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What are the Signs of Vicodin Abuse?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that over 20% of American adults suffer chronic pain to some degree. Vicodin is a popular and potent opioid painkiller commonly prescribed to alleviate pain. 

While Vicodin is highly effective at relieving pain, it can be highly addictive when used outside of the prescribed guidelines.

The consequences of Vicodin addiction go far beyond an individual user, affecting physical and mental health, straining relationships, and contributing to the overall health crisis of opioid addiction nationwide.

Understanding the detrimental effects of Vicodin addiction is essential in meeting this crisis head-on and helping those who become addicted to Vicodin get the treatment they need. 

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is an opioid prescription pain medication containing both hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The hydrocodone in Vicodin is what makes the drug so highly addictive. 

Although Vicodin’s purpose is to address severe, chronic, and acute pain, the ingredients in Vicodin significantly affect the central nervous system.

Vicodin produces pleasure feelings that entice the user to want more. For example, feelings of relaxation, contentment, and even an out-of-body experience are common effects of the drug. 

When a Vicodin user enjoys these effects too much, the signs of Vicodin abuse become apparent. The tolerance for Vicodin increases, creating a need for more of the drug to get the same pleasurable results. Hence, addiction takes hold.

That’s why any apparent signs of Vicodin abuse need to be addressed immediately. 

What Are The Signs of Vicodin Abuse?

The speed at which an individual becomes addicted to Vicodin varies significantly from person to person. Several factors influence the onset of addiction, such as dosage, frequency of use, and susceptibility to addiction. 

Generally, it’s possible to become addicted to Vicodin in as little as a few weeks following regular use. The risk of addiction increases when Vicodin is misused outside of prescription instructions and used illegally. 

While the signs of Vicodin abuse vary with each individual, the amount used, and the length of addiction, there are sure physical, behavioral, and psychological signs to watch for.

Signs and symptoms of Vicodin abuse include:

  • Frequent drowsiness or insomnia
  • Neglecting home, family, and school responsibilities
  • Slurred speech and slower movements
  • Constricted pupils
  • Memory problems. 
  • Depression, anxiety, and moodiness
  • Prolonged use of Vicodin beyond prescription directions
  • Doctor shopping for more Vicodin prescriptions
  • Cravings and urge for the drug
  • Alienation from family and friends
  • Poor judgement
  • Increased irritability and agitation
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

There may be other symptoms not included on this list. Therefore, it’s crucial to watch for any changes in a loved one who misuses Vicodin and get them help as soon as possible. 

What Are The Effects of Vicodin Addiction?

Despite the obvious signs of Vicodin abuse, those who abuse the drug will ignore or just live with the effects of Vicodin addiction. The user’s health and overall lifestyle will undoubtedly take a hit.

The adverse effects of Vicodin addiction include:

  • Relationship problems 
  • Financial difficulties due to loss of income, job and savings
  • Trouble at work and school due to absences or poor performance
  • Legal issues from being arrested, disruptive behavior, or DUI
  • Social isolation
  • Damage to body organs, especially heart and liver
  • Physical issues such as itching, vomiting, seizures, jaundice and weight loss
  • Mental illness, co-occurring disorders including anxiety, depression, and paranoia

Misusing Vicodin, especially when taking a higher dose than prescribed or combining it with other substances such as alcohol, increases the risk of overdose. Vicodin and other opioid overdoses are fatal due to respiratory and cardiovascular complications.

When any or all of these side effects are present, there is a sense of urgency to seek help for Vicodin addiction. Proper medical attention and addiction treatment are crucial to lessen the damage done by Vicodin misuse. Early intervention is always the best option. 

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

The detox process begins once an individual finally commits to getting Vicodin addiction treatment. From there, the unavoidable and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will start within about 24 hours of the last dose of Vicodin. 

Vicodin withdrawal symptoms usually last for about 14 days. However, in severe cases, they can last for months. 

Typical withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Gastrointestinal discomforts such as cramps, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Flu-like symptoms such as body aches, sweating, and chills
  • Severe cravings for the drug
  • Disorientation, concussions, and lack of focus
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Excessive irritability, anxiety, and agitation
  • Increased heart rate

Detox is dangerous and rough on the body. While some may attempt to detox by going “cold turkey,” this is not recommended. It is rarely successful and can trigger a person right back to drug use with a vengeance. Therefore, a medically monitored detox is highly recommended. 

Get Help For Your Vicodin Addiction

When the signs of Vicodin abuse are undeniable, and addiction is in full throes, it’s time to make the life-changing decision to leave addiction behind and start a new sober life. It takes courage and strength to take that first step and seek help for a Vicodin addiction. At Retreat of Atlanata, the detox process begins after assessment, so there’s no time for procrastination. Our experienced staff provides a medically monitored detox that leads to an individual treatment program based on each person’s needs. We want to help as many people as we can recover from the disease of addiction. We are here 24 hours a day. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Find Help For Vicodin Addiction at Retreat of Atlanta in Georgia

Taking that first step to get help is often the most challenging step. Transitioning from addiction to sobriety is not easy. However, when your inner self cries out for a sober, healthy life, hold that thought and move quickly. Retreat of Atlanta is ready to work with you through detox and withdrawal. And we won’t stop there. We’ll be there for aftercare and beyond.

You are never alone. What are you waiting for? Your life of health and happiness, free of Vicodin addiction, awaits. 

Contact us today.

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