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Lorcet Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 12, 2019

Lorcet is a brand of hydrocodone, also prescribed under the brands Hycet, Lortab, Norco, Verdrocet, Vicodin, Xodol, Zamicet, and Zolvit, prescribed to help treat moderate to severe pain, and is taken orally as a tablet, or solution. Like most opioids, Lorcet has a high potential for abuse and can lead to addiction.

How Lorcet Works To Relieve Pain

Lorcet works by combining two pain medications, acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate, an opioid pain reliever. The more effective compound, hydrocodone, is a central nervous system depressant and works as other opioids, like heroin and morphine, to raise the body’s threshold to pain.

The drug accomplishes this task by attaching to opioid receptors found within the brain and along the central nervous system. In nature, endorphins are released whenever the body is under significant strain to inhibit pain. If you’ve ever gone for a run and experienced a “runner’s high,” you’ve experienced similar opioid-style pain relief.

Acetaminophen works differently and more directly along the central nervous system by blocking the release of lipid compounds called prostaglandins, associated with feelings of pain and inflammation whenever injury occurs. However, while the drug is an effective pain-reliever, it does not affect the periphery of the body. This is why Lorcet combines both acetaminophen with hydrocodone to maximize pain relief.

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Is Lorcet Addictive?

Lorcet is addictive because it mimics a process within the body that is associated with natural pain relief and associated euphoria, only to a far greater degree.

They call the feeling after a run a “high” because it feels good. When a person is running, they are putting pressure on multiple organ systems. The body engages its natural pain-fighting functions with the release of endogenous morphine, or endorphins, to raise its pain threshold and allow for a fight or flight reflex. This process has protected humans for hundreds of thousands of years, as we evolved.

Following the release of endorphins, coincides a release of dopamine, which comes from the reward centers of our brain. This part of the brain is activated whenever we do something that feels good to us, and usually relates to survival. So, food, water, sex, and relieving pain may result in a release of dopamine.

When a person takes an opioid drug like Lorcet, they’re introducing their body to a significantly elevated opioid release than what occurs in nature, which generates a far greater dopamine response. So great is this response, that when Lorcet is abused, the body begins associating it with survival.

This release of dopamine leaves the user feeling relaxed and euphoric. After a while, as their body becomes tolerant of the effects of the drug, they may increase their dose seeking the euphoria that follows. This is where the drug can quickly become addictive. Unfortunately, because Lorcet also contains acetaminophen, it is unsafe to increase the duration or dose of the medication. Acetaminophen is associated with liver damage and death.

Withdrawal Symptoms From Lorcet

Withdrawal symptoms from Lorcet may contribute to a risk of addiction. When a person stops taking the drug suddenly, the side effects of withdrawal are more severe. These side effects include:

  • anxiety
  • restlessness
  • nausea and Vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • chills
  • runny Nose
  • shakiness

Tapering of drugs like Lorcet is recommended. Withdrawal symptoms may be managed with other medications.

Adverse Health Effects Of Lorcet

While Lorcet is a prescribed drug, it can be as dangerous as any street drug, if not more. A whole host of adverse health effects are associated with Lorcet abuse. Due to the drug’s nature as a central nervous system depressant, when someone abuses Lorcet, they are putting themselves at risk of accidental overdose and death. Breathing and heart rate slow and blood pressure decreases to life-threatening levels.

In addition, the acetaminophen in Lorcet can cause liver failure and death. Even at prescribed levels, acetaminophen has been known to cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Most cases of liver damage relate to drugs that contain acetaminophen, including Lorcet. Acetaminophen accumulates in the liver’s fatty tissue, elevating liver toxicity. Unfortunately, the signs of liver damage often occur when it is too late.

Common side effects include drowsiness, decreased ability to focus, anxiety and other mood changes, gastrointestinal upset, and skin rashes.

Symptoms Of Lorcet Abuse

When someone is abusing Lorcet, they might suffer from cravings for the drugs along with heightened anxiety about their next dose. The will suffer from withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not available on time. Other symptoms of lorcet abuse include:

  • flu-like symptoms
  • fatigue
  • slowed breathing
  • confusion
  • pupil dilation
  • stomach cramping
  • significant mood changes

Seek medical help immediately if someone experiences jaundice, cold clammy skin, confusion, slowed breathing, unconsciousness, or convulsions from taking Lorcet. These symptoms are all signs of an opioid overdose, and are considered a medical emergency.

Lorcet Addiction And Treatment Plans

Those who have been abusing Lorcet for a long time, will likely require a treatment plan that includes detoxification. This process is usually supported by behavioral, and medication-assisted treatment to offset severe withdrawal symptoms.

In all cases, tapering off the medication under the supervision of a medical or treatment professional is recommended. A strategy to manage any underlying issues that resulted in the abuse is an important part of any recovery plan. can connect you with a drug rehab to break free from addiction. Contact us to find an addiction treatment that’s tailored to your needs.

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