Table of Contents
Written by Amethyst Recovery
Amethyst Recovery is a foremost authority on addiction and a trusted online source of substance abuse information. Their expert team of addiction professionals provide well researched content for people in the grip of addiction. All posts are fact checked and sourced.
What Is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a prescription, combination drug that’s commonly prescribed to relieve pain. Vicodin may be effective for pain that’s moderate to severe. Vicodin is a brand-name, and it contains a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
Hydrocodone is an opioid narcotic, while acetaminophen is a non-narcotic pain reliever available in over-the-counter medications like Tylenol.
When someone uses hydrocodone as they do with Vicodin, it activates receptor sites in their central nervous system. Through this activation of these opioid receptor sites, pain signals are altered and the emotional response a person has to pain changes as well. Acetaminophen further improves the pain-fighting ability of Vicodin.
When the hydrocodone affects the brain and central nervous system, it can also create a sense of euphoria, and it can cause a reward response. This reward response can lead to Vicodin addiction. The longer someone uses Vicodin, the more at-risk they are for becoming addicted.
Vicodin addiction, like addiction to other opioids, often requires professional treatment. Vicodin treatment can occur in inpatient or outpatient settings, and sometimes people participate in multiple types of rehab along a continuum of care.
Signs and Symptoms of Vicodin Addiction
Because Vicodin is a prescription drug and people are often instructed to take it, it can be difficult to know where the line between use and abuse can occur. Some of the red flags of Vicodin abuse as well as the signs of addiction might include the following:
- Someone may use Vicodin in ways other than what’s intended such as crushing it and snorting it or dissolving it and injecting it
- Continuing to use Vicodin for longer than prescribed or intended can be a red flag of abuse or addiction
- Feeling out-of-control regarding the use of Vicodin
- Feeling cravings or developing a tolerance for Vicodin
- Using Vicodin even when it leads to negative side effects or consequences
- Taking Vicodin only for certain effects, such as euphoria or relaxation
The Risks of Untreated Vicodin Addiction
Addiction to any substance include an opioid-based drug like Vicodin, can become more severe as time goes on. If someone is addicted to Vicodin or even showing red flags of Vicodin abuse, the sooner they seek treatment, the better the outcomes often are.
When Vicodin addiction is left untreated, it can have an increasingly detrimental effect on the person’s physical and mental health, as well as their lifestyle and their relationships.
Over time ongoing opioid use can lead someone to use stronger or more dangerous opioids including heroin. Untreated opioid addiction can also cause damage to the brain, the respiratory system, and because of the acetaminophen in Vicodin, it can cause damage to the liver also.
When someone doesn’t receive Vicodin treatment for an addiction, they may see that their relationships suffer, as do their finances and their careers and professional lives.
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Treatment for Vicodin Addiction
When someone is addicted to Vicodin, there are different treatment options available. Regardless of the setting or the approach of a treatment center, the National Institute on Drug Abuse outlines some elements of effective addiction treatment for Vicodin and other drugs. Some of these principles of effective treatment include:
- Treatment for Vicodin addiction should address the complexity of addiction as a whole and the fact that it affects the brain and its functionality as well as behavior. Taking into consideration the complexity and enduring effects of opioid addiction can include relapse prevention strategies and long-term follow-up for someone after they complete treatment.
- Everyone is unique, as is their addiction, and there’s not a single treatment approach or format that’s going to work for everyone with an addiction to Vicodin or another substance.
- Treatment needs to be readily and easily available, especially since people are often apprehensive about entering treatment.
- Effective addiction treatment for Vicodin or another substance needs to address the needs of the person holistically and not only deal with the addiction itself.
- One of the biggest factors in successful long-term outcomes is that a person stays in treatment for long enough. That is why finding a program that a person is comfortable with is critical.
- Behavioral therapy is often a cornerstone of addiction treatment, and this should serve as a way to increase a person’s sense of motivation to change their thoughts, attitudes, and
- If someone has a co-occurring mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, this needs to be effectively treated and managed as well as the substance use disorder.
With an addiction to an opioid like Vicodin, medications may also be used as part of the treatment process. This is described as medication-assisted treatment or MAT, but this isn’t used in every treatment program. There is controversy about the use of some medications and in particular methadone. Some critics of drugs like methadone feel like it’s replacement therapy and a person may ultimately end up being dependent on the medication used to treat their original addiction.
Vicodin Inpatient Rehab
One option for someone struggling with opioid addiction is inpatient rehab.
During inpatient rehab, a patient does have to leave their home and their daily life. Many people also leave their state and travel for inpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab offers a sense of structure and consistency. It’s very scheduled, and since patients can’t come and go on their own terms, there are fewer opportunities for relapse.
During a Vicodin inpatient rehab program, a person might participate in various forms of behavioral therapy such as individual and group counseling. They may also do supplemental forms of therapy that can help them with stress management and other areas where they may struggle in their daily life.
Many inpatient Vicodin rehab programs start with a medical detox as well.
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Vicodin Outpatient Rehab
Outpatient rehab doesn’t require someone to live in a treatment facility. Instead, they should commit to attending regularly scheduled sessions on an outpatient basis. Vicodin outpatient rehab can be fairly informal, or it can be intensive. Sometimes a person will do an inpatient program and then when they’re ready, step down into a Vicodin outpatient treatment program.
Someone might skip inpatient rehab altogether and instead start with Vicodin outpatient treatment if their addiction is mild or shorter-term.
Vicodin PHP Rehabs
A partial hospitalization program or PHP is another option that can be considered for the treatment of Vicodin addiction. PHP rehabs have elements of both inpatient and outpatient rehab that are integrated into the program.
A PHP is intensive, and participants have to commit to all-day treatment sessions in most cases. The primary difference between a Vicodin PHP and inpatient rehab is the fact that once treatment ends for the day, the participant can leave. Some people may return home, while others may go to a sober living house.
Vicodin addiction can be difficult to deal with, but it is treatable. Contact Amethyst Recovery Center to learn more about the Vicodin addiction treatment options available.
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