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Hydrocodone/APAP Abuse

Some people are more prone to hydrocodone/APAP abuse than others, such as people who have a prior history of drug or alcohol abuse. It is a myth to think that everyone who takes the drug will become addicted to it. Hydrocodone/APAP abuse should not be confused with physical dependence, which will occur even with legitimate use of the drug.

Abusing Hydrocodone/APAP: An Overview

Hydrocodone/APAP (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) is a prescription narcotic medication approved to treat pain. It is a highly desired drug of abuse, and is readily available and relatively inexpensive. Although hydrocodone/APAP abuse is common, it is important to distinguish between true abuse and a simple physical dependence on the drug, which will occur with any long-term use of hydrocodone/APAP, legitimate or not.
 

Hydrocodone/APAP Abuse Versus Physical Dependence

As a narcotic, hydrocodone/APAP leads to physical dependence. However, physical dependence is not a sign of abuse; it is just a predictable, physical response to chronic use of the narcotic. The body becomes accustomed to physical changes that hydrocodone/APAP causes, and stopping the drug will lead to withdrawal symptoms. This is not necessarily a sign of abuse. The body becomes "tolerant" to the effects of hydrocodone/APAP, and higher dosages are necessary to produce the same pain-relieving effects. Again, this is not a sign of abuse; it is a predictable, physical response.
 

Is It Hydrocodone/APAP Abuse or Something Else?

People whose pain is not adequately controlled often display signs that mimic hydrocodone/APAP abuse. For instance, if your prescription for hydrocodone/APAP is not strong enough for your pain, you may display unusual changes in behavior due to the pain, or you may take the drug more frequently than prescribed. If you feel your pain is not adequately controlled, please discuss this with your healthcare provider. However, many people start down the slippery slope of hydrocodone/APAP addiction by using inadequate pain control as an excuse.
 
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