Vicodin Addiction and Abuse
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What is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a brand name of a prescription drug containing acetaminophen and hydrocodone, prescribed for mild to severe pain relief. Acetaminophen is a drug that is commonly found in over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol. If too much acetaminophen is introduced into the body, acute liver damage has been reported and can ultimately lead to liver failure.
Acetaminophen inhibits the development of prostaglandins that causes pain. Hydrocodone functionally binds to pain receptors in the brain to reduce the sensation of pain.
Hydrocodone a Generic Pain Reliever
Hydrocodone is a generic pain reliever with opioids and is an active ingredient in a variety of marketed products, including Norco, Vicodin, Lorcet, and Lortab. This medication is suggested for treatments of mild to extreme pain.
Hydrocodone is a very addictive drug. Conversely, individuals that take this medicine on prescription as part of a medically supervised pain management plan do not risk addiction if they follow the doctor’s instructions for use.
The Prescription Drug and Opioid Crisis
These numbers illustrate the severity of the prescription drug and opioid crisis while also demonstrating the interrelationship between prescription drugs and opioids. Individuals who use hydrocodone may smoothly transition from this drug to more potent opioids, such as oxycodone and, in some cases, heroin.
Therefore, it is a good idea to read more about hydrocodone addiction and substance abuse in general. And ask your doctor, “Is Vicodin an opiate?”
Reasons for Increased Vicodin Abuse
There are two main factors for the rise in Vicodin addiction and the dependency on prescription drugs. First, pills are very available through professional advice as well as by illegal means. Second, the use of prescription medications is easy to hide.
The use of prescription medications for countless specific diseases and disorders is readily accepted in society. The potential addiction tends to be more socially acceptable than illicit drugs. Someone who is a prescription drug abuser typically has no intention of being addicted to their medication.
The user may have been injured or undergone surgery that involves the use of pain medicines such as Vicodin. Even if taken correctly, this drug can give the patient a “normal” or euphoric effect that he or she finds desirable. Once the treatment is over, or the pain is gone, the patient remembers the euphoric feeling and starts to be ready for more of the drug.
Physical Effects of Vicodin
There are two effects of Vicodin: pleasure (euphoria) and pain relief. Vicodin addiction is highly prevalent in consumers of prescription drugs. It is possible because it is also prescribed for a variety of different forms of pain issues.
If you misuse Vicodin, the brain starts generating chemicals like endorphins. It makes the body feel unable to function without the use of the medication. An individual who has become dependent on Vicodin will experience withdrawal and cravings if he/she is no longer able to do so.
Vicodin addiction sometimes goes unnoticed until it is severe. An individual with extreme Vicodin addiction has built a high drug tolerance. He or she can take between 30 and 100 pills a day. In certain abusers, tapering off the substance might be necessary so that their body will not respond adversely and unpredictably when the medication is fully withdrawn.
For less complicated situations, the withdrawal duration appears to be shorter and less painful.
The 10 Signs Someone May Be Addicted To Vicodin
There are quite a variety of lifestyle symptoms of Vicodin abuse every person should be acquainted with. Noticing a combination of these signs in a loved one can help them seek life-saving recovery services and encouraging them to get deeper into the process of addiction:
- Mood swings–from emotions of euphoria to frustration and depression
- Depression and anguish
- Bad performance at work or school
- Selling or borrowing money to sustain habits
- Taking drugs from friends and family members
- “Doctor Shopping”–go to various hospitals and feign accidents or ailments to get more drugs
- Withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug
- Reckless behavior such as driving while under Vicodin influence
- Enigmatic behavior
- Financial troubles–like running up credit card bills to obtain Vicodin from illicit pharmacies
Symptoms of Vicodin Withdrawal
Symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal are not usually life-threatening. However, they can be unpleasant. Early symptoms include:
- anxiety and agitation
- muscle aches
- runny nose
More severe symptoms include:
- muscle pain and bone pain
How long it takes for withdrawal symptoms to begin varies depending on the system’s immunity. Usually, both long-term and short-term use of Vicodin can cause symptoms.
For example, if you are given Vicodin in a hospital after surgery, you can only use Vicodin for a short time but still experience symptoms. You may assume that you have the flu, not knowing that your body reacts to your short-term use of Vicodin.
Avoiding Vicodin Withdrawal
Once you don’t think your prescription Vicodin is effective, talk to your doctor. Never take more than you are given. Let your doctor change your dosage or recommend a particular pain reliever. Talk to your doctor too if you think you’re getting addicted to the drug. Ask them, “Is Vicodin an opiate?” They will work with you to avoid the initiation of addiction.
If you unexpectedly quit taking Vicodin, you can experience withdrawal symptoms that make you start retaking the medication. A doctor may advise you to taper Vicodin or lower your dose gradually. This may help to reduce symptoms of withdrawal.
Easing Vicodin Withdrawal
There are a lot of programs that can help you recover from Vicodin addiction. Some of the discomforts of withdrawal may be popular. Your doctor can give recommendations. A safe and effective Vicodin withdrawal treatment may involve using drugs such as buprenorphine (Subutex).
Methadone can also be used at first and then phased out for weeks or months. Physicians use these medications to reduce the body’s shock triggered by stopping Vicodin.
Talk to Your Doctor
Vicodin should be used safely for the treatment of short-term pain. When you are worried about addiction complications or other side effects, share your concerns or questions with your doctor. This is particularly vital if you have a personal or family history of addiction. Your doctor can recommend a different prescription instead.
When you are still taking Vicodin, pay attention to any side effects, and be mindful of any symptoms that might make you more dependent. Feel free to speak to your doctor at any time if you have any doubts or concerns about your prescription. Remember, they’re here to help you out.
Withdrawal from any medication can sometimes be severe but bear in mind that the effects are transient and pass on.
How Can You Help?
If you believe someone you love is abusing Vicodin, they need your help. If you have confirmed any of the signs and symptoms, they urgently require medical intervention. A drug intervention is a consultation where loved ones, acquaintances, or coworkers accompany the individual and make them realize that they’re having a Vicodin problem.
Such treatments on drugs will only be carried out in collaboration with a qualified interventionist. The government may aid in a variety of ways, including:
- Ensuring intervention is performed in a safe environment
- Ensuring the approach is “on track”
- Helping people move through the opioid rehabilitation system very quickly
Recovery with Resurgence
The drug rehab center at Resurgence is where you can come to recover and regain confidence. Our programs will support you through a range of therapies and treatments to reduce your physical and psychological reliance on Vicodin.
Call today so we can work with you to create a plan for recovery.