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Norco is the brand name for the opioid hydrocodone bitartrate, a pain reliever, combined with acetaminophen—also known as paracetamol—which is a non-opioid pain reliever.1 Hydrocodone tells your brain to respond to pain differently, while acetaminophen helps to reduce fever.1 Opioid medications, such as Norco, help manage moderate to severe pain. However, chronic use can lead to Norco addiction, Norco abuse, or various Norco addiction symptoms. If such misuse happens, entering an inpatient Norco rehabilitation center can help address your Norco addiction.
In this article:
- How Addictive is Norco?
- What is Inpatient Norco Rehab?
- Benefits of Inpatient Rehab for Norco Addiction
- Norco Addiction Symptoms: Do I Need Inpatient Rehab?
- How to Choose Inpatient Treatment for Norco Abuse
How Addictive is Norco?
As with many other opioid medications, Norco is highly addictive due to its effects on the body and mind, including reducing tension, anxiety, and aggression. These positive effects can create new neurochemical patterns within your brain, thus affecting your behavior.
Psychological dependence can creep in slowly. You may think about or discuss using Norco more often, or feel overwhelmed trying to cope with daily activities. Norco affects the body in different ways depending on dosage, method of consumption, and previous exposure to the medication. These effects include:2
- Slowed physical activity
- Pupil constriction
- Being flushed
- Slowed breathing
- Decrease in pain relief with increased dosing
What is Inpatient Norco Rehab?
Inpatient treatment for Norco addiction or addiction symptoms is typically the same across all types of opioid-based substances.3,4 Opioid treatment programs (OTPs) are certified and regulated at the federal level to prescribe methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone as forms of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to aid opioid addiction.3
Once admitted to a program, you may need medical detox. In this phase, medical staff provide constant support and medication to manage severe withdrawal symptoms.4 Next, under the trained guidance and care of a professional, you may live at a facility for at least 30 days—sometimes longer. Here, you will receive daily support and care in the form of individual therapy, several daily groups, and MAT to handle withdrawals and cravings.4
Inpatient rehab facilities also incorporate different behavioral therapeutic treatments, such as individual, family, and group therapies. These address medical, social, and interpersonal issues as they arise and function as follow-up treatment along the continuum of care. Such therapies and interventions may or may not be offered at the facility depending on the treatment philosophy of the rehab center.
Recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD) can be a long-term process that needs multiple episodes of treatment. Research also shows that most individuals with SUD should be in treatment for at least three months to reduce or abstain from substance use significantly. The best outcomes occur with longer periods of treatment.1
Medications Used at a Treatment Program for Norco Addiction
Currently, there are five federally approved medications used as part of MAT for opioid use disorder (OUD):4,5,6,7,8,9,10
- Methadone: This is a long-acting, synthetic, controlled substance that blocks feelings of intense euphoria, thus decreasing withdrawal symptoms.
- Buprenorphine: As with methadone, this blocks euphoria and reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms without causing a high. Unlike methadone, it is a partial opioid agonist, and its effectiveness depends on the dosage. It must be administered for a sufficient duration at a sufficient dosage to be effective.
- Naltrexone: This blocks opioid receptors in the brain so that they are not activated. Naltrexone also specifically prevents intense euphoria.
- Suboxone: This is comprised of both naloxone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine alleviates withdrawal symptoms. Should an individual use opioids while taking suboxone, they will experience withdrawal symptoms.
Benefits of Inpatient Rehab for Norco Addiction
The benefits of inpatient programming include:3,4
- MAT (morphine, buprenorphine, naltrexone, suboxone, or naloxone)
- Around-the-clock, medically assisted detoxification
- Daily support
- Highly structured routines
- Group recovery with others who are working towards the same goal
- Serene environment removed from potentially problematic settings
- Removal from distractions and most stressors to increase focus
- Assistance in getting connected to medical care, employment, or educational training
- Minimal to no exposure to specific triggers
- Opportunities to address unattended, undiagnosed, or unknown mental health issues
- An option if you do not live near an outpatient facility
- Family involvement
- Multidisciplinary or multimodal approaches (medical, psychological, physical, holistic, nutritional, legal, etc.)
