If you have moderate or intense pain, your doctor may prescribe a narcotic painkiller such as Vicodin. While the drug has a legitimate use for medical purposes, people might use it for recreational purposes. Such misuse can make you dependent on pills to get through your day-to-day activities, and that’s how an addiction slowly develops. Sometimes, you may fail to function without taking the medication. The situation may be dire if you need the pills to complete your daily activities.
Vicodin is a prescription narcotic useful in alleviating average to severe or chronic pain. It contains combination medication of hydrocodone, which is a semi-synthetic opioid, and acetaminophen, which is a non-opioid pain reliever. Knoll, a German pharmaceutical company, released the brand name Vicodin in the U.S. market in 1978. Hydrocodone has been in existence for over a century since the 1920s, and people came to learn that mixing it with other drugs such as acetaminophen can be more effective.
Since Vicodin is considered to be among the most addictive prescription narcotics, the chances of misuse and developing an addiction are high. That’s why the Drug Enforcement Agency classifies it as a Schedule II controlled substance. Vicodin is a brand name you will hear when a medical professional prescribes it, but drug dealers may distribute it under street names when selling it illegally. Slang names that distributors use include:
Generally, a Vicodin tablet prescription specifies ingesting one pill every four to six hours. However, you might take higher doses if you form an addiction to the drug. It is vital to treat Vicodin addiction as soon as symptoms appear. With the proper treatment tools at Granite Recovery Centers, regaining sobriety could come sooner than expected.
Visual Appearance: Identifying Vicodin
Vicodin comes in many forms, and the way you take the drug varies. When you get the drug prescription from a qualified physician, your medication will come in tablets. The tablet will have a pricked line at the back, making it easy to split in half if you do not need to take the complete tablet. When looking at the pill, you can see an imprint of the milligrams of hydrocodone and acetaminophen it has. Usually, a tablet will have 300-325mg of acetaminophen and a 5mg, 7.5mg or 10mg dosage of hydrocodone.
When it comes to shape and color, Vicodin is often oval and white. However, some variations can appear blue or yellow depending on the brand. Other than tablets, you can choose to take the prescription in powder form. People who prefer to use the powder version of the drug often crush the tablets themselves, especially when using the pills illegally. Sniffing the drug instead of ingesting it will hasten the solubility and effectiveness, so users can get “high” fast like they would on an opioid such as heroin.
Vicodin Use and Misuse
The line between using Vicodin legitimately and misusing it is slim. As a prescription painkiller, Vicodin relieves the pain of people recovering from surgery or those suffering from chronic aches. If you use it the right way, you will become comfortable enough to go about your daily tasks. But what if you use too much of the drug?
Over time, you may find that taking the exact dosage you took before doesn’t have the same effect. You might increase your dosage of the medication to counteract the tolerance that you have built up. Without knowing it, you’re slowly misusing the drug and developing an addiction. Another form of misuse comes when you use the medication to rid yourself of trivial discomforts such as headaches.
Some people do not use the medication for pain relief but for recreation purposes. While users may justify their use for achieving a euphoric high, that’s actually an abuse of the drug since they don’t need it.
Decoding Vicodin Addiction: Signs You Have Drug Dependence
If you use Vicodin without a prescription or in ways that your doctor has not directed, you’re abusing the drug. With time, you might be unable to control your intake, thereby developing an addiction. Worth noting is that identifying Vicodin addiction can be tricky since the euphoric high can mask the symptoms of misuse. That means you might not notice you have a dependence until you stop taking the drug.
There are various behavioral and physical changes that you might exhibit if you have a substance use disorder. When it comes to your behavior, you may experience the following:
- You want to stop using Vicodin but are unable.
- There are strong urges and cravings to take Vicodin.
- You develop a tolerance such that you need more Vicodin to get the sensation you want.
- Withdrawal symptoms occur whenever you try to cut down Vicodin use.
- You stop paying attention to your occupational or social activities because of Vicodin.
- You can’t manage to complete any work after using Vicodin.
- You spend a lot of your time to get, use or recover from the drug.
- You take large amounts of pills or use them longer than necessary.
Vicodin effects also manifest on your physique. While the enormous negative impact includes chances of liver damage or failure in the long-term, here are other mild and severe physical symptoms:
- Body aches
- Ringing in the ears
- Impaired judgment
- Loss of consciousness
- Depressed breathing and heart rates
If you ever exhibit any of the above signs along with the urge to take Vicodin consistently, you probably have an addiction. The best step is to seek help from an accredited recovery center or medical professional. You might feel the need to get yourself off the drug on your own, but that is by far the riskiest way to do so since withdrawal effects may be harsh and uncomfortable. Therefore, deciding to quit cold turkey will most likely fail, and you might fall deeper into the addiction than before.
