Norco Symptoms and Warning Signs
Norco is a brand name for a prescription painkiller combining a combination of hydrocodone and paracetamol. It is used in medical settings for tackling moderate to severe pain. When you take Norco in amounts that exceed the prescribed doses for an extended period of time, you can develop a tolerance to the drug. This will ultimately culminate in the development of an addiction.
There have also been cases of people who developed a Norco addiction even when they adhered to the doses prescribed by medical professionals. This highlights the need for extra care when it comes to recognising the warning signs and symptoms of Norco abuse.
The Dangers of Norco Abuse
Norco abuse occurs mostly in opiate abusers, because it contains hydrocodone and is easy to obtain. Such people can source the drug from friends and family or via prescriptions from unsuspecting or colluding medical personnel.
The hydrocodone portion of Norco gives users a euphoric ‘high’ that can last for several hours at time. The effects increase with larger and multiple doses. It’s for this reason that Norco has a high potential for abuse and addiction.
When Norco is used in combination with other drugs (and alcohol), it poses grave dangers to the user. This is because with the introduction of a new interaction comes a slew of new possible side effects. The combination of alcohol with paracetamol can also lead to liver damage eventually.
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Recognising a Norco Addiction
Are you worried that you or a loved one are abusing Norco? There are some tell-tale signs you should watch out for, which include the following:
- Using more Norco than prescribed
- Using Norco without a prescription
- ‘Doctor shopping’ (scheduling appointments with multiple doctors to source numerous prescriptions)
- Needing higher doses to replicate the desired effects (tolerance)
- Presence of withdrawal symptoms, which can ensure the continued abuse of the drug.
Norco addiction and the brain
The effect Norco has on your body is as a result of how its chief element (hydrocodone) interacts with the opioid receptors in your brain. As soon as the drug finds its way to these receptors, copious amounts of dopamine will be released – hence the feeling of euphoria experienced when you use the drug. With the dopamine released, your brain will begin to associateusing Norco with reward. The quantity of dopamine released at each stage will be higher than that released from natural
pleasurable activities. This makes it harder to feel satisfaction or happiness – even when you engage in activities that were formerly pleasurable to you.
Again, as your body becomes more tolerant to the use of Norco, you’ll need higher doses to replicate the feelings that come with the release of dopamine. This is known as the development of tolerance and is the gateway to full addiction.
Learn the Immediate Side Effects of Norco Abuse
The immediate side effects of Norco take hold when there is a reduction of pain in the body (such as that experienced with broken bones, general bodily injuries, arthritis and cramping). Other immediate side effects of Norco abuse include:
- Skin rashes
- Mental clouding
- Dizziness and Swelling
Learn the Long-termSide Effects ofNorco Abuse
Hydrocodone is generally regarded as the dangerous substance in Norco, because of its addictive properties. However, the other half of the equation, paracetamol, can be equally deadly when taken in high doses. With prolonged use, paracetamol can cause problems in the liver – and the actions of hydrocodone can increase this damage. Hydrocodone can lead to slow breathing, which can be potentially fatal when high dosages are continually taken.
Other long-term side effects of Norco abuse include
- Hearing loss
- Cardiac arrest
- Respiratory arrest
- Difficulty urinating
Intervention for a Norco Addiction
Staging an intervention for someone abusing Norco is not simple. Intervention is always about helping the individual to get all the support they need to stop using the substance, instead of giving them even more reasons to recoil into their shell and deeper into addiction. To help stage an intervention, here are some of the things you can do:
- Understand as much as you can about Norco addiction. This will make it easier for you to give them the help they need.
- Don’t be confrontational and apportion blame. Instead, show them love, concern and empathy.
- Nudge them gradually and gently towards seeking professional treatment.
- Don’t try to preach quitting ‘cold turkey’ as it is not just difficult to achieve, but can prove impossible in some cases. The fear of withdrawal symptoms also means that it’s impractical to expect an addict to beat addiction on their own.
- Be ready to provide the support they need after treatment to ensure the chances of relapse are reduced.
- Get professional help with the intervention if you’re finding it difficult to make them see reason with you. In fact, it‘s important to avoid staging an intervention without professional help if the addicted person in question has a mental illness, is aggressive or violent, abusing multiple substances, or has attempted suicide in the past.
