Treatment for Vicodin Abuse

Comprised of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, Vicodin is a prescription painkiller that is prescribed by doctors and given to those who need alleviation from moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid and is what makes this medication addictive in nature. When consumed for legitimate medical purposes, Vicodin is extremely effective for treating pain. There are, however, individuals who take Vicodin for recreational purposes and quickly find themselves caught in the grasp of an addiction before they are aware of it.

If a person regularly abuses Vicodin, he or she will eventually require more of this medication in order to experience the same high that is desired, which is known as tolerance. As time presses on, an individual can become physically dependent upon Vicodin and run the risk of experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if he or she suddenly stops using this drug. It is because of these aspects of opioid addiction that a person must seek the assistance of qualified professionals in a treatment program in order to end this form of chemical dependency.

Fortunately, there are many options for care that can help those struggling with an addiction to Vicodin. These treatment options can not only help those addicted to this medication rid their bodies of Vicodin, but these programs can also arm individuals with the skills and confidence needed to live drug-free lives.

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Statistics

As reported by U.S. government records, the generic version of Vicodin was once the most commonly prescribed painkiller in this country, and through a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has been determined that as many as 40 deaths due to prescription medication overdose occur each day in the United States. Additionally, between the years 1999 and 2010, the rate of painkiller overdoses, which includes overdoses on Vicodin, increased by almost 260% among men, and 400% among women.

Causes and Risk Factors for Vicodin Abuse

Researchers have realized that there are certain causes and risk factors that can make a person more susceptible to abusing Vicodin. If you are trying to determine why and how someone can come to abuse this painkiller, please consider the following:

Genetic: Through extensive research, it has been concluded that those who have a family history of addiction are at risk of experiencing similar challenges. More specifically, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has stated that individuals with a parent or close sibling who has battled opioid addiction are especially vulnerable to struggling with a Vicodin abuse problem at some point in life. Additionally, the APA notes that those who possess a novelty seeking or impulsive personality, which can be inherited, are also more likely to use, abuse, and become addicted to opioids such as Vicodin.

Risk Factors:

  • Poor impulse control
  • Having peers who abuse Vicodin
  • Family history of mental illness
  • Personal history of mental illness
  • Previous substance abuse
  • Being able to easily acquire Vicodin
  • Having a medical need that warrants a prescription for Vicodin
  • Family history of substance abuse, addiction, and/or chemical dependency

Signs and Symptoms of Vicodin Abuse

If you are concerned that a loved one is abusing Vicodin, there are some signs and symptoms that you can keep an eye out for that would indicate that this individual is misusing this prescription painkiller. The following are the behavioral, physical, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms of Vicodin abuse:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Using Vicodin in situations that are hazardous
  • Taking someone else’s Vicodin
  • Inability to perform well at work
  • Lying or being deceptive regarding one’s whereabouts and/or activities
  • Seeing multiple doctors in an attempt to secure more prescriptions for Vicodin
  • Unexplained absences from work
  • Continued abuse of Vicodin with failed attempts to stop

Physical symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Diminished appetite, which could result in weight loss
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Poor coordination
  • Vision problems
  • Constricted pupils
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Inability to sustain attention
  • Poor concentration
  • Confusion
  • Problems with memory
  • Poor decision-making

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Drastic mood swings
  • Emotional detachment
  • Depression
  • Declined interest in activities that were previous enjoyed
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anxiety
If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Effects of Vicodin Abuse

Remaining addicted to Vicodin can be a costly decision. The long-term health risks and damage that can be done to other areas of a person’s life can be vast, and significantly diminish an individual’s overall quality of life. The following effects of Vicodin abuse are those that can occur if treatment is not sought:

  • Chronic unemployment
  • Interaction with the legal system
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart damage
  • Damage to one’s lungs
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide attempts
  • Overdose
  • Liver damage
  • Vision problems
  • Discord among loved ones
  • Financial strife
  • Onset or worsening of mental health disorders
  • Destroyed interpersonal relationships
  • Poor performance at work, which could lead to job loss

Co-Occurring Disorders

A Vicodin addiction, like other substance use disorders, is known to exist alongside other mental disorders at the same time. Should a person seek treatment to end this form of chemical dependency, he or she may receive treatment for a co-occurring disorder, such as the following:

  • Other substance use disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depressive disorders

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Effects of Vicodin withdrawal: If an individual has been abusing Vicodin for a long period of time and suddenly stops his or her use of this substance, withdrawal symptoms will begin to emerge. Withdrawal from Vicodin can be an uncomfortable experience, and  can include the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose
  • Dysphoria
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Watery eyes

Effects of Vicodin overdose: The longer a person abuses Vicodin, the more likely it is that that individual will require more of this medication in order to achieve the desired effect. Needing more of a substance in order to experience a preferred high is known as tolerance, which can, unfortunately, make an individual more vulnerable to experiencing an overdose. An overdose is considered a medical emergency and can be fatal if medical attention is not sought. If you notice that your loved one is displaying any of the following, it is a good idea to seek emergency medical attention as quickly as possible:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Sleepiness
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headache

Why Consider Treatment for Vicodin Abuse

Because Vicodin is a highly addictive painkiller, it can be quite difficult to defeat Vicodin abuse without the help of knowledgeable professionals. Additionally, remaining trapped in the vicious cycle of a Vicodin addition can bring about a number of consequences that can be both life-altering and life-threatening. It is for these reasons that an individual who is battling a Vicodin abuse problem should seek treatment so as to repair the damage this substance has caused in his or her life.

While there are many treatment options available that are effective in treating a Vicodin addiction, none are considered as effective as residential care. Within this level of care, men and women working towards sobriety are afforded around-the-clock support from professionals who are fully dedicated to helping individuals reach their recovery goals. Residential treatment, in comparison to other levels of care, also enables individuals to step away from their everyday lives for a period of time to focus strictly on healing. Individual, group, experiential, and family therapies round out the therapeutic activities experienced by those who partake in residential treatment, and these interventions that can help men and women finally break free from their addictive behaviors and thought processes.

As a network of premier addiction treatment centers, Sober Living by the Sea is pleased to offer the effective and specialized care adults need to win the war against addictions to drugs such as Vicodin. With residential treatment available at each center within this network, Sober Living by the Sea is confident that it can help you or your loved one achieve lasting recovery. The Landing, The Rose, and Sunrise Recovery Ranch all feature time-tested interventions, compassionate and expertly trained staff, and safe environments in which sobriety is possible. If you or your loved one is in need of world-class residential treatment to defeat an addiction to Vicodin, please contact Sober Living by the Sea today. Let us help you determine which of our centers is the perfect place for you to begin life anew.

get confidential help now: 866.323.5609 Email Us