The Opioid Epidemic claimed the lives of over 48,000 souls in America in the year 2017 alone.
While the attention remains on heroin and fentanyl, the reality is over 17,000 of these deaths involved prescription drug overdoses. (1) Lortab, which contains the most commonly prescribed painkiller in the United States, also carries a major risk of abuse and addiction. (2)
Here we take a look at Lortab addiction and its effects.
What is Lortab?
Lortab contains the medication hydrocodone (in 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg doses), which is a powerful opioid drug.
Lortab also contains 325 mg of acetaminophen, which is a common over the counter pain medication.
Lortab is a schedule III narcotic, which means it has strict regulations related to its prescription. (3)
What are the effects and signs of use of Lortab?
Lortab produces the same effects that are commonly associated with opioids. The signs and symptoms of Lortab abuse and addiction are the following:
- Sense of well-being
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pinned pupils (4)
Lortab addiction and withdrawal
The hydrocodone in Lortab is what makes the drug highly addictive. Hydrocodone abuse leads to a strong physical and physiological dependence on the drug.
This means that without the drug, the user will begin to experience a severe withdrawal syndrome, which includes the following symptoms:
- Severe anxiety
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms
- Teary eyes and frequent yawning
- Cold and hot flashes (5)
What makes Lortab so dangerous?
Lortab and other hydrocodone products are often times the first opioid that future addicts try simply due to the high numbers of prescriptions filled each year.
A 2016 survey demonstrated that Lortab was one of the most commonly abused narcotics by adolescents in 8th-12th grade. (6) So while hydrocodone is not responsible for as many deaths as other opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl, it often times can serve as the gateway drug to them.
The acetaminophen, despite being over the counter, also is responsible for Lortab being dangerous. As tolerance to the drug develops, the user will need to take ever-increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the same effects.
This is particularly dangerous with Lortab, however, due to the presence of acetaminophen in the drug. Acetaminophen overdose can cause severe damage to the liver, and accounts for approximately 56,000 emergency room visits each year. (3)
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.