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Vicodin Addiction

Vicodin is now classified as the most popular pain relief medication available in the United States. However, you need to understand that despite its pain relief effects, it can also cause you to become addicted. Once this happens, you will soon find that the drug has started affecting your financial stability, productivity, relationships, health and wellness.

About Vicodin

Vicodin is a brand name prescription pain relief medication. It contains acetaminophen that is used in the treatment of minor pains and aches. It also has hydrocodone, an opioid that is highly addictive. This combination medication is typically prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain.

The hydrocodone component in Vicodin is classified as a synthetic opioid. This effectively means that it will active the same neuron-receptors that are activated when you take other opioids like heroin.

Every tablet of Vicodin contains about 300 mg to 325 mg of acetaminophen. These tablets are available in 3 different hydrocodone dosage levels - 10 mg, 7.5 mg, and 5 mg. when a doctor prescribes Vicodin, they will recommended that you take a single table every 4 to 6 hours. However, if you are already addicted to opioids, you may be required to take a higher dose.

Vicodin is also available in different forms, including capsules, syrups, and tablets. It is effective in the treatment of pain that has been considered to be so severe than other medications are unable to manage it.

The DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - classified this medication as a schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act passed by the federal government. This effectively means that Vicodin has various medical uses but also comes with a high risk of substance abuse and addiction. For this reason, it is only available as a prescription medication.

Doctors will often prescribe this drug if you have already been treated using other non-opioid medications but they proved to be ineffective in helping you overcome your severe pain. You may also receive this prescription if you are unable to tolerant any other medication.

The NIH - the National Institutes of Health - reports that the hydrocodone component of Vicodin is produced from the poppy seed resin. Combined with acetaminophen, it is effective in pain management.

Although this drug is quite effective if you use it properly, going against your doctor's prescription or taking it without a valid prescription could lead to negative outcomes. You may also end up suffering from mental health issues and stomach pain that could linger for several years.

Additionally, Vicodin works to depress the central nervous system. As such, it will naturally decrease your respiration and heart rate - which could prove to be deadly if you suffer a drug overdose.

The longer you abuse this medication, the more the number of negative side effects that you are to end up suffering. You may also struggle with issues with your social relationships, performance at work and school, and health and wellness.

Other Names for Vicodin

Although Vicodin is the right term for this medication, some people refer to it by a wide variety of street names. Most of them do this to avoid detection by such authorities as law enforcement officials. Examples of these street names include:

  • 357s
  • Fluff
  • Hydros
  • Lorris
  • Narco
  • Norcos
  • Tabs
  • Vicos
  • Vics
  • Vikes
  • Watsons

Signs and Symptoms of Vicodin Addiction

Abusing Vicodin could lead to the development of a substance use disorder or an addiction. Over time, this condition could be accompanied by the following signs and symptoms of addiction:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Continuing to use the drug even after you have realized that it has been causing problems in your relationships
  • Continuing to use the drug even after you realize that it is causing physical or psychological problems in your life
  • Cravings for Vicodin
  • Decreased inhibitions
  • Depression
  • Development of negative withdrawal symptoms when you reduce your Vicodin dose or completely stop using it
  • Dizziness
  • Doctor shopping
  • Drowsiness
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Euphoria
  • Failing in your responsibilities at home, work, or school due to ongoing Vicodin use
  • Fear
  • Giving up essential recreational, social, or occupational activities so that you can continue abusing this medication
  • Hallucinations
  • Headache
  • Hiding the drug
  • Itching
  • Lack of focus
  • Lessened respiration rate
  • Lying so that you can obtain Vicodin
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Needing more of the drug to achieve the desired effects (or building up tolerance)
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Seizures
  • Severe mood swings
  • Sleepiness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Small pupils
  • Spending a great deal of your time and money looking for, acquiring, and using Vicodin
  • Stealing
  • Taking more of the drug than you intended
  • Taking the drug for longer or in larger amounts than your doctor recommended
  • Urges to use the drug
  • Using Vicodin even when it has been putting you in danger
  • Vomiting
  • Wanting to stop using or to cut down on Vicodin use but being unable to
  • Weakness

Short and Long-Term Effects of Vicodin Abuse

The side effects of Vicodin abuse will range from severe complications to some minor annoyances. Either way, it is recommended that you seek addiction treatment and rehabilitation services as soon as you suffer the following short and long term effects of drug abuse:

  • Aches
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Birth complications
  • Birth defects
  • Blurred vision
  • Calm feeling
  • Changes in eyesight or hearing
  • Chemical dependency
  • Chills
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Cramps
  • Death
  • Depressed breathing rate
  • Depressed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Euphoria
  • Fever
  • Financial issues
  • Headache
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impairment in your sexual functioning
  • Incarceration
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Itching
  • Jaundice
  • Lightheadedness
  • Liver damage
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of job
  • Memory problems
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Mood changes
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Neglect of family
  • Onset of new or and worsening of existing mental health symptoms
  • Polysubstance use
  • Relationship problems
  • Relaxation
  • Seizures
  • Slowed breathing
  • Social isolation
  • Stomach pain
  • Swelling of the throat, face, or mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble walking
  • Trouble with school
  • Urinary system issues
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Vicodin Overdose

You can also suffer a Vicodin overdose. This condition will occur when you experience adverse effects due to taking this drug in excessive amounts. If you leave this condition untreated, it could lead to sudden death.

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of a Vicodin overdose:

  • Amnesia
  • Blackouts
  • Bloody urine
  • Blue tint to the fingers and lips
  • Breathing reduction
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Changes in consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Darkened urine
  • Death
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Increased sweating
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Jaundice
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Organ damage
  • Organ failure
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Pulmonary failure
  • Seizure
  • Severe sleepiness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Stomach pain
  • Stopped breathing
  • Sweating
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Vomiting

These effects will increase drastically in case you abuse Vicodin alongside another drug. Further, the fact that this medication suppresses the central nervous system, an overdose on it could lead to significantly dangerous breathing problems. It is for this reason that you may end up dying as a result of reduced oxygen levels in your body.

If you suspect that you may be suffering a drug overdose or displaying any of the above listed symptoms after taking Vicodin, you should call 911 or your local poisons control center as soon as possible.

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms

If you are addicted to Vicodin and you suddenly stop abusing it or significantly reduce your usual dose, you could suffer some withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms could make it difficult for you to stop abusing this drug. They include but are not always limited to:

  • Aches and cramps
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Bone pain
  • Chills
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Hostility
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Intense sweating
  • Irritability
  • Jumpiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood shifts
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle cramping
  • Nausea
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

The Best Options for Vicodin Addiction Treatment

To overcome your Vicodin abuse and addiction, it is recommended that you go for either inpatient or outpatient treatment. Both of these recovery options will first provide you with medical detox services to manage your withdrawal symptoms. After that, they will offer various rehabilitation services to help you deal with your psychological, behavioral, and emotional dependence on the drug.


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