Hydrocodone (Vicodin) Addiction and Treatment in Arizona

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Treatment is available in Arizona for Hydrocodone (Vicodin) addiction. Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid used for the treatment of severe pain. This prescription drug is meant for significant pain that needs twenty-four-hour relief. For example, this would be given after a major surgery.

Hydrocodone works by blocking pain receptors on nerve cells in the brain. This medication should be used with caution in the elderly or those with lung issues as it can depress breathing. There is also the possibility that hydrocodone can alter thinking and reaction times so a person should not drive or operate machinery until they know how it can affect them.

Is There a Drug Problem in Arizona?

Yes, there is a drug use problem in the state of Arizona. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that emergency rooms in hospitals treated 967,615 cases of non-fatal drug overdose in the United States in 2017. From that large number 9,547 cases occurred in Arizona. Statistics from The National Institute on Drug Abuse 2018 data showed that 128 people died every day from opioid overdoses in the United States. There were 1,670 drug overdose deaths in Arizona out of the nation wide number of 67,367 overdose deaths in 2018.

Can a Person Become Addicted to Hydrocodone?

Even though it is a prescription drug that a person must get from a doctor it can be addictive. Hydrocodone can produce a euphoric feeling, so someone who starts out taking it for pain may continue to use it after they should stop. Taking it for a long time can create a tolerance, then a person has to take more at one time to get the same reaction. At that point they have a substance use problem.

Symptoms of Hydrocodone Addiction

Each person has different reactions to medications they take, but some common symptoms of hydrocodone addiction are:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Blurred vision
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Seizures

How Does an Opioid Overdose Happen?

An overdose happens when too much of a substance is in the body and it becomes toxic. This overwhelms the body and interrupts breathing. There are certain risk factors that increase the chance of opioid overdose.

  • Taking illegal opioids including heroin or illicit fentanyl
  • Having reduced kidney or liver function
  • Combining opioids with other drugs or alcohol
  • Taking more opioids than what was prescribed
  • Having lung issues or sleep apnea

Signs of an overdose:

  • Becoming unconscious
  • Slow shallow breathing
  • Limp body
  • Pale, blue, or cold skin
  • Constricted “pinpoint pupils”
  • Choking or gurgling sounds

Hydrocodone Addiction Rehab and Detox in AZ

The very first step on the way to addiction recovery is to detox. Detoxification is the process of letting the body process all of a substance until it is gone. Physical cravings and reaction can be intense, especially with opioids. The best course of action is to seek help, not quit cold turkey.  There are some possibly serious withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be any of the following:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • High blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Blurry vision, dilated pupils
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Eyes tearing up
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive yawning
  • Restlessness

Types of Arizona Opioid Detox Programs

Medical detox- Medical detox happens under the supervision of medical professionals. This provides a safe place to go through withdrawal. It also means that if medication is needed for serious symptoms it will be available.

Medication assisted treatment Medication assisted treatment or MAT combine FDA approved medications and behavioral therapy. The FDA approved medications can block the withdrawal symptoms allowing the person to focus completely on behavioral therapy. FDA medications that can be used for opioid detox are Naltrexone, Methadone, and Buprenorphine.

Holistic detox Holistic detox is a more natural approach to detoxification. This method puts together nutritional therapy, exercise programs, emotional support, and sometimes spiritual support. It can be completely individualized.

There is another form of detox, but it is quite controversial. With ultra rapid detox a person is put under general anesthesia and then given medication to begin detox. The idea is that the person will not experience the withdrawal symptoms at all. There is no guarantee that the withdrawal symptoms will be completely gone when the person wakes up, and there are possible medical complications.

The next step after detox is therapy. This step gets to the heart of the drug use issue. Once the physical symptoms are out of the way behavioral changes can be worked on. This happens in either an inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab setting.

Inpatient Rehab Facilities in Arizona

Inpatient rehab allows for personalized treatment plans. A person attending inpatient rehab will reside at a facility for a specific amount of time. The most common length of stay is 28 days.  During this time varying types of therapy are available.

Types of Therapy

Individual therapy– Individual therapy connects someone with a therapist for counseling sessions. This allows for the possibility to get to the root cause of substance abuse. It can be difficult to face the reasons for using but is necessary to move on to recovery.

Experiential Therapy- Experiential therapy is different from standard talk therapy. This works by engaging in activities to bring out emotions that could be attached to subconscious issues. There is a significant amount of evidence that art therapy can be extremely helpful.  Other activities can include horseback riding, hiking, and music therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps people with most types of addiction and some mental health issues.  It helps people recognize negative thought patterns. CBT challenges people to change those thought patterns to improve their situation and communication skills.

Dialectical Behavioral therapy Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) helps an individual manage strong emotions or stressful situations in a healthy way. DBT was originally created to help those with borderline personality disorder but is also useful for substance use disorders. DBT includes one on one therapy, group therapy, and coaching over the phone.

