Vicodin is a brand name of the opioid painkiller hydrocodone. Opioids greatly reduce stress and emotional and physical pain, so people facing a loved one’s illness may be tempted to abuse Vicodin to self-medicate their pain. However, while this can be temporarily helpful, this act carries serious risks.
Reasons People Take Vicodin during a Loved One’s Illness
Stress often triggers drug abuse, and the illness of a loved one can cause a tremendous amount of stress. It is natural for people to seek relief from stress, but some people do so through abusing opioid painkillers like Vicodin. Many people still don’t consider prescription medications to be the same as illegal drugs, so they do not realize that taking these drugs without a doctor’s direction is drug abuse. However, even those who know better may be tempted to abuse Vicodin when stress becomes overwhelming.
The availability of painkillers can also trigger Vicodin abuse during a loved one’s illness. If patients are being treated for pain with Vicodin, a caretaker or loved one may be tempted to take the drug.
Risks of Vicodin Use
Opioid painkillers are similar to heroin, and abusing opioids carries the same risks as this hard, illegal drug. The risks of Vicodin abuse include the following issues:
- Vicodin can produce a fatal overdose when taken in large enough amounts or combined with alcohol, other opiates or sedatives like Valium and Xanax
- Opioids can cause psychological addiction because they affect regions of the brain responsible for feelings and moods. Over time users may can need the euphoric effects of Vicodin or they suffer intense cravings and become seriously depressed. Addiction is a state of mind where users become obsessed with using the drug above all other priorities.
- With regular use of opioids the body will become accustomed to having the drug in its system, so it will suffer withdrawal symptoms if drug use diminishes. Withdrawal symptoms are similar to the worst case of the flu imaginable, so the misery of withdrawal combined with psychological addiction make it extremely difficult to stop using the drug.
- Indirect consequences of Vicodin use may include traffic or other accidents, driving under the influence, illegal possession of a controlled substance, problems with work, estrangement from friends and family and health and psychological problems. Do not let these issues affect you.
If you abuse Vicodin, get help today to avoid these dangerous issues.
Help Ending Vicodin Abuse
Using Vicodin to cope with stress can easily cause addiction to take over your life. Vicodin addiction is an unsustainable condition with potentially disastrous consequences; it is very difficult to overcome on your own and should be treated professionally. If you need treatment for addiction, or if you have any questions about Vicodin, addiction, treatment or recovery, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now.