Vicodin is a prescription painkiller. When taken as prescribed, Vicodin can reