Vicodin is an opioid narcotic made from a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone.1 The hydrocodone portion of the drug changes the way the body perceives pain, and the acetaminophen increases its effectiveness. Vicodin is a popular choice among doctors, surgeons and other specialists to treat pain after an acute injury or surgery. Like other opioids, Vicodin is highly addictive. Along with the pain-reducing qualities of the drug, Vicodin also produces feelings of euphoria in the user, which can quickly lead to dependence and addiction. Unfortunately, that is why prescription pain medications like Vicodin have helped fuel the current opioid addiction epidemic in the Untied States. The following facts can help you understand how Vicodin works, recognize problems and get treatment.
1. Hydrocodone is an Opioid-Based Painkiller
Vicodin is an opioid painkiller in the same family as morphine or codeine and works in the brain to change the way the body perceives pain. By binding to pain receptors, it essentially blocks a person’s experience of pain while producing feelings of euphoria. Because pain is a survival response, your body quickly adapts to the Vicodin, needing more of the drug to produce the same level of symptom relief and experience. The brain becomes accustomed to the presence of Vicodin and stops producing its own neurotransmitters in response to pain.2 That’s why people who abuse Vicodin say they need the drug to feel and function normally. Once this level of dependence happens, addiction to the drug develops quickly.
When Vicodin is stopped, or it’s time for the next dose, painful withdrawal symptoms appear. These include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shaking and tremors
- Mood swings3
If you or your loved one uses Vicodin to control pain and you experience withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug, it’s time to get help.
2. Vicodin Detox Treats Vicodin Addiction
Vicodin detox is a focused medical treatment that requires you to stop taking Vicodin immediately. When you go through the inevitable withdrawal symptoms, you are given medication that either diminishes the overall intensity of these symptoms or treats them individually. Another option in Vicodin detox is a natural detox. The goal of natural detox is to remove drug toxins from your body as quickly and efficiently as possible while under medical supervision. Your doctor and other members of your rehab team will determine which route is the safest for your unique situation. No matter the method of Vicodin detox, medical supervision ensures you are ridding your body of the toxins of the drug in a safe way.
3. Vicodin Addiction Treatment is Important
Medically-supervised Vicodin detox is just the first step on the road to a drug-free life. Once detox is complete, tackling the deeper issues that may have caused or contributed to your Vicodin addiction is the best way to prevent relapse. Through the diagnosis and treatment of any underlying mental health issues, individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy and other holistic options, a life of recovery is possible. To that end, Vicodin addiction treatment also includes participation in support groups and other aftercare services to further equip you or your loved one for life without the influence of drugs.
Treatment at Michael’s House
If you would like to break free from Vicodin addiction through medically-supervised Vicodin detox and addiction treatment, we are here for you. Call us at 760-548-4032 today. We can help you begin the journey to a new life free from the control of drugs and alcohol.
1 “Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen: Oral Route.” Mayo Clinic. 1 March 2017.
2 “How Do Opioids Work?” NIDA for Teens. 16 Feb. 2018.
3 “Symptoms of Vicodin Withdrawal.” Healthline, Healthline Media. 8 Dec. 2016.