Vicodin is often abused for 2 major reasons: first, persons who have a legitimate prescription to the drug may find that they have become tolerant to it. As such, they will use increasingly larger amounts of the drug to get the same effects. The second, is that individuals abuse the drug for recreational purposes. They do so to achieve feelings of relaxation, calm and even euphoria.
Vicodin is a prescription pain reliever which was developed for relieving moderate to severe pain. Vicodin is a prescription tablet of both acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol.
The hydrocodone which is present in Vicodin is a synthetic opioid. It activates the same neuroreceptors as opiate drugs like heroin do.
Each Vicodin tablet has about 300 mg of acetaminophen. Each tablet also comes in 3 distinct hydrocodone dosage levels. - 5 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg. Each tablet may have 300-325 mg of acetaminophen.
In the US alone, over 5 million people abuse this drug. Because of the drug's high potential for addiction, Vicodin has been classified as a Schedule II drug as per the DEA.
With Vicodin, any short-term effects that may be construed to be positive are greatly overmatched by the staggeringly negative effects of the drug. Even with regard to the short term, the drug may lead to constipation, slowed breathing, impaired judgment and even a loss of consciousness. Chronic abuse of the drug may lead to anxiety, addiction, fatal overdosing and an increase in a person's perception of pain.
Vicodin is very highly addictive. Vicodin is classified as a Schedule II drug by the DEA, as it contains hydrocodone. Schedule II drugs, typically, have the highest potential for abuse among prescription drugs. Hydrocodone addiction may also develop if the drug is used and abused repeatedly.
How long it will take to develop an addiction to hydrocodone will vary from individual to individual. It will also depend on how much Vicodin the person is taking as well as their method of delivery.
Because Vicodin has a very high abuse potential, the DEA has voted to tighten restriction with regards to availability and access of the drug. Abuse of Vicodin is constituted by any use type which steps out from the confines of a doctor's prescription.
Vicodin contains acetaminophen. This alone makes the prospect of liver damage a very real one. A mere 4,000 mg of acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Addicts have been known to take amounts of Vicodin whose acetaminophen content goes beyond this figure.
In March 2015, the FDA stipulated that it was illegal for manufacturers to market products which contained more than 325 mg of acetaminophen. Previous formulations included up to 750 mg of the same.
Vicodin is primarily used for pain relief and prescribed by medical professionals. As such, you may be asking yourself how come the drug has addictive properties. Vicodin may be addictive due to its pain-reliever capacity as well as the euphoric feelings it generates.
By and by, persons who misuse the drugs do so more for its euphoric effects as opposed to its pain management effects. These people stand a very real risk of becoming addicts and leaving their lives at the mercy of the drug.
When a person is exposed to hydrocodone in higher doses than is recommended, they may become tolerant to it. This means that they will no longer get the same effects from their regular dosage, and will need to up their dosage.
Once the person gets used to using larger amounts of the drug to get the same effect, they may develop dependency. When you find that you need to use Vicodin to feel and behave normally, then you have become dependent upon it.
Certain persons may stand a higher chance of developing an addiction to Vicodin. These persons include those with a history of substance abuse, either personally or in their family. People with a history of mental illness may also stand a higher chance of becoming addicted.
It may be difficult to recognize a true addiction to the drug. There are those who develop dependence to their Vicodin prescription and do not realize this until the time they cease to take it. Dependence is usually the preceding step to addiction. Addiction will be marked by a compulsive urge to take the drug despite the onset of negative consequences.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V(DSM-V) has outlined certain symptoms for persons with addictions. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V(DSM-V), so as to be diagnosed with a drug use disorder, you need to meet 2 or more of the 11 listed criteria within a 12-month period.
If you meet 2/3 of the listed criteria, you have a substance use disorder, albeit mild. 4-5 is regarded as moderate. If you meet 6 criteria and above, then you have a severe substance disorder. The following are the substance use disorder criteria:
Vicodin addiction generally doesn't develop if the user strictly follows the doctor's prescription directives. But once self-medication starts and the user starts to use larger quantities than a doctor would recommend, the dependency risks is greatly boosted.
People who go ahead and use the drug recreationally stand a very high risk of developing full-fledged addictions. This is especially so if they mix the drug with other drugs, including alcohol, to boost the impact that it has.
