Can Lortab Affect My Memory?

Can Lortab Affect My Memory?Lortab is a prescription painkiller that is comprised of the narcotic hydrocodone and the over-the-counter pain medication acetaminophen. As with all narcotics, Lortab can cause both physical and psychological addiction that can be difficult or impossible to conquer without professional help. Hydrocodone is synthesized from the same root chemical as heroin and has many of the same characteristics. It gives users a euphoric high when first taken and blocks both physical and emotional pain. What many users do not realize is that excessive use of Lortab can cause brain damage, memory impairment and even death.

How Lortab Works in the Brain

Lortab blocks pain by binding to specialized chemical receptors in the brain that are responsible for transmitting and receiving pain signals. When opiates are present in the brain, these receptors cannot transmit their signals, and the user feels greatly reduced pain, as well as relief from underlying psychological distress or anxiety.

The area of the brain that is most directly impacted by Lortab abuse is the prefrontal cortex. Within this area is the “reward center,” the part of the brain that is responsible for managing the following mental and emotional functions:

  • Impulse control
  • Anxiety management
  • Mood regulation
  • Habit establishment
  • Memory formation and recall

The brain stops producing naturally occurring pain-regulating chemicals when Lortab is in a person’s system. If users stop taking the drug, they will be left without any of these substances and will experience intense withdrawal symptoms until their normal chemical levels are back in balance. The brain also craves the drug on an emotional level and will use any psychological trick at its disposal to keep the drug coming. This can include experiencing panic attacks, feeling intense urges to take more of the drug and even blocking certain memories. Many opiate addicts remember only the fun and euphoria experienced while high and not the physical, mental, relational or even legal consequences.

Lortab and Memory Loss

Lortab, and other opiates, may also impact memory by impairing the function of a particular neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is directly involved in memory and cognitive function. It is believed that the accumulated effect of long-term use of Lortab or other anti-cholinergic medications may cause or intensify symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s symptoms. In addition to Lortab, the following types of medication can also cause this effect:

  • Antispasmodics
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Antidepressants
  • Antacids
  • Antihistamines

It is of utmost importance that patients discuss all of their drug use, both illicit and prescribed, with their doctor.

Lortab Addiction and Recovery

Once a person has become addicted to Lortab, he or she will most likely require specialized treatment in order to safely get off the drug. Highly successful recovery programs offer medically supervised detoxification and comprehensive rehabilitation from the emotional effects of addiction. If you are concerned about your regular need for Lortab or other painkillers or if someone you know and love seems to be demonstrating symptoms of addiction, please call our toll-free helpline right away. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day with confidential answers to your questions and access to the best recovery resources in the world.

Don’t risk your memory, your physical health, your relationships or your future dreams on Lortab addiction. Call right now and let us help you break free.