Vicodin Addiction Treatment

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Vicodin, a prescription pain medication, is the trade name for the combination of hydrocodone and paracetamol. Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, is a medication used in many over-the-counter pain medications, and hydrocodone is an opioid painkiller. Vicodin is usually prescribed for moderate to severe acute or chronic pain. Like all other opioid painkillers, it plays a vital role in pain management, and when used correctly with medical supervision, it’s safe. Unfortunately, like all other opioid painkillers, Vicodin is often abused which can lead to a Vicodin addiction.

Sovereign Health knows all too well the effects of the opiate epidemic currently plaguing the United States. Our evidence-based, holistic treatment programs will help anyone struggling with Vicodin addiction find a new, healthy life free from the chains of addiction.

Abusing Vicodin

Commonly prescribed in tablet form, Vicodin also comes in a variety of liquid formulas. Like other painkillers, Vicodin is commonly abused by simply taking it when it’s not needed, or by taking someone else’s prescription as recreation.

In more extreme cases, Vicodin can be abused by crushing the pills and inhaling them, or mixing them with water and injecting them directly into the user’s bloodstream. Both methods carry a serious risk of overdose. Pills are designed to slowly release their active ingredients over a period of time. Abusers get the entire dose at once, potentially overwhelming their system.

Opiate drugs like Vicodin are abused for several reasons:

  • Vicodin’s sedating effects help users escape their problems – while creating new, potentially lethal ones
  • Some users experience sensations of euphoria when abusing prescription opiates
  • Long-term users continue to abuse Vicodin to stave off withdrawal symptoms

Because of Vicodin’s high potential for abuse, it was rescheduled as a schedule II drug in 2014.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.

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Symptoms of Vicodin Addiction

Some of the signs of Vicodin addiction may include:

  • Problems with attention and focus
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Intense mood swings
  • An overall lack of energy
  • Experiencing withdrawal effects when not using the drug

Red Flags of Vicodin Abuse

  • An obsession with obtaining more Vicodin
  • Taking Vicodin at random times of the day
  • Attempting to obtain multiple prescriptions for Vicodin from different doctors, also known as “doctor shopping”
  • Withdrawal effects
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Vicodin Inside the Body

A combination of two painkilling drugs, Vicodin works in two ways. Like all other opioids, hydrocodone works by binding with areas of nerve cells called opioid receptors. This affects the body’s ability to perceive pain. However, the binding effect can also cause a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is involved in regulating the brain’s reward system. Large dopamine releases create euphoric sensations, which can cause some people to seek larger doses of the drug.

Researchers are still unclear on how acetaminophen works, although it’s been known for decades that high doses of acetaminophen – received by abusing a drug containing it, for example – can severely damage the liver.

Effects of Vicodin abuse on the brain can effectively teach it to expect regular doses of the drug in order to function normally. When someone who’s taken Vicodin for a long time, or regularly abuses it, they experience one of the signs of Vicodin addiction: withdrawal. Users experience these severe flu-like symptoms when Vicodin leaves their system. Sometimes, people continue to abuse Vicodin just to stave off these unpleasant symptoms.

As with all other opioids, it’s possible to build up a physical tolerance to Vicodin. Habitual users may find themselves having to take larger amounts of the drug to experience the same effects, another potential avenue to overdose. Large doses of opioids can fatally slow breathing, a risk magnified considerably when its abused alongside other drugs like alcohol.

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Getting Help for Vicodin Abuse

Because they’re prescribed by medical professionals and obtained at pharmacies, it can be easy to forget that Vicodin is addictive. Prescription abuse kills more people in the U.S. each year than car accidents. Fortunately, treatment for Vicodin addiction has helped countless people, and Sovereign Health will be with you every step of the way, from the initial interviews to the first steps into sobriety.

Sovereign Health is a leading treatment provider because we recognize that addiction is a disease of both body and mind. It’s why our treatment programs treat the co-occurring mental disorders that often drive addiction in addition to its physical symptoms. Treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy give our clients new abilities to recognize their problems and move on past their dependence on Vicodin.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.

Why Choose Sovereign Health?

We are a leading treatment provider for several reasons:

  • All of our facilities are Joint Commission-accredited
  • We have a facility and program for every type of patient, from teens in crisis to older adults
  • We recognize our patients as individuals, and tailor our treatment programs accordingly
  • We use evidence-based, cutting-edge treatment modalities to serve our clients
  • Our alumni services program is there for patients after they leave our care

A healthier life can start today. Please contact our 24/7 helpline to learn how to overcome an addiction to vicodin.


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