Vicodin is a pain reliever composed of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. There are, in fact, several hundred different formulations that contain hydrocodone, used not only for pain relief but also as a cough suppressant. Each year, there are more than 139 million prescriptions for hydrocodone-containing medications issued each year. Vicodin and the similar drug Lortab are the most frequently prescribed forms.
Vicodin and the other formulations that are very similar (Anexsia, Lortab, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, Norco) are the ones chosen the most often by those who wish to abuse hydrocodone.
Like with other opiates, the person abusing Vicodin develops a tolerance. This means that they must take more and more of the drug to get the same effect as before. After a period of abuse, aches and pains begin to show up so the abuser must get more of the drug to keep them away. An increased dose makes the pains go away, but as tolerance develops further, they need more.
One problem with abuse of this particular formula is that acetaminophen is toxic to the liver. When a person has a heavy hydrocodone-addiction problem, he can do irreparable damage to his liver. At the same time, the opiate addiction will be creating damage to his personal integrity, relationships and mental state and creating an ever-present threat of overdose.
Addiction to Vicodin
Hydrocodone is highly addictive, as is any opiate or opioid. A person who becomes addicted to hydrocodone will have to pass through opiate withdrawal symptoms to get to sobriety. These symptoms typically include deep muscle and bone pain, muscle spasms and restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea and insomnia.
Obtaining Vicodin normally involves doctor-shopping (going from doctor to doctor, accumulating enough prescriptions to permit abuse), altered or fraudulent prescriptions, and theft. Any of these methods of obtaining this addictive drug are illegal and may result in arrest and incarceration.
Some Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse Starts With Legitimate Use
For some people, the addiction and abuse starts by taking the drug as prescribed. As the tolerance builds, a person must go back to the doctor and tell them that the dosage is not handling whatever pain they are having. The doctor may increase the dosage for a while but a doctor who is not well educated or experienced in pain management may cut the person off without addressing the fact that they are now addicted.
Suddenly, a person who never abused the drug is hit with the fact of needing Vicodin to prevent withdrawal symptoms and no prescription in hand. He or she may start committing prescription fraud or stealing the drug from friends or family.
In other cases, a person starts using it as prescribed but they find they like (and feel like they need) the feeling it gives them. They may begin to abuse the drug by using more than prescribed or they may snort or even inject it.
The other possibility is that the person always used the drug recreationally and then became addicted. He or she must chase that drug every day, making sure there's enough to keep withdrawal sickness away and to enable them to feel normal, to function in daily life.
What matters most is that the person who is addicted to Vicodin finds an effective path that leads to sobriety.
At Narconon Centers Around the World, Addicts Find Lasting Recovery
Since its beginnings in 1966, hundreds of thousands of people have come to Narconon centers around the world to leave their drug or alcohol abuse behind. And for seven out of ten graduates, they find lasting sobriety as a result of this program. That is because the program helps each person learn how to handle the reasons they began using drugs and repair the relationships and other parts of life that were damaged by the years spent addicted.
Cravings that might drive a person back into drug abuse are addressed with a sauna-based detoxification program that flushes out residual drugs stored in fatty tissues. These residues have been shown to help trigger cravings, even years after drug use stops. But after the toxins are eliminated, each person has a better chance at staying sober because those who complete the sauna-based detoxification say that the cravings are much lower, sometimes even gone completely.
This is the program that can provide new hope for you or someone you love. Get help with drug abuse today. Find out the whole story today by calling 1-800-775-8750.
- DEA Info on Hydrocodone