Lorcet Abuse: Another Derivative of Hydrocodone

Lorcet Abuse: Another Derivative of Hydrocodone

What is Lorcet?

Lorcet is a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an analgesic opiate which is used to treat mild pain and reduces coughing. The chemical formation of Hydrocodone is very similar to morphine. Hydrocodone is a derivative of the opium plant and is considered to be potentially addictive. Lorcet is considered a Schedule II drug which means that its administration must be closely monitored due to the potential for addiction.

How is Lorcet Administered?

Loracet is prescribed to be taken usually every four to six hours in tablet, capsule, and liquid form by mouth.

How Does Lorcet Work?

Lorcet is a combination of medications which is why it works so well. The Hydrocodone in Lorcet binds to the pain receptors in the brain which alleviates the sensation of pain. The acetaminophen in Lorcet stops the production of prostaglandins which are released by the body as part of the inflammatory response, which in turn can cause pain. The result of proper use of Lorcet, is a reduction of pain and comfort on the part of the ailing party. Lorcet travels through the bloodstream quickly and stimulates opiate receptors which leads to the feeling of pleasure.

Hydrocodone specifically stimulates the body’s production of Dopamine. The high that is produced is followed by feelings of relaxation and contentment which can last for a number of hours. However, using Loracet in large doses in potentially damaging and should be avoided. In fact, continuous and extreme dosing of Lorcet can lead to the very serious side effect of respiratory depression which essentially means the individual can stop breathing and this is fatal.

What are common side effects of Lorcet?
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Allergic reaction or rash
  • Blood disorders
  • Changes in mood and mental fogginess anxiety lethargy
  • Difficulty urinating or spasm of the ureter
  • Irregular or depressed respiration (which can be fatal)
  • Liver or renal dysfunction or failure if taken in large doses
  • Hearing loss


What Are Risks Associated With Lorcet Abuse?

As with any type of drug abuse, there are both psychological and physiological risks associated. Abuse of Lorcet, because of the Acetaminophen, is very toxic to the liver and long term abuse can lead to liver destruction. In order to bypass this complication many drug abusers extract the Acetaminophen using the hot/cold water method. This way, they get a purer dose of the Hydrocodone, which is what they are after.

Long term use of Lorcet can lead to physical and psychological dependence. This means not only does the person mentally want to experience associated with the drug; their body also becomes dependent on the effects the drug provides. Perhaps the most serious risk associated with Lorcet is the possibility of respiratory depression which is associated with all opiate use. As Lorcet relaxes the body, it causes breathing to be slowed. This can happen to such an extent that the individual may completely stop breathing, which can lead to death.

Is Lorcet Abuse Common?

Addiction to Hydrocodone and all of its derivatives is on the rise in the United States. Between the years of 1990 to 2000 there has been a 400% increase of both the sales and production of Hydrocodone. Currently about 20 tons of Hydrocodone is used annually in the United States. It is more likely that Lorcet will be used orally as opposed to injection use.

In 2005 124 million of prescriptions for drugs containing hydrocodone were administered. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration drugs with hydrocodone are the most popular type of prescription drug in the country. As hydrocodone is found in a variety of different medications and under many different trade names, it is easy to have that be the source of one’s addiction. Since 2001, the DEA has reported the distribution of drugs with hydrocodone has grown by 66 percent.

What kind of treatment is available for Lorcet abuse?

There are many different approaches to drug detox and rehabilitation. It is common for Lorcet abuse to be treated using methadone, another opioid. However, this treatment is considered to be quite controversial. Perhaps the best method of drug treatment is one that combines different methods and is all encompassing. Meaning, it is not enough to help someone detox from the drug. In addition, psychological counseling is necessary to determine why the addiction commenced to begin with. If all of these variables are considered, the individual has a better chance of properly and effectively detoxing from Lorcet.

Breen, Tom Hydrocodone Abuse on Rise in Appalachia. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/08/21/AR2007082100146.html Released 21 August 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2007
Ho, T., Vrabec J.T., Burton, A.W. (2007). Hydrocodone use and sensorineural hearing loss. Pain Physician. May;10(3):467-72.
Manchikanti, L. (2007). National drug control policy and prescription drug abuse: facts and fallacies. Pain Physician. May;10(3):399-424. Review.
Moore, C., Feldman, M., Harrison, E., Rana, S., Coulter, C., Kuntz, D., Agrawal A., Vincent, M., and Soares, J. (2006). Disposition of hydrocodone in hair.
Journal of Analysis Toxicology. Jul-Aug;30(6):353-9.

Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    I have been battling loricet addiction for years - i go to meetings and have been in rehab 3 times; is there any hope for me - I am sick of being a slave to this crap; anyone have any advice

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