Prescription drug abuse and addiction is a major problem in the United States. This country consumes a major majority of the prescription drugs of the world, while having a minor minority of the world’s population. Drug abuse has gotten so bad in places that states of emergencies have been issued. Addiction is known to be caused by a number of circumstances that are created over time, but there seems to be a single culprit that continues to be the common factor. Prescription drugs are commonly known to cause the wide array of addictions in this country. Norco is one of the many prescription drugs that are gaining popularity. The adverse side effects commonly cause individuals to seek the drug out and continue to abuse it. Long term prescription use can easily cause tolerance, which is a main factor in addiction.

Prescription Drug Norco

Norco is a hydrocodone, which is normally prescribed for moderate to severe pain. The drug is very powerful and considered to be a schedule II drug, meaning it has high potential for abuse. The analgesic properties of the drug are very similar to morphine. This drug is also prescribed as an antitussive or cough suppressant. The Drug Enforcement Agency has stated that hydrocodone is misused and abused more than any other opioid. Like other hydrocodone medications, Norco is a combination drug, which combines hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The Drug Enforcement Agency has recently upgraded the ruling on Norco from a schedule III drug to a schedule II drug as a result of its high potential for misuse and addiction. Norco is abused for its euphoric side effects. This can cause addiction and the drug can be misused and abused under the care of a doctor.

Norco on the Brain

During the 1970’s scientists gain deeper understanding of the human brain by discovering various proteins, which they labeled opiate receptors. The receptors are located on the surface of nerve cells called neurons, which the brain uses to communicate with other parts of the body. These neurotransmitters are sent and attach to other neurons to deliver messages. Endorphins are natural opiates, but medications act as synthetic opiates which the brain accepts. As an individual continues to use medications and/or increases use the brain becomes dependent on these synthetic opiates and ceases to produce the natural ones. When a person stops using that medication the brain craves more opiates, which it has reduced producing. This process is how tolerance, dependence and addiction are created. As time wears on the addict must continue to use or increase dosages to obtain the previous high or normalcy of consciousness.

Who is at Risk for Addiction/Dependence?

Anyone who takes this drug is at risk for developing a dependence issue. It is possible for those taking the medication under the care of a medical professional to become addicted to the drug. Over time the body becomes dependent on the drug and needs more. Norco addiction can be caused by a number of different factors. Genetics are a key component in addiction because it has been proven that a history of addiction can increase likelihood of developing an addiction. Mental illnesses can cause individuals to begin using and abusing drugs. Many individuals self-prescribe themselves to help deal with their emotional pain. Adolescents are also at risk because they are more likely to experiment with drugs. Stress can cause an individual to abuse drugs like Norco. When that one drink after a long day at work is no longer enough prescription medication can be introduced. Finally, those taking drugs for chronic pain or illness have a high risk for developing a tolerance and addiction.

Dangers and Symptoms of Norco Addiction

Norco is a powerful drug that can have long term effects. The most dangerous is overdose and death. Permanent brain damage can be caused by overdose. The mood symptoms of Norco abuse are: depression, euphoria, anxiety, mood swings, and irritability. The behavioral symptoms of Norco addiction are: lying to others about amount used, hiding use, borrowing pills, stealing pills, doctor shopping, forging prescriptions, consistently losing prescriptions, hiding the drugs, drowsiness, track marks, financial problems, legal problems, and neglecting responsibilities. The physical symptoms of Norco addiction are: ‘nodding out’, dizziness, itching, nausea and vomiting, constipation, papillary constriction, hypotension, respiratory depression, headache, sweating, dry mouth, and physical tolerance. These symptoms are synonymous with any opiate addiction. If you or anyone you know is suffering from one or more of these symptoms because of Norco use, then speak with a professional about getting help.

Norco Withdrawal

A major problem with prescription drugs is that, while they are prescribed by certified physicians, they are to be administered by patients. As such, as an individual feels increased pain and discomfort they take more of the medications. Unfortunately, what they do not understand is that the pain and discomfort can be a result of withdrawal. As the body builds a tolerance to the medication, the brain and body change. Reduced intake can cause pain from withdrawal symptoms, that the individual mistakes as injury, surgery, or back pain; leading to addiction.


Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in the United States. Prescription drugs are responsible for more injuries and deaths last year than motor vehicle accidents. Prescription drugs are now the most common gateway drug in the country as well. It is estimated that 9% of the adults in the country will abuse opioid narcotics. Records from the US Department of Justice state that over 13 million people used Oxycodone for recreational purposes. The United States is also the leader in consumption of prescription medications.

Getting Help

Millions of Americans every year battle substance abuse and drug addiction. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of those Americans actually receive the help they need to overcome addiction. There are several different treatment options that can provide help to anyone looking to turn their lives around. Rehabilitation often begins with a single phone call or a conversation. It is imperative to speak with a professional if you or a loved one is struggling with a drug addiction. Norco is a popularly prescribed medication, but patients should be hesitant to accept that treatment. Patients should speak with their primary caregiver about alternative options when treating their ailments.