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Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone: What’s The Difference?

Since the early 2000s, the opioid crisis has changed the trajectory of how opioids are prescribed. Opioids can be effective in managing pain for people with chronic pain, cancer, or recovering from surgery. However, with rising overdose rates, they also carry significant risks for addiction and side effects. In this article, we will discuss the differences and similarities between hydrocodone vs oxycodone, their potential for addiction, and the treatment options available for opiate addiction at our rehab program.

What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from codeine, a naturally occurring opiate. Doctors prescribe it to treat moderate to severe pain and, occasionally, as a cough suppressant. Hydrocodone is often combined with non-opioid pain relievers like acetaminophen, which enhances its pain-relieving effects. Common brand names for hydrocodone combination products include Vicodin, Lortab, and Norco.

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from thebaine, an alkaloid found in the opium poppy plant. It is prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain and is available in various forms, including immediate-release and extended-release tablets. Oxycodone is frequently combined with non-opioid pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or aspirin, to increase its effectiveness. Well-known brand names for oxycodone combination products include Percocet, OxyContin, and Roxicodone.

Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone Differences

  1. Potency: Oxycodone is generally considered more potent than hydrocodone. This means that a smaller dose of oxycodone may provide the same level of pain relief as a larger dose of hydrocodone. However, individual factors like body weight, metabolism, and tolerance can affect the potency of these medications.
  2. Formulations: Hydrocodone is usually available in combination with other pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, while oxycodone is available in both combination products and as a single-agent formulation. This distinction is crucial for patients who may have a contraindication or intolerance to the non-opioid pain relievers found in combination products.
  3. Onset and Duration of Action: Oxycodone has a faster onset of action than hydrocodone. The duration of action for both medications is comparable, with most formulations offering pain relief for 4 to 6 hours. Extended-release formulations of oxycodone, such as OxyContin, can provide pain relief for up to 12 hours.

Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone Similarities

  1. Mechanism of Action: Both hydrocodone vs oxycodone work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing pain perception and producing a sense of euphoria. This mechanism of action is shared among all opioids, including morphine, codeine, and fentanyl.
  2. Side Effects: Hydrocodone and oxycodone share similar side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and respiratory depression. Both medications also carry a risk of overdose, which can lead to severe respiratory depression, coma, and death.
  3. Risk of Addiction: Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both classified as Schedule II controlled substances by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, indicating a high potential for abuse and addiction. Long-term use of these medications can result in physical dependence, tolerance, and addiction.

Both hydrocodone and oxycodone carry significant risks for addiction due to their potent pain-relieving effects and the sense of euphoria they can produce. Over time, individuals taking these medications can develop a physical dependence, requiring higher doses to achieve the same level of pain relief. This escalation can lead to a cycle of increasing use and addiction.

Factors contributing to addiction may include the duration and frequency of use, individual genetics, co-occurring mental health disorders, and environmental factors. It is crucial for healthcare providers and patients to carefully monitor and manage the use of these medications to minimize the risk of addiction.

Finding Opioid Rehab in Atlanta

At our opioid rehab in Atlanta, we recognize that each individual’s journey to recovery is unique. Therefore, we provide comprehensive, customized treatment plans that address the specific needs and challenges of those battling opioid addiction. Our treatment approach for opioid addiction, hydrocodone and oxycodone typically involves a combination of the following:

  1. Detox: Our outpatient detox program helps clients safely and comfortably manage withdrawal symptoms during the initial phase of recovery. This process provides a stable foundation for further treatment.
  2. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): We utilize medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making it easier for clients to focus on their recovery.
  3. Individual Counseling: Our experienced therapists work one-on-one with clients to address the underlying issues contributing to their addiction, develop coping strategies, and create a personalized recovery plan.
  4. Group Therapy: Group sessions provide clients with a supportive environment to share experiences, learn from the stories of others, and develop essential communication and social skills.
  5. Family Therapy in Atlanta: Addiction affects not only the individual but also their loved ones. Family therapy helps rebuild trust, improve communication, and foster a supportive environment for lasting recovery.
  6. Holistic Rehab: Our rehab center offers various holistic therapies, such as yoga, reiki, meditation, and art therapy, and red light therapy to help clients achieve overall well-being and balance in their lives.

Find Opioid Rehab Today!

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to hydrocodone, oxycodone, or any other opioid, it is crucial to seek help. The addiction specialists at Buckhead Behavioral Health provide multiple levels of care. Our intervention and comprehensive treatment can significantly improve the chances of a successful recovery and help individuals regain control of their lives. Don’t wait – call us now at (470) 460-6789

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