What is Norco? Addiction, Side Effects & Treatment
You may have heard about this prescription drug, and wondered what is Norco? It is a prescription painkiller containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). Hydrocodone is a potent opioid that relieves moderate to severe pain. Acetaminophen is a less potent painkiller used to enhance the effects of hydrocodone.
Supplied in tablet form, Norco is most often prescribed in two strengths: either 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg of hydrocodone combined with 325 mg of acetaminophen. Before the FDA lowered the level of acetaminophen allowed, Norco had the lowest amount of acetaminophen for any hydrocodone drugs. Currently, it has the highest amount of acetaminophen allowed (325 mg) — slightly more than the 300 mg found in Vicodin.
According to the scientific research ‘Hydrocodone’, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Hydrocodone is used to relieve severe pain. Hydrocodone is only used to treat people who are expected to need medication to relieve severe pain around-the-clock for a long time and who cannot be treated with other medications or treatments. Hydrocodone extended-release (long-acting) capsules or extended-release tablets should not be used to treat pain that can be controlled by medication that is taken as needed. Hydrocodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. 
Norco Addiction Statistics
- Hydrocodone drugs (including Norco) were reported in more than 100,000 emergency room visits in 2009.
- More than 23 million people over the age of 12 have abused hydrocodone-based drugs, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers
- In 2012, almost 2 million people tried opioids like Norco recreationally for the first time.
Abuse & Addiction
Norco is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs have a medically accepted use and less abuse potential than Schedule I. Despite this, many Schedule II drugs are often abused.
Norco, along with other hydrocodone combination drugs, was moved from Schedule III to Schedule II in October of 2014 in an attempt to combat addiction and abuse.
Any time someone uses Norco without a prescription or in a way other than what is prescribed, it is considered abuse. Continued abuse of Norco can lead to physical dependence and even opioid addiction. This is marked by tolerance to the drug and withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping use.
Symptoms Of Misuse And Abuse
Hydrocodone (also known by the brand names Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, and others) is a powerfully addictive painkiller with a high potential for misuse, abuse, and addiction. Using hydrocodone for even five days can lead to physical dependence; many who take it for a month still use it a year later. Below are the symptoms of opioid use to recognize when someone is abusing this drug. Signs of abuse include: 
- Nodding in and out of consciousness
- Pinpoint pupils
- Rash or itchy skin
- Slowed or shallow breathing
- Flushed, warm skin
- Diarrhea or upset stomach
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Changed mood
- Sexual dysfunction in men
- Dry mouth
Addiction Signs & Symptoms
The following signs and symptoms of Norco abuse may indicate that a person has a problem with this drug:
- Using Norco even when it is clearly dangerous to do so, such as prior to operating a vehicle
- Trying but being incapable of ending one’s Norco abuse
- Attempting to borrow or steal Norco that has been prescribed to someone else
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Lying, secrecy, or deception regarding actions and whereabouts
- Slurred speech
- Poor coordination
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Change in appetite
- Constricted pupils
- Poor judgment
- Impaired memory
- Problems with concentration or focus
Norco Side Effects
The Side Effects Of Drug Abuse Can Include: 
- Strained family relationships
- Sexual dysfunction
- Memory impairment
- Heart problems
- Onset or worsening of mental health problems
- Problems at work or school
- Legal problems, including arrest and incarceration
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Suicidal thoughts and actions
What is Norco Withdrawal Effects?
If you become dependent upon Norco, you will experience various uncomfortable symptoms if you try to limit or stop your Norco use. Common Norco withdrawal symptoms include:
- Dilated Pupils
- Excessive Sweating
- Muscle and Bone Pain
- Intense Abdominal Cramping
- Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea
What is Norco? What are LSD Overdose Risks?
If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
While taking hydrocodone, you should talk to your doctor about having a rescue medication called naloxone readily available (e.g., home, office). Naloxone is used to reverse the life-threatening effects of an overdose. It works by blocking the effects of opiates to relieve dangerous symptoms caused by high levels of opiates in the blood. Your doctor may also prescribe you naloxone if you are living in a household where there are small children or someone who has abused street or prescription drugs.
You should make sure that you and your family members, caregivers, or the people who spend time with you know how to recognize an overdose, how to use naloxone, and what to do until emergency medical help arrives. Your doctor or pharmacist will show you and your family members how to use the medication. Ask your pharmacist for the instructions or visit the manufacturer’s website to get the instructions.
If symptoms of an overdose occur, a friend or family member should give the first dose of naloxone, call 911 immediately, and stay with you and watch you closely until emergency medical help arrives. Your symptoms may return within a few minutes after you receive naloxone. If your symptoms return, the person should give you another dose of naloxone. Additional doses may be given every 2 to 3 minutes if symptoms return before medical help arrives. 
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle weakness
- Cold, clammy skin
- Narrowed or widened pupils
- Slowed heartbeat
- Unable to respond or wake up
Addiction and Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis is a clinical term that describes the presence of more than one mental or behavioral health disorder. If you struggle with Norco abuse, you may also have a heightened risk for developing certain other diseases, such as the following:
Many people who can benefit from dual diagnosis programming don’t realize they’re struggling with more than one disorder. This is one of the many reasons why it’s essential to get care for Norco abuse at a center that can identify and address the full scope of your needs. Getting appropriate care for dual diagnosis can be an essential step toward successful long-term recovery.
What is Norco Addiction Treatment?
Recovering from an addiction is difficult, but many people have successfully done it. The best way to recover from a Norco addiction is to get help from a trained medical professional. The typical rehabilitation process follows these steps:
Also simply called detox, this is the process of removing the substance from your body before continuing treatment. This relieves the physical dependence on the drug while monitoring and addressing withdrawal symptoms that come from stopping use. Detox is an essential first step in any recovery period.
Allowing recovering addicts to focus on their treatment, inpatient facilities provide a healing environment. In addition, inpatient treatment temporarily eliminates the stresses and triggers of the outside world. During this time, recovering addicts learn to live life and handle stress without using Norco as a fallback.
As most inpatient treatments only last a few weeks, the next step is ongoing treatment in the form of counseling and support groups. Whether you have an individual therapist or a drug-related support group (or both) it is essential to continue surrounding yourself with like-minded people and healthy relationships.
Norco Addiction is a condition that can cause major health, social, and even economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from Norco Addiction with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition and give you the clarity to questions such as “What is Norco?” by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.