All About Vicodin Abuse and Addiction
Most of us have been prescribed pain relievers at least once in our lives. The most common one being ibuprofen, which does not have any severe side effects. But opioid analgesics such as Vicodin can lead to addiction.
What Is Vicodin Used For?
Vicodin is an opioid used to treat different levels of pain. This can be severe pain or moderate. Usually, being prescribed after surgeries for effective pain management. If you’re wondering how Vicodin works, it starts working within the brain’s receptors. This changes the way your body reacts and feels the pain.
Vicodin ingredients include:
- A pain reliever, which is non-narcotic, by the name of Acetaminophen
- A pain soother, which is narcotic, by the name of Hydrocodone
Is Vicodin Addictive?
Vicodin abuse is a significant problem that is increasing with time. According to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Authority), Vicodin pills are the most abused prescription drugs in the US. In most cases, this abuse leads to addiction.
Symptoms of Vicodin Addiction
It can be hard to recognize Vicodin addiction. Often, people develop dependence and don’t realize it until they stop taking it. This includes having Vicodin withdrawals and increased tolerance to the drug. Over a period of time, dependence leads to addiction. In some cases, people who are addicted to this drug use Vicodin with alcohol to get high.
Common signs of Vicodin addiction are:
- Looking or feeling drowsy after taking the drug
- Being unable to pay attention or focus
- Craving for Vicodin even without pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Having anxiety and sudden mood swings
- Becoming paranoid
If you’re suffering from addiction or know someone else who is, it’s time to get serious. It’s recommended that you ask them or yourself some simple questions to get an idea:
- Are you taking a higher Vicodin dose than prescribed?
- Are you taking the drug even after your prescription has ended?
- Do you continue to take Vicodin even after knowing the dangers and side effects?
- Are your personal, professional, or financial aspects suffering due to Vicodin addiction?
What Are The Side Effects Of Vicodin Abuse?
Every substance has some adverse effects on the user’s health, and the same goes for Vicodin. There are many side effects of taking Vicodin and some of them are severe. These Vicodin effects include:
- A relaxed and calm feeling
- Depressed heart rate and beating rate
- Aches and cramps
- Nausea and/or vomiting
If Vicodin abuse isn’t identified and treated at the right time, it can lead to bigger problems. These include damage to vital organs like the liver and kidney.
Vicodin Withdrawal And Addiction Treatment
Vicodin withdrawals can be intense and painful. This is why many people continue taking the drug just to avoid it. It can bring many physical discomforts and cravings. One of the most common Vicodin withdrawal symptoms is flu that lasts five days on average.
However, these symptoms vary greatly. It depends on the length of time the painkiller was used for and the user’s tolerance.
The most successful way to overcome Vicodin addiction is by receiving professional treatment. Professional treatment includes therapy and support for recovery. Many rehab centers offer detox programs. These help addicts in dealing with their withdrawal symptoms safely and successfully.
It also includes the use of medication to deal with the symptoms. Two of the most common medicines used are:
Buprenorphine: Relieves withdrawal by activating the same receptors in the brain as Vicodin. It also releases dopamine
Naltrexone opioid antagonist helps in reducing the cravings. Also, it blocks the effects of Vicodin in the case of a relapse
Every year, millions of people around the world seek professional help for addiction. It’s never too late. If you notice any of Vicodin addiction symptoms in a loved one or yourself, seek medical help immediately.