Vicodin addiction does not occur in a vacuum, but often becomes heightened due to societal viewpoints, values, habits and social attitudes. In fact, despite warning labels, depictions of prescription drug abuse in pop culture and notorious cases of dependency, Vicodin abuse and addiction continue to take place at alarming rates. Unfortunately, though Vicodin’s chemical makeup causes it to carry high abuse potential, many cultural factors come into play that exacerbate Vicodin addiction.
How Culture Influences Vicodin Abuse
Here are just a few of the ways in which modern culture affects Vicodin abuse rates. With widespread availability, minimizing attitudes towards prescription drug addiction, poor role-modeling and ignorance around Vicodin’s addictive properties, society often unwittingly promotes and furthers Vicodin abuse among its citizens.
- Lighthearted Attitudes Toward Vicodin Addiction
Unfortunately, despite the real – and dangerous – physical and mental health issues associated with Vicodin addiction, chemical dependency on the analgesic is still viewed less than seriously. In fact, many forms of prescription drug addiction are still viewed as less dangerous than addiction or experimentation with “street drugs.”
- Emphasis on Escapism Through Prescription Drugs
From teens to parents alike, many individuals joke about the use of prescription drugs to achieve a euphoric “high.” In fact, from trips to the dentist for tooth extraction to post-surgical recovery periods, many individuals freely admit to the pleasurable feelings associated with prescription opiates. Unfortunately, such attitudes provide acceptance and reinforcement for abuse of Vicodin in order to achieve a psychologically or emotionally elevated state.
- Preservation of Outdated Vicodin Prescriptions
Most households – largely due to the high price of prescription drugs – tend to “save” outdated or no longer needed prescription medication for later use. While this may appear frugal, this often leads to easy access to prescription opiates for members of the household. In moments of weakness, boredom or desire for experimentation, individuals often take Vicodin for emotional or psychological reasons.
- Lack of Understanding About Opiates
Vicodin by nature is an opiate – the same type of drug that heroin and morphine are classified as. As a result, Vicodin acts on opiate receptors located throughout the brain and body. Furthermore, Vicodin acts on specialized chemicals resident in the brain – particularly dopamine, responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. As Vicodin affects the brain’s natural levels of chemical balance, users naturally fall into addiction, as the drug becomes needed to re-achieve a sense of equilibrium.