Hydrocodone Addiction Rehabilitation Services in Nova Scotia
Hydrocodone is a legally prescribed opioid used to treat severe pain for patients who are not responding to weaker opioids. Hydrocodone is prescribed as a tablet or a liquid, and when it is abused, the tablet is crushed and snorted, or it is made to be injected. Opioids such as hydrocodone are also used with alcohol to intensify the effects, however this drastically increases the risk for an overdose. The opioid creates a powerful high and euphoria, which becomes addictive and the user develops a dependency. The repeated use or long-term use of hydrocodone causes the body to develop a tolerance, which then requires the body to need a larger amount to avoid withdrawal pain. When people in Nova Scotia become addicted to opioids such as hydrocodone, it is often through a prescription. Moreover, many of these drugs are gotten from family and friends who never properly disposed of them. Hydrocodone is used to treat things such as back pain, muscle tension, headaches, dry mouth, and stomach pain. There are combinations of the drug that include acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Some of the serious side effects include weakness, loss of appetite, shivering, swelling of the face, confusion, and chest pain.
An addiction to hydrocodone can be avoided when people are prescribed the drug, but they must only take hydrocodone as directed by the prescribing doctor. The province of Nova Scotia has also taken steps to help residents who are addicted to opioids such as hydrocodone. The Nova Scotia Health Authority operates addiction treatment services throughout the province. The Opioid Use and Overdose Framework outlines the government's plan to address opioid addiction as an important public health issue. For example, the provincial government has focussed on understanding the issues, prevention, harm reduction, drug treatment, prescribing practices, and criminal justice and law enforcement. As of 2019 in the province, there have been 21 confirmed opioid-related deaths. In 2018, there were 56 deaths, during 2017 this was 63 opioid-related deaths and in 2016, the number was 53. Much is still being done in the province to help treat the addiction. This is where the solution must start, with drug rehabilitation and treatment. The ideal treatment solution should involve medical detox, long-term inpatient care, and aftercare treatment.
Hydrocodone has the potential to become addictive, creating dependency, and increased tolerance. According the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the proportion of prescriptions for strong opioids increased in Canada between 2012 and 2016. There are six different opioids being prescribed across Canada that account for 96% of all opioids prescriptions. These drugs are hydromorphone, morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine and tramadol, and just like hydrocodone they are responsible for addiction and dependency. If you are struggling with a hydrocodone addiction in Nova Scotia, there are local treatment resources to help. It is important to get help right away, and not let the drug problem persist. The longer you remain on hydrocodone, the more tolerance develops, which makes it more difficult to stop taking the drug. The prescribing doctor will have to slowly taper you off or you will need medical detox. Whichever the treatment solution is, the goal should be to become completely drug-free.