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Biocodone Addiction and Abuse

Biocodone, an opioid prescription pain reliever, is the brand name of the drug Hydrocodone. In addition to treating moderate to severe pain in an individual, it is also commonly used alongside other medications as an antitussive, or cough suppressant. In the United States, Hydrocodone is currently the most frequently prescribed opioid and this drug is linked to more drug abuse than any other legal or illegal opioid. In fact, there are currently over 200 prescription medications that contain some form of Hydrocodone, fueling the Biocodone addiction and abuse epidemic.

The drug works by binding to opioid-specific neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for sensing pain. In some cases, Biocodone can be combined with other medication including Vicodin and Norco which allows for quick-acting pain relief in the body that can last up to 6 hours. While a Biocodone user can feel pain relief in as little as 10 to 20 minutes when the drug is taken by mouth, he or she should be aware that the drug is a central nervous system depressant that can modify activity in the brain when taken. The drug is most often administered orally, with lower doses used for moderate pain and high doses used for severe or chronic pain. Because it is one of the most popular drugs prescribed for pain relief in addition to having addictive properties, Biocodone drug abuse is not uncommon in patients.

Biocodone is considered a potent painkiller. In fact, its pain relieving properties are often compared to that of morphine, and a 15 mg dose of Biocodone is equivalent to a 10 mg dose of morphine. Peak blood levels of the drug occur after an hour and the half-life is approximately 3. 8 hours.

Common Street Names of Biocodone

While Biocodone is a brand name of Hydrocodone, there are many different slang names used on the streets when selling or acquiring the opioids illegally. Some common street names used by those feeding their Biocodone addiction include: Vikes, vic, vics, hydro and narco.

Drug Classification of Biocodone

Biocodone is classified as an opioid agonist, meaning by attaching itself to and activating opioid receptors in the brain, it relieves pain. Because the drug is so widely used in the United States and can be addictive, it was rescheduled by the DEA from a Schedule III drug to a Schedule II drug in 2014.

History and Trends in Biocodone Addiction and Abuse

Take Our Treatment AssessmentTo better understand Biocodone drug abuse and the need for treatment for Biocodone addiction, it is essential to learn the history of Hydrocodone. Back in the 1920s, a pharmaceutical company in Germany was testing variations of codeine to create a drug that would offer fewer side effects. Hydrocodone was created, tested as an alternative and found to offer substantial pain relief, the ability to suppress one’s cough, and generate euphoric feelings in its user.

Decades after Hydrocodone was being used with patients, reports highlighted the dependence and addictive nature of the drug. The Drug Enforcement Agency states the drug is the most often-prescribed drug in the United States, even with the public aware of the possibilities of Biocodone addiction. Of the 200 million prescriptions that were filled in America in 2013 for opioids, 136 million of those were for medication containing Hydrocodone. In addition, the DEA shares that almost 25 million people ages 12 and older were taking Hydrocodone medication for non-medical purposes. Most shocking perhaps is that of all the Hydrocodone medications created and used in the world, 99 percent of Hydrocodone abuse occurs in the United States.

Individuals who have a Biocodone drug abuse issue most often get the drug from doctor shopping – where they have multiple doctors write a prescription, or by altering or submitting a fake prescription, stealing the drug from homes/pharmacies/etc., or getting the pills from friends and family members or illegally off the street.

Usage of the drug continues to increase with the DEA estimating production quotas of Hydrocodone increasing by two and a half times its typical production just in the past ten years.

Biocodone addiction rates and overdose from the drug continue to skyrocket. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), drug overdose deaths have tripled since 1999 because of the continued increase in Hydrocodone usage.

Side Effects of Biocodone Addiction and Abuse

Biocodone can produce a number of side effects that range from mild to life threatening. Desirable short terms effects of the drug can include pain relief, cough suppressive qualities, and reduced stress. Non-desirable mild side effects can include:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Itching
  • Nightmares

More serious side effects can include:

  • Obstruction of the bowel
  • Problems breathing
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Allergic reaction
  • Vomiting

If someone is dealing with Biocodone addiction and is abusing the drug, dangerous side effects can include respiratory depression, bradycardia, seizures, and cold, clammy skin.

Signs of Biocodone Addiction and Abuse

Biocodone is most often taking orally in capsule, tablet or syrup form. When Biocodone addiction or drug abuse occurs, it isn’t uncommon for multiple areas of the individual’s life to be negatively impacted. When someone is addicted to drug, common signs to look for include:

  • Decline in relationships with others
  • Failure to keep up with responsibilities
  • Missing work, school, or scheduled engagements
  • Having financial issues, borrowing or stealing money
  • Decline in physical health
  • An unkempt appearance
  • Constantly focused on finding more of the drug
  • Mental-health problems
  • Lying about his or her drug addiction
  • Faking pain or injury to acquire more of the drug
  • Mixing the drug with alcohol or other legal or illegal drugs

If you notice any of these signs, seek out options for treatment for Biocodone addiction in your area.

Biocodone Withdrawal Symptoms

If someone is dealing with a Biocodone drug abuse issue and runs out of his or her supply of the drug, withdrawal symptoms can begin in as little as 12 to 24 hours. This time frame depends on how much of the drug has been used in the past, how often it is taken, and how long the abuse has been happening. It is believed the acute withdrawal symptoms are at peak levels within 48 to 72 hours once withdrawal begins and generally subside after 7 to 10 days.

Some individuals with Biocodone addiction might experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms that can last for up to several months after the cessation of the drug. Common Biocodone withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Strong drug cravings
  • Insomnia and restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, stomach pain and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Mental health issues
  • Depression
  • Chills
  • Body aches

Because withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some withdrawal symptoms can become life threatening, it is wise for an addict to take part in a medically assisted drug withdrawal program where he or she can be medically supervised.

Treatment for Biocodone Addiction and Abuse

There are many options when an individual is seeking out treatment for Biocodone addiction. Drug treatment rehab centers offer medically assisted detox programs in addition to inpatient and outpatient programs that can range from 30 to 90 days, and in some cases up to a year or more. Every detox and rehab facility is unique and offers its own services that can range from traditional addiction programs to holistic and alternative treatment therapies.

Once an addict is detoxed from Biocodone addiction, an individualized plan will be put into place that takes into account his or her addiction, any mental-health/co-occurring disorders, specific needs, etc.

There is life beyond addiction. If you or someone you love is living with a Biocodone drug abuse problem, reach out to White Sands Tampa today and find out which treatment program is best for you. Don’t wait. Call now. 1-877-640-7820.


DEA – https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/Hydrocodone.pdf

Regulatory Affairs – http://www.raps.org/Regulatory-Focus/News/2016/01/27/24189/Dramatic-Drop-in-Hydrocodone-Combo-Prescriptions-After-DEA-Rescheduling/

FDA – http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2014/10/re-scheduling-prescription-hydrocodone-combination-drug-products-an-important-step-toward-controlling-misuse-and-abuse/

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