Vicodin (generic name: hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen) is a drug which contains both acetaminophen and hydrocodone, which are both painkiller medications. This prescription drug is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. Hydrocodone is classified as an opioid pain medication or narcotic which works in the brain to alter how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever which helps enhance the effects of Vicodin and is also capable of reducing a fever. While hydrocodone is the more addictive substance in Vicodin, acetaminophen is also dangerous due to it’s risk for causing liver damage if not taken as recommended. Vicodin is primarily prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, chronic pain and postoperative types. The drug is classified as a schedule II controlled substance which should only be prescribed for medical purposes, however the non-medical/recreational use of Vicodin has significantly grown in the most recent years.
Vicodin works by blocking the brain’s receptors in the brain which not only helps alleviate pain, but also creates feelings of euphoria and relaxation which makes the drugs so highly addictive; keeping an eye out for the symptoms of Vicodin addiction is critical. Users of Vicodin generally develop a tolerance for the drug over time which results in the individual requiring more of the drug to achieve the initial effects. Vicodin addicts are notorious for taking between 20 to 30 pills in one day.
With Vicodin being a central nervous depressant (CNS) medication, it can naturally cause reduced heart rate, as well as reduced respiration. Abusing this drug can be very dangerous due to the risk of overdose, especially if this drug is used in combination with other CNS drugs or alcohol. If too much vicodin is consumed it can cause the heart rate to dramatically slow down to the point of death.
The opiates in Vicodin can make the drug especially habit-forming. A course of just two to three weeks of use can lead to developing a tolerance for the drug. Once a tolerance for the drug is developed the user requires higher dosages of the drug at more frequent intervals. A person can experience symptoms of withdrawal from Vicodin just a few weeks after use of the drug begins. Many individuals who find themselves dependent on Vicodin begin to “doctor shop”, go around to multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions, or they may begin to abuse stronger drugs such as oxycodone or heroin.
If you or a loved one have been prescribed Vicodin or use the drug recreationally and believe that a Vicodin use problem may be present, we strongly suggest seeking care from a Vicodin addiction treatment program and drug rehab to prevent an overdose and toxicity from Vicodin. At Harbor Village we are staffed by a team of classically trained medical professionals who are genuinely dedicated to ensuring you achieve a complete and long-lasting recovery from Vicodin abuse or addiction. Recover your life from a substance use problem today with the help of Harbor Village – we can help!