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The Effects of Vicodin Use

  1. Article Quick LinksPrint
  2. Vicodin Short-Term Effects
  3. Side Effects
  4. Long-Term Effects of Vicodin
  5. Vicodin Dependency
  6. Withdrawal Treatment

Any prescription medication that isn't taken strictly as prescribed has the potential to be harmful. Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The presence of acetaminophen adds the potential for liver damage as a result of long-term addiction, use or abuse. One of the biggest problems, when it comes to Vicodin addiction, is the easy accessibility of the drug. The second biggest problem is that there is a lesser stigma attached to the abuse of prescription medications than traditional street drugs. That doesn't mean, however, that continued abuse of prescription medications such as Vicodin is safer than using street drugs.

Vicodin is a Schedule III controlled substance. This means that the potential for addiction or dependency on the medication is a definite possibility. However, the likelihood of addiction is lower than it would be for Schedule I and II narcotics such as:

  • Ritalin
  • Demerol
  • OxyContin
  • Dilaudid

Controls are also less severe with Schedule III narcotics in that you're able to refill the prescription up to five times in a six-month period, whereas Schedule II narcotics cannot be refilled. The good news for you, if you or someone you love has a Vicodin abuse, is that there is help for this addiction. You do have choices, and you can regain control over your life.

Vicodin Effects question 1

Unfortunately for many people, these things add up to an inaccurate public perception that implies that prescription drugs such as Vicodin are safer to use because they are medically prescribed. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health results from 2009 and 2010, more than half of the people aged 12 and over who were surveyed who use prescription drugs such as sedatives, stimulants or pain relievers in a nonmedical manner received those drugs from a friend or relative.

Vicodin Effects question 2

With so many people mistakenly believing that it's acceptable and safe to share prescription medications, it's important to explore all the reasons that make this is a bad idea. For some people, using Vicodin is an actual health risk without abusing it. People who should not take Vicodin without careful discussion with physicians include:

  • Alcoholics
  • People suffering from head injuries
  • Those who have kidney disease
  • Anyone with liver disease

Vicodin is not necessarily harmful. It can be taken as prescribed and only as needed with good effects, and it is helpful to many people. It's not the drug itself that is always harmful. But when people abuse the drug and take it for purposes it was never intended for, it can bring about a great deal of harm. That's why it's so important to call (800) 943-0566 to get information on how to help a Vicodin addict.

Vicodin Effects question 3

Vicodin Short-Term Effects

Vicodin is an opiate. The short-term effect is relief from pain and a slight euphoric sensation. In some cases, Vicodin has been known to create feelings of lethargy, extreme relaxation and drowsiness, so avoid operating heavy machinery while using Vicodin. Most people using Vicodin find it harder than normal to focus or concentrate. In some people, Vicodin increases physical activity and even causes mild sensations of fear or anxiety.

Vicodin Effects question 4

Side Effects

There are several potential side effects of Vicodin. Many of them are quite common for opiate medications, but you should consult a physician if the symptoms are overly severe or do not dissipate over time or once you've stopped using Vicodin. Symptoms include unusual moods (happy or sad), constipation, nausea, vomiting, dry throat, rash, difficulty urinating, inability to focus, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, anxiety and drowsiness.

Two of the more severe side effects that should be investigated immediately by a physician are irregular or slow breathing and a tightening in the chest.

Long-Term Effects of Vicodin

Perhaps the most startling long-term effect of Vicodin is the constant need for more of the drug to achieve the same desired effect. This is common as your body develops a tolerance for the drug. The longer you continue to use the drug, the greater the dosage needs to be to receive the same high or painkilling results. As the trend continues and the addiction intensifies, the likelihood of overdose and long-term liver damage also increases. That's why it's so important to get proper treatment in a qualified treatment center as quickly as possible. If left unchecked, this addiction can lead to permanent physical damage or worse.

Vicodin Effects question 5

Vicodin Dependency

It's not always easy to recognize if you really have a dependency on Vicodin because it is something that often happens slowly over time. The more you turn to Vicodin for relief from pain or to escape from problems, the greater the dependency becomes. If you aren't careful, your life can begin to revolve around getting your next fix. Here are a few indications that it might be time to get help for your addiction:

  • You feel physically ill whenever you try to stop taking Vicodin
  • You've broken the law to obtain Vicodin
  • Your family is beginning to show concern over your need for Vicodin
  • You're taking more of the medication than has been prescribed
  • You must steadily increase the amount you're taking to relieve pain

If one or more of these sounds familiar, it's time to call us at (800) 943-0566. Our rehab centers can help you escape the cloud of addiction that has been taking over your life.

Vicodin Effects question 6

Withdrawal Treatment

Treatment for Vicodin addiction and its withdrawal symptoms will vary from one detox center to the next. According to Prescription Drugs: Abuse and Addiction, there are two primary categories for treatment when it comes to prescription drug addiction: behavioral and pharmacological. Most effective treatment programs will address both of these categories during the treatment process.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.