Vicodin may seem innocuous enough when your doctor prescribes it to you after a surgery or when you’re diagnosed with chronic pain. However, after time, you may start to rely on the drug to feel normal. This dependence can come with some serious side effects. You may be groggy and unable to function. It can even lead to legal troubles. When you notice that you are struggling with your Vicodin usage, it’s time to take action. Here are some Vicodin addiction treatment options and what to expect after treatment.
Vicodin is a medicine used to treat mild to moderate pain with hydrocodone and acetaminophen as the active ingredients. Hydrocodone is an opioid. It is a highly prescribed medication around the world. Vicodin comes in pill form or liquid form with the liquid form being the more concentrated option. It generally comes with either 5 mg, 7.5 mg or 10 mg of hydrocodone. It should be eaten with food for people who suffer from stomach issues.
Side effects of Vicodin include:
On rare occasions, you may experience more problematic side effects, such as sleep apnea or seizures. If this happens, tell your doctor immediately. The risk of serious side effects is low.
Vicodin definitely has the potential for abuse and addiction, especially for people with other addiction issues. One of the main ingredients of Vicodin is hydrocodone, which is an addictive substance. Hydrocodone is a man-made opioid that stimulates the same pleasure points in the brain as heroin. People who start with Vicodin may graduate to more intense opioids.
Signs of Vicodin Abuse
There are a number of ways to tell that you are starting to abuse Vicodin. If you recognize several of the signs in yourself, it’s time to take action. Here are some of the signs of abuse:
It’s normal for a drug to not work as well after an extended period of time. This is a sign that your body is not responding to the drug as it did before due to developing a tolerance. You may have to start taking more in order to feel the effects. If you start taking more without getting approval from your doctor, this is considered misuse.
- Taking Drug Outside of Prescription
Vicodin is prescribed to many people. It’s a sign of abuse when you find yourself taking the drug more often than you are supposed to. Your doctor prescribes a certain dosage for a reason, and you should stick to it. If you are told to take a certain dose twice a day, you should only take it those two times a day.
It’s a bad sign when you find yourself constantly craving Vicodin. If you start thinking about it while at work or doing other daily activities, it’s a serious indication of a problem. Rather than satisfying those cravings, listen to your body telling you that you are crossing the line from normal use to something more intense.
- Financial or Legal Trouble
When you allow your Vicodin use to impact your future by taking up all of your money or leading to a DUI, you will be forced to address these issues to any future employer and the people in your life. It’s even more of a sign of a problem when you continue to use it even after you get arrested. Let any legal ramifications be a serious warning sign and take action to help yourself.
- Nodding Off
One of the main signs that someone is using too much Vicodin is nodding off. You may notice your loved one sleeping at weird times, too. This is because Vicodin is a depressant and will make the user feel sleepy. It can even get to the point where they can’t properly get through their daily responsibilities. If you notice someone sleeping at inappropriate times, it’s best to let them sleep it off at the moment, but you will want to have a conversation about the situation.
Vicodin and Alcohol
Vicodin by itself usually isn’t too debilitating. However, mixing it with alcohol can make it especially dangerous. Both Vicodin and alcohol contain depressant properties. When combined, they can reduce respiratory function to the point of being dangerous. You don’t want to end up falling asleep and not waking up. Also, Vicodin enhances the effects of alcohol on the body. A person taking Vicodin may get drunk much faster than normal when they are on Vicodin. This means that they can get very drunk and hurt themselves before they realize it, and they are more dangerous behind the wheel than if they had just been drinking.
Mixing Vicodin and alcohol is also worse for your body. It will create negative effects on your heart and liver more quickly than alcohol alone.
You can absolutely experience withdrawal from Vicodin. If you talk to your doctor in advance, they will likely reduce the dosage of the pill to help wean you off of it and reduce potential withdrawal symptoms. In time, you won’t need it anymore. If you go cold turkey, it may be more difficult. The withdrawal symptoms are not so severe as to cause serious conditions or death. However, it can still be quite uncomfortable. When the cravings hit, it can be hard to avoid temptation and appease the cravings by using again.
Vicodin Treatment Options
You have options if you are seeking treatment for a Vicodin addiction. The key is to find the option that is best for you. Here are just some of the options available to you.
One of the best treatment options is inpatient rehabilitation. With this option, you will stay in a facility for an extended period of time while you detox and deal with the root of your addiction issues with the help of professional medical staff. You may have to make accommodations at home and at work for the time you are in rehab. Also, rehabilitation is on the expensive side. Talk to your insurance provider about what options you have, or talk to a social worker about state-funded options. By enrolling in comprehensive treatment, you can safely rid your body of the drug and learn resources to deal with cravings and triggers. Facilities like Granite Recovery Centers provide evidence-backed treatment to help patients prevent relapse and maintain long-term sobriety.
Narcotics Anonymous Meetings
Narcotics Anonymous Meetings are a safe space for people who suffer from addiction to narcotics, and it can be a great way for people to find support. There are 12-step programs available for free in most cities and towns. You can visit a meeting as often as you’d like to find support for your goal of sobriety. There will be other people there who understand what you’re going through, and you’ll be able to express yourself to a number of people who understand.
Many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from depression, anxiety, trauma, or another emotional disorder. To get to the bottom of the issue at hand, a therapist can help. You can talk to them about your addiction issues and the other things happening in your life, both past and present. Most therapists use a specific theory to guide the treatment. Some of those theories include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy that identifies your triggers. Triggers are things that make you want to reach for the Vicodin bottle against your better judgment. Once you identify your triggers and other patterns, you can make an effort to change.
- Rational Emotive Behavior Theory: This is a theory that emphasizes mind over matter, indicating that it’s important for positive thoughts to overpower other thoughts. A therapist will help teach you how to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The idea is that positive actions will happen as you train your mind to avoid drug misuse.
While you don’t want to replace your Vicodin addiction with another medication addiction, taking a medication with a very low chance of addiction might be the best option for you. There are a number of medications that help prevent addiction by addressing emotional issues. Talk to your doctor about your addiction problems so that they know to prescribe something with an extremely low chance of addiction. There are also drugs specifically designed to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Some people want to focus on alternative treatment methods. These treatments may utilize more emphasis on your connection to the universe and yourself. It may also incorporate things like meditation and cleansing practices to make the environment around you as positive as possible. This can be a good addition to traditional treatment methods.
Life After Treatment
When you get home from treatment, you may be off Vicodin. However, the pain may still be there. One of the first things you’ll have to do is look for alternative solutions to the pain problem that caused your Vicodin usage in the first place. Many people will turn toward holistic options. Others will turn to less addictive drugs. Still, others will try chiropractors or physical therapy. There are options, so don’t be afraid to explore alternatives. The point is to reduce your need for the actual substance.
You will also need to continue your care when you get home. Be sure to plan ongoing treatment with a therapist or support group. You should also work to develop a strong support system. Try encouraging your support system at home with family and friends. You also need to have faith in yourself and your recovery. This can be difficult if you experience any guilt about your addiction. However, you can learn to love yourself again. Try saying positive affirmations and celebrating yourself and your accomplishments. Avoid other substances and focus on your overall health to promote a clean environment and mindset. When you are healthy on the inside, you will want to be healthy on the outside as well.
Anyone can come back from a Vicodin addiction. Do not think that admitting to your problem and getting help is a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength to take a journey to better yourself. Start your journey by talking to one of our professionals at Granite Recovery Centers. We are known for our success stories.
With professional help, you can take control of your life again. Get the right head start by taking some time to yourself to detox and undergo helpful therapies. There will still be work to do when you get back home, but you’ll have a sturdy foundation underneath you.