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Vicodin 2018-09-21T15:13:34+00:00

The Dangers of Abusing Vicodin

Vicodin is the brand name of a combination drug that includes both the opioid pain reliever hydrocodone and the non-opioid type of pain reliever acetaminophen. It’s meant as a short-term form of pain relief to use as soon as you start feeling the pain.

Since Vicodin and other opioids are addictive, many people who start using them according to their doctor’s orders end up dependent on them. The risk of addiction is increased if you already have a substance use disorder with another addictive substance. It’s common for people who have become addicted to one type of opioid to use other types of prescription opioid pain relievers and even heroin, which is also in the same class of drugs.

If you think you may have developed a Vicodin addiction, professionals can assess your situation and recommend appropriate treatment. A treatment program can teach you how to recover from the addiction and provide support and tools that make the process safer and easier.

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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Vicodin Abuse?

Abusing and misusing Vicodin have the potential to be dangerous and even fatal. These behaviors can cause overdose, and mixing Vicodin with other substances can increase the chance of overdose as well as enhance negative side effects of either or both substances. Combining substances with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines is especially dangerous. Also, this drug is able to cause respiratory depression, which can be fatal.

Some other potential side effects of Vicodin use and abuse include liver damage, constipation, nausea and muscle pain. It can also cause mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, and it can reduce your heart and breathing rates.

Vicodin use can also lead to addiction. You might be addicted if you cannot stop using the drug without experiencing withdrawal symptoms or you struggle to quit using the drug and end up using it more or for longer than you meant to. Other signs of addiction include that your life becomes focused around the drug and that its use causes problems in your life, such as difficulty in relationships and at work, yet you still don’t stop using it.

What are Symptoms of Vicodin Withdrawal?

Other symptoms you could experience with Vicodin use can present themselves when you stop using the drug, especially when it’s sudden. These are withdrawal symptoms that occur because the brain and body have become accustomed to receiving continuous amounts of an addictive substance like Vicodin.

The problem is that opioids and other addictive substances affect the brain. They mimic natural processes to encourage the release of the feel-good brain chemical dopamine, which is part of the brain’s reward network.

When the brain gets used to Vicodin stimulating the release of dopamine, it will no longer carry out its natural system of dopamine release—it no longer needs to. Then, when you quickly take the opioid away, your brain will take time to begin releasing dopamine again, and the amount of dopamine naturally released is less than when the drug stimulates the release. During the transition, you can go through acute withdrawal symptoms. This is likely when you’ve taken large amounts of Vicodin or have been taking it for an extended period of time.

During acute withdrawal, you could experience sweating, nausea and aching muscles. You could also have excess nasal and eye fluids, restlessness and other symptoms. After acute withdrawal symptoms have ended, it’s possible to have post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), which is a longer-lasting form of withdrawal that tends to be more focused on emotional than physical symptoms.

Vicodin Addiction Treatment

Proper treatment can assist with acute withdrawal and PAWS symptoms. A detox program addresses the uncomfortable symptoms of acute withdrawal by providing monitoring and medications such as Buprenorphine or Naltrexone. Detoxification helps ensure that you get through this period safely and with support that helps you stay on track. A rehab program can help with the ongoing symptoms of PAWS if it applies to your situation.

Rehab treatment also provides therapy and other forms of support to help you work through causes of your addiction, triggers and cravings. It provides guidance for you to find your way forward. When needed, a rehab program may address co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorder related to another addictive substance.

At Transformations Treatment Center, we are able to address a Vicodin addiction with holistic, individualized care that treats all parts of your unique needs and we offer a detoxification program through our facility Summit Detox.

We tailor our treatment to your life with our different programs. These include partial hospitalization, outpatient programs and an intensive outpatient program with different levels and tracks. When you have completed the form of rehab that is right for you, we will keep in touch through our aftercare program.

If Vicodin has become a major focus of your life and you’re struggling to stop using it, it’s time to consider treatment. Our Summit Detox and Transformations Treatment Center facilities can make the withdrawal process easier and help you move forward on the path of recovery. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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