Vicodin is a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone that treats moderate to severe pain after surgery, injury or chronic conditions. It is highly habit forming, so if used in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed, then addiction may quickly follow. Like other opiates, Vicodin works in the brain to change how the body perceives pain. This means that tolerance to Vicodin can develop after just a few uses, as the drug mimics natural neurotransmitters in the brain. People who use the drug need more of it to achieve the same results, but this kind of drug use promotes dependency, because Vicodin replaces the chemicals the brain uses to fight pain. If you or a loved one uses Vicodin and you experience pain before you take your next dose, you may be developing a dependence on the drug. Seek professional help to ensure that you avoid addiction to such a powerful drug.
How Vicodin Addiction Works
Vicodin dependence can quickly lead to addiction. Because the brain depends on the drug to do its work, users can no longer function normally without the drug. Vicodin also produces feelings of euphoria, which cause psychological addictions as well as physical ones. The symptoms of Vicodin addiction include the following issues:
- Needing more of the drug to produce the same relief
- Using the drug in larger amounts than prescribed
- Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug
- Needing a supply of Vicodin on hand at all times
- “Doctor shopping” to get new prescriptions for the drug
- Engaging in risky behaviors, like driving while under the influence of the drug
- Getting involved in illegal behaviors, like stealing, to get and use the drug
Any of these symptoms can indicate a Vicodin addiction, so get help if you recognize any of these issues in yourself or a loved one.
Vicodin Addiction Treatment
Once you recognize a problem with Vicodin addiction, ask for help to begin recovery. Talk to a friend, therapist, member of the clergy or admissions coordinator to find the right treatment program for your unique needs. Vicodin addiction treatment usually begins with medically-supervised detox, which breaks physical dependency in a safe environment. After detox, patients need psychological treatment. Many drug addicts struggle with a mental illness, so doctors and therapists can determine if a mental illness contributes to your addiction. These workers will then design treatment with psychotherapy, medication, group and individual therapy, exercise and other holistic programs to address your issues. After rehab, stay in a support group for accountability and continued success.
Finding Help for Vicodin Addiction
If you or a loved one suffers from Vicodin addiction, we can help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to talk with an admissions coordinator about your questions on addiction and suitable treatment options.