Vicodin is commonly prescribed for treating pain after surgery or injury. Vicodin is a member of the opiate family and causes changes in the brain to alter how the body perceives pain. Since Vicodin produces a feeling of euphoria stronger than what the brain can produce on its own, users are often tempted to abuse the drug. This can lead to a physical and psychological dependence on Vicodin. Addiction often develops from dependence and can occur when the user experiences an uncontrollable craving for the drug.
How Vicodin Works
Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone, an opiate pain reliever, and acetaminophen. The acetaminophen works to lower a chemical in the brain that stimulates pain receptors. The hydrocodone binds to receptors in the brain and central nervous system, which increases production of the body’s natural pain relievers. Hydrocodone is also the highly addictive component of Vicodin. Hydrocodone, like other opiates, produces a strong feeling of euphoria that accompanies the pain relief. A user’s desire for this euphoric feeling is what can turn a person who uses Vicodin for pain relief into a person who is addicted to the drug.
Physiological Dependence on Vicodin
Once a person is physiologically dependent on Vicodin, the risk of developing an addiction to the drug increases. If a Vicodin user feels the need to take the medication more often than prescribed, dependence on the drug may be present. Someone who is dependent on Vicodin can experience the same type of withdrawal symptoms as the person addicted to the drug.
Signs of Vicodin Addiction
When someone develops a Vicodin addiction, his or her entire world often revolves around acquiring and using the drug. Those who are addicted to Vicodin may have a family history of addiction or they may have underlying mental conditions that should be treated. In most cases, Vicodin addicts can benefit from medically supervised detox and rehab programs.
Treatment for Vicodin Addiction
Treatment for Vicodin addiction, like treatment for other addictions, often begins with a period of medically supervised detox. Once the body rids itself of the drug’s chemicals, the rehab process can begin. During rehab, counselors and therapists can help recovering addicts discover the underlying causes of their addiction and the steps that can help them find recovery. After exiting the treatment center, continuing in a support group can be a helpful way to maintain an addiction-free life.
Finding Help for Vicodin Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with Vicodin addiction, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about addiction and treatment. Please call now.