Lortab Addiction and Senior Citizens

Lortab Addiction and Senior CitizensLortab is a brand-name prescription painkiller that is comprised of the highly addictive opiate hydrocodone and acetaminophen – the medication found in Tylenol. Lortab is frequently prescribed for the short-term relief of moderate to severe pain, such as that experienced by people following surgery or an injury. Senior citizens face unique challenges when it comes to the risk of addiction to prescription painkillers and often benefit from special, age-appropriate treatment.

How Do Seniors Develop Lortab Addiction?

The hydrocodone in Lortab blocks pain by binding to special chemical receptors in the brain that send and receive pain signals throughout the central nervous system. The human body produces a certain amount of naturally occurring pain-blocking chemicals, but opiates such as Lortab boost those effects in a significant way. The part of the brain that manages pain response is also responsible for a wide range of psychological functions, including the following:

  • Memory
  • Anxiety and stress management
  • Emotional processes
  • Impulse control

In the process of blocking physical pain, Lortab also provides short-term relief of any emotional or psychological pain the patient may be experiencing. This results in a euphoric high that is essentially a milder form of the same kind of intoxication experienced by users of morphine or heroin.

Users also develop a tolerance to both the physiological and psychological effects of Lortab. This means that they will require larger or more frequent doses in order to feel the desired effects. The body stops producing its own natural supply of pain-blocking chemicals when opiates are available. The combined effects render many Lortab users both physically and emotionally dependent on the drug. Even when they want to stop using it they simply can’t.

Seniors and Lortab Dependence

Seniors face several unique challenges when it comes to painkiller addiction:

  • Some seniors struggle with depression or anxiety related to aging, which renders them more susceptible to psychological addiction when drugs provide relief
  • Many seniors face chronic or long-lasting pain that requires long-term pain management
  • Some seniors struggle to admit to themselves or others that they have become dependent on a drug
  • Confusion over multiple medication usage, quantities of drugs taken and medication interactions can increase the risk of addiction and overdose

Many seniors believe that drug addiction is something that happens to reckless or irresponsible people, not mature adults. Unwarranted shame or embarrassment keeps some seniors from seeking help when they first suspect that their use of painkillers may have become an addiction.

How Seniors Can Successfully End Lortab Addiction

The key to successfully ending Lortab addiction is to simultaneously and holistically treat both the physical and psychological aspects of the disease. While each client is treated individually and uniquely, the following are some of the most common and productive treatment elements:

  • Education about the origins and functioning of addiction in the brain
  • Individual counseling and diagnosis
  • Opportunities to connect with other seniors facing this same challenge
  • The development of healthy new coping skills
  • Strategic planning for long-term recovery after inpatient treatment ends

Some recovery programs are specially designed to accommodate the unique needs of seniors with an accidental painkiller dependency.

Free Lortab Addiction Helpline

If you are a senior in need of confidential, respectful and reliable advice and help related to Lortab addiction, or if you are concerned about the medication use of a parent, grandparent or friend, please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night. Our admissions coordinators are specially trained in the needs of seniors and can connect you with the best treatment program for your unique needs. Call now.