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Vicodin Addiction Treatment


ESTIMATED READING TIME: 5-10 minutes


Vicodin and Addiction

An opioid combination of hydrocodone and paracetamol, Vicodin is one of the most frequently prescribed painkillers in the U.S. Ongoing Vicodin use increases both drug tolerance and drug dependence levels in the body. Also, Vicodin changes the way how brain functions.

But, what are the signs of Vicodin addiction? What are the methods used for treating Vicodin addiction? We explore here and invite you to ask any question and concern you may have on Vicodin addiction in the comments section at the end of the page.
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What Is Vicodin Addiction?

From a psychological point of view, addiction is defined as:

“an inexplicable urge to use a drug, despite negative consequences drug use has on health, home, or work life.”

Moreover, addiction is characterized by:

  1. Obsessive thinking.
  2. Compulsion and craving.
  3. Loss of control over how much or how frequently you use.

How It’s Recognized

One of the most common ways you can recognize drug addiction is change. Sadly, changes in appearance and in behavior are not for the better, but quite the opposite. You might notice that person is nodding off or sleeping at odd hours of the day for example. Often, Vicodin becomes the most important element of a person’s life, so poor hygiene or lack of care in appearance occurs. Dilated pupils are another sign.

The basic behavioral signs of Vicodin addiction include the following:

  • A strong desire to use Vicodin over and over again.
  • Preoccupation with Vicodin use.
  • Continued use, regardless of the negative consequences.
  • Inability to control dosing amounts.

What About Withdrawal?

Addiction manifests as desperation, and a person who’s addicted to Vicodin will do anything to get the drug. These are only few of the experiences people have already shared online about what it feels like to be addicted to a pain med:

Story #1: “…I feel strongly that the following statement is true for anybody using heavy amounts of pain killers: GETTING OFF PAINKILLERS REQUIRES THAT YOU EITHER ARE A VERY STRONG, DISCIPLINED PERSON, PREPARE WITH THE HELP OF A DOCTOR AND FOLLOW THEIR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER, OR THAT YOU HAVE HELP FROM THOSE WHO DID IT BEFORE YOU. If you do not prepare, you multiply the difficulties you will face during the Withdrawal Phase of getting them out of your system…”

Story #2: “…The next section of my journey is THE START. It’s the day you take your last pill. This was my most difficult day. It’s the day that I prepared for, but new I would never again feel that “high”, and it also was the beginning of what pain was in front of me with my ailments. BUT, I knew it had to go, and I was prepared.

I finished my prescription at Midnight, making the next day DAY ONE and went to sleep. When I woke up, around 8 or 9 AM, I already started feeling “ill”. The type of ill I felt was typical FLU symptoms. Achy bones and that feeling you get just before the onset of the flu. I looked at the clock. It was 9 HOURS into DAY ONE. You will mark your progress by hours, not days. This is important. During the first day, I tried to work from home and did OK, but as the symptoms progressed, I lost interest and started to hunker down into the most comfortable positions and just trying to fight this feeling and feel better. But it got worse.

Story #3: “…During that first night, I took a few hours of sleep, but was awakened by my “arm pulls”. These surges were now 20 minutes apart and unbearable. HOWEVER, this meant that my body was “pulling” for the opiate and I wasn’t giving in. It became a game. IT BECAME WAR. ME VERSUS MY BODY. My body was fighting for this drug, and I FOUGHT BACK…”

Why Get Treatment?

The core goal of every addiction treatment program is to bring you back into normal, drug-free state. When we are discussing any kind of treatment method, the chance of relapse is always there. But, a reputable addiction treatment program can help mitigate this risk. That’s the main reason experts advocate for a stay in a rehab.

Completing a Vicodin detox treatment is the first thing to do when treating addiction. But detox must be followed by a deeper look inside. Both inpatient and outpatient programs are focused on the emotional and psychological compulsion to drug use. So once detox ends…find a rehab!

