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How long does it take to become addicted to hydrocodone? I have been taking it fairly steadily for about two months for muscle spasms, sometimes up to 30 mg per day. I do skip a day or two here and there because my pain level is manageable. Also, I rarely take it during the day and wait until the evening when I don't need to drive or be productive, which is when the pain is worse. But I do notice that after two or three of the evenings when I've taken more, or when I haven't skipped a day in awhile, it doesn't work quite as well. I try to take a day or two off when this happens if I can, and it seems to work better after a little break. Does this tolerance mean I'm addicted? If you are addicted, how long does it take for withdrawal symptoms to begin once you stop taking the medicine? What are withdrawal sypmtoms? All the posts I see about addiction to pain meds has me worried, but I really do need the meds in order to sleep at night. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
I don't think you have much to worry about. While what you describe sounds like you are building a tolorance to hydrocodone, this is a natural result of taking the drug regularly to manage your condition and is not in itself a problem. Everyone who takes pain meds (legit or otherwise) over a period of time experiences the need to increase the dose to get effective pain relief. Tolorance and dependance are intamitly linked, and since you have been taking hydro for a few months now, you would probably experience withdrfawl symptoms if you were to quit cold turkey tomorrow. If you or your Doc decide that you should come off of these and all narcotic painkillers, you would be wise to taper off the meds slowly to avoid uncomfortable WD's. Addiction is something else entirely, involving unhealthy and antisocial behavior surrounding ones dependance on a drug, and this does not sound at all like you. You describe taking your meds very responsibly (not driving, waiting untill evening, skipping days when you don't need it to manage your pain) and you sound like a very low risk for addiction. Many people confuse addiction, dependance and tolorance, but they are all different (though related) things.
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