- Improved problem-solving skills
- More effective communication
- Work on interpersonal relationships
- Demonstrated effectiveness that dramatically increases entering treatment, retention rates, and success of treatment interventions
- Test for infectious diseases (i.e., HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and tuberculosis)\
- Links clients to treatment and risk-reduction counseling
Norco Addiction Symptoms: Do I Need Inpatient Rehab?
You may want to consider going to an inpatient program if you:11
- Have an OUD or Norco addiction
- Engage in Norco abuse
- Have a co-occurring mental health disorder
- Lack a strong support system
- Prefer structured routines
- Experience significant changes in memory
- Have a hard time setting and following through with goals
- Disrupted family dynamics or family encourages substance use
- Are nonfunctional due to pain or exaggerate the amount of pain that you are in
- Have a family history of substance use, trauma, sexual abuse, mood swings, or childhood adversity
Below are some other factors when trying to determine if you have an opioid use disorder and if so, if an inpatient setting would be most beneficial for you. Ask yourself, “Over the last 12 months, have I fit any of these patterns? If so, have these patterns caused impairment or distress in my life?” Some of these distressing and impairing patterns are:12
- Taking opioids in larger amounts and for a longer duration
- Unsuccessful attempts to reduce opioid use
- Actively seeking the opioid, using it, or recovering from it
- Strong urges to use
- Not fulfilling major life roles at home, school, or work
- Continued use despite recurring social or interpersonal problems
- Giving up or reducing important social, occupational, or recreational activities
- Continued use despite experiencing a physiological or psychological problem
- Developing a tolerance; this means you either need more of the opioid to achieve the desired effect, or you experience a diminished effect after using the same amount
How to Choose Inpatient Treatment for Norco Abuse
Explicitly define your needs, treatment preferences, and priorities beforehand. This can help you figure out which centers that treat Norco use disorder are the most appropriate fit for you. Honestly appraise your financial, interpersonal, and long-term goals. This also can help you decide what program best fits your current and unique set of circumstances. Choosing a treatment facility is a vital and intimate process. When considering a program, it is beneficial to consider the following:3,4
- What insurance is accepted
- Treatment setting (city, beach, mountains, desert, etc.)
- Treatment accessibility (whether it is in– or out-of-state, in or out of your county or municipality, whether you can drive there easily or must take a bus, etc.)
- Facility reputation (reviews, accreditations, how long the program has been established)
- Program rules
- Amenities and features such as extracurricular activities, access to alternative recovery methods, or planned social events
- Whether the facility tailors treatment to a group you identify with (LGBTQ+, HIV+, veteran, co-occurring disorders, adolescent, medically fragile)
- Whether family can visit
- Whether cell phones can be used
If you need help finding a treatment center near you, call 800-926-9037 (Who Answers?) to talk to a treatment specialist. They can discuss the various Norco use treatment options available to you.
- (2019). Norco.
- S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. (2017). A DEA Resource Guide 2017 Edition.
- Rural Health Information Hub. (2022). Opioid Treatment Program (OTP).
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (3rd Ed.).
- Psychiatric Research Institute. (2022). What is Methadone?
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2022). Methadone.
- Schulenberg, J.E., Johnston, LD., O’Malley, P.M., Bachman, J.G., Miech, R.E., & Patrick, M.E. (2020). Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use 1975-2019, Volume II: College Students and Adults Ages 19-60.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Treatment approaches for drug addiction DrugFacts.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2021). Medications for Opioid Use Disorder.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2017). Naloxone for opioid overdose: Life-saving science.
- Webster, L.R., (2017, November). Risk Factors for Opioid Use Disorder and Overdose. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 125(8), 1741-1748.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.