If you’re struggling with the life-altering impact of Co-Gesic addiction, the number one topic on your agenda should be treatment in a reliable, effective substance program.
Table of Contents
- What is Co-Gesic and Why is it Prescribed?
- Development of Hydrocodone Dependence
- Development of Hydrocodone Addiction
- Detoxification Starts Your Recovery From Addiction
- Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment?
- Effective Treatment Plans
- Finding the Best Treatment Facilities
Finding the Best Treatment FacilitiesOn any given day, you may see dozens of these rehab programs advertised online, in print or on television. With so many options, how do you determine which facilities offer you the best chance of a sustainable recovery?
To make effective choices, you must have the information needed to make educated decisions. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to ground yourself in the basics of Co-Gesic addiction and appropriate addiction treatment. With knowledge on your side, you can do more than just pick an adequate rehab destination—you can pick a first-rate rehabilitation facility that does everything possible to help you succeed.
Co-Gesic is the brand name of a prescription drug that contains two active ingredients: the opioid painkiller hydrocodone and the non-opioid painkiller acetaminophen. It belongs to a large group of combination medications based on the same two substances. Co-Gesic comes in the form of a tablet, which is available in two strengths.
The medication’s hydrocodone content produces its primary effects by changing the way that pain signals travel between your brain and body. At the same time, it produces a significant increase in feelings of pleasure, as well as sedation (reduced feelings of agitation). The acetaminophen in Co-Gesic also provides relief by altering your normal perceptions of pain. In addition, it lowers your body temperature.
Doctors prescribe Co-Gesic for the treatment of pain that ranges in intensity from moderate to moderately severe. Current federal laws include the medication on a register of controlled substances known as Schedule III. All substances listed under this heading have a “moderate to low” potential to trigger physical dependence and addiction.
The list of combination products that also contain both hydrocodone and acetaminophen includes Vicodin, Hycet, Lorcet, Liquicet, Lortab, Norco, Maxidone, Zydone, Zolvit and Xodol. Products that combine hydrocodone with other active ingredients include the non-expectorant cough medications Ru-Tuss, Vicodin Tuss and B-Tuss.
There is apparently no specific street name for Co-Gesic. However, medications that contain hydrocodone are sometimes known by names such as:
Opioid Overdose Risks
If you take too much Co-Gesic in a given span of time, you may experience a non-lethal or lethal opioid overdose. This situation occurs when the medication’s hydrocodone content slows down your central nervous system too far for it to maintain its basic function. (Some people are unusually sensitive to the drug effects of hydrocodone. In these circumstances, even a standard level of intake may trigger the same harmful reaction.) The most common symptom of overdose in Co-Gesic users is respiratory depression. Doctors use this term to refer to a slow and/or irregular pattern of breathing that may not supply you with adequate amounts of oxygen.
You can increase your chances of overdosing by mixing your medication with alcohol or benzodiazepines on any occasion. That’s true because the added effects of these substances will make your nervous system run slower still. Your risks for an overdose escalate even further if you combine a pattern of hydrocodone abuse with a pattern of benzodiazepine or alcohol abuse.
As a Schedule III substance, Co-Gesic does not carry a high risk for physical dependence. However, a very real risk still exists. Hydrocodone dependence occurs when your brain’s chemical environment shifts and comes to expect a certain amount of the medication throughout the day. Failure to receive this accustomed intake can lead to the onset of something called opioid withdrawal.
When this form of withdrawal begins, you may experience symptoms that include sleep problems, unusual yawning and heavy sweating. You may also experience effects such as achy muscles, a persistent runny nose and increased tear production. Later on in the withdrawal process, notable effects that may appear include nausea, vomiting, pupil dilation and bowel or abdominal distress.
Opioid dependence is distinct and separate from opioid addiction. If you become dependent on hydrocodone, your doctor can manage your medication use and help you stay away from any kind of serious harm. In this way, you can remain functional, live your life and avoid the serious problems that characterize the presence of addiction.
If you abuse any product that contains both hydrocodone and acetaminophen, you also run the risk of developing serious health problems that have nothing to do with dependence or addiction. That’s true because acetaminophen can damage your normal liver function if you take too much of it. In extreme cases, this damage can be extensive enough to trigger the need for a liver transplant. In a true worst-case scenario, it can even kill you.
In contrast to cases of dependence, cases of addiction are marked by uncontrolled actions and behaviors that have a major, negative effect on your ability to stay mentally and physically well. Chances are you will avoid any risk for addiction-related problems if you have a legitimate prescription for Co-Gesic and use the medication as directed. However, your risks will rise if you abuse hydrocodone/acetaminophen in any way.
There are several potential ways to abuse prescription medications. If you hold a current prescription from a doctor, abuse occurs if you do either of two things: take your medication too often or take more than instructed in individual doses. Some people combine these two forms of abuse. Abusive intake of a prescription drug also occurs whenever someone without a prescription takes any amount of that drug.
