Vicodin is often prescribed by physicians to help patients relieve moderate or severe pain and is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The pain receptors in the brain are blocked when vicodin is consumed and it also induces a feeling of euphoria. These effects make vicodin extremely effective for relieving pain but also very addictive. People who abuse vicodin typically feel relaxation or a rush of euphoria, during this time any physical pain begins to diminish. A tolerance for the substance can be built during extended periods of use, increasing the chances of substance abuse since more vicodin will need to be taken to achieve the same results initially experienced.
In extreme cases vicodin abusers will consume up to 30 pills every day and sometimes more. Signs of vicodin abuse include nausea and vomiting, inability to focus on tasks, appearing drowsy, extreme anxiety and paranoia, obsession with vicodin and severe mood swings. Vicodin abusers will often go out of their way to get more of the drug, including taking their chances with fraudulent means like doctor shopping. When a substance abusers life begins to revolve around vicodin their personal and professional life including their financial situation begins to take a downward spiral.
Casual users of vicodin may experience dizziness, swelling, itching, vomiting, weakness or upset stomach. Medical issues such as liver failure, urinary system issues or liver damage could arise if vicodin is abused for a prolonged period of time. Vicodin naturally reduces the heart rate and respirations since it is a central nervous system depressant, especially when taken in large doses. When vicodin is combined with opiates or alcohol it is not uncommon for overdose to occur. The duration of the withdrawal period will depend on a variety of factors such as how long vicodin was taken and the dose taken.
Vicodin withdrawal can result in severe side effects so it is crucial that withdrawal is done under the supervision of a licensed medical professional to prevent complications from occurring. In some cases medication may be prescribed to vicodin abusers lessen the effects from withdrawal. Clonidine is one of the drugs that is prescribed to vicodin abusers which helps to relieve muscle aches and cramping and decrease anxiety and agitation. Vicodin treatment programs will provide all of the necessary tools and resources to allow abusers to safely withdraw from vicodin without experiencing any life threatening or serious repercussions.
If you or someone you love needs help with Vicodin addiction, please contact me today and I can make a referral.
Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.