Vicodin Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

July 24, 2020 , Agape Treatment Center

hand holding Vicodin and other pillsVicodin is a prescription painkiller containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid that mimics the effects of stronger opioid drugs, like heroin and morphine. As a result, many people who abuse the drug end up addicted to it. Being highly addictive and marked by difficult withdrawal symptoms, those suffering from Vicodin addiction usually require professional treatment.

Amid a national opioid epidemic, Vicodin is one of the most commonly abused prescription painkillers. As a Schedule II controlled substance under the DEA, it is recognized for its abuse and addiction potential.

If you or a loved one is struggling with Vicoden addiction, it’s imperative that you seek help as soon as possible. Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease and Vicodin dependence is no exception. In fact, 4-6% of people who abuse prescription opioids end up abusing heroin and other potent opioids later in life.[1] By getting help early, you can break the cycle.

The Dangers of Vicodin Abuse

Opioids affect the central nervous system and inhibit the production of dopamine in the brain. When this happens, users feel a rush of euphoria and relaxation. Their pain perception decreases as well as their heart rate, breathing, and responsiveness. People who are high on opiates may also feel dizzy, light-headed, or tired. Other common signs of Vicodin abuse include:

  • Constricted pupils
  • Itching
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Flushed skin

Regular Vicodin abuse can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Moreover, increased opioid abuse also increases the risk of overdose. People who abuse Vicodin regularly may also combine it with other drugs and/or alcohol, therefore, further increasing the risk of an opioid overdose.

Signs and Symptoms of Vicodin Addiction

Sometimes it’s easy to spot a Vicodin addiction. You may notice that your loved one is doctor shopping to try and obtain multiple prescriptions from various doctors. You may also notice that he or she acts erratically if they run out of the drug or can’t find their prescription. These are all classic signs of drug addiction that indicate the need for help.

Other signs and symptoms of Vicodin addiction include:

  • Attempting to stop using but being unable to do so
  • Taking Vicodin in larger amounts or for longer than you intended to
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking Vicodin
  • Having drug cravings
  • Spending a lot of time, money, and resources on your habit
  • Neglecting prior responsibilities at home, school, and work
  • Isolating from and lying to friends and family
  • Continuing to use the drug even if it is causing or making a physical or mental health problem worse

Addiction then leads to a heap of problems, such as legal issues, problems in relationships, health risks, and mental health issues. As a result, anyone who is experiencing opioid or Vicodin addiction should seek professional substance abuse treatment as soon as possible.

Vicodin Withdrawal and Detox

When an addictive substance like Vicodin is abused regularly, users will develop a physical dependence characterized by withdrawal symptoms that occur when people stop using. Since opioid withdrawal is infamously known to be difficult and unpleasant, many people will continue taking Vicodin simply to avoid going into withdrawal.

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:[2]

  • Yawning excessively
  • Overactive tear ducts
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Goosebumps
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

These flu-like symptoms aren’t usually life-threatening, but they can be seriously difficult to overcome alone. Instead, getting help from a drug detox is the best way to begin your recovery from Vicodin addiction.

Inpatient detox centers are equipped with staff who provide 24/7 monitoring, supervision, and support. They are there to ensure that each patient’s detox experience is as safe, comfortable, and tolerable as possible. Fortunately, opioid withdrawal is easily treated with the help of buprenorphine – a drug that targets opioid receptors in the brain, therefore, reducing withdrawal symptoms. Detox usually lasts less than a week, and afterward, patients should move on to the next phase of treatment.

Treatment for Vicodin Addiction

Patients suffering from a severe opioid use disorder should attend an inpatient rehab center where they have a safe and supportive environment to focus fully on their recovery. Those who have completed inpatient rehab or don’t require intensive care may choose to attend outpatient programming. Either way, these programs are crucial to Vicodin addiction recovery.

Drug rehab programs put patients through comprehensive therapy, relapse prevention, and educational sessions to help promote lasting sobriety. Oftentimes, these therapy sessions will also target underlying conditions such as trauma, mental illness, or personality disorders. By uncovering the root causes of substance abuse, patients can begin to change their behaviors and lifestyles to better support their recovery.

Most Vicodin rehab programs consist of individual, group, and family therapy using both behavioral and holistic methods to provide a whole-patient approach. Depending on your personal needs, a treatment program may last anywhere from 28 days to several months or more. However, what’s most important is that you receive individualized treatment that addresses your specific needs.

Get Help Today

Overcoming Vicodin addiction isn’t easy – but we’re here to help. At Agape Treatment Center, we take a holistic approach to treating the mental, physical, and spiritual manifestations of drug and alcohol addiction. Starting with detox and continuing into aftercare, we’ll be here for you every step of the way. Don’t wait any longer – contact us today to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs in Fort Lauderdale.

References:

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/symptoms-vicodin-withdrawal#symptoms