VIcodin Addiction Treatment, Effects & SympToms

Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) is a powerful pain relief medication classified as a Schedule II substance. It is comprised of synthetic opioid hydrocodone and acetaminophen.

 

Introduction to Vicodin

Vicodin is a potent prescription pain medication that is used to treat both acute and chronic pain. In addition to providing pain relief, can cause feelings of euphoria and numbness. This medication is fast-acting and the effects can last 4 to 6hours.  

Vicodin is made up of hydrocodone (an opioid) and acetaminophen and this drug itself is classified as an opioid. It is most commonly used in tablet form, although it can also come as a liquid.  

How Does It Work?

Hydrocodone does the heavy lifting for this medication and is the root of Vicodin’s efficacy. This synthetic opioid primarily affects the central nervous system, attaching to receptors in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other parts of the body. The body is flooded with dopamine which in turn causes feelings of euphoria while also blocking pain signals. 

Vicodin Side Effects

Because opioids are depressants, they slow down the operations regulated by the central nervous system including respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and metabolic functions. They can result in long-term damage to internal organs, thus indirectly leading to a variety of other potentially fatal ailments.

Short-Term Side Effects

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness but trouble falling asleep
  • Decreased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Slowed breathing

Long-Term Side Effects

  • Liver damage
  • Lung damage (increased likelihood of pneumonia)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Infertility
  • Respiratory arrest or apnea

The Best Treatment for a Vicodin Addiction

Opioid medications such as Vicodin are well-known for their highly addictive properties. Drugs that deal with the reward centers of the brain have an above-average risk for causing physical and psychological dependency. Even when used as prescribed, Vicodin poses a high risk of addiction. 

Even more dangerous than the long-term symptoms of a Vicodin addiction, however, are the effects of a Vicodin withdrawal which are brought on by a sudden stoppage. For users who do not realize they are addicted, going through the withdrawal symptoms alone poses a serious health risk – not to mention the danger of having the cravings go unaddressed. Addiction treatment facilities can help mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms with medical detox treatments and after patient care in the form of behavioral therapy to deal with long-lasting cravings.

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