How Addictive is Lortab?
There are two ways that a person can form an addiction to Lortab. The first of these is a psychological addiction as a result of the pain-relieving effects and a conceptualized need for them. The second option is that the person develops a physical addiction as the drug alters their brain and body. The first usually occurs the quickest and will eventually lead to the second regardless.
In the case of the first type of addiction the user becomes hooked on the drug because they struggle to feel happy or have a low tolerance for pain. As a result, they begin taking Lortab for instances of weak pain or to manage feelings of sadness. Both are against the intended use for the drug, and the person is simply using it as a coping mechanism for other problems. Since Lortab does help overcome those feelings though, the individual will likely continue using it and eventually come to rely on it.
The second case occurs because of the hydrocodone that is present in Lortab. In the same manner it does when used on its own, the hydrocodone impacts the brain by prompting it to produce larger quantities of pleasure chemicals found naturally in the body, such as dopamine. This unnatural rush of chemicals overwhelms the central nervous system and is responsible for the euphoric side effects.
With early uses this may not cause an issue, but over time, the body will adapt itself to better cope with the heightened quantities of pleasure chemicals spurred by the drug. As this happens, the body develops a tolerance for the drug, which means that in future cases, the individual will have to take more of the drug in order to continue receiving the same effects from it. This leads to them breaking away from their doctor’s instructions if they have not already, and with repeated use creates a dependence on the drug as the body changes so much that it loses its ability to function properly without it. If they stop using the drug, they will face painful and sometimes dangerous symptoms of withdrawal, which serve to motivate the individual to continue using hydrocodone.
All of this also alters the decision-making process of the brain when it comes to using Lortab. At first, the user is relatively in control and taking each dose is a conscious decision. As the brain changes though, taking Lortab will become less of a choice until it eventually becomes a habit, which is often difficult to break.