Mixing Tramadol and Alcohol

Hydrocodone is one of the most popular prescription opioids in the United States. As an easily accessible, pain-relieving opioid, it has a high potential for dependency and abuse.

Hydrocodone can be found as tablets, capsules, cough syrup, or in liquid form, and can relieve moderate-to-severe pain.

But what happens when someone decides to snort hydrocodone? If you are wondering about hydrocodone abuse, this blog may help you understand the potentially dangerous outcomes.

What Is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is one of the central nervous system depressants, meaning that as an antitussive and narcotic analgesic, it slows down the function or activity of the brain. As an opioid drug, hydrocodone binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, slowing down the breathing rate and suppressing a cough thereby, while also giving pain relief. It is often sold as Norco, Lortab, or Vicodin and can treat acute or chronic pain, usually after surgery or injury, or in liquid form can be used as cough syrup.

The extended-release version of hydrocodone drugs can provide pain relief for up to twelve hours, as it slowly moves through the digestive system for much longer than average medications. Depending on the formula, immediate-release versions of hydrocodone can provide pain relief for up to six hours.

Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse

As with general drug abuse, there are dangers such as developing a hydrocodone addiction or risking a hydrocodone overdose associated with it. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 5.5 million people in the United States misused hydrocodone in 2018 alone.

Misuse can easily cause an opioid use disorder to develop, which calls for a much harder road to recovery.

Among the illegal uses of hydrocodone, it is most frequently abused orally as pills or in combination with alcohol, but some people snort hydrocodone, and the dangers of snorting drugs cause additional harm to your body.

Can You Snort Hydrocodone?

Most prescription opioids may seem safe, but it is important to remember that they were designed for a specific form of use. That means taking them in a non-prescribed way can cause sometimes irreversible harm, and abusing hydrocodone is a great example of this.

When snorting hydrocodone, a person feels a high faster than if they consume it orally. That is why snorting hydrocodone has become so popular. Hydrocodone pills can be ground up to form a fine powder, which is then inhaled into the nose. The result is that it accesses someone’s bloodstream immediately instead of through the digestive system because it is absorbed in the nose and throat through the mucous membrane.

This causes it to reach the central nervous system and bind to opioid receptors faster. The euphoria and sedation caused by taking hydrocodone as prescribed will be experienced in stronger varieties when someone snorts hydrocodone.

These stronger versions of euphoria are what is very risky in drug abuse. Our brains remember a suddenly overwhelming experience, where the body is speedily changed in a big way. This places someone at a much higher risk for hydrocodone addiction.

Snorting hydrocodone can very often lead to a hydrocodone overdose, as a person tricks the mind into believing it has achieved euphoria while it is actually experiencing the effects of snorting a substance. When the sensation fades, a person will keep on snorting hydrocodone far beyond the amounts the body can handle.

Early Signs of Snorting Hydrocodone

If you are wondering whether someone abuses hydrocodone by snorting it, there are some symptoms to look out for. Apart from a sore throat or a scratchy voice, other symptoms include:

  • Cold Skin
  • Weakness
  • Changes in body weight
  • Nasal congestion
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Runny nose

The dangerous signs of hydrocodone abuse include slurred speech, mood swings, difficulty in breathing, constipation, or pupils that do not react to light stimuli. These signs indicate a tendency toward overdose and necessitate medical professionals.

Dangers and Effects of Snorting Hydrocodone

There are distinct side effects that are associated with this form of substance abuse.

Snorting hydrocodone can lead to a number of physical damages. In comparison to swallowing hydrocodone pills, snorting hydrocodone will affect the brain quicker, have an instant onset time, and will be carried to the heart and other organs directly after being absorbed into the mucous membranes.

Effects on Physical Health

Mucous membranes are in the nose, the upper palate in the mouth, and the throat. Snorting the potent drug can affect each of these areas, and also damage organs.

Nose

Hydrocodone pills turned into a nasal spray means that someone sends particles up their nose. Nasal tissue is lined with many delicate blood vessels that push hydrocodone straight into the blood and the brain when it comes into contact with it. The result is painful consequences, as the nose lining will be damaged. A person may experience irritation or inflammation of the nasal tissue or damage to nasal passages causing nose bleeds or a clogged nose. Damage to nasal hairs also means less protection against snorting bacteria, mold, fungus, or spores, which could easily create infection and can reach the heart.

