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Lortab is a prescription pain killer which is prescribed to help relieve moderate to severe pain. The two pain relieving components in Lortab are the over-the-counter drug acetaminophen and the prescription opioid narcotic hydrocodone. Opioids are in a class of drugs which are derived from the opium poppy, the same plant used to produce heroin. So while Lortab may be beneficial for short term use if a person is in legitimate pain, it is well known that the drug has a very high potential for abuse. Abuse of Lortab can occur even if the individual has no history of substance abuse when they first begin taking it. Lortab is also abused by individuals who abuse opiate drugs such as heroin, because they may find it to be a suitable substitute. So there are a number of different circumstances in which someone may abuse Lortab, and anyone who does abuse the drug is putting themselves at risk of very serious health and social consequences.
Individuals who are taking Lortab legitimately can become involved in abuse of the drug for a number of reasons. This could occur for example if they reach a point where their prescribed dosage isn't providing enough pain relief so they take more than prescribed. This can continue on to a point where they are taking enough Lortab to actually experience a high, much similar to a heroin high. This is course can turn into a full blown addiction issue, and they can have trouble keeping up with this level of dependency. This could also happen if someone has a history of substance abuse and is prescribed Lortab for a legitimate purpose. Physicians don't always consult with their patients to inquire about this, and this almost always leads to a problem if someone with a history of substance abuse is in fact prescribed the drug. Even if someone isn't currently using drugs but has a past history of drug abuse, Lortab could cause a disastrous relapse if they begin abusing the drug and other drugs.
Just because Lortab is a legal drug doesn't make it any safer to abuse than an illegal drug. That it is safe to use recreationally is a common misconception that has led to many serious consequences because users are unaware of or ignore the risks involved with abusing Lortab. The risks are very similar to heroin use, which individuals overdose on and die from every year. The same goes for Lortab. If someone takes too much Lortab they can simply stop breathing, as is often the case with an opiate overdose. An overdose such as this can occur for a number of reasons. It could happen if someone who is taking Lortab hasn't yet built a tolerance to the dose they are taking, and it could be too much for their body to handle. One typical dose of Lortab for a seasoned opiate abuser could be a deadly dose for someone not used to it at all. An overdose can also occur because individuals abusing the drug simply aren't making responsible choices about what they are putting into their bodies. In a drug induced state someone could take far too much Lortab and wind up in the emergency room or dead.
The acetaminophen component, while legal and readily available to anyone over-the-counter, is also a very high risk drug. Not because it can cause dependence, but primarily due to the fact that too much acetaminophen can cause severe liver damage because it is metabolized solely by the liver. So when taking too much Lortab an individual is not only at risk of an opiate overdose, but acetaminophen overdose as well which can be just as dangerous. Because acetaminophen can be so toxic, Lortab is typically only meant for short term use. It isn't a good idea to continue taking acetaminophen for an extended period of time due to the toll it can take on one's liver. Nonetheless individuals who abuse drugs don't often stop to think about such consequences and many at the very least wind up with permanent liver damage.
Overdose and such health risks as described above are all far more likely if an individual is abusing Lortab along with other substances. Lortab is often abused in conjunction with other prescription drugs, illegal street drugs and/or alcohol for example. The combination of alcohol and acetaminophen in itself can be deadly, as both are solely metabolized by the liver. Individuals abusing drugs in this way don't consider the risks involved with mixing these substances and what kind of consequences this can have. They don't stop to think about drug interactions which could cause serious side effects, someone of which can be irreversible or even fatal. All of this is preventable but an individual not in their right mind because of substance abuse doesn't have these risks on their list of priorities, a situation which can and usually does end in disaster.
If someone has become addicted to Lortab either through legitimate use or because they have a history of substance abuse, it must end before there are any permanent consequences. If you know someone abusing Lortab who won't get help, contact a professional treatment counselor who can help you intervene and get them the help they need. If an individual will accept help either on their own or because of an intervention, get them the best help available so they can make a full recovery. Most prescription opiate addicts will require the exact length and intensity of treatment as someone hooked on heroin. Don't be fooled by get sober quick schemes as prescription drug addiction can be one of the toughest habits to kick, and requires several weeks of treatment in an inpatient or residential drug rehab program. Methadone maintenance programs for example have proven completely unworkable, and it is recommended that this type of solution be avoided at all costs if the individual wishes to experience a full recovery. Contact a local drug rehab program in your area to see what alternative solutions are available.
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