Any of these therapy styles can also be used during outpatient therapy.

What are the Outpatient Opioid Rehab Programs in AZ?

During outpatient therapy a person does not reside in a facility without being able to come and go as they wish. Outpatient therapy does not have a specific length of time for treatment. There are a few different kinds of treatment.

Traditional outpatient therapy is the least restrictive form of therapy. Generally, it involves meeting regularly with a therapist to work on the issues that led to the addiction. Some therapists may want clients to come in for appointments as often as three times per week. 

A 12 step program has a set of guidelines to follow and group meetings to help people maintain sobriety. The most well-known are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous

Intensive outpatient treatment programs (IOPs), allow for normal day to day activities to continue uninterrupted and still receive the care needed to beat an addiction. These programs run during the evening hours several times a week. It allows flexibility for a person who has daytime family or employment obligations. This can also be an effective support treatment for those who may be concerned with being discreet.

Partial hospitalization programs, also called PHPs, provide care at a higher level in a day program setting. People may attend five to seven days a week depending on the level of care they need. The optimal amount is around twenty hours of programming. Many coping skills for staying sober can be learned during the day, along with various therapy sessions and then the patient goes home in the evening. This style of treatment program can be immensely helpful for someone with a co-occurring disorder.

Co-Occurring Disorders

A co-occurring disorder is a mental health issue happening at the same time as a substance use disorder. Often the mental health issues were not treated along with the substance use making it harder to stay sober. The most effective treatment is to consider both issues at the same time. Sometimes a substance use disorder comes from a person attempting to self-medicate a mental health issue. Some co-occurring disorders are:

  • Schizophrenia– this is a chronic brain disorder that influences how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. It can be difficult for a person suffering from schizophrenia to separate reality from fantasy.
  • Bipolar disorder-Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression. This mental issue creates extreme mood swings and energy changes. This can interfere with the ability to carry out normal everyday tasks. This mental health issue is usually diagnosed during someone’s teen years or early adulthood.
  • Anxiety– an all-consuming nervousness that just will not go away. There are different types of anxiety disorders including, general anxiety disorder, phobia related disorders, and panic disorder. There is also social anxiety, a fear of social situations, a person cannot handle being part of a large group.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder– OCD is characterized by obsessive thoughts that lead to anxiety which then turns into compulsive behaviors to try to get rid of the thoughts. This is a common mental health struggle that can occur with substance use disorder.
  • Depression– this is more than just feeling sad for a little while. Depression can cause low energy, cause problems at work and in a person’s social and family life.
  • Borderline personality disorder– Someone with borderline personality disorder has a distorted view of themselves can be viewed by others as manipulative, highly dependent, and overly dramatic. These behaviors are how they cope with pain and negative emotions.
  • PTSD– Post traumatic stress disorder can be the result of different types of events that happen to a person. This can include being involved in warfare, experiencing a natural disaster, or even a traffic accident. Symptoms can vary person to person, and they may self-medicate by using alcohol or misusing medications.
  • Gambling Addiction– Most people have gambled at some point in time, but this could turn into disruptive behavior with serious consequences. For someone with a gambling addiction the urge is uncontrollable.

How to Tell if Someone Needs Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment in Arizona

If more than one or two of these events are occurring, it may be time to seek help.

  • A change in sleeping patterns
  • Hiding text messages or phone calls
  • New unreliability
  • Relationship issues, separations
  • Domestic violence, child neglect
  • Increasingly spending time alone, isolation
  • Unpaid bills and termination notices
  • Drug paraphernalia- glass or metal pipes, lighters, syringes, alcohol bottles, prescription bottles
  • Ignoring family obligations
  • Public intoxication, DUIs, other legal issues
  • Change in friends
  • A sudden lack of appetite or rapid weight loss
  • Poor personal hygiene or a lack of grooming habits
  • Frequent unexplained injuries
  • Lying about their whereabouts
  • Incoherence or confusion

Will insurance cover Hydrocodone Addiction?

Addiction treatment will be covered by insurance. Substance use disorders are required by law to be covered thanks to the Affordable Care Act. A person may have to cover a copay. A copay is an agreed upon amount the patient pays for services when a provider has a contract with the insurance company. Co-pays are generally when a provider is considered in network, there is a contract. When choosing a rehab program, it will be more cost effective for the patient to access an in-network provider.

What is an Addiction Relapse?

A relapse happens when someone who has been sober returns to previous behavior and starts using a substance again. A relapse is not automatically failure, it can happen to anyone. Things to watch out for to avoid relapsing:

  • Fear
  • Moving away from support groups or individuals
  • Increasing stress
  • Spending time with people that use substances
  • Returning withdrawal symptoms

If someone has relapsed it is important for them to connect with support and learn new coping strategies to remain sober.

Help for Hydrocodone Addiction can be Found in Arizona

Are you struggling with Hydrocodone substance use disorder? Have you seen signs of it in a friend or family member? SpringBoard Recovery can help. Call us today.



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