Shooting Hydrocodone, Lortabs or Vicodin Dangers and Side Effects

Taking prescription drugs without a prescription is always dangerous, and the practice can lead to addictions, overdoses or other major complications. Sometimes, the method you use in order to take in the medication can hold its own special kind of risks, above and beyond the risks represented by the active ingredient in the drugs. If you’re addicted to prescription pills like hydrocodone, Lortab or Vicodin and you shoot those drugs, you could experience these problems firsthand.

Health Effects Are Unknown or Unclear

When scientists develop a new medication, they’re required to perform a significant amount of research that details how the drug should be taken, and how much should be included in each and every dose of the drug the person takes. Sliding away from those guidelines means moving into uncharted territory.

It’s hard to know exactly what the drugs will do, when you’re taking them in ways that haven’t yet been studied. For example, Vicodin tablets are sometimes coated with a powdery substance that protects the drug’s ingredients as the pill slides down your throat. Researchers aren’t really sure what that powder might do inside your veins. It could cause no side effect, or it could cause blockages. Researchers also don’t know how much of the drug is safe for you to take through your veins. Perhaps the dose you think is safe could cause an overdose. Each time you use these drugs with a needle, you’re performing an experiment, and the results could be catastrophic.

A Hidden Pattern

“My dealer suggested that I crush my Vicodin tablets and inject them for a bigger punch. Once I did that, my addiction just went on overdrive. I would have done anything to get that sensation back. It was only when my wife threatened to take my kids away that I saw how serious my problem really was, and I agreed to get help. The injections blinded me to the reality of what was going on.” — Chris

Risky Behavior

Hydrocodone, Lortab and Vicodin all contain an opioid ingredient that can make you feel relaxed and at ease. When you inject these drugs, and you feel the impact of the drugs all at once, you may be coaxed into doing things and making choices you might never make while sober. For example, in a study in the journal Addiction, 29 percent of people who injected opioids shared needles, and 20.7 percent of people had casual sex without a condom in the month prior. Either of these actions could lead to infections with HIV/AIDS. Casual sex could also result in hepatitis, gonorrhea or syphilis.

Shooting pills like this might also make you more comfortable with the concept of injecting other drugs, including heroin. It seems to be a common transition, as a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that 24 percent of people who abused prescription opioids abused heroin later in life. While both opioids and heroin are dangerous, using heroin could expose you to all sorts of other issues, including:

  • Contaminated batches of drugs
  • Violence from drug dealers
  • Law enforcement action
  • Stiff prison sentences

Each time you inject drugs, and each time you become a little more comfortable with a needle, you make that transition to heroin a little easier to accomplish. If you’d like to break the cycle, please call our toll-free line. We can help you find a treatment program for your addiction, and help you learn how to maintain your sobriety for the rest of your life.