For many individuals, sports injuries become the catalyst for a developing Vicodin addiction. Vicodin and other prescription opiates (the majority of which involve a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen) remain some of the most frequently prescribed drugs for sports injuries. Due to these and other factors, athletes often develop Vicodin addiction – affecting them psychologically, athletically, and ultimately, physically as chemical dependency takes hold.
Factors Involving Vicodin Addiction After Sports Injuries
There are several factors that interplay when sports injuries require pain medication in order to properly manage. As such, many athletes simply do not recognize the signs and symptoms of Vicodin addiction until it has already taken place. Here are just a few of the contributing factors for Vicodin addiction that occur among athletes who have experienced sports injuries. Don’t forget to check out our Vicodin rehabilitation guide for any type of prescription drug addiction.
- Pressure to Perform
Many athletes live under immense pressure to shorten the time of their recovery from a sports injury. In most cases, this leads them to attempt to return to a given sport before their body has properly healed. As such, many athletes experience higher levels of physical pain after a sports injury, as their attempts to push themselves into accelerated healing cause higher levels of inflammation, nerve damage, muscle re-injuring or discomfort.
- Multiple or Recurrent Injuries
Many athletes experience more than one sports injury in their athletic lifetime. As such, many individuals have extended – or multiple – prescriptions for opiate analgesics such as Vicodin. This often leads to higher tolerance development when Vicodin is prescribed, and higher odds of developing addiction as a result of high and frequent dosages necessary for pain relief.
- Over-prescription of Vicodin
Many individuals – particularly in the younger set – are prescribed Vicodin when bed rest, increased healing time or over-the-counter medication would suffice. Preferential treatment of athletes often affects physician willingness to prescribe opiates in lieu of nonaddictive medications – as well as pressure by coaches to return players to the game as soon as possible.
- Psychological Addiction
Some athletes may find that Vicodin’s euphoric effects provide a reprieve from the constant pressure they may face in sports. As such, psychological addiction to Vicodin can take place. While anyone can develop a physical or psychological addiction to opiates, those most vulnerable involve those who have experienced drug or alcohol addictions in the past, chemical imbalances such as those manifested by depression or anxiety, a diagnosis of unresolved trauma or a concurrent mental health disorder.