If you have a loved one who has struggled with Vicodin addiction, you might understand feelings of helplessness due to attempting to help someone stay clean from Vicodin use. Unfortunately, despite feelings of responsibility we might encounter as we watch a loved one spiral into prescription drug addiction, helping someone stay clean from Vicodin actually begins with their genuine recovery. For most Vicodin-addicted individuals, residential stays at inpatient drug treatment centers offer the best chance of staying clean from Vicodin – under the guidance of professional addiction experts who can help patients free themselves physically and psychologically from their addiction to this potent prescription opiate.
Chemical Dependency and Vicodin
As an analgesic, Vicodin (also known by its generic name, hydrocodone) is a medication generally prescribed for the alleviation of pain in the body. Most often indicated by post-surgical or chronic pain, Vicodin acts upon the body’s pain receptors – the majority of which are located in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, patients taking Vicodin experience pain relief as a result of the drug’s effects on their opioid receptors. However, as an opiate drug, Vicodin also acts upon certain neurochemicals in the brain – known as “neurotransmitters” – which produce strong feelings of calm and euphoria.
Over time, the presence of Vicodin leads the brain to alter natural production levels of these chemicals, causing the user to only feel a sense of chemical balance when the drugs are present in the system. As soon as Vicodin use suddenly ceases, either due to a reduce in supply or by the user’s attempts at abstinence after a prolonged period of use, the brain’s chemically adjusted neurotransmitter levels begin to sharply demonstrate themselves. The user feels the impact of this imbalance, causing them to crave the drug and a return to a sense of (manufactured) homeostasis. The body, experiencing this chemical shift, may also exhibit negative responses to the sudden removal of the drug from the body.
The Role of Detox and Therapy in Staying Clean from Vicodin
Inpatient Vicodin treatment provides two vital steps in learning to stay clean from Vicodin. Detoxification services at inpatient residential drug treatment programs offer Vicodin-addicted individuals a safe and sober environment in which to safely remove the prescription opiate from their bodies. Once the body passes through the withdrawal phase of detoxification, the brain begins to recognize the chemical deficiencies that prolonged drug addiction has created and initiate the return to a balanced chemical state known as homeostasis. With medical and psychiatric personnel on hand to deal with physical cravings, monitor vital signs, assuage withdrawal symptoms and prevent against complications, patients can be guided through the steps of Vicodin withdrawal, eventually experiencing the dissipation of physical cravings for the drug.
Once physical detoxification from Vicodin has been successfully achieved, residential Vicodin addiction treatment programs often offer psychological counseling for patients. By learning to contextualize and understand both the nature of drug addiction and the personal triggers for use, underlying contributing factors for Vicodin addiction can be addressed to prevent future relapse. Family counseling services, group therapy and couples counseling services are also often offered in order to provide support and strengthen relationships in the wake of recovery. For cases of Dual Diagnosis, specialized and targeted therapies may be employed, ranging from trauma therapies such as CBT and EMDR to alternative, progressive therapies such as hypnotherapy, art therapy and stress reduction techniques.