Hydrocodone vs. Oxycodone: Risk for Addiction

a woman looking out to the water wondering the difference between hydocodone vs oxycodone

At Lakeview Health’s medical detox center in Jacksonville, FL, we often get questions relating to hydrocodone vs. oxycodone detox. Hydrocodone and oxycodone are two commonly misused opioid painkillers. Both are responsible for opioid addiction in millions of people in the US. In fact, a 2017 report by SAMSHA states that 11.1 million people aged 12 or older misused prescription pain relievers in the past year. Nevertheless, many people enroll at Lakeview Health and other Florida rehab centers for medical detox and prescription drug abuse treatment.

Facts About Hydrocodone vs. Oxycodone

Hydrocodone and oxycodone are made from codeine. Codeine comes from morphine, a natural substance found in the opium poppy plant. Examples of hydrocodone brands are Vicodin® and Norco®. OxyContin® and Percocet® are types of oxycodone pain relievers. In addition, doctors prescribe opioids to treat acute, chronic, or severe pain, especially to patients after surgery.

However, they are habit-forming opioids when misused, and even when taken in the right doses. Misuse includes smoking or snorting the powdered form of the drugs or injecting a solution made from the tablet powder. Ingesting opioids by these methods amplifies their effects and increases the risk of addiction or overdose.

Hydrocodone vs. Oxycodone Abuse and Effects

When it comes to hydrocodone vs. oxycodone, it is important to note that both have a high potential for misuse. Both of these powerful narcotic painkillers fall in the class of semi-synthetic opiates and, unlike heroin, are legal for medical use.

Doctors can prescribe hydrocodone and oxycodone in tablet form, as capsules, or in a solution, and as extended-release (ER) capsules and tablets. Both are often added to over-the-counter medication to amplify their effects. For example, hydrocodone is sometimes added to expectorants to treat coughs, and oxycodone can be combined with acetaminophen to treat severe pain.

Hydrocodone and oxycodone have similar short and long-term effects. Also, once in the body, they block the sensation of pain and make the patient feel a sense of euphoria or calm. Taking the medications for an extended period causes a person to build a tolerance. Eventually, the user needs more of the drug in order to get the same relief or level of pleasure.  You may experience the following effects:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Depressed breathing
  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure

Hydrocodone vs. Oxycodone Detox

Medical detox is a safe option compared to suddenly stopping drug use. Oxycodone and hydrocodone detox involves the same general approach taken to help users wean themselves off of heroin, or other prescription opioids. This detox may occur at a treatment center that provides a safe and comfortable setting for withdrawal.

A medical professional will monitor you as the drug clears from the body. The doctor may prescribe medication to help reduce drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications work to prevent oxycodone and hydrocodone from having the same effects on the brain.

Prescription Opioid Abuse Treatment 

Prescription drug addiction treatment requires a stage-by-stage approach and a mixture of the right programs and therapies. After leaving the medical detox center, you or your loved one can move on to treatment in a residential or outpatient environment. Behavioral therapy, individual therapy, group counseling, and holistic therapies are treatment options available to help you stop drug abuse. In addition to these treatments, Lakeview Health provides dual diagnosis treatment, which involves medical detox and treatment of co-occurring disorders, like mental illness. Other programs and therapies include:

Your Walk to Sobriety Can Begin Today

The medical and mental health staff at Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, FL, will provide treatment by following a personalized plan. During your stay with us, you will learn positive ways to cope and how to prevent drug addiction from happening again. Please call 866.704.7692 to find out more.