Vicodin is a narcotic pain reliever that is extremely addictive and harmful if used recreationally. The main ingredients in the drug are synthetic codeine (an opioid that is chemically related to recreational drugs like heroin or opium) and acetaminophen. It is the codeine that gives users a narcotic “high” and that creates both physical dependency and psychological addiction. Vicodin abuse is a serious and growing problem that many people mistakenly believe is no big deal.
Physical Risks Associated with Vicodin Abuse
Vicodin alters the chemical system in the brain that communicates pain messages. In the process it also creates euphoria and blocks emotional pain or stress signals. Vicodin also replaces naturally occurring “feel good” chemicals in the brain meaning that once the supply of the drug wears off, the user will be left feeling miserable. Many users who take the drug recreationally or even with a legitimate prescription for pain become physically dependent on it. Over time it causes neurological damage and other physiological deterioration. The body develops a tolerance to Vicodin quickly. This means that the user will require increasingly large doses to feel the initial desired effects. This also opens abusers up to a rebound effect when the pain-blocking power of the medication fades away and transforms into a source of powerful pain.
Psychological Risks Associated with Vicodin Abuse
The part of the brain most directly associated with the high brought on by Vicodin abuse is the same area responsible for mood, memory, impulse control and anxiety management. Any painful emotional feelings such as loneliness, insecurity, depression, fear or anxiety will be temporarily blocked by the drug, and the brain will crave this relief on a psychological level that is deeper and more powerful than rational thought. Many people who are tempted to abuse drugs like Vicodin suffer from co-occurring emotional distress and are especially susceptible to psychological dependence. While physical withdrawal from Vicodin is painful, the psychological effects of addiction are much more powerful and long-lasting.
Do You Have a Vicodin Abuse or Addiction Problem?
Any use of Vicodin outside of specifically prescribed and monitored use by a physician is extremely dangerous. A real risk of addiction follows any use of the drug, but illicit use is especially dangerous. In order to identify a possible Vicodin problem ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you ever lied or exaggerated pain symptoms to get more of the drug?
- Have you ever been dishonest with loved ones or medical professionals about your Vicodin use?
- Have you been pressured by friends into taking prescription drugs recreationally?
- If you have a legitimate prescription, do you ever take more than instructed?
- Are you defensive or angry when confronted about your Vicodin use?
- Do you use Vicodin to feel better about stressful situations in your life?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a Vicodin problem.
Finding the Right Help for Vicodin Dependency Today
If you are wrestling with a Vicodin addiction or are using the drug recreationally, please call our toll-free helpline. We are here 24 hours a day to answer your questions about Vicodin abuse and can help you find the best treatment available for your unique problem. Don’t play with your future and your health. Call today.