Search for Addiction Treatment Centers Near You Forums Substance Abuse Is this much hydrocodone in the OD range?

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    Hi again, my thread about my sister-in-law’s hydrocodone abuse got deleted accidentally yesterday. I just want to know if 240 mg Hydrocodone (the amount that’s in an 8 oz bottle of Hycodan syrup) can possibly cause an overdose. SIL was taking 1 bottle a day for the 18 months at least. From Buzz’ wonderful post, I learned that 20 mg is enough to cause physical addiction in a man. So what is 240 mg doing to a woman? (nothing sexist here, physiologically women have smaller body mass and require less of a drug to achieve the same effect). I have also been reading articles in the LA times about narcotics OD’s skyrocketing among users that are in their 40’s, use their drugs alone, and have a relapse after getting out of jail if they go back to their old dose. My SIL fits the 1st 2 of those. I am currently helping my brother raise their 4 yr old autistic son, I stay in their house (which I co-own with my sibs) 2-3 days a week now. I’m getting attached to the boy, and he is to me. He’s really improved since she got arrested and taken to jail. For the past 2 months I have been emotionally supporting my bro while he ponders divorcing her – or not. Now I just have this horrible feeling she is heading for a relapse OD. I try not to worry about it, but I’d like some info to be prepared in case it happens if/when she comes back to the house.
    Would a bottle of Hycodan (taken at one time) even cause an OD? (That is, am I worrying for nothing?)
    IF she shows signs of an OD (staggering, slurred speech, slipping in and out of conciousness) but is still concious, do we call paramedics then, or do we have to wait until she is unconcious?
    Should we get a Naxolone kit, just in case? (I have read that they are disributing them to Heroin addicts in SF).
    Thanks for reading this. I know this was kind of graphic, if it upset anyone I apologize. I hope I am not being enabling or codependent; I just want information. I will tell her, but I know only she can decide whether to heed it. Thanks again.


    The funny thing about drugs, ventuhome, is that addicts have an incredibly high tolerance. This from my own experience. The amount of opiates I was injesting would have easily been fatal to a non-addict. Even 2 years into recovery, I have an incredibly high tolerance to drugs so that when I go to the dentist or, god forbid, an ER, I have to have the max available. That’s because my body has built up a tolerance over time.

    The only one who can come close to answering your question, IMO, is a qualified Dr. (addictionologist, not just a regular MD.) or god.

    That said, you are also right that when we are off the drugs and then if we go back out and injest the same amount or higher, it can be fatal. Drugs kill. There is no doubt about that. As to how much and when they will kill? That is anybody’s guess.

    I would advise you to focus your thoughts on your own recovery, not the addict in your life. That’s the only way to peace, methinks.


    “I have an incredibly high tolerance to drugs so that when I go to the dentist or, god forbid, an ER, I have to have the max available.”

    Amen and don’t i know it. I would doubt she would od from 1 bottle. its not good for you by any means, but I would be skeptical that it could be fatal. Then again you never know what condition your body is in I guess.


    Hello ventuhome!

    First off–YES, she can OD from this. A person can OD from any narcotic…I’m not a doctor, just another addict, so take what I say as opinion and as a cautionary tale…

    Finally, another Hycodan drinker!! I have been using it off and on for years and prefer it over pills (Vicodin, Lortab, etc.) At my peak, I was taking 12 ounces day. That was a five years ago and involved six days of medically supervised detox. Since then, I’ve relapsed a few times. My last relapse ended a few days ago (thanks to a wonderful treatment option) and my level of Hycodan use this time was between 4-8 ounces every day or two (it was harder to get this time around). Of course, it was never enough, yet it was enough to screw my life up yet again.

    I can’t personally speak to the issue of ODing, as I never have–I have taken large enough quantities to have some side effects I wouldn’t “nomally” experience with lower amounts. I know that the main issue with too much Hycodan–with all opiates–is respiratory depression. Has she noticed that she needs to take a deep breath more often? Is it sometimes hard for her to catch her breath or get a good breath? I always knew I had taken too large a quantity when my breathing was affected. I would also know that I took too much when I would break out in a cold sweat and feel nauseous. When that happened, I would have to lay down, cover my face with a cold cloth and get some food on my stomach (something bland and easy like bread or saltines)…it usually passed after 30 minutes or so, but I knew it was because of too much cough syrup.

    I also never took the whole bottle at one time; again, at my peak, my highest single dose was three ounces or 90 miligrams of hydrocodone. (I had done four ounces at once a couple of times, but I never wanted to deplete my supply so quickly; I always tried to get at least two or three doses out of an 8 ounce bottle.) I would think that taking 240 at one time would pose great danger to her breathing. However, if she has been taking this as long as you say, then her tolerance is greater and therefore, she may not be at as much a risk as someone else. (I say this not to encourage such a huge dose–it is the equivalent of 48 Vicodin, without the acetominphen–but mainly to suggest that she may be “better equipped” to handle it.)

    However you look at it, it is a SERIOUS amount of hydrocodone to be taking at a time and I can assure you, when she is ready to come off of it, she will be in agony without proper medical treatment. After the nine month, 12 ounce a day relapse I wrote about above, I went into a detox center where I was basically put in a coma (not really, it just seemed like it) with serious meds. The first three days, I was out of it, getting up every four hours only to get my vitals and more meds. I was grateful for it, too. God showed tremendous grace by letting me pretty much sleep through those horrific first few days! I couldn’t have survived kicking that alone.

