Vicodin Abuse Signs, Symptoms and Addiction Treatment

Physicians often prescribe Vicodin, a combination of hydrocodone-an opiate-and acetaminophen, for the relief of moderate to severe pain. It works by blocking pain receptors in the brain, but it also induces a sense of euphoria, making it extremely effective but also highly addictive. If you or a loved one are struggling with Vicodin abuse or addiction, our drug abuse counselors can give you the information you need to start on the road to recovery. Contact us today at (800) 943-0566.

Vicodin Abuse question 1

Signs and Symptoms

People who take Vicodin tend to feel a rush of euphoria and relaxation, and any physical pain begins to decrease. Over time, users develop a tolerance for the drug, and they will require more and more to achieve those same results. Many people who abuse Vicodin consume anywhere from 20 to 30 pills each day, and sometimes they consume even more.

The most noticeable signs and symptoms of Vicodin abuse are:

  • Appearing drowsy
  • An obsession with procuring and consuming Vicodin
  • An inability to focus on a given task
  • Extreme anxiety and paranoia
  • Severe mood swings
  • Nausea and vomiting

Vicodin abusers often turn to fraudulent means, such as doctor shopping, to procure more and more of the drug. Because of their intense focus on the Vicodin, everything else in their life takes a back seat, and their personal, professional and financial situation may begin to unravel.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of Vicodin abuse, call one of our counselors today at (800) 943-0566 to learn more about the different treatment options available.

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Effects of Vicodin Abuse

It doesn’t take much to feel the effects of Vicodin use. Even casual users or those closely following a prescription dose may experience:

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting and upset stomach

If taken for a prolonged period of time, Vicodin can cause medical issues, including liver damage or liver failure, jaundice and urinary system issues.

Because it is a central nervous system depressant, Vicodin naturally decreases heart rate and respirations, particularly if taken in large doses. Overdose can occur when you take a dose that is too large or if you combine a dose with another type of central nervous system depressant, such as alcohol, another opiate or a barbiturate.

One of the most common problems with Vicodin is that withdrawal symptoms can set in after reducing your dose even slightly or waiting a bit longer to take your next dose. Because of this, many users are afraid to begin the recovery process.

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Vicodin Abuse Treatment

There are several options for you when you decide to begin treatment for your Vicodin problems. The first decision you will have to make is whether you should enter an inpatient or outpatient rehab program. If your addiction is severe, entering a rehab center on an inpatient basis might be the most effective route to take. The best candidates for outpatient therapy are those who have a strong support network at home, consisting of friends and family.

Whether you choose an inpatient or outpatient program, you may opt to go through the process of withdrawal on a residential basis, where licensed medical personnel can help you get through the process with as little pain as possible.

Once you have decided on the type of program, you will need to figure out the best length of stay. Most researchers and physicians agree that one month is the shortest amount of time you should spend in rehab, as it may take the first few weeks before you are fairly recovered from the physical symptoms of Vicodin abuse. You may also choose 60- or 90-day programs.

You don’t have to make these decisions alone. Our counselors are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days per week to help guide you through this process. Contact them today at (800) 943-0566.

Most treatment programs follow a standard program that includes:

  • A thorough intake process of assessment to your overall medical and mental condition
  • Supervised detoxification
  • Group and individual therapy with or without support groups
  • A comprehensive aftercare program

Your aftercare program will normally include continued therapy in a group or individual setting and participation in support groups. It will also address any professional, legal, medical or financial issues that may have arisen due to your Vicodin abuse.

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Vicodin Statistics

These Vicodin facts and statistics paint a picture of the problems of abuse in the United States:

  • Hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opiate in the country, with more than 139 million prescriptions filled during 2010.
  • Of all of the prescriptions containing hydrocodone, the most frequently prescribed are those that combine it with acetaminophen under the brand names of Vicodin or Lortab.
  • In 2009, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported more than 27,000 exposures and more than 30 deaths from products containing hydrocodone.
  • According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 23 million adults and children over the age of 12 had taken some form of hydrocodone at least once in their lifetime for nonmedical purposes.
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Teen Vicodin Abuse

The facts about Vicodin as they relate to teens are clear. Abuse of Vicodin by teenagers is on the rise, mainly because of its availability. For many teens, it is easier to steal Vicodin from their parents’ medicine cabinet than it is to purchase alcohol. According to the 2010 Monitoring the Future survey, roughly 8 percent of all tenth and twelfth graders had used Vicodin for nonmedical purposes during the previous year.

If you suspect that your teen is abusing Vicodin, we can help. Contact one of our counselors today at (800) 943-0566 to know more about how to help a Vicodin addict.

Close Vicodin Abuse Signs, Symptoms and Addiction Treatment
  • What effect does Vicodin produce that may lead to addiction?
  • What are the symptoms of Vicodin addiction?
  • How many pills per day does the average Vicodin abuser ingest?
  • Does Vicodin cause any long-term problems?
  • What step usually takes place between the intake process and therapy sessions?
  • How many hydrocodone prescriptions were filled during 2010 in the United States?
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