Vicodin addiction is a compulsion to seek and abuse this prescription medication despite any negative consequences that may affect your life, family, or work.
What causes an addiction to Vicodin?
Vicodin addiction causes changes in the user’s brain, but like all addictions, people can recover from it. When dopamine, a neurotransmitter that triggers pleasure in the body, is overproduced due to Vicodin use, addicts get a rush of euphoria that is far more powerful than the natural pleasure system operated by the brain. For those with an addiction to Vicodin, the rush of dopamine lasts longer than a natural dopamine release, which then motivates the user to repeatedly take the drug. Eventually, the brain begins to produce less dopamine to balance out the high levels achieved from the addicts Vicodin abuse and tolerance to the drug occurs. This requires the user to take more and more of the drug in order to achieve higher levels of dopamine to try to duplicate the pleasurable sensation.
What are the risks of Vicodin addiction?
An addiction to Vicodin can lead to an overdose, which has severe symptoms such as a decrease in respiratory rate, coma, cardiac arrest, and death. Addiction to Vicodin has unique dangers because of Vicodin’s compound pill form. Vicodin combines hydrocodone with acetaminophen and may lead not only to an overdose of hydrocodone but also of acetaminophen. If the body consumes more than 4,000 milligrams of acetaminophen a day, it can cause severe damage to the liver or put the user in a coma. Symptoms for acetaminophen overdose include abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, and more. Vicodin addiction can also lead to overdose if the drug is taken in combination with other drugs.
As with any addiction to prescription medication, Vicodin addicts often view themselves as different from other addicts who may have acquired the very same drug illegally. One problem with addictions to prescription medicines, in particular, is the longest phase of denial that the addict first endures purely because they perceive the drug to be “legitimate”, with the concept of addiction not even worthy of consideration.
Vicodin addiction can be so ferocious that withdrawal at any level can be catastrophic to the addict. Dependence on a drug such as this is both physical and psychological, often stemming from the user’s main reason for taking the drug: to relieve pain. Residential treatment programs are the method of choice when addicts first begin their journey to addiction recovery.
These are some of the most commonly recognized signs of Vicodin addiction.
- Constant use of the drug: Even after the episode of pain for which the drug was prescribed has ended, those who have become addicted will continue to use the drug for comfort.
- Mood and behavior change: Those with a Vicodin addiction will develop hostile and volatile behavioral tendencies, even toward loved ones and those close by. Anxiety and general agitation are classic traits.
- Physical symptoms: Joint and muscle aches, increased night sweats, and insomnia are common symptoms, particularly when the addict has missed doses of the much relied upon the drug.
- Sneaky behavior: People who are dependent on higher-than-prescribed doses of Vicodin may use deceitful methods in order to gain additional supplies of the drug.
- Self-denial: In the early stages of Vicodin addiction, users often attempt to convince themselves that they are not becoming addicted. Many hide packets of drugs and disguise the act of taking the pills in order to avoid confronting their need for overuse of the drug.
- Issues in the financial side: When Vicodin addiction becomes so serious that supplies are purchased by illegitimate methods due to the inflated costs involved, the addict may begin to neglect financial commitments and struggle to pay regular bills.
- Inability to cope with the routine: As with addiction to most drugs, the daily routine of life then revolves around obtaining and taking the drug. In the worst cases, people fail to do their regular activities like going to offices and schools.
- Withdrawal from society: As the Vicodin addiction takes hold; the addict will be less able to cope with social situations.
How to deal with addiction? Kindly visit nearby drug and alcohol treatment center to recover and stay from addiction