Norco – A Powerful Hydrocodone Painkiller
Norco is a prescription painkiller containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). Hydrocodone is a potent opioid that relieves moderate to severe pain. Acetaminophen is a less potent painkiller used to enhance the effects of hydrocodone.
Supplied in tablet form, Norco is most often prescribed in two strengths: either 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg of hydrocodone combined with 325 mg of acetaminophen. Before the FDA lowered the level of acetaminophen allowed, Norco had the lowest amount of acetaminophen for any hydrocodone drugs. Currently, it has the highest amount of acetaminophen allowed (325 mg) — slightly more than the 300 mg found in Vicodin.
Norco is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs have a medically accepted use and less abuse potential than Schedule I. Despite this, many Schedule II drugs are often abused.
Norco, along with other hydrocodone combination drugs, was moved from Schedule III to Schedule II in October of 2014 in an attempt to combat addiction and abuse.
Any time someone uses Norco without a prescription or in a way other than what is prescribed, it is considered abuse. Continued abuse of Norco can lead to a physical dependence and even opioid addiction. This is marked by a tolerance to the drug and withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping use.
Signs and Effects of Norco Addiction
It’s important to recognize a Norco addiction as early as possible, as this will decrease your likelihood of experiencing difficult withdrawal symptoms. People can become dependent on, and even addicted to, their regular dose, making it difficult to tell the difference between a problem and normal use. There are a few red flags to make recognizing an addiction easier:
- Needing more Norco to achieve the same relief
- Mixing Norco with other drugs for a better high
- Doctor shopping to get more of the drug
- Spending an inordinate amount of time getting or using Norco
- Forgoing responsibilities and relationships in favor of Norco use
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- Hydrocodone drugs (including Norco) were reported in more than 100,000 emergency room visits in 2009.
- More than 23 million people over the age of 12 have abused hydrocodone-based drugs, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers
- In 2012, almost 2 million people tried opioids like Norco recreationally for the first time.
Norco Addiction Treatment
Recovering from a Norco addiction is difficult, but many people have successfully done it. According to research the best way to recover from a Norco addiction is with the help of a trained medical professional. The typical rehabilitation process follows these steps:
Also called simply detox, this is the process of removing the substance from your body before continuing treatment. This relieves the physical dependence on the drug while monitoring and addressing withdrawal symptoms that come from stopping use. Detox is an important first step in any recovery period.
Allowing for a recovering addict to focus on their treatment, inpatient facilities provide a healing environment. Inpatient treatment temporarily eliminates the stresses and triggers of the outside world. During this time, recovering addicts learn how to live life and handle stress without using Norco as a fallback.
As most inpatient treatments only last a few weeks, the next step is ongoing treatment in the form of counseling and support groups. Whether you have an individual therapist or a drug-related support group (or both), it is important to continue surrounding yourself with like-minded people and healthy relationships.
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Take the First Step To Recovering from Norco Addiction
When you know it’s time to fight addiction, it’s never easy to take that first step, but so many people have done it and you can too. With professional support, you or loved one can get back to living life free from Norco or addiction to any other hydrocodone-based medication. If you or someone you know is struggling with Norco addiction, please contact a dedicated treatment provider today to learn more about available rehab options. Today could be the day to join the millions of people who have sought treatment for drug addiction.