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 you 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 Your 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 you 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. Your body thus becomes dependent on Norco to feel good.
Later on, you develop a certain level of tolerance to the amount of Norco that enters your body. At this point, you will need to take higher doses to get the same satisfaction as you 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 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 you have noticed that you are having to take additional supplements of Norco to have the same effect then you may be building up a tolerance. This could quite easily become an addiction if not dealt with correctly, therefore you should tell your doctor as soon as possible. You should also tell your doctor if you are starting to crave a higher dosage.
It is likely that your 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 that you 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, you should not drive or engage in any task that may endanger yourself or others whilst taking Norco.
Other Drugs and Medications
Your doctor should always be consulted before taking Norco with other drugs. Overall, you 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 your doctor should always be consulted. It is likely that you will need to reduce your dosage of either one or both of the drugs if you want or need to take them at the same time.
Acetaminophen is common in many painkillers, so you should check any other prescriptions or medications just in case. This will ensure you do not take too much acetaminophen and overdose.
For a complete understanding of the drugs Norco may interact negatively with, please consult your 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 your 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 your pain no longer persists then you do 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 your body. It also puts your career, family, relationships, kids, and school at risk. This does not simply end when you stop 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 you 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 you have become mentally and physically dependent on it is very challenging. An inpatient rehabilitation program will make sure that you are weaned or tapered off of the drug using proper medication, or a slowly decreasing dose of Norco that will not harm your body.
- Medical professionals will make sure that you receive proper attention so as to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms such as respiratory depression and increased heartbeat.
- Inpatient rehabs will also keep you free from other obligations, letting you focus solely on healing. Therapies will not only help you manage your pain without the drug but will also help you resolve whatever issues triggered your 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 rehab – possibly better for those who have recently become addicted or are addicted to a smaller degree
- Maintaining your 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
- You are always in close proximity to support – Your family and friends are no further away so you can rely on their help, as well as the help of support centers or groups if necessary
- Considerably lower costs – You are not paying for day to day treatment from a center and therefore won’t have to pay off a large and stressful bill after your 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.