Definition - What does Hydrocodone mean?
Hydrocodone is a powerful opioid manufactured to alleviate pain levels in patients who undergo dental operations and/or surgical procedures. General effects of hydrocodone can include euphoria, relaxation, and reduced anxiety, which occurs as the drug blocks the neural pathways in the brain triggering pain sensation. Some hydrocodone based opioids such as Lortab, Norco, and Vicodin incorporate varying doses of acetaminophen as a primary ingredient to help with pain relief. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered that excessive acetaminophen intake can induce significant liver damage, compromising health.
WorkplaceTesting explains Hydrocodone
The rise of prescription opioid abuse has prompted strict legislative measures in controlling access to popular hydrocodone based brand names (i.e., Lortab, Norco, Vicodin). Regulations include decreased doses of acetaminophen during manufacturing processes coupled with reclassifying hydrocodone medications from a schedule III to a schedule II controlled substance.
Individuals addicted to hydrocodone remain undeterred by strict regulatory guidelines, often resorting to its cheap counterpart, heroin, to satisfy their need for a high. While hydrocodone can be beneficial in effectively treating pain, many patients deviate from traditional oral use by injecting and/or snorting drugs for quick delivery to their central nervous system (CNS).
In drug testing, hydrocodone is considered an expanded opiate meaning that it is not included with conventional 5-panel and/or 10-panel drug screen examinations. More employers are requiring hydrocodone testing on account of prevalent opioid abuse, collecting urine, blood, and/or hair specimens to determine if hydrocodone metabolites exist in the body. An initial positive result is usually followed by confirmatory testing to correlate results of matching baseline cutoff levels. A medical practitioner explores variables indicating a legitimate reason for drug metabolites present in the body, for example, prescription medication and/or post-surgical recovery from operation.