Vicodin Addiction

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Vicodin is an extremely addictive opiate medication. Abuse is common, often beginning when the medication is prescribed legally by a doctor. Soon, Vicodin tolerance becomes dependence, and then addiction. Because addiction to this substance can be lethal in the case of an overdose, it’s important to get help now. Quitting cold turkey isn’t advisable because withdrawal can be uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms can be managed with or without medication. Use of withdrawal medication depends on the personal preference of the person going through withdrawal and the recommendations of their doctor. But, what is Vicodin, and why is it so addictive?

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is a brand name pill prescribed by doctors to treat pain. This narcotic medication contains two active ingredients: hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Most people know acetaminophen as the generic version of Tylenol. Hydrocode is a semi-synthetic opioid, meaning it is both natural and lab-made. This type of opioid is used to treat more severe types of pain. Commonly, Vicodin is prescribed when someone is injured in an accident or after they’ve gone through an invasive medical procedure. It may also be prescribed to relieve pain associated with cancer, although stronger medications are often prescribed then. It was released by Knoll Pharmaceuticals in 1978 and quickly became popular with doctors and patients alike. Like with other opioid painkillers, Vicodin use can quickly turn into Vicodin dependence. That’s why Vicodin is similar to Percocet, Oxycontin, and Oxycodone. For those who get a prescription from a doctor, there’s the thought that addiction only happens to those who take drugs illegally. This is untrue and unhelpful. Addiction can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any point of their life. It’s important for people who have legal Vicodin prescriptions to understand that tolerance, dependence, and addiction can happen quickly.


Why do People Become Addicted to Vicodin?

Vicodin addiction is common because its active ingredient, Hydrocodone, is an opiate. Opiates, by nature, are extremely addictive substances. They create a sense of euphoria in users and kill pain. People become tolerant, dependent and addicted to the feelings of euphoria and pain relief. Other opiates include heroin, morphine, and fentanyl – all of which are extremely addictive substances. When someone is prescribed Vicodin to treat pain, addiction can occur. Vicodin is meant to be prescribed for only a short period of time. Still, it can become both physically and mentally addictive quickly.

What are the Signs of Vicodin Addiction?

The signs and symptoms associated with Vicodin use and abuse are similar to that of other opioid medications. Sometimes these signs and symptoms can be made worse when the user is also drinking alcohol and doing other drugs. Recognizing there is a problem is crucial to ending the cycle of addiction. If you believe that yourself or a loved one is using or abusing Vicodin, get help now.

Signs and Symptoms of Use

An individual currently using and/or abusing Vicodin may show the following signs of use:

  • A change in mood or attitude
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Withdrawal
  • Mood swings
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Loss of long and short-term memory 
  • Drug seeking behaviors, like stealing or lying
  • Purchasing Vicodin outside of a prescription 
  • Using Vicodin outside of the prescription – using too much Vicodin
  • Forging or stealing prescriptions in order to get Vicodin 
  • Trouble focusing 
  • Dizziness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Shallow breathing 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Constipation

What are the Signs of a Vicodin Overdose?

If you think someone is overdosing on Vicodin, call your local emergency services as soon as possible. Here are the signs of overdose:

  • A loss of consciousness
  • Being awake, but not being able to speak or move
  • Being unresponsive to outside stimuli, including someone calling your name or hitting you 
  • Slow, shallow, or erratic breathing 
  • Breathing that has stopped completely
  • Slow, shallow, or erratic heartbeat
  • A limp body 
  • Vomiting 
  • Sounds that are similar to a person choking, gurgling or snoring
  • Blue fingernails 
  • Blue or purple lips 
  • A pale and clammy face and hands

What are the Symptoms of Vicodin Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from Vicodin is similar to withdrawal from any other opioid substance. It can be extremely painful and uncomfortable, lasting anywhere from a few days to weeks or even months. The length of time someone spends in withdrawal is dependent on the amount of time they used for and the amount of the drug they used. Here are some of the symptoms: 

  • Body aches
  • Chills 
  • Stomach cramps 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Restless leg
  • Sneezing 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety

Virtual Treatment Center: Who Are We?

At Virtual Treatment Center, we believe quality addiction recovery and mental health services should be easily accessible to those that want or need them, because ease of accessibility is what most often leads to success. That’s why we’re committed to providing top-tier virtual mental health teletherapy and addiction recovery services to all residents of California. Although we’re located in Orange County, our online teletherapy can be accessed throughout the state. In addition to providing addiction recovery services, we treat a variety of mental health issues and offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Our teletherapy sessions are done via two-way, live interactive video or by telephone. Therapeutic visits are conducted on Zoom most often, or on other virtual platforms that adhere to HIPAA compliance requirements.


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