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Codeine, Hydrocodone & Lortab – What are These Drugs & What are Their Differences?

ARISE® Network / Drugs & Addiction  / Codeine, Hydrocodone & Lortab – What are These Drugs & What are Their Differences?

Codeine, Hydrocodone & Lortab – What are These Drugs & What are Their Differences?


With the ever-growing opioid crisis you may be hearing drug names such as Codeine, hydrocodone and Lortab floating around news stories and conversation. Codeine, Hydrocodone, and Lortab are prescription painkillers. All three are generally in pill-form and when misused have a strong propensity to lead to painkillers addiction. These pills should be taken only when prescribed, as prescribed, and under the supervision of a physician.

Codeine, hydrocodone, and Lortab differ in their compositions. So, although they work similarly in the body to reduce pain, they are not identical, each prescription is composed of slightly different compounds.

It’s important to note that these medications should never be shared or taken without a prescription as they are highly addictive and can be deadly when used beyond the recommended dosage or without a prescription.


Opioids are medications that reduce pain. They’re commonly prescribed typically for pain associated with injury, respiratory pain, or dental work. These drugs work with the nervous system to alter the body’s perception of pain and provide relief. Painkillers drugs, such as these, are often referred to as narcotic drugs which work to control mood or behavior.

Narcotic drugs can be highly addictive even when used appropriately, so they are highly regulated in the United States and in other countries around the world. If you or someone you know is prone to addictive behavior, it is advised to stay away from narcotics such as these as the risk of addiction to these pills is high.

It is also important to note that hydrocodone is the most widely prescribed painkiller in the United States today. While a very effective painkiller and can help those that might otherwise not be able to live without chronic pain live normal lives, it is also effective in relieving intense pain or even reducing a cough. However, the high experienced by many, can lead to abuse of the drug and subsequent addiction..

There are several strains of Opioids include heroin, morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. Many that abuse codeine and hydrocodone move on to use heroin, as it is a much less expensive option and offers a similar high.


Lortab is one of the many prescription name-brand drugs that is typically prescribed as a temporary pain reliever. You may recognize other name brand Hydrocodone drugs as: Vicodin and Lorcet.

Hydrocodone, a narcotic drug and opioid, combined with a mild painkiller like acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol or Excedrin), increases the potency of the hydrocodone.


Codeine and Hydrocodone, when used frequently, causes a physical dependency on the drug itself. The more a person takes, the more a person needs to feel the effects of the drug. The “high” or “euphoria” that comes from the drug decreases with repeated use.

The body becomes accustomed to having the drug in its system to function and therefore craves the drug to feel stable. Since the body does not naturally need to drug to function, this is a high-risk place for the body to exist. When the body does not receive the drug, then the body will experience symptoms of withdrawal such as chills, sweating, nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, and diarrhea, to name a few.

If you or a loved one is battling with an addiction to Codeine, Hydrocodone, or other prescription drugs an ARISE® Drug & Alcohol Intervention can help.



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