Addiction specialists and other medical professionals can diagnose a condition called opioid use disorder in people who develop serious, opioid-related substance problems. You can meet the terms for this disorder if you don’t have symptoms of addiction, but still experience significant harms that stem from your hydrocodone abuse. Possible symptoms of these harms in people who take Co-Gesic include:
- A recurring pattern of using the medication excessively when involved in activities that could cause you to injure yourself or someone else
- A level of medication intake that makes it difficult or impossible to live up your responsibilities in any major area of life
- A level of medication intake that you maintain even though it disrupts your ability to keep important relationships intact
Clinical addiction to Co-Gesic also produces a classic set of potential symptoms. These symptoms may include things such as:
- Experiencing strong cravings for continued medication abuse
- An established pattern of taking hydrocodone/acetaminophen too often or in overly large amounts
- A history of poor results when trying to limit your intake of the medication
- Setting up your daily routine to accommodate your need to buy the medication, use it or recover after using it
- Diminishing drug effects from any typical dose of hydrocodone/acetaminophen (a phenomenon also known as tolerance)
- A pattern of abuse that you continue despite knowing that it hurts you physically and/or mentally
- Opioid withdrawal symptoms that appear if you rapidly decrease your typical dose or stop taking the medication altogether
Damaging abuse and addiction are not completely separate aspects of opioid use disorder (or any other type of substance use disorder). You can develop symptoms of both of these problems at the same time. In fact, such a symptom overlap is quite common.
To be diagnosed, you must have two or more symptoms of addiction or serious abuse within a single 365-day window. If you have no more than three total symptoms, your case will be considered mild. Moderate opioid use disorder involves four or five abuse/addiction symptoms, while severe cases involve six or more.
You may sometimes hear Co-Gesic-related hydrocodone addiction referred to as Gesic addiction. However, this term is not strictly accurate. The words gesic and analgesic can be applied to any substance capable of relieving pain. For this reason, many medications have “gesic” in their name. Among other things, this means that the terms Gesic addiction and Gesic rehab could be used to describe problems with other substances, not just hydrocodone.
Safe, effective recovery from hydrocodone addiction begins with a period of medical detoxification. Detoxification has two overlapping objectives. First, it’s designed to break your current habit of excessive medication use. At the same time, the process provides the time needed for your body to eliminate the accumulation of Co-Gesic already in your system.
You might think that you can just go “cold turkey” and stop your medication abuse on your own. However, in reality, there are several good reasons for enrolling in a detoxification program instead. First, if you halt your addiction-supporting hydrocodone use all at once, you will quickly go into opioid withdrawal. And depending on factors such as your level and duration of addiction, those withdrawal symptoms can take a severe form. In turn, the degree of mental and physical misery triggered by your symptoms may be enough to encourage you to relapse and give up your recovery efforts.
During supervised medical detoxification, your withdrawal symptoms will be monitored. In some cases, your doctor may be able to ease those symptoms with a medication called lofexidine (Lucemyra). You’ll also receive supportive care to maximize your comfort. Together, these services help reduce the discomfort of withdrawal and increase your chances of completing the detoxification process.
Supervised detoxification also safeguards your health during opioid withdrawal. If any unforeseen complications should arise, you’ll have ready access to medical assistance. This margin of safety can be critical in emergency situations.
There is another major danger to going through detoxification on your own. If you make it even partway through the process, your tolerance to the drug effects of opioids will decline by a considerable amount. A relapse at this stage of detoxification can have catastrophic consequences. That’s because a dose of Co-Gesic that you normally used in the past may now have a much bigger impact on your central nervous system. If that impact is too great, you may find yourself facing an overdose. Every day, someone in the U.S. dies in exactly this kind of scenario.
Finally, detoxification does one other crucial thing. Namely, it prepares you for participation in an active course of addiction rehabilitation. This is important because all public health officials and addiction experts view rehab enrollment as an essential next step after detoxification comes to an end. Unless you take this step, you’ll have serious chances of relapsing, even if you’ve succeeded in reaching an initial state of sobriety.
Rehabilitation from Co-Gesic problems can take place in any one of several settings or facilities. If you have severe symptoms (and/or other serious health problems) that pose a clear risk to your short-term well-being, rehab may be preceded by some type of hospitalization. However, this is not required for the vast majority of people. Instead, you will start your treatment in an inpatient rehab program or an outpatient rehab program.
Inpatient programs take place in residential treatment centers. While participating in this kind of rehab, you must leave home temporarily and live at your chosen facility. During your stay, you’ll follow the plan of treatment devised by you and your rehabilitation team. You’ll also receive round-the-clock monitoring of your vital signs and other key aspects of your health. If an emergency arises, onsite staff will be there to help you as soon as possible. And if your doctor needs to adjust your current treatment, that change can be made with little or no delay. For all of these reasons, experts in the field view inpatient rehab as the most effective approach to recovery.
Most people with moderate or severe symptoms of opioid use disorder are steered toward inpatient treatment from the very beginning of rehab. On the other hand, if you have mild symptoms of this disorder, you may choose to enroll in an outpatient program. Rehabilitation programs of this type serve the same basic purpose as inpatient options. However, they provide greater flexibility and convenience by allowing you to remain in your home during treatment.
