Vicodin is a combination medication used to alleviate pain ranging from moderate to severe. It contains two types of pain relievers, an opioid (hydrocodone) and a non-opioid (acetaminophen), each with a different role. The hydrocodone component changes how your brain feels and reacts to pain. Acetaminophen helps elevate your body’s pain tolerance threshold and can reduce fever and heat. Vicodin is a strong pain reliever frequently prescribed for pain from accidents, injuries, or long-term illnesses.
While Vicodin can be highly effective, it also has a high potential for misuse or addiction. Studies show that most people who became addicted to Vicodin started with a doctor’s prescription that they were following. Over time, however, they might increase their dosage or extend their use. This usage can quickly turn into dependence, meaning they are mentally dependent on the drug, and eventually lead to a physical addiction.
Why does Vicodin have such a strong addiction potential, and how do you know if you or a loved one is abusing Vicodin? If you are concerned about Vicodin addiction and detox, we’re here to help answer your questions.
Table of Contents
- 1 Understanding Vicodin Addiction
- 2 How Vicodin affects the brain and body.
- 3 Signs and symptoms of Vicodin addiction
- 4 Warning signs of overdose
- 5 The Importance of Detoxification
- 6 The role of medical detox
- 7 Ongoing Treatment
- 8 Additional resources for individuals and families seeking help.
- 9 How Allure Detox can help
Understanding Vicodin Addiction
By itself, acetaminophen isn’t an addictive substance, but when it’s combined with a narcotic painkiller such as hydrocodone, it’s much stronger and more addictive. Over time, your brain changes its functioning as it adjusts to the opioid intake and actually loses the ability to function without opioids. Users may start seeking increased doses, doctor shop, or turn to illegal sources to feed the addiction.
How Vicodin affects the brain and body.
When Vicodin enters your bloodstream, it attaches itself to your brain’s pain receptors. There it helps block pain signals and creates feelings of euphoria and relief. This combination of relief from pain and sense of mental well-being is what causes the dependence and addiction. As with any opioid-based drug, Vicodin also has other side effects that are intensified with increased doses or long-term use. Side effects include:
- Constipation and urinary system problems
- Liver damage
- Depressed respiration
- Decreased heartbeat rate
- Lethargy, depression, and brain fog
If combined with other medications, these effects can become more dangerous. For example, alcohol mixed with Vicodin can increase liver damage or create a fatal decrease in respiration.
Signs and symptoms of Vicodin addiction
It’s not always easy to tell if someone is abusing Vicodin, especially in the early stages or if you don’t know what to look for. Some of the warning signs to watch for include:
- Has your loved one been taking Vicodin at a higher dose or longer period than recommended?
- Do they frequently look dazed or “out of it”?
- Are they hiding their Vicodin use?
They could also be buying Vicodin or other opioids on the street if they are unable to renew their prescription or obtain a high enough dosage. Some other warning signs to be aware of include:
- Intense anxiety
- Mood swings
- Frequently talking about obtaining or needing Vicodin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty concentrating
Warning signs of overdose
As tolerance to Vicodin increases, the user often increases the dosage, and as the dosage increases, so does the risk of overdoes. If someone intakes more Vicodin than their body can process, there is a risk of overdose which can be fatal. In the event of an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Warning signs can include:
- Altered speech patterns
- Labored breathing
- Cold, clammy skin
The Importance of Detoxification
Stopping Vicodin use suddenly can create both psychological and physical side effects, which can range from unpleasant to dangerous. Many patients addicted to opioids avoid detox out of fear of the withdrawal process. Some commons withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea and loss of appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Restlessness and uncontrollable muscle twitching
- Shaking and profuse sweating
- Anxiety, confusion, and difficulty sleeping
- Intense pain in bones and muscles
The role of medical detox
With a medical detox program, patients receive round-the-clock supervised care in a supportive environment. Every situation is different, but every medical detox plan includes medical supervision to safely monitor and help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, while ensuring the patient abstains from taking opioids. Treatment plans combine group and individual counseling and may include prescription medications to alleviate anxiety, nausea, headaches, cravings, mood swings, or pain.
At Allure Detox, we provide a holistic approach to recovery, addressing both physical and mental health aspects. We treat the whole person to help make the initial detox easier and set the foundation for long-term success. Some of our treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), medication, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, yoga, and more.
When you’re in the grips of addiction, it sometimes feels like you will never break free. Even after the initial detox, many addicts relapse down the road. That’s why ongoing treatment is key to long-term success. Whether your initial treatment program is inpatient or outpatient, you need ongoing support. There are a number of options, and many recovering addicts choose a combination of treatment plans. To name a few, treatment options include:
- Individual therapy addresses your personal issues, such as family situations, job stressors, and triggers. Addicts may find that their emotional pain and trauma is no longer masked by drugs, and now they have to face the issues. An individual education and treatment plan address your goals and needs while repairing unhealthy thought patterns and offering appropriate coping mechanisms.
- Marriage or family counseling can help repair damage caused by the addiction, improve communication, or alleviate stressful family dynamics
- Group counseling and community support groups offer support from others who are dealing with similar issues
- Creating healthy habits such as meditation, physical activity, community involvement, and hobbies can help prevent relapses. Yoga can be especially helpful because it provides mental health benefits include stress relief combined with physical benefits like reduced muscle pain and increased flexibility.
- Our Alumni Program offers sober fellowship activities where you can socialize with like-minded people without worrying about your sobriety. Opportunities include local events, games, or social outings in a supportive group environment. Our coordinators organize regular meetings and social events to provide ongoing support and advice in real-life situations.
Additional resources for individuals and families seeking help.
If you need help, there are many resources available for both individuals and families. Many insurance programs offer coverage for addiction treatment, and you should contact your insurance provider for coverage details.
Some additional helpful resources include:
SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) is a free, confidential information service for individuals and family members facing mental or substance use disorders.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Nar-Anon are community support groups for individuals and their loved ones dealing with the effects of opioid addiction.
If you are in crisis, reach out to the Suicide & Crisis Hotline 24/7 by simply dialing 988.
How Allure Detox can help
We encourage you to take the crucial first step toward recovery for yourself or your loved one. If you’re ready to seek treatment, Allure Detox is here to help. Contact us today for more information about our available programs. You can contact us live 24/7 by chat or by calling us today. No one wants to stay addicted, and we can help you find your way to freedom.