Vicodin

If you’ve ever had surgery or have broken a bone, chances are that you may have been prescribed Vicodin. Vicodin is the brand name of the generic drug, hydrocodone. It is a prescription opioid medication that doctors prescribe to patients to treat pain, but it has addictive properties and can be habit-forming. It can also have fatal consequences if a person overdoses.

Also sold under brand names such as Lortab and Norco, Vicodin (i.e., hydrocodone) combines a semi-synthetic opioid with a non-narcotic pain medication (e.g., acetaminophen) to reduce fever and pain. Typically, Vicodin is prescribed after a surgery or an injury, but it is also used as an antitussive, which helps to suppress a person’s cough.

How does Vicodin work?

Vicodin acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to reduce pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and throughout the body. Opioid prescription medications such as Vicodin dampen the pain signals sent throughout the nervous system to reduce the perception of and emotional response to pain.

The ability of Vicodin to affect the brain’s reward system is one of the primary reasons why people repeatedly take the drug. The brain’s reward system also plays a major role in opioid addiction, including addiction to Vicodin, by increasing the release of a brain chemical called dopamine, which causes users to feel euphoric and pleasurable effects.

Vicodin abuse: Side effects

The most common side effects of Vicodin include dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, sedation, and constipation. Although these side effects may be unpleasant, they are rarely dangerous. Vicodin can also dangerously slow a person’s breathing. At high enough doses, Vicodin can lead to seizures, overdoses, respiratory failure, and even death.

Following are some of the other short-term effects of Vicodin abuse.

  • Relaxation
  • Nervousness
  • Mental clouding
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle spasms, pain or stiffness
  • Joint and abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Faintness
  • Slowed respiration
  • Urinary retention
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Ringing in ears
  • Problems with sleep
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Kidney or adrenal gland problems
  • Acute liver failure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Rash or hives
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations

Effects of Vicodin abuse

Tolerance, or the need to take more of a drug to achieve the same effects, develops quickly in people who take narcotic drugs such as Vicodin. Tolerance is a major reason why people commonly develop physical dependence after taking the drug for only a couple days, even when the drug is taken as prescribed. The chronic abuse of opioids can eventually impair the body’s ability to naturally reduce pain.

Following are some of the long-term effects of Vicodin abuse.

  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Loss of coordination
  • Attention problems
  • Judgment lapses
  • Low testosterone levels
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Collapsed veins
  • Coma
  • Physical dependence
  • Addiction
  • Compromised immune system
  • Death

Vicodin addiction: Signs and symptoms

In addition to a noticeable decrease in pain, Vicodin use results in relaxation and euphoria. Owing to its pain-relieving properties and its addictive nature, Vicodin users may develop a tolerance for the drug requiring more and more of it to achieve the same effects. Vicodin misuse occurs when a person takes the drug without a prescription, longer than intended, or takes higher doses than prescribed. Vicodin abuse increases the risk for one to develop an opioid use disorder, also referred to as Vicodin addiction.

The signs and symptoms of Vicodin addiction may become more noticeable as this disease worsens.

Following are some of the signs of Vicodin addiction.

  • Drug-seeking behavior
  • Compulsive drug use
  • Secretive behavior
  • Spending excessive time and energy to obtain and use drugs
  • Denial and/or stealing
  • Continued drug use despite negative consequences that result
  • Physical dependence
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Vicodin abuse: Withdrawal symptoms

Chronic Vicodin abuse can contribute to withdrawal symptoms when a person tries to reduce the dosage or stop taking the drug completely. Extremely uncomfortable, Vicodin withdrawal symptoms make it difficult for people to stop using the drug. Following are some of the withdrawal symptoms of Vicodin abuse.

  • Irritability
  • Racing heart
  • Fast breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hot flashes and chills
  • Goose bumps
  • Muscle cramps
  • Involuntary leg movements
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Panic
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Vicodin addiction treatment

Meant to treat moderate to severe pain over a short period of time, hydrocodone contained in Vicodin creates pleasurable reactions in the brain and the body and is susceptible to long-term abuse. When taken in larger quantities than prescribed, it can lead to overuse, abuse, and eventually physical and psychological addiction.

A comprehensive treatment for Vicodin addiction combines medically assisted detoxification treatment that is followed by intense behavioral therapies at a certified treatment center. While Vicodin detox treatment helps in removing toxic drugs from the system, therapies or counseling sessions such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and support groups help address any underlying psychological issues that may be causing the addiction. Additionally, behavioral therapies also teach patients the necessary life skills to cope with stress and help an individual identify trigger situations.

Why choose Sovereign Health?

A chain of licensed rehab centers accredited by the Joint Commission, Sovereign Health provides evidence-based, customized care to provide each person with lasting recovery. With the goal to provide each client with the tools they need to overcome their addiction and prevent it from recurring, Sovereign Health of Arizona offers each of its female clients with a holistic range of treatments as per their needs.

Vicodin abuse and addiction are serious problems that can be alleviated with the proper treatment. Sovereign Health’s Vicodin addiction treatment program in Chandler, Arizona, provides comprehensive treatment programs to women with opioid use disorders. Sovereign Health of Chandler, Arizona, which specializes in the treatment of trauma, provides women suffering from Vicodin addiction evidence-based, complementary and experiential treatments.

Treatment at Sovereign Health’s Vicodin detox centers combine medically-supervised detox program along with treatment options such as individual, group and family sessions with evidence-based treatments such as CBT, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and complementary treatments such as neurofeedback, and experiential therapies including yoga, meditation, and expressive arts therapy to help women overcome their Vicodin addiction.

We also offer comprehensive behavioral health treatment programs to women with mental health conditions and co-occurring disorders. For further information about our top-notch Vicodin addiction treatment at our state-of-the-art Chandler facility, please call our 24/7 helpline and speak to admission specialist. You can even chat online with our representative for further assistance.

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