Last updated: 05/6/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 4 minutes
People who are not addicted to a drug like Lortab and have abused it infrequently may be able to put an end to their substance abuse without professional treatment. But those who become addicted to the drug will often need some sort of professional help.
How Does Lortab Cause Addiction?
Lortab is a prescription medication containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen; the former drug is an opioid that causes addiction if abused frequently and consistently. Someone who abuses Lortab once is not likely to become addicted immediately. However, opioid misuse can create dangerous effects that, sometimes, can occur so gradually, a person may not realize they are in trouble.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “It is possible to be dependent on [a drug] without being addicted” to it, especially if that drug is a prescription opioid like Lortab.
However, a person is very likely to become addicted if they abuse the drug often; the hydrocodone in the drug will cause euphoria that the brain will eventually begin to crave. This, in turn, causes major changes to the way the brain works, causing an individual to desire the drug above all else.
How Does Treatment Help (And When Is It Necessary)?
Treatment can help an addicted individual work through their recovery from Lortab and eventually put an end to their substance abuse. Also stated by the NIDA, addiction may start out with a person taking their medication in larger doses every once in a while, but if they continue to use a drug like Lortab in this way, their “ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised.” They will begin to seek and take the drug involuntarily and compulsively. This is when treatment becomes a necessity.
Treatment can help a person who no longer has control over their substance abuse to make a change in their life for the better. It can often be hard to stop using drugs, and this is especially true for addicts. Treatment creates a structured program using evidence-based practices that are known for their ability to minimize substance abuse and create beneficial outcomes.
While it is almost always necessary for one’s recovery if they are fully addicted to the drug, it can be difficult to determine for yourself if you require a full treatment program for addiction if you have been using Lortab infrequently.
Do I Need Treatment for My Lortab Abuse?
It is always dangerous to abuse prescription opioids; if you have been doing so, the first step is to talk to your doctor who prescribed them to you or, if you were obtaining them illegally, to discuss this issue with your doctor. They can then perform an evaluation to determine if you can simply be weaned off the drug or if you are suffering from a more serious issue.
If you are still unsure whether or not your abuse has started to resemble an addiction, ask yourself the questions below.
- Do you abuse Lortab every day?
- Have you experienced tolerance, dependence, and/or withdrawal symptoms as a result of your substance abuse?
- Do you crave the drug?
- Have you ever neglected your responsibilities in order to use the drug more?
- Do you behave secretively or try to hide your substance abuse from friends and/or family members? (National Library of Medicine)
- Have you experienced any serious side effects of your Lortab abuse, such as work, personal, legal, or financial issues?
- Do you feel you would be unable to stop abusing Lortab on your own?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, there is a much higher chance that your Lortab abuse may actually be a full-blown addiction. However, if you are not experiencing any of the issues listed above, you likely aren’t suffering from addiction yet, which means you should be able to stop without professional rehab.
Abusing Lortab is Dangerous
It is important to remember that abusing Lortab is extremely dangerous, and the longer and more frequently you do so, the more likely it is that you will become addicted. Therefore, whether you require professional treatment for Lortab addiction or not, it is best to seek help from your doctor to make sure you can end your use of the drug safely.