Liver issues are a possible complication of abusing Vicodin. This is caused primarily by acetaminophen present in the drug. If you see signs of jaundice or other symptoms which suggest liver malfunction, medical help should be sought immediately.
One of the more unsavory aspects of addiction to Vicodin is just how quickly an individual may develop tolerance to the drug. This means that the longer you take Vicodin, the more of it you will need to take to reach your desired euphoric levels. As a result, you will spiral deeper and deeper into the addiction cycle with time.
There are multiple side effects, many of them serious, associated with long-term addiction to Vicodin. These include liver damage, severe mood swings, depressive feelings as well as a multitude of withdrawal symptoms once you cease taking the drug.
Vicodin is very highly addictive. It is so addictive that even individuals who follow a doctor's prescription may end up developing dependence on it. Women run a higher risk of developing addiction to the drug as they are a lot more likely to have chronic pain, get prescribed pain-relieving meds, be prescribed higher doses and ultimately use them for longer periods of time compared to men. They may also get dependent on prescription pain-relieving meds faster than men.
Just like any illicit drug, Vicodin could be fatal if too much is consumed. Every single year, hospital ERs admit persons who have overdosed on hydrocodone. Many of them, it has to be said, fail to recover. Far too many people understand neither their limits nor the potency of Vicodin. Many addiction experts have drawn up marked parallels between heroin addiction and Vicodin addiction.
Persons who engage in the use and abuse of Vicodin are subject to severe lapses in self-control. The person will usually be ready to do anything and everything to access more of the drug. This puts them at the very real risk for a myriad of unethical behaviors, crime very much included. These people may:
Taking too much Vicodin, or perhaps just taking it too often without allowing the drug to clear from the system may lead to overdosing. Due to the depressive effects it has on the CNS as well as the drastic slowing down of one's respiratory rate, overdosing on Vicodin may well lead to death.
In the year 2017, roughly 50,000 persons lost their lives to opioid overdoses. This number includes several thousand persons that took more hydrocodone than their systems could muster. The acetaminophen present in Vicodin is also quite toxic at high doses, which adds to the risk of overdosing.
Of the 63,000 fatal overdose deaths in 2016, 4.4% was attributed to hydrocodone and Vicodin overdose. In Florida, 360 persons died from overdosing on hydrocodone in 2017. Hydrocodone has also been used as a suicide tool. At least 9.3% of all suicide deaths in the country are via hydrocodone.
When Vicodin is combined with other substances, it can be very dangerous. Vicodin tends to have negative interactions with numerous drug types. Of the 360 persons that died from hydrocodone overdose in Florida in 2017, 310 of them had other drugs in their system at their time of death.
Xanax is especially popular with Vicodin abusers. The Vicodin-Xanax combination is also the most lethal of all Vicodin combinations, accounting for 25.7% of all overdose deaths attributed to Vicodin overdose.
When an overdose is detected, action needs to be swift. Emergency responders may be able to reverse an overdose via Narcan (naloxone), but this is only possible if they arrive at the scene before the overdose has progressed too far.
Once dependence on Vicodin has developed, addiction becomes a lot more likely. The withdrawal symptoms of Vicodin are usually very unpleasant and painful, and many abusers of the drug will continue to use it just to stay away from withdrawal.
There are numerous programs which will help you recover fully from your Vicodin addiction. These programs will also help you so that the unpleasantness of withdrawal is curbed.
Safe treatment of Vicodin withdrawal will include the use of such drugs as Subutex. Methadone may also be used but only at first. Then it will be gradually tapered off over a period of several weeks or months.
Receiving professional treatment will be the best way to cut out your drug habit. Therapy and support will be on offer. You will also access a detox program which will help you to successfully manage your withdrawal symptoms. These programs will also offer medications which will ease the withdrawal symptoms and make recovery a likelier prospect.
This one activates similar brain receptors to those activated by Vicodin. Dopamine is released and withdrawal relieved.
This one has also been used to treat alcoholics successfully. Naltrexone curbs cravings and blocks Vicodin's effects in the case of relapsing.
In 2012, about 1 million persons received treatment for their addiction to prescription painkillers. As you can see, you are not alone in your journey. All you need to do is reach out to a treatment provider and access the requisite treatment.