Norco is a narcotic painkiller that contains both acetaminophen and hydrocodone. The latter is an opioid analgesic, while the former is an over-the-counter pain reliever. Most individuals who take this medication do so under the care of a doctor for the purpose of alleviating pain. However, Norco addiction is becoming more common each year, and many individuals find that they need professional help to overcome this dependency.
Norco alleviates pain by affecting the opiate receptors in one's brain and spinal cord. This manipulation of the person's neuroreceptors reduces the sensation of pain and creates a feeling of euphoria. It is the latter sensation that most addicted individuals crave. For this reason, the United States Food and Drug Administration has classified Norco as a controlled substance. When used as directed, this medication can be quite helpful with regard to pain relief, but it is also associated with a high potential for abuse due to the narcotic properties it contains. Even though it is considered a highly habit-forming drug, not everyone who takes this medication will develop an addiction. Unfortunately, however, most individuals who have an addictive personality are unaware of this fact until they use Norco or another narcotic painkiller and experience its effects firsthand. Often, by the time a person realizes that he or she has a problem, a full-blown addiction has occurred.
There are numerous signs of a Norco addiction, some of which are obvious and some of which are quite subtle. One of the first symptoms that indicates a person may be abusing this medication is altering the prescribed dose. Doctors and other health care practitioners choose a dosage that is appropriate for the patient's weight and overall physical condition. The physician will also take the individual's level of pain into consideration when writing the prescription. Therefore, it is unwise to take more than the prescribed dose without first consulting one's doctor. Certain individuals are tempted to take a higher dose simply to experience more pain relief, while others do so for recreational purposes, but either way negative side effects will result.
Mixing Norco with other prescription drugs to increase its effects is also the action of someone who is developing a dependency. Another rather overt sign of addiction is when a person does not want to participate in social events or activities without having first taken the drug. Visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain more than one prescription is always a bad sign and should be regarded as an obvious sign of abuse.
Those who have a Norco addiction are at risk of overdosing. This is because tolerance to the drug develops very quickly, which tempts those using it to continuously increase their dose in order to feel the intense euphoria they experienced when the drug was first used. However, those who abuse Norco and other narcotics typically state that this feeling is rarely achieved, although they still find it difficult to stop increasing the dose. There are several symptoms of Norco overdose, which include extreme loss of appetite, confusion, nausea and stomach pain, vomiting, and excessive sweating. Additionally, jaundice, pale stools, and dark urine are all symptoms of Norco toxicity which initially affects one's liver and can lead to coma or death.
Both the physical and psychological addiction to Norco must be treated if a person is to fully recover. For this reason, most drug rehabilitation treatment centers offer comprehensive programs that provide medication for withdrawal symptoms, counseling and follow-up care. When the detoxification is complete, the patient receives counseling to help him or her discover why the addiction occurred. Follow-up treatment often involves group meetings, additional one-on-one therapy and nutritional counseling. Each facet of the program is important and should be followed as directed by the health care professional in charge. It does little or no good to take a haphazard approach to such treatment.
Norco addiction is a serious and life-threatening condition that requires appropriate medical detoxification and treatment in order to prevent serious health complications. Fortunately, therapy is available for those who have developed a dependency on this or any other narcotic. Therefore individuals who are addicted to Norco should seek professional help at once.