There are a variety of counseling methods that may be used for the treatment of addiction to an opioid painkiller like Vicodin. A person in need of treatment should explore the options and find a method of treatment that fits his or her situation. The best option depends on factors such as the drug of choice, the level of addiction and physical dependence, the presence of any other mental health issues, such as depression or bipolar disorder, and even personal style.
The Importance of Medically Supervised Detox
Opioids produce psychological addiction as well as physical dependence. Addiction is a psychological phenomenon that involves cravings for the drug while dependence is a physical condition in which the user experiences withdrawal symptoms when use of the drug is stopped. Experiencing severe flu-like symptoms when going without the drug is a sure sign of physical dependence.
Quitting Vicodin “cold turkey” is usually not life threatening; however, detoxing under medical supervision is highly advisable for several reasons. Withdrawal may cause dangerous medical complications, especially if the person has medical issues or poor overall health, which is often the case with addicts. Withdrawal may result in severe dehydration. Withdrawal often causes serious depression, especially if the person already suffers from depression or bipolar disorder. In these cases, suicide is a concern, and psychiatric counseling may be needed during detox.
Finally, withdrawal tends to be so miserable that it overpowers most people’s will to stop using the drug, and they often will relapse just to end the agony. Treatment professionals in rehab know how to reduce or avoid withdrawal symptoms as much as possible, helping the patient to overcome this first important hurdle.
Methods of Counseling for Vicodin Addiction
Once the patient has gone through detox and has overcome his or her physical dependence, the next step is to begin counseling. The most common method of addiction counseling is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), but there are other effective methods as well, such as Gestalt, experiential therapy, occupational therapy and adventure therapy. Again, the key is to find the method that best suits the needs of the individual.
Addiction cannot be “cured;” it can only be treated. A person who stops using drugs after having been addicted is not an “ex-addict” but a “recovering addict.” Even after a lifetime of sobriety, he or she is still considered to be “in recovery.” An addict who hasn’t used for years and considers his or her recovery to be on solid ground may yet find that recovery tested under certain conditions. Stress in particular can be a powerful relapse trigger, and a recovering addict may be tempted to use again in stressful situations, such as financial trouble, a major illness or other family crises. For this reason, many recovering addicts choose to take advantage of long-term follow-up counseling or support groups for recovering addicts.
Continuing to Use Vicodin is not an Option
Of all the options for Vicodin addiction recovery, continuing to use is not one of them. Don’t let the fact that Vicodin is legal and comes from the doctor fool you into thinking that it is safe. Vicodin is an opioid, and opioids can kill. Vicodin addiction can also destroy your life in many other ways.
If you would like help finding treatment for Vicodin addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have and help you find the treatment you need.