Prescription painkiller abuse rates are climbing – not only in the United States, but in other countries as well. Australia is no exception to the epidemic. Vicodin is a pain reliever containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is in a group of drugs called opiate analgesics, which have played an enormous role in relieving both chronic and acute pain for people who would otherwise suffer greatly. However, Vicodin has also been a source of great suffering for many people. Addiction to Vicodin can damage relationships, jeopardize professional success, and deteriorate physical and mental health.
How Is This Drug Used in Australia?
Some Australians use Vicodin for non-medical reasons. Because it contains hydrocodone, a powerful synthetic opiate, it produces a euphoric high. Many people take Vicodin because this sense of wellbeing helps them escape emotional pain or helps them relax and have fun with their friends. Some would call it casual use and do not even realize when they have become dependent on or addicted to Vicodin.
However, many people in Australia suffer from both chronic and non-chronic pain. According to the Medical Journal of Australia, 60 percent of opiate analgesic prescriptions in 2010 and 2011 were for the purpose of treating musculoskeletal problems such as back pain. Physicians do not always exercise caution when prescribing them to patients who have a history of substance abuse, or while monitoring their patients’ use of the drugs. When patients follow a prescription and take advantage of pain management resources, there is less of a chance of developing an addiction to Vicodin. However, because Vicodin is addictive and there are some deficiencies in pain management, including lack of behavior therapy-based care, it is possible for these patients using Vicodin for legitimate reasons to become addicted.
What Are the Statistics?
The following are a few statistics concerning prescription painkiller abuse in Australia:
- A Drug Strategy Branch report stated 40.6 percent of females and 49.9 percent of males ages 12 to 17 used analgesics ten or more times in 2011.
- An analysis published in the latest MJA (Medical Journal of Australia) stated that opioid prescriptions rose from 3.83 million in 2000-2001 to 6.65 million in 2010-2011, and now accounted for 5.8 percent of all medications prescribed or supplied.
- A National Drug Strategy Report from 2010 stated that 7.4 percent had ever used a pharmaceutical drug for a non-medical purpose and 4.2 percent had done so in the previous 12 months. Non-medical pharmaceutical use was highest among people aged 20–29 years.
Vicodin Addiction Treatment
Professional addiction treatment will include medically supervised detox followed by weeks of rehabilitation through counseling and various forms of therapy. The government often provides financial support to help addicts have access to professional treatment. Finding the right treatment program means searching for one that will suit the addict’s needs both physically and psychologically.
Help for Vicodin Addiction
If you or a loved one is addicted to Vicodin and is ready to take a step toward long-lasting recovery, call our toll-free helpline today. Our admission coordinators are available 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment program that’s right for you. Please call today.