    Hycodan is a great drug. I wish I could live on it–I got so motivated and energized, I felt normal–but I know that is impossible. It tastes yummy, the high is higher and it lasts longer. There are no other drugs mixed with it (other than homatropine, which a drying agent that is pretty much in there to keep people from abusing it…ha!), so it’s relatively safe on the organs (unlike most pill compounds, which have Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen mixed in and are the main source of liver damage). I’ve never done heroin, but I’ve always thought that Hycodan was liquid heroin.

    It didn’t take much for me to fall in love with it and it took even less for me to become fully dependant on it. My addiction to Hycodan has cost me more than I write and I am so grateful to be off of it. My treatment program has given me new life, something I thought I’d never get back.

    I hope your sister-in-law will come to realize her problem and seek help before she falls much further. When she is ready, please make sure she gets professional help. She can’t detox from that level of use alone.

    I wish you luck.



    Hello again…I was just rereading your post and realized I didn’t really address your concerns. Again, this is all just my opinion and suggest you speak to a physician or pharmacist for specifics…

    Addiction is a progressive disease, which means it continues to grow even if we are abstinent. This is why, after a period of not using, we can begin again with a small dose but will quickly have to go back to our old levels and more. Our tolerance has just been put on hold, waiting for us to feed it ever-increasing quantities. This is why a lot of addicts do OD once they’ve started using after being clean for a while: they remember what it took to get them high before and go back at that high dose again, without the body’s tolerance. You have to work back up to that dose, the progressive nature of addiction ensures that it won’t take you long to get back there–BUT you have to work your way up to it. Starting right back can kill you.

    If she shows signs of overdose, call paramedics or take her to an ER. You don’t have to wait for her to be unconscious. The sooner someone gets medical help the better! I can’t speak to a naxolone kit; I know what it is, but am not aware of its availability, use, etc. Again, check with your doctor or a pharmacist on all these issues!!

    You’re not enabling or being codependent. You are trying to educate yourself and provide help for your family. Even if your SIL doesn’t see or benefit from this, you are helping your brother and nephew by learning all you can. It’s responsible and it’s loving. You are a good sister and aunt.

    Good luck!



    240 Mg of hydrocodone is a significant amount. I would be concerned. However, tolerance levels vary from person to peron.

    Luckily, the liquid form she is abusing does not contain acetaminophen.

    Usually with opiates, respiratory depression is the biggest concern. Uncontrolled vomiting is another. If you even suspect she has OD’d, get her help! Maybe that’s the wake-up call she’s waiting for.

    Of course, an intervention before then would be optimal.

    Good luck,


    Hey thanks so much everybodyn that posted and all who pray for her. MY own recovery? My own recovery would be a snap – I would throw the bums out and never lose a minute of sleep over it. BUT I have a 4 year old nephew, their son, who loves me and I love him. His mom, Mary, is currently locked up in county jail, and hopefully is not able to obtain drugs there. My brother is unemployed and needs to stay at home to care for the boy because he’s autistic and not potty trained and no day care will take him. BUT he is improving daily with his speech and understanding. He has potential. It is necessary for me to care for him a few days a week so my bro can get a break; he is about to have a nervous breakdown anyway. He is under CPS investigation due to his wife’s drug use and abhorrent parenting and housecleaning ability; we live in fear that they wont think we are good enough and take the boy away. SO thats why I’m involved.
    Tru, Hycodan is not entirely harmless. Homatropine raises the pressure inside your eyeballs and can lead to glaucoma. And Hydrocodone can kill you, either quickly with an OD or slowly, thru its depressive effect on the respiratory system. Slowing this down starves your heart and liver of oxygen, causing cellular damage. You can be functional without it. You don’t need to perform fantastic feats everyday; just try to get 1 or 2 things done and pat yourself on the back for that. Take time to meditate and think of at least 1 positive thing every day. My thoughts are with you.


    Hey Ventuhome–

    I never said Hycodan was harmless…I’m living proof of the damage it can do, physically and mentally. I would never post such a statement. Hycodan is not as damaging as hydrocodone in other formulations (Vicodin, Lortab, etc., the pill forms which also have acetaminophen). I think the closest I came to saying that was that Hycodan was “relatively safe on the organs,” which was conditioned upon my comment about compunding.

    The disease of addiction is serious and life-threatening. Any substance abused to excess has the potential of causing great damage in ways both obvious and obscure.

    My paragraph about Hycodan being a “great drug” was sarcastic; anyone who has read my previous posts would know that. I am grateful to be in recovery, taking everything one day at a time. I have a wonderful treatment plan in place that has allowed me to move on with my life in ways I hadn’t been able to in a long time. I recognize the struggle and I cherish the progress, however minor. It takes whatever it takes.

    I’m in a GREAT place today. This is all we have: today, right now, this moment and I am thrilled to have an proactive, positive and responsible focus. I have finally taken control back. I hope and pray that anyone suffering with this disease will find what I have.

    I hope no one thought I was advocating the use (or misuse) of this very potent drug.



    Tru, oh good!! Thanks for that explanation. I was starting to worry about you. My sis-in-law the addict is never sarcastic, so I didnt catch that. SO HAPPY to hear you a having a great day today, and hope that the rest of your days in recovery are as great.


    Ah, the sweet liquid. I know it well. Medical detox and 28 day rehab sound like the way to go.

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