Vicodin Treats Pain
Vicodin is the brand name for the combination of two medications: hydrocodone and paracetamol. In medicine, Vicodin is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Because of the semi-synthetic opioid, hydrocodone, Vicodin may easily become a drug of abuse since it triggers euphoric feelings.
But, how can you abuse Vicodin? What are the side effects of long-term Vicodin use? Why people use Vicodin recreationally? We answer in the text below. Then, you are welcomed to comment in the section at the end.
Find yourself unable to control Vicodin use? Don’t worry.
Stopping Vicodin is possible under medical supervision.
Find out more on how to stop using Vicodin safely by calling us.
Medical Use Of Vicodin
Vicodin is primary prescribed for treating moderate to moderately severe pain. As an opioid – a synthetic, man made opiate – Vicodin has the power to change the functions of the brain by acting directly on nerve receptors. Moreover, this painkiller can cause euphoric effect which is the reason why people start abusing it.
Vicodin’s main ingredient, hydrocodone, has been mixed with paracetamol in order to lower risk of addiction. Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic, highly addictive, opioid agonist which acts directly on the central nervous system. In fact, hydrocodone changes the way the brain perceives pain.
Paracetamol does not change the way the brain functions, but can only be taken up to 4g daily. Taking 4g of paracetemol per day (or slightly more) for a few days has been known to result in hepatotoxicity, or liver toxic states. While the addition of paracetemol to the Vicodin formula is thought to lower risk of abuse or overdose, it is only a mild deterrent to people who want to get high on Vicodin.
Vicodin Use Short-Term Effects
Vicodin produces effects that are similar to stronger drugs, like heroin. This is due to the fact that Vicodin (hydrocodone) belongs in the group of drugs call “opioids”. Opioid drugs connects to opioid receptors in the brain, triggering changes in the central nervous system.
The moment you swallow a Vicodin tablet, a cascade of chemical reactions flood your brain. Some of the immediate effects felt after Vicodin use include:
- Calm and relaxation
- Lower perception of current pain
- Suppression of cough reflex
Vicodin Recreational Use
Many people use Vicodin recreationally to get high. Taking Vicodin for euphoric effect triggers a sense of satisfaction and a pleasant numbing feeling. However, Vicodin is highly addictive. This is why is has been classified as Schedule II narcotic in the Controlled Substances Act of the U.S. Federal Government.
Any use of Vicodin OTHER THAN prescribed by a doctor is illegal and punishable by law.
Vicodin starts producing its effects from almost instantly to 30-60 minutes after the intake. Effect onset varies by mode of administration. However, the euphoria usually lasts 4-6 hours, and it takes about two days for hydrocodone to leave the system. Some of the ways people use Vicodin recreationally include:
1. By mouth (crushing, chewing, and drinking). Taking Vicodin in this way can cause variety of mouth problems which lead to gum damage and tooth decay. Still, this is the most common way of abusing Vicodin.
2. By nose. Snorting Vicodin allows hydrocodone to enter the bloodstream far quicker than taking it orally. This way, hydrocodone is more concentrated, and gives immediate “hit” to the brain. Ongoing use can cause nasal necrosis and perforation.
3. Under the skin. Injecting Vicodin is the rarest method of use. Injection of Vicodin triggers instant action allowing hydrocodone to cross the blood-brain barrier extremely fast.
NOTE HERE: Overdose is the greater risk of Vicodin use. In the case of Vicodin overdose immediately CALL 911 or the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).
Long Term Vicodin Use
“Long term” or “chronic” drug use is a term used to define taking a drug for 6 (six) months or more, in medicinal terms. However, even though long-term Vicodin use is considered a safe and effective treatment when used as recommended by a doctor, using Vicodin for years will affect your body and brain.
First, long-term use of Vicodin can lead you to Vicodin dependence. Those who are dependent on Vicodin undergo withdrawal symptoms when the daily intake is stopped or lowered. You can also develop increased levels of drug tolerance. However, some of the most common side effects of long-term Vicodin use include mental and physical problems. Possible long terms effects of using Vicodin include:
- Brain damage
- Deterioration of the brain’s white matter
- Hypoxia, decreases in oxygen to the brain
- Skin rash and itchy skin
- Nausea and vomiting
Long-term us of Vicodin can ultimately affect your brain. Deficits in decision-making abilities, the ability to regulate behavior, and responses to stressful situations can cause you long-term harm and be of serious consequence to your health.
Prolonged Use Of Vicodin
Continued use of Vicodin may lead to physical dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it or lower the doses. The prolonged Vicodin use may increase your drug tolerance. At this point, Vicodin users often start to take higher drug dose to get the wanted effect.
If you are physically dependent on Vicodin, your body and brain have adopted the presence of the drug. This means that if you try to stop taking your medication, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Actually, withdrawal happens as your body struggles to maintain homeostatic. Usually, for Vicodin, these symptoms mimic a bad flu.
Vicodin withdrawal symptoms often start a few hours after a missed intake and peak about 72 hours after the last dose. But, it can take more than a week before these symptoms start to fade away. Below is a list of the most common Vicodin withdrawal symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
- Changes in the mood
- Muscle pain and aches
- Runny nose
Vicodin Use Questions
Non-stop, continuous use of Vicodin may be very dangerous to your health. So, be very careful and take it only as the doctor recommends. Moreover, if you still have any concerns about Vicodin use, please do not hesitate to ask. Your comments and questions are welcomed in the section at the end of the page.