It starts out innocently enough. You may have a sports injury, you may have a surgery, or you may even be getting treatment for chronic pain. Your doctor, someone you trust, who has gone to medical school and has a PhD, prescribes you a pill called hydrocodone/acetaminophen. Vicodin. You take it, and suddenly the pain is gone. What a relief! Moreover, you are feeling good, really good. You think to yourself “How did I ever go without this! I’ll be using it for all my pain now. The euphoria kicks in…what you may not know is that you could be on the path to a debilitating and devastating addiction to the prescription drug Vicodin.
Or perhaps it’s not so innocent a pathway. Perhaps one of your friends gives you a pill at a party and tells you that taking Vicodin will be “lots of fun”. You’ll get a bigger high, and get drunk faster. It can be a “party drug” too. This is even more dangerous because of the addition of the prescription grade opiate (yes, Vicodin is an opiate drug) to alcohol. You try it, and it DOES intensify your high. You think to yourself “What’s the problem with this? Doctors prescribe it, it must be safe”.
In both of these cases, you’re not stupid, but you are wrong. The prevalent misconception of prescription drugs being safer than their illicit counterparts is dangerous misinformation. As a matter of fact, prescription drugs can be just as addictive, if not more so, than some other illicit drugs, and not being completely aware of this leads more and more people down the path of addiction and dependence every day. Vicodin is one of the more powerful prescription drugs available on the market, and one of the ones that is most widely abused.
Vicodin works to halt the production of substances called prostaglandins which alert the body to the sensation of pain, while concurrently binding to pain receptors in the brain to numb the pain. This makes it a potent painkiller. However, it also induces senses of relaxation and euphoria. The combination is highly reinforcing, and likely to make the user want to continue and increase use of the drug. With any type of long-term intake, whether or not you were prescribed Vicodin for legitimate reasons, you may develop a Vicodin addiction and become physically dependent on it.
Addiction and dependence work with prescription Vicodin the same way they work with any other drug. The person taking the drug want to use it more and more, and the body becomes physically dependent on having that substance in its system, causing painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when the user stops taking the drug. More often than not, this will result with the user going back to Vicodin over and over again, despite side effects, concern from family and friends, and the user themselves wanting to stop. They become unable to stop using Vicodin. At this point, it is time to seek help.
Trying to stop using Vicodin on one’s own if incredibly difficult, and can be dangerous in and of itself. Remember, Vicodin is an opiate drug, and has the same symptoms of other opiate withdrawals, including pain, cold sweats, insomnia, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, aches and pain, depression, anxiety and panic attacks, and bodily reactions such as sensations of skin crawling or tingling. Many long-term Vicodin users need to be medically supervised during their detox to make sure that they are stable. Moreover, as with any addiction, treatment for the addiction is necessary to treat the emotional, physical, psychological, and other components (from familial tensions to spiritual concerns) which may go hand in hand with the addiction or contribute to underlying causes. Whatever your concurrent issues with prescription Vicodin may be, they are treatable and a full recovery is possible. You can live a life without addiction to Vicodin. Don’t waste another day in the excruciating cycle of addiction and dependence. Make the call and get help today.