a slowly decreasing dose of Norco that will not harm the body.
- Medical professionals will make sure that the patients receive proper attention so as to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms such as respiratory depression and increased heartbeat.
- Inpatient rehabs will also keep the users free from other obligations, letting them focus solely on healing. Therapies will not only help patients manage their pain without the drug but will also help them resolve whatever issues triggered the Norco abuse in the first place.
- Activities and support are available within the facilities following the inpatient rehabilitation period. As a program ends, a new life begins, but support is assured to avoid relapses over time.
Benefits of outpatient rehab
- Less intense than inpatient Norco rehab – possibly better for those who have recently become addicted or are addicted to a smaller degree
- Maintaining a daily routine – This is ideal for some, as it means that they can still work or study, preventing the additional stress of being behind with general tasks on return, as some would after inpatient rehab
- The patients are always in close proximity to support – A family and friends are no further away so the patients can rely on their help, as well as the help of support centers or groups if necessary
- Considerably lower costs – The individual is not paying for day to day treatment from a center and therefore won’t have to pay off a large and stressful bill after their treatment
- A good outpatient center will still offer psychological, social and physiological support to its patients so that they have the best chance of succeeding in their rehabilitation and do not relapse
Both of these rehab options offer positive results, however, they have different approaches. These differing approaches allow different personalities, as well as those who have been addicted for longer or to a greater amount of the substance, to find the most suitable treatment for them.
- The US Food and Drug Administration. Norco. 2014. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2014/040099Orig1s018lbl.pdf.
- DailyMed. NORCO- hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablet. 2018. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=66a328bc-055f-4107-8b81-f6f939bea0a7&type=display.
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