Continuously snorting hydrocodone can also damage the cell walls of the nose, which can ruin someone’s sense of smell. Ongoing hydrocodone snorting, leading to damage to the nasal cavity, causes a septal perforation, which is a hole in the cartilage between the nostrils. If left untreated, a hole in the roof of the mouth can form, which can cause many challenges in breathing, sleeping, eating, and drinking.

Lungs

When someone has snorted hydrocodone, some of the substance will drip into the throat and can go down into the lungs. This can create damage to the lining of the lungs, causing infections in the upper respiratory system. Lung infections such as pneumonia or a build-up of fluids in the lungs can cause impaired breathing, and chronic use of hydrocodone can even lead to respiratory failure.

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a reaction from the immune system to snorting hydrocodone. It is an immune system disorder, whereby a person’s lungs become inflamed from an allergic reaction to inhaled particles or chemicals. It can cause a dry cough, weight loss, fever, and shortness of breath.

Liver

Hydrocodone contains a medicine that is fatal to the liver if the substance is not used in the right way. This substance is called acetaminophen, and often snorting hydrocodone is referred to as intranasal hydrocodone acetaminophen abuse.

A high dose of hydrocodone can cause toxicity in the liver, cause injury to it, destroy its function, or lead to complete liver failure.

Effects with other opioids

If someone snorts hydrocodone while there is another central nervous system depressant drug in their system, the effects of both substances are heightened. Other opioids like benzodiazepines or alcohol can react with hydrocodone and can cause a loss of consciousness, coma, or death.

Effects on Mental Health

As with any substance abuse, mental health issues can come about. The dangers of snorting hydrocodone can cause the following damage to mental health:

  • Damage to pain receptors in the brain
  • Memory loss
  • A lessened ability to make rational decisions
  • Less control over emotion

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms

In the case of opioid abuse, withdrawal symptoms are often what keep people addicted. They are symptoms that come about when someone stops substance abuse or use, and are often uncomfortable or painful.

Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on whether they are early or later signs, as well as how much of the substance was used.

Early signs include:

  • Anxiety
  • Yawning
  • Muscle aches
  • Yawning
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia

Later signs of hydrocodone withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps

Overdose

Opioid overdose is common. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2020, around 68000 overdose deaths involved opioid abuse, making it 75% of all drug overdose deaths.

Unfortunately, an overdose can happen even if someone does not snort a substance. Smoking hydrocodone can also be a cause, or it can come about from an opioid addiction that has been left untreated.

Snorted hydrocodone overwhelms a person’s system, and can cause serious overdose symptoms. These include:

  • Passing out
  • Blue or purple fingernails and lips
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Rapid mood changes and aggression
  • Repetitive vomiting
  • Shallow and irregular breathing, or stopped breathing
  • Weak pulse and low blood pressure
  • Cold and clammy skin

Treatment for Hydrocodone Abuse

There are many treatment options for opioid addiction or abuse.

A treatment process may include inpatient residency, where a person resides at a treatment facility for the duration of their recovery. Inpatient treatment programs for opioid use or any other substance use disorder place a person in a community of sobriety and support. A change of scenery and a sober, therapeutic setting is an advantage in recovery through inpatient treatment programs.

Treatment programs usually include medically assisted detox, where a person undergoes withdrawal from the hydrocodone and the substance is gradually removed from their system.

Hydrocodone addiction treatment programs will then offer ways to battle an addiction mentally.

Addiction treatment can be done through therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, whereby a person understands the triggers of their hydrocodone use and learns ways to change their response to it. Individual therapy allows for a person to address any underlying mental health issues, and provides a safe and personal space for a person to share their feelings.

Group therapy often creates a sense of communal support, and can help someone dealing with drug use to feel understood and develop empathy toward others.

Other persons may attend outpatient treatment and only come to a facility to undergo a certain treatment process at regular intervals.

Where Can I Find Treatment Programs?

If you or a loved one is seeking hydrocodone addiction treatment, Alina Lodge can help. We offer addiction treatment that is personalized to each person’s needs and emphasize a long-term recovery by providing tools and support for someone beyond their treatment at our facilities.

Our intensive outpatient treatment or inpatient programs will provide you with the chance for a better, healthier, and happier life.

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine