Can a Physically Demanding Job Lead to Vicodin Use?

Can a Physically Demanding Job Lead to Vicodin Use?Stress is the body’s response to any demand placed on it, good or bad. Some jobs cause higher levels of physical or psychological stress, and employees and professionals may find themselves turning to Vicodin to cope with the demands of certain jobs. Vicodin is a prescription painkiller that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. This ingredient combination means that Vicodin is a powerful opiate drug that can ease pain associated with a physically demanding job, while others may use the drug to mask additional symptoms of stress.

Pain and Addiction

Vicodin is prescribed for short-term pain relief or for long-term relief from end-of-life pain related to cancer or other chronic and fatal conditions. It is not intended for regular use, yet use of, dependence on, and addiction to painkillers like Vicodin are on the rise. The New York Times reports that “the number of prescriptions for the strongest opioids has increased nearly fourfold, with only limited evidence of their long-term effectiveness or risks” (“Tightening the Lid on Pain Prescriptions,” April 2012). Individuals may go to their doctors with concerns about back pain, tendonitis, or other physical complaints related to work stress, and they may leave with a prescription for Vicodin without first pursuing non-narcotic avenues for pain relief and healing.

Substance Abuse and Employment

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that nearly 75% of drug and alcohol abusers are employed, but this does not mean they are effective or valuable employees. Employed individuals who abuse drugs like Vicodin are likely to do the following:

  • Change jobs
  • Be late to work
  • Be absent from work
  • Be less productive
  • Be involved in workplace accidents
  • File workers’ compensation claims

While Vicodin abuse can lead to poor job performance, job performance may lead to additional drug abuse, if individuals are injured due to their or a coworker’s drug use and receive opiate medications during the course of their physical recovery. If your job contributes to your addiction, or if your addiction puts you or coworkers in danger, it is time to get help to stay safe.

Finding a Pain-Free and Addiction-Free Life

If you are struggling to manage your pain while avoiding or addressing painkiller abuse concerns, do not keep struggling alone. Let us help you find the best resources for stress management and addiction recovery. We are here 24 hours a day, so there is no wrong time to pick up the phone.