Hydrocodone is an opioid derived from codeine. It can be used as a cough suppressant but is more often used as a narcotic analgesic for moderate to severe pain. Although it was first developed in Germany, it’s now primarily prescribed in the United States.
Hydrocodone is often paired with acetaminophen and dispensed under the brand names Vicodin, Norco or Lortab. Like other opioids, it reduces pain by depressing the central nervous system. For that reason, it could cause the heart or lungs to stop working, so there are many cautions to observe when taking it. Take it only as directed by a doctor. Never take more or take it more often than prescribed. If your doctor gives you a liquid form, measure it carefully as directed.
Taking hydrocodone for a long time and then stopping can lead to withdrawal symptoms. These include nausea, sweating, muscle aches and restlessness. Ask your doctor to cut your dose gradually when you’re ready to stop using it.
As with other opioid medications, it’s easy to become dependent on hydrocodone. That’s because it affects the part of the brain that perceives rewards. Some people have a euphoric response to the drug and begin to use it repeatedly to elicit that response. As time goes on, they need larger amounts of the drug to get the same response. This is the beginning of the downward spiral of addiction.
Hydrocodone abuse can have serious consequences in the U.S. Hydrocodone addiction is not a crime, but many of the activities addicts use to acquire the drug are. Many addicts shop for doctors or visit multiple doctors to get prescriptions. Others go to emergency rooms and fake painful conditions. Addicts may forge prescriptions, steal drugs from pharmacies or sell illegal drugs. Any of these could lead to jail time and a hefty fine.
There are new laws in place regarding hydrocodone abuse. Hydrocodone was formerly classed as a Schedule III drug, meaning it was addictive but had medical value. Now a change in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovative Act has made hydrocodone a Schedule II drug, rating its abuse potential higher and increasing the punishments for hydrocodone crimes. This was done because, according to the DEA fact sheet, hydrocodone is the most-often abused prescription opioid in the U.S. In addition, any use of hydrocodone that is not legally prescribed is a crime.
There are both federal and state laws against hydrocodone abuse, and conviction can result in many years in prison. The professionals at Raiser & Kenniff, PC have experience in defending clients in federal court. Our founding partners were assistant district attorneys, so they understand how prosecutors work. They know strategies to counter the prosecution and help defendants win their case. When coming up against the federal government, it’s important to have experienced attorneys who can advocate for those involved in federal drug cases.
In addition, possession of illegal drugs is a serious crime in New York. As well as fines and prison, defendants may lose child custody or their driver’s license. They may have trouble securing housing or following a career path. We can create a legal strategy tailored to each defendant’s needs that may possibly avoid jail time. We have the resources to confront the prosecution and successfully combat drug possession charges, and we can build a solid defense.
If you’re in trouble because of hydrocodone, don’t wait. Call Raiser & Kenniff, PC today at 212-274-0090 or visit our website at https://www.nyccriminallawyers.com. We’re standing by around the clock to help you get your life back on track.