Detox and Withdrawal from Norco
Detoxification is the first step to getting your life back as someone who abuses Norco. Regardless of the treatment programme you undertake, detox is usually required. This process is applied to rid the body of all drug toxins and also reset any changes that have been made to your body configuration. During this process, you will be monitored by professionals who will help you to fight the withdrawal symptoms of Norco addiction. Some of these can be debilitating and you should never attempt to overcome them on your own.
To fully beat your addiction, you’ll need counselling and therapy after you’ve completed detox. The counselling session will be focused on getting to the bottom of your addiction and addressing the reasons why you began taking the drug in the first place. Many people shy away from Norco detox and withdrawal, because they feel anxiety when thinking about what the process entails. It may also sound like too much to handle. However, the process is straightforward and far from scary. Most treatment centres approach Norco rehabilitation in a similar manner.
During the detox and withdrawal process, you may be put through therapy programmes, whereby the focus will be on talking about your addiction in a group or individual setting. The group sessions may be all you need to make a full recovery, as you’ll have other peers to relate to, who are also going through the same type of addiction. If you feel this is too much of a challenge, you can choose to stick with individualised therapy.
Treatment and Next Steps
If you’re worried about Norco addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help, as there are a number of treatment options available to you. The inpatient residential treatment is usually the ‘go to’ option. However, other options include outpatient treatment, self-management and recovery training, as well as 12-step programmes.
After treatment, the next step is to focus on avoiding a relapse. The best Norco rehab facilities provide recovering addicts with all the information they need to avoid a relapse. You will be taught to understand the dangers of Norco and how you can live a life that doesn’t involve using it after rehab. Most rehab programmes are based on teaching you self-control, so you can resist taking Norco when you leave.
Such relapse programmes are known by a variety of names, but you’re most likely to hear about aftercare programmes. They are provided both on an outpatient and an inpatient basis, depending on your specific needs. The idea behind such programmes is to ensure you remain focused on the reasons for your treatment and also give you some encouragement when the stressors that can trigger your addiction resurface. Norco addiction treatment does not end immediately after you leave the rehab centre. Aftercare programmes ensure you are always equipped with the necessary skills, regardless of what happens post-rehab. In many cases, you will be provided with a dedicated contact you can talk to when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
By seeking treatment for Norco addiction, you can begin to reconstruct your life again. Speak to a professional today to get started.
Is it important to stop abusing Norco?
Yes. Norco is very dangerous and a medication that should only ever be used under medical supervision. There are a myriad of health issues that follow the abuse of this substance. Some includeloss of urinary function, loss of hearing, liver damage and ultimately, death. The dangers associated with using the drug also increase when you combine it with other substances, such as other opiates or alcohol. Depending on the substances you’re using alongside Norco, the negative impacts of its use and abuse can be sudden. If you’ve been using Norco outside of the recommended prescription – or if you feel like you need to take some to be able to function normally – you need to seek help, quickly.
Is the Norco treatment process guaranteed to work?
If you take part in a professionally planned process for Norco addiction treatment, the rehabilitation process will work. However, its success will be dependent on how seriously you take the programmes required to address the addiction. Stay in rehab long enough for the therapies and counselling to work. When you’re out of rehab, stick to the aftercare programmes that have been designed for you.
What will happen to the pains after I stop using Norco?
Your doctor will prescribe other medications for managing pain if it’s established that you’re at risk of addiction or if you’ve already developed an addiction. You need to keep in mind that Norco is only one possible pain medication out of the several available to your doctor. They can always find a medication that addresses the level of pain you’re experiencing, while helping you to counter any withdrawal symptoms you may be feeling as a result of quitting Norco.
Are there safe substitutes for Norco?
Again, it’s up to the medical professional to recommend substitutes to Norco. The option chosen will be decided by looking at your individual condition.
Who can I talk to About Norco abuse?
The first person you should talk to if you suspect you’re abusing Norco is your doctor. They can find a substitute medication and also help you to deal with the present addiction. If your addiction didn’t start via a Norco prescription, you should talk to an addiction treatment expert for help with quitting.
Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.