Vicodin is a drug that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is an opioid drug that is similar in composition to drugs like morphine and heroin. Vicodin is both physically and psychologically addictive, and the sooner a person receives addiction treatment, the better the recovery outcome will be.
Becoming Addicted to Vicodin
Addiction to Vicodin occurs because regular hydrocodone use causes changes to users’ brains and bodies. Many of the changes seen during Vicodin addiction are related to neurotransmitter levels. Addictive drugs often increase the levels of certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine, and the body reacts by producing lower amounts.
The interplay between drug effects and the body’s attempt to restore balance leads to drug tolerance. When Vicodin users develop drug tolerance, they must take larger amounts or more frequent doses of the drug in order to achieve previous results. Without treatment, drug tolerance continues. When users take larger and larger amounts of a drug like Vicodin, their risk of overdose is greatly increased. Vicodin overdose can be fatal.
As users continue to take Vicodin, and their bodies continue to adapt, they reach a stage of physical dependence. When users are dependent on Vicodin, their bodies have come to see the presence of the drug as normal. When the drug isn’t being regularly consumed, withdrawal symptoms occur. Eventually full addiction sets in, and users experience drug cravings and an inability to control consumption. Users are trapped in a cycle of addiction. Continuing to abuse the drug means that the risk of overdose is high, but stopping the drug abruptly leads to withdrawal which can be difficult and dangerous.
Consequences of Vicodin Addiction
When Vicodin users don’t get treatment, the consequences are more than physical. Relationships are often strained. It may become difficult to keep a job. Time and money which could be better spent are focused on maintaining the addiction. There can also be legal troubles with long-term ramifications. People who are addicted to a substance such as Vicodin tend to make maintaining their habit their number one priority. This means that responsibilities such as caring for children or personal hygiene can be neglected. Consequences can be devastating and multi-generational.
Getting Help for Vicodin Addiction
It is hard to know where to start after deciding to get treatment for Vicodin addiction. We can help. Call our 24-hour, toll-free helpline, and let us discuss your treatment options and give you the information you need to find recovery for yourself or a loved one. Vicodin addiction is a serious medical condition which can have severe consequences. The problem will continue to grow unless action is taken, so take the first step now.