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Vicodin is a pain reliever prescribed after surgeries or with chronic pain. The drug is a mixture of hydrocodone, an opioid, and acetaminophen, a non-opioid that is available without a prescription. A common brand of acetaminophen is better known as Tylenol. Hydrocodone is used for chronic pain and as a cough suppressant for adults. It’s a semi-synthetic opioid that is synthesized from codeine.
Hydrocodone is prescribed more than any other pain reliever. The reason Vicodin can be addictive is because it triggers a rise in dopamine levels in the brain when it’s used, and more so when it is abused. As a result, users experience euphoria and relaxation when they take the pain reliever.
Vicodin is a white oval pill with the lettering “VICODIN” on it. A generic version of Vicodin won’t have the brand on it, but it will look the same in appearance.
People use Vicodin to treat chronic pain, but it can be addictive and people can become dependent on it. Some users build a tolerance to Vicodin, meaning you’ll need a larger dose every time you take it to feel the same effects.
Vicodin was first sold as a brand-name narcotic in 1978 and became widely available in 1983. The main ingredients in Vicodin date back to the 1800s. Hydrocodone was synthesized in the 1920s, and acetaminophen was made from distilling a byproduct of coal tar.
The DEA tightened restrictions on Vicodin prescriptions to protect those who abuse or misuse Vicodin. In 2013, hydrocodone became the most frequently prescribed opiate in the United States. Today, doctors will face penalties if they prescribe hydrocodone or Vicodin incorrectly.
The symptoms of Vicodin addiction depend on how long the drug has been abused. Someone who may have a valid Vicodin prescription may eventually take more pills than prescribed over time, or they may continue to visit the doctor for another prescription even after the pain is gone due to dependence. You may notice people failing in school or fulfilling their duties at work or at home. An addict’s days may revolve around obtaining Vicodin or recovering from the effects of addiction.
Don’t Let Addiction Control You
The effects of Vicodin addiction may first appear as the medication working normally. Users may have a relaxed feeling, a sense of calamity, or euphoria. However, with prolonged use and abuse of Vicodin, users may experience fainting spells, anxiety, dizziness, and trouble breathing. Over time, Vicodin can cause liver damage, lead to depression, and cause users to have an irregular heartbeat.
People who were given prescription pain relievers by a friend or relative.
people misused prescription pain relievers in 2020.
Number of 12th graders that abuse a Vicodin prescription.
Vicodin addiction treatment works best in a professional environment. Detox helps addicts safely manage uncomfortable and problematic withdrawal symptoms. In inpatient rehabilitation facilities, Vicodin addicts can take other medication, such as buprenorphine or naltrexone, to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. Vicodin withdrawals can cause addicts to continue to use the drug, making it difficult to quit on their own.
At Gratitude Lodge, we can help you or your loved one overcome Vicodin addiction. We will first see if there are other drugs or mental illnesses present that we need to treat. The next step is detoxing from Vicodin. Our inpatient residential addiction treatment centers in Newport Beach and Long Beach offers individualized counseling, supportive group therapy, a 12-step recovery program, and access to trained medical staff 24/7.
Vicodin is often paired with other painkillers such as oxycodone, and benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium. These combinations can cause respiratory depression, cause a user to slip into a coma and it can result in death. Vicodin is also commonly abused with alcohol, marijuana and other opioids such as heroin. Vicodin shouldn’t be taken with any other drug. But if you or a loved one does abuse Vicodin, we can help.
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