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Alcohol & Drug Rehab Main » Addiction Research » Prescription Drug » Vicodin

Vicodin® Addiction

Vicodin Pills

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin® is the brand name of a prescription drug that contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone. It is prescribed for moderate to moderately severe pain. Acetaminophen is a drug commonly found in over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol. When too much acetaminophen is introduced to the body, it has been found to cause major liver damage and can eventually lead to liver failure. Acetaminophen halts the production of prostaglandins which otherwise cause pain. Hydrocodone binds to the pain receptors in the brain so that the sensation of pain is reduced.

Main Reasons of Increasing the Vicodin Abuse

Other Brands Containing Hydrocodone
  • Lortab®
  • Anexsia®
  • Co-Gesic®
  • Hycodan®
  • Lorcet®
  • Lortab®
  • Procet®
  • Zamicet®
There are two main reasons for the increase in Vicodin abuse and addiction to prescription drugs. First, pills are very accessible through physician recommendations as well as through the black market and Internet. Second, prescription drug abuse is easy to hide. Also, the use of prescription drugs for innumerable different ailments and conditions is readily acceptable within society. Any resultant addiction seems to be more socially acceptable than to illegal drugs.

People who are prescription drug abusers often had no intention of becoming addicted to the drug they are taking. The person may have been injured or undergone an operation that requires the use of pain medication like Vicodin. This prescription, even when taken correctly, may give the user a "high" or euphoric effect that he or she finds desirable. When the prescription runs out or the pain has gone away, the user remembers the euphoric feeling and begins to have a craving for more of the drug.

Physical Effects of Vicodin

Two effects of Vicodin® are pleasure (euphoria) and pain relief. Vicodin addiction is extremely common among prescription drug users. This is probably because it is often prescribed for many different types of pain problems.

When someone abuses Vicodin®, the brain stops producing chemicals like endorphins. This makes the body feel that it is unable to function without the use of the drug. A person who has become dependent upon Vicodin can experience withdrawal and cravings if he/she cannot get anymore.

An addiction to Vicodin® often goes unnoticed until it is very severe. A person with a severe Vicodin addiction has developed a high tolerance for the drug. He or she may be taking anywhere from 30 to 100 pills daily. For some addicts, tapering off the drug may be necessary so their body doesn't react adversely and unpredictably if taken off the drug completely. In less serious cases, the withdrawal period tends to be shorter and less uncomfortable.

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms

Vicodin® withdrawal symptoms include cold sweats, nausea, convulsions, dizziness, and delirium. These symptoms are painful to go through, but a person's body must be free of all toxins in order to begin the recovery process.

Over time, the effects of Vicodin® and prescription drug abuse will become more noticeable and more harmful. At first the Vicodin user will have effects such as constipation, irregularity in heart functions, nausea and dizziness. As Vicodin use grows, the effects can also come in the form of hallucinations, vision problems, and constant confusion. During the last stages, users have been known to be unable to control bodily functions and this use can sometimes result in coma or death.

Some individuals addicted to Vicodin® have skin problems including hives, skin rashes, and swelling in the face. This occurs because the body is trying to rid itself of the toxins that are being put into it each day.

It is never too early to seek treatment from a drug rehab center. Most cases of Vicodin addiction go unnoticed until it is too severe and treatment becomes necessary. If this is the case there may be as many as 100 pain pills being ingested in the course of a day. Imagine the damage that is being caused to the body, mind, and spirit when this is the case.

If you know someone needing addiction treatment for Vicodin, call us at 1-877-997-3422 to restore hope and recovery.