Effects of Vicodin Abuse


Vicodin is a strong opiate painkiller, the most popular one in America. In 2006, there were 112 million doses of this drug prescribed and by 2011, this number had grown to 131 million. It is considered by many medical professionals that Vicodin is overprescribed, meaning that people don’t really need a painkiller that strong or that they are getting it for a longer time than they need.

Vicodin has a high potential for abuse and is highly addictive. Despite the danger of addiction, one in five teens in high school has tried Vicodin. Some of those teens will become addicted. Vicodin is not a heavily regulated as some other prescription drugs so that may contribute to its extensive distribution.

Vicodin is made of a combination of hydrocodone, a synthetic opiate, and acetaminophen, a non-steroidal pain reliever. Aside from the euphoric and addictive effects of hydrocodone, there is about half a gram of acetaminophen in each pill, and two to four grams of acetaminophen in a day can start to damage the liver.

There is a range of effects from Vicodin. Some of these effects include the short-term symptoms of use, and there are longer-range effects like addiction, withdrawal sickness and the mental and moral decline that accompanies addiction in the overwhelming majority of cases.

Short-term Effects of Vicodin Abuse

When a person takes Vicodin, they are likely to manifest the following effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Cloudy thinking
  • Lethargy
  • Impaired mental sharpness
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Mood changes
  • Psychological and physical dependence
  • Euphoria followed by a generalized unhappy mood
  • Constipation
  • Inability to urinate
  • Respiratory suppression
  • Slow heart rate

A person who takes too much of the drug can suffer from convulsions and seizures and slip into a coma.

Long-Range Effects of Vicodin Abuse

When a person continues to take or abuse this drug, a whole new set of effects comes into play. The most major of these effects is addiction. Addiction routinely sets many other changes into motion. For example, an honest and loving person who becomes addicted may turn into someone the family doesn’t know anymore. He (or she) may be untrustworthy for the first time in his life. He may neglect the family, the job and friends. He may commit crimes by seeing multiple doctors to get enough of the drug or he may buy the drug from drug dealers or even steal it from friends or a pharmacy. In so many heartbreaking cases, the person’s life becomes all about getting enough of the drug to keep withdrawal symptoms away.

Once a person goes through withdrawal, he may have a horror of ever going through it again. It can be an intensely uncomfortable experience with muscle and bone pain, anxiety, aches, cramps, restlessness, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea.

A dread of withdrawal should not stop someone from taking advantage of the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. The Narconon method of helping a person through withdrawal uses calming nutritional supplements like B Complex, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and other support to help calm the body’s cramps, aches and anxiety. Further help comes in the form of relaxing assists that help each person focus on the present, alleviating the negative emotional reactions that can occur during this time. This could be the most positive withdrawal experience a person ever has.

Soon after withdrawal, each person has a chance to flush out the residues of his Vicodin abuse. The step of the recovery program that helps with this physical aspect of addiction recovery is the Narconon New Life Detoxification.

This is an effective method of eliminating much of the physical effect of the drug that remains locked in the fatty tissues of the body. The program combines sauna time with moderate exercise and a strict regimen of nutritional supplements. This combination enables the body to flush out old toxins. Once they are gone, foggy, slow thinking is relieved. And, by the reports of many people completing this step, cravings are either greatly reduced or may leave entirely.

With an improved ability to think and cravings reduced or even eliminated, each person has a much better ability to learn sober living skills. These skills are thoroughly taught in the later part of the Narconon program.

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