Despite the benefits, there are tradeoffs to outpatient rehab. For example, if you remain in your normal, day-to-day environment while receiving care, you may face exposure to situations and influences that boost your chances of abusing hydrocodone. Even if you don’t have to deal with these kinds of direct problems, the outpatient approach can increase your exposure to everyday stress. In turn, this stress can disrupt your ability to focus on your recovery.
You should also know that inpatient treatment is sometimes considered a must for people with mild symptoms. That may especially be the case if you suffer from a serious mental illness in addition to your substance problems. The combination of these issues, known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders, introduces a whole new level of difficulty into the treatment process. In these circumstances, inpatient facilities often provide the only available setting for safe, effective care.
Whether hydrocodone or some other substance plays a role in opioid use disorder, the same basic treatment approach is used. That approach has two main parts: medication and forms of psychotherapy designed to help you change your addiction-supporting behaviors. Two of the approved, proven medications used to provide help are buprenorphine and methadone. Both of these treatment options are themselves types of opioids.
It might seem scary or foolish to rely on opioids to treat hydrocodone addiction. However, controlled use of these medications in Co-Gesic or Gesic rehab is far different from the uncontrolled use that supports serious substance problems. To begin with, the doses of methadone or buprenorphine you receive will not make you feel “high.” In addition, they will not promote a pattern of abusive opioid consumption. Instead, both of these medications help you avoid abusive intake, while also making the withdrawal process easier to withstand. Some programs will taper your intake of buprenorphine or methadone to zero before your treatment ends. Others will bring you to a low, stable maintenance dose instead.
If detoxification proceeds to a point where there are no opioids left in your system, your treatment plan may also include the prescription drug naltrexone. Once you take it, naltrexone shuts down the chemical mechanisms that opioids must use to reach your brain. In this way, it makes intake of those substances unrewarding as long as it remains in your bloodstream.
Behavioral therapies can support your recovery process in a number of ways. The methods used to help people with opioid problems include:
- Motivational interviewing
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Community reinforcement approach (CRA) plus vouchers
- Contingency management
- 12-step facilitation
- Family behavior therapy
Motivational interviewing is used to help you overcome any objections or reservations you have about participating in treatment. Therapists who use this technique take a stance called reflexive listening. This means that they actively engage with you instead of just giving one-way advice. In addition, motivational interviewers help you see how your behaviors can make your stated goals harder to reach. They also work with you to help you find treatment success on your own terms.
In group or individual cognitive behavioral therapy, you start by learning more about the ways you’re affected by your substance problems. From there, you learn how to identify specific things you think or do that can increase your chances of abusing hydrocodone or other opioids. Next, you learn effective ways of countering those thoughts and behaviors so you can make better choices in moments of stress.
Community reinforcement approach plus vouchers and contingency management are separate therapy options that rely on some of the same techniques. In CRA plus vouchers, the focus is on valuable vouchers that you receive when you remain substance-free during treatment. Contingency management also sometimes uses vouchers to help you remain substance-free and follow your program guidelines. It may also encourage the same kinds of compliance by giving you a chance to win prizes in the form of cash.
The goal of 12-step facilitation is to encourage you to follow up or combine your time in Co-Gesic or Gesic rehab with enrollment in a 12-step mutual self-help group. To achieve this goal, facilitators introduce you to some of the key aspects of 12-step groups (including acceptance and surrender). Participation in a mutual self-help program may reduce your risks for relapsing back into opioid use.
Family behavior therapy views opioid addiction as a family-wide issue, not just an issue affecting you as an individual. During this form of treatment, you and your loved ones discuss any and all topics that may be contributing to a dysfunctional home life. You will also learn ways you can change your current behaviors and create an environment that doesn’t support or promote substance abuse.
Today, it sometimes seems that almost everyone is either seeking or providing help for people with opioid-related problems. If you’re seeking treatment, that can be a good thing. However, it can also lead to some major confusion if you don’t know what to look for when picking your Co-Gesic or Gesic rehab destination.
To avoid this kind of confusion, keep several important things in mind when making inquiries or reading facility websites. First and foremost, any program worth your consideration must follow the accepted professional guidelines for helping people affected by opioid use disorder. Those guidelines are firm in their requirement of some combination of approved medication and behavioral therapy with known effectiveness.
If you call a program for help, make sure they steer clear of meaningless jargon and focus on the ways that they provide useful treatment. You should also receive clear answers to your questions about how the facility operates. In addition, whether you call or check a website, you should receive proof that the facility is accredited and is staffed by addiction experts with a wealth of experience. In every case, those experts should begin their work with a comprehensive screening that reviews all factors with an impact on the best choices for treatment.
Top hydrocodone addiction programs do something else. They supplement their primary care options with secondary options that help reinforce your prospects for recovery. The best of these options (e.g., stress management, music therapy) take a holistic perspective that views you as a unique person in a unique situation.
At each stage of your rehab facility selection process, remember that the goal is to return to a functional, stable way of life that doesn’t revolve around Co-Gesic abuse. Examine every program from this perspective, and you’ll increase your chances of making the perfect personal choice.