History of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that was first created in Germany in the 1920’s. It was hoped that by bonding hydrogen to codeine molecules the resulting medication would be less toxic and easier to digest. At this time there was a growing addiction problem in the United States as thousands of people were developing addictions to the opiate painkillers and cough syrups that were available at the time. Towards the end of the 1920’s the American government initiated a study to investigate hydrocodone as a less addictive alternative painkiller.

This study was led by Dr Nathan Eddy of the University of Michigan.

His team underwent a thorough exploratory study into the safety of hydrocodone and hundreds of other drugs. This made it possible to compare the effects and side-effects of the various opiate based painkillers like morphine, codeine and hydrocodone.

Dr Eddy concluded that hydrocodone was a safer alternative than other opiates. It had fewer side effects and behaved more predictably than other opiates. Hydrocodone was also shown to be highly effective as a painkiller. However, Dr Eddy warned that hydrocodone was highly addictive. It induced euphoria which would encourage psychological dependence and because it is an opiate people will develop physical dependence if they use it for a long time. People ignored Dr Eddy’s warning and hydrocodone enjoyed huge market success.

Hydrocodone is a carefully monitored substance and doctors can be penalized for needlessly prescribing it to patients. There are a large number of hydrocodone addicts who visit multiple doctors in order to obtain prescriptions. People addicted to hydrocodone will lie or fabricate symptoms in order to receive their prescription.

Hydrocodone addiction can be treated in drug rehab centers in South Africa. A comprehensive addiction treatment program will address the many facets that make up the individual. Attention will be paid to the underlying psychological and emotional processes that fuel the addiction.


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Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.


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