Substance Abuse Spotlight: Vicodin Addiction


Vicodin is a prescription drug which is a mixture of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. It is used to alleviate pain which ranges from mild to serious. It functions by shielding the pain receptors inside the brain, but will also provide feelings of euphoria, which among some has led to Vicodin addiction.

Indications That Someone Is Addicted To Vicodin

In addition to euphoria, Vicodin will also provide a sense of relaxation. As with other drugs, extensive users will build up a tolerance over time, which will require them to take higher dosages in order to receive the same high. Individuals who are abusing Vicodin may be obsessed with obtaining it, resorting to theft or other unscrupulous methods. They will seem drowsy and be unable to complete basic tasks. Users may also display unusual anxiety or even paranoia. They may showcase frequent changes in mood and they may also have vomiting or nausea.

Doctor shopping is a common technique used by both Vicodin abusers and other prescription drug addicts. They become so obsessed with obtaining more of the drug that everything else will take a back seat, wreaking havoc on their personal and professional relationships. As such, the life of a Vicodin addict can quickly spiral out of control.

What Vicodin Does To The Body

Whether you take Vicodin as prescribed or have become addicted to it, you will immediately notice its effects on your body. It can cause dizziness, swelling, weakness, itching or vomiting. When abused for long periods of time this drug can be extremely hazardous as it can cause damage to both the urinary system and liver.

At its essence, Vicodin is a depressant for the central nervous system. It will decrease both respirations and the heart rate in a natural way, especially when consumed in larger dosages. As with all drugs, abusing Vicodin increases the chances of overdose. An OD can result from either taking a dose that is too much or mixing the drug with another substance, such as barbiturates or alcohol. In either case death can result. An overdose becomes more likely as an individual develops a tolerance due to the higher dosages they will take in an attempt to achieve a stronger high.

Vicodin Withdrawal and Treatment

As with other controlled substances, those who abuse Vicodin for a time and then attempt to quit will be subject to withdrawal. This involves symptoms that the body will present due to the cravings it has which are not being met. One may experience sleeping difficulties, restlessness, diarrhea, muscle pain, or nausea.

It is dangerous to try to quit Vicodin or any other drug cold turkey. The reason is because the withdrawal symptoms can lead to a relapse in which you return to taking the drug in dosages high enough to cause an overdose. Quitting Vicodin should only be done under the care of a professional in an environment where you can be constantly monitored. Choosing a quality rehab center is the first step in the right direction.