When you choose to work with the professionals at Granite Recovery Centers, a physician will analyze your specific concerns to develop the best game plan for treating your addiction. Moreover, a doctor will wean you off drugs slowly by decreasing the dosage you take each week in a tapering process. That is the first step toward detoxification and getting you off drugs.
What About Withdrawal?
Before diving into what you can expect during withdrawal, it’s imperative to learn about Vicodin dosage. Depending on the pain you experience, a doctor may prescribe a dosage with 5mg, 7.5mg or 10mg of hydrocodone to take every four to six hours.
While the above is the recommendable dosage, you might take more to combat severe pain. However, it’s advisable not to take more than eight pills for the first dosage and not more than six tablets for the second and third dosage. But when your body and brain crave higher amounts, you might consume more drugs than necessary.
When you’re ready to quit using Vicodin, you may have to go through an intense detoxification program if your addiction is severe. Likewise, the withdrawal symptoms you experience will depend on the amount of drug you have taken and the time you have been using the medication. If you’ve consumed a large dosage for an extended period, withdrawal can be intense. Here are some symptoms that can occur during withdrawal:
- Excessive sweating
- Mood swings
- Muscle pains
While the above symptoms may be harmless on their own, multiple symptoms occurring at once over an extended period can cause dehydration. That’s reason enough to seek professional help.
Vicodin detoxification helps eliminate all traces of the drug from the body, and an excellent place to start is a medical detox program. A doctor can monitor you and provide treatment to counteract the withdrawal effects, so you’ll be more comfortable as the drug leaves your body.
Withdrawal can occur within eight hours after the last dose, and the first symptoms might start to appear in 24 hours. Worth noting is that symptoms are usually intense during the first detox phase for days one to three. However, mild symptoms might linger even past a week.
Vicodin Treatment Options
When you are ready to seek help for quitting Vicodin use, there are multiple options. The right treatment for you will depend on the severity and length of your addiction as well as your lifestyle and responsibilities.
It’s best to consider a medication-assisted treatment program if you want to avoid the unpleasant side effects of withdrawal. The common medications that doctors use to ease Vicodin symptoms include Naltrexone and Buprenorphine. Naltrexone works by reducing cravings, and it also blocks Vicodin’s effects in case a relapse occurs. On the other hand, Buprenorphine activates Vicodin’s brain receptors, relieving withdrawal symptoms and releasing the feel-good chemical dopamine.
After successful detoxification, your physician may choose to place you in a residential program. Here, you’ll live on-site and get 24-hour care and support. Treatment plans include therapeutic programs such as behavioral and trauma therapy, as well as recreational activities and nutrition management to learn wholesome ways to deal with stress.
Partial Hospitalization Program
A partial hospitalization program is ideal if you’re transitioning from an inpatient to a home setting. Also, if you have a robust support system at home and require an alternative to residential treatment, PHP is ideal for you. The program is suitable for those who still need medical support but are working toward achieving their counseling and healing goals. You spend your day at the rehab center engaging in the activities available and get to go home each night.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) prepares you for outpatient care by focusing on coping mechanisms and skill-building. It essentially smooths your way in transitioning back to your regular daily living. IOP can help you develop relapse management skills, establish support networks in the community, and address psychological, emotional and social-related problems that affect your health.
An outpatient treatment program allows you to live at home and go to daytime counseling and therapy appointments. Treatment is ideal for those in early recovery. You can participate in skill-building sessions and gain the tools necessary to sustain a drug-free lifestyle.
Even after successfully weaning your body from drugs, there’s still the possibility of a relapse. If you participate in a rehab aftercare program, you will gain the skills necessary to beat temptations. You might meet regularly with a counselor or participate in group therapy to sustain your sobriety.
Struggling with Vicodin Addiction? Consider a Rehab Center
Vicodin addiction can affect you regardless of your stature in society. No matter your background, you can fall victim to the substance use disorder epidemic. What you do next will determine how healthy you will be for years to come. If you’re misusing Vicodin, you’re only one step away from gaining sobriety. That first step is seeking help from a rehabilitation center.
Granite Recovery Centers has facilities exclusively for men and women 18 years and older with treatment designed to create a personalized plan for sober living. At Granite Recovery Centers, you will get to participate in 12-step support group meetings and workshops regardless of the treatment program. Counseling sessions are also available in an individual, group or family setting. Treatment plans include various therapy services, from dialectical and cognitive behavioral to gestalt and yoga therapy.
Granite Recovery Centers commits to helping you live your best life away from Vicodin addiction. Reach out to our well-trained staff by filling the form on our contact page online or calling us today. We accept various insurance coverage policies to cater to your treatment, and our support staff can talk you through the process. When you reach out to us, we will walk you through the steps of gaining admission to our rehab clinic and guide you every step of your road to recovery.