While the use of illegal street drugs has been on the decline over the last 10 years (according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) prescription drug abuse has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing drug problems. While some programs have educated the public about the dangers of illegal drugs, many people still see prescription drugs as relatively safe substances since they’re legally prescribed and accessible. Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen that treats pain. It is one of the most popular prescription painkillers on the market, but its addictive dangers are becoming increasingly problematic.
Who Abuses Vicodin?
Vicodin is abused by all different age groups. It is particularly prevalent among the elderly, many of whom develop an addiction unintentionally. Vicodin abuse is also common among teenagers who are able to obtain it easily. According to the a 2011 Monitoring the Future Study, almost one in twelve high school seniors reported using Vicodin for non-medical reasons, stating that that they had obtained it from a friend or relative. Vicodin, along with other prescription analgesics, is being prescribed more than ever before. A study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicates that the number of prescriptions for painkillers such as Vicodin rose from 75.5 million in 1991 to 209.5 million in 2010. The prevalence of these drugs makes them an accessible source of a euphoric high or escape from reality, however risky it might be.
Why Is Vicodin Abuse a Problem?
The dangers of Vicodin are becoming increasingly apparent. Not only can it damage the liver and cause severe mood swings and dangerous withdrawal symptoms, but it can also create a psychological addiction that spawns significant lapses in self-control. While under the influence of Vicodin, users can make mistakes with serious consequences and commit uncharacteristic offenses that they will regret. They are also at risk for deadly overdose, especially if they combine the drug with alcohol. According to NIDA, the number of overdose deaths by prescription painkillers such as Vicodin has quadrupled since 1999.
What to Do about Vicodin Addiction
In the past, Vicodin addiction treatment was simply a program of detox perhaps combined with some counseling. However, many contemporary professionals see addiction as a problem that affects the whole person. There are almost always underlying issues at play that will perpetuate the addiction if they are not uncovered. Additionally, many addictions are accompanied by a co-existing mental disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder. In order for a full and lasting recovery to occur, an individual needs to undergo comprehensive, individualized rehab. The intensity and duration of the treatment should reflect the severity of the addiction itself.
Vicodin Addiction Help
Are you or someone you love struggling with a Vicodin addiction and wondering how to get help? Please call and let one of our trained counselors answer your questions. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, so there’s no reason to wait. Call us today for instant support.