A host of teens today use the prescription opioid hydrocodone to get high. A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 349,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 misused hydrocodone products such as Vicodin in 2016.
Marijuana is also a popular drug among teens. According to the 2017 Monitoring the Future survey, the percentage of 12th-graders who are current marijuana users has increased since 2014. In 2017, about 23 percent of high school seniors used cannabis.
Each drug causes adverse reactions. The side effects of hydrocodone include body swelling, muscle weakness and difficulty breathing. Conversely, marijuana causes increased appetite, anxiety and psychosis.
Mixing marijuana and prescription opioids can produce severe health effects that can result in coma or death. To prevent your teen from combining hydrocodone and cannabis, talk to him or her about the dangers of mixing drugs. If your child is misusing multiple substances, seek professional assistance.
A 2017 report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicated that marijuana users were more likely than nonusers to misuse prescription opioids. A few years earlier, the organization found that 58.5 percent of teens who misused painkillers mixed prescription opioids with cannabis.
Prescription opioids and marijuana have depressant effects. Also known as “downers,” these drugs can slow brain function, lower blood pressure and cause fatigue. Mixing cannabis and hydrocodone can suppress the central nervous system to dangerous levels.
Side effects of mixing hydrocodone and marijuana include:
Although some people have said that mixing hydrocodone and cannabis enhanced their high, others have reported experiencing breathing problems after taking Vicodin and then smoking marijuana shortly after.
A 2018 study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology suggested that mixing cannabis and oxycodone, a prescription opioid similar to hydrocodone, increases the risk for oxycodone abuse. Abusing prescription opioids can result in addiction.
If you or your teen uses hydrocodone, talk to a doctor about drug interactions. A physician can explain the dangers of mixing drugs, including the physical and psychological effects of combining opioids and cannabis.
Before you can confirm that your teen is mixing hydrocodone and marijuana, you must first find out if they are using these drugs at all. A number of signs can indicate the use of cannabis or prescription opioids.
Teens who misuse substances often struggle academically. Drug use increases their risk for poor grades and truancy. Adolescents who abuse hydrocodone or marijuana may also isolate themselves, lose interest in their hobbies or engage in risky behaviors.
Polydrug use involves using multiple substances simultaneously, which is a sign of addiction. In fact, a study by Roosevelt University found that polydrug use was the most common path to heroin use in the Chicago metropolitan area.
If your teen is regularly misusing hydrocodone and marijuana, seek treatment. At rehab, addiction experts can create a treatment plan to fit your child’s specific needs. If clients are addicted to more than one drug, each disorder will be treated.
When treating hydrocodone addiction, medical professionals may employ opioid agonists, such as methadone, buprenorphine or clonidine, to combat withdrawal symptoms. Once detox ends, clients transition to the next phase of rehab with licensed mental health counselors who teach strategies for avoiding triggers and maintaining sobriety.
Behavioral therapies effectively reduce cannabis use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these treatments may include:
A psychotherapy used to teach people to identify and correct dysfunctional behaviors
An approach that uses tangible rewards for positive actions
A counseling approach that aims to create motivation for behavior change
Teaching your children about the dangers of combining Vicodin and weed can prevent them from a lifetime of health problems. Talk to them about the importance of healthy habits and be sure to monitor their behavior.
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