A typical treatment day in rehab entails support groups, one-on-one therapy, and educational lessons for at least a few per day. Outpatient programs last about 10 weeks, but it can be prolonged up to 3 month or even a year. Inpatient program can last for 30, 60, or 90 days and require residential accommodation with 24/7 monitoring.

Treatment Methods

Numerous treatment modalities or methods are used during addiction treatment. The main types follow.

Behavioral treatments focus on teaching people who to change their behaviors and the way they respond to problems and life challenges.

Cognitive behavioral therapists believe that if people make changes in the way they view life, they might exclude substance abuse as an option for dealing with difficulties.

Contingency Management offer motivational incentives as a type of therapy that includes rewards for the desired behaviors such as clean drug tests.

Education on the science of addiction can greatly contribute to the recovery process. Learning about the disease model of addiction and its neurobiological background will help you understand your behaviors. Plus this education will teach you how your addiction can best be treated.

Psychotherapy sessions (individual, group, and/or family) are important part of the addiction recovery process. Vicodin addiction is more than just a physical problem. Even after detox, when the physical Vicodin dependence is resolved, people are still at high risk for relapse.

Support group facilitation (12 step, SMART Recovery) are vitals for those in recovery. Being able to share your addiction  experienes with others can tremendously help you relieve a big burden from your shoulders. Plus, being a member of the recovery community through these groups helps you motivate yourself and motivate others.

Your Questions

This article outlines only the basic facts of Vicodin addiction and its treatment. Detox, rehab, and aftercare are the cornerstones of treatment. Know that addiction is a very serious problem, and must be handled immediately.  So, reach out for help today. Or, send you’re questions in the comments section below.

We’ll be glad to help.

If you still have any questions or concerns, please contact us in the comments section below or via our contact us page. We are eager to help you in any way, and we will try to respond as soon as possible!

Reference Sources: NIH: DrugAbuse: Prescription Drugs
NCADD: Learn About Drugs : Signs and Symptoms
NIDA: The Essence of Drug Addiction
NIH: What is Addiction?
National Institute of Drug Abuse: The Science of Drug Addiction

Vicodin Addiction Treatment

64 How long does Vicodin withdrawal last?

How long does Vicodin withdrawal last?

December 8th, 2012

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Acute withdrawal symptoms last for 4-10 days after dose cessation. However, symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances can last for weeks or months following initial withdrawal from Vicodin. TABLE OF CONTENTS Who Withdraws Onset Timeline Common Symptoms Overall Duration Tapering Medical Detox Medications that Help Home Detox Safety Your Questions Who […]

2 How to treat Vicodin addiction

How to treat Vicodin addiction

November 26th, 2012

Are you or someone you love addicted to Vicodin? Treatments for addiction include medications and behavioral interventions. Learn what to expect and where to find treatment for Vicodin addiction here.

16 How to stop taking Vicodin

How to stop taking Vicodin

October 29th, 2012

When you stop taking Vicodin, follow your doctor’s instructions to reduce by 10% daily, 20% every 3-5 days and then 25% every week. Tapering from Vicodin should be completed over a four (4) week period. More here on how to stop taking Vicodin, plus a section at the end for your questions.

12 What are Vicodin withdrawal symptoms?

What are Vicodin withdrawal symptoms?

August 7th, 2012

Common Vicodin withdrawal symptoms can appear a few hours after your last dose of Vicodin and may include: diarrhea, stomach pain, sweating, and chills. More here on Vicodin withdrawal symptoms, including how long you can expect symptoms to last.

15 Is vicodin withdrawal as bad as suboxone withdrawal?

Is vicodin withdrawal as bad as suboxone withdrawal?

April 5th, 2011

Dr. Burson answers medical questions about vicodin withdrawal here. Info includes the relationship between endorphins and opioids, when you start feeling better and alternatives to methadone maintenance programs. A brief comparison between vicodin withdrawal and suboxone withdrawal here.

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