How can I overcome Vicodin addiction?

Why do so many people abuse Vicodin?

Vicodin is an opioid painkiller. Vicodin abuse has been a serious issue for many years. In fact, this drug, consisting of hydrocodone combined with acetaminophen, was once the most abused opioid of all. The popularity of Vicodin use was likely due to it being the most prescribed prescription painkiller. While Vicodin abuse rates have gone down in recent years due to tighter controls, it is still one of the most misused and abused medications. If you are struggling with Vicodin addiction, you are not alone.

What are the risk factors for Vicodin addiction?

If you have had a recent surgery or dental work, you may have been prescribed Vicodin, Lortab or another opiate containing hydrocodone. Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of the population that is at high risk for developing opioid addiction. This means that if you take this drug as prescribed, you could become addicted. However, not all Vicodin addiction is due to prescribed painkilling medication.

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What are the dangers of recreational Vicodin Use?

There are novelty-seeking users who take Vicodin simply to get high. These recreational users will often combine Vicodin with other drugs, such as Xanax or Valium. Soma is also another popular drug of abuse that is combined with Vicodin. In fact, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma have been called “The Holy Trinity” by law enforcement officers investigating overdose cases. The combination of these sedating drugs can act as a respiratory depressant, increasing the risk of overdose.

How serious is a Vicodin addiction?

Some people believe that Vicodin is not as addictive as other opiate drugs because it used to be classified as a schedule 3 drug. This implied that it had a lower potential for abuse compared to other similar drugs, such as oxycodone. However, this is not the case. As experts who work in the field of addiction treatment are aware, Vicodin addiction is quite serious. Because of the highly addictive nature of the main ingredient, hydrocodone, Vicodin has been raised to schedule 2 status. This means that the government considers it to have the addiction potential of other opioids, such as oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone and morphine.

Can Vicodin cause liver damage?

Yes, liver damage is one of the most serious consequences of Vicodin addiction. This is due to the acetaminophen contained in every tablet. Because of the dangers of acetaminophen and the high risk of liver damage, the FDA ordered that Vicodin and other similar drugs must limit the acetaminophen content to no more than 325mg per tablet. Some Vicodin users have tried to bypass this risk by removing the acetaminophen, or Tylenol, from the Vicodin tablets. They use a technique known as Cold Water Extraction. This involves using ice water and a coffee filter to isolate the hydrocodone from the acetaminophen. The problem is that this kitchen chemistry is not reliable and could very well expose a Vicodin user to toxic levels of acetaminophen. Or, it could lead to overdose since the user may accidentally ingest too much hydrocodone.

How can I tell if someone has a problem with Vicodin addiction?

Addiction in general often involves mood swings. If a person is suffering from addiction they may isolate themselves and appear to be depressed. Physical symptoms may include pinpoint pupils and apparent sleepiness alternating with irritability. 

What are the withdrawal symptoms that occur after quitting Vicodin?

Withdrawal symptoms of Vicodin are similar to other opioid drugs. Muscle aches, chills, cramps, runny nose, and other symptoms are common. Withdrawal symptoms can last for days or even weeks. Opioid cravings are also a part of withdrawal and can often lead to further Vicodin use or even a switch to another opiate, such as heroin or fentanyl. This is how many opioid users move from prescription painkillers to heroin. When the user runs out of medication that they purchased from a street dealer, the dealer may offer heroin as an alternative. If you are going through detox from hydrocodone by yourself, you may be susceptible to the temptation to do anything to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms and to feed your cravings.

What medication do rehab centers use for Vicodin addiction treatment?

Addiction is a serious chronic condition, characterized by relapse and acute exacerbations. While rehab can help in serious cases, for substance abuse that involves any opioid, including Vicodin, buprenorphine treatment for an extended period of time has a high rate of success. Buprenorphine is the main ingredient in Suboxone. Many patients who have struggled with this addiction have found success and freedom from active opioid addiction with Suboxone and therapy. Medication assisted treatment with buprenorphine is being adopted by more treatment centers to help patients overcome Vicodin withdrawal and cravings and to feel normal again. This form of addiction treatment can help a patient go from a life-threatening situation to being drug-free.

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