Concerned man talking to woman about her vicodin abuse.Chances are, you’ve heard of Vicodin before. It is a brand name drug that is often used for severe pain. It’s legal, and it’s prescribed all the time. For example, you may be given a Vicodin prescription after an intense or invasive surgery or when you are experiencing chronic pain. Vicodin may seem like a good drug that is used to help people feel more comfortable and pain-free, and it does do these things. However, Vicodin abuse and addiction is also a pervasive problem in the United States and around the world today.

What Is in Vicodin That Makes It So Addictive?

Vicodin contains two drugs. First, it contains acetaminophen, which is a fever reducer and pain reliever. Next, it contains hydrocodone. This is the main active ingredient, which causes drugs like Vicodin to work so well at relieving pain.

Hydrocodone is what is known as an opiate. An opiate is any drug, legal or illegal, that originates from the opium poppy plant or its synthetic version. Most of the opiates that are used in the United States today come from Afghanistan. Like other opiates such as heroin, codeine, and morphine, hydrocodone is highly addictive.

How Does Vicodin Abuse Start?

Vicodin abuse can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you have a history of substance addiction or if you try extremely hard not to form an addiction to this drug. That’s because addiction to opiate drugs is not a choice. Chemical dependency and tolerance can set in only a few times after taking Vicodin.

Of course, some people have more risk factors than others. For example, if you have had an addiction in the past or if parents, siblings, or other loved ones have their own histories of addiction, you may have a higher likelihood of developing an opiate or Vicodin addiction.

Furthermore, if you have a mental disorder, you may be more likely to develop a co-occurring addiction. When someone has both an addiction and a mood or mental health disorder, this called dual diagnosis.

Here’s a scenario that often happens to those who end up addicted to Vicodin. They receive a perfectly safe and legal prescription from their doctor for pain for after surgery. They take the drug a few times, and they find that they love the way it makes them feel. Not only did it relieve their pain, but it gave them a sense of contentment and relieved them of worries and anxieties. Enjoying this overall feeling, they may take an increasing amount of Vicodin, shirking the prescription’s instructions.

This often leads patients to seek out additional prescriptions for Vicodin. The addiction has already begun and they become fixated on attaining more of their favorite drug.

Signs and Symptoms of Vicodin Abuse

The signs and symptoms of Vicodin abuse are the same as the signs and symptoms of other opiate drugs. When someone is consistently abusing this drug, they will show the following symptoms:

  • Confusion and fear
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A slowed heartbeat
  • Ringing in the ears and headaches
  • Constipation
  • Constricted pupils or blurred vision

Getting Help for Vicodin Abuse

Have you or a loved one been taking Vicodin more than your prescription recommends? If so, seek help immediately. The sooner you can get help for Vicodin abuse, the sooner you can kick this habit and go back to a sober lifestyle. Again, no one chooses to have an addiction to Vicodin, but it can certainly happen, even by accident.

Beaches Recovery specializes in uniquely designed treatment programs for all types of people, from strictly male programs to women’s programs and even programs for students and executives. We offer both 12-Step and non-12-Step-based approaches to recovery. We also offer the following experiential therapy treatments:

Are you ready to start fresh and move on from Vicodin abuse? We can help. Give Beaches Recovery a call at 866-605-0532. An experienced and knowledgeable addiction specialist is standing by to speak with you about your treatment options. Don’t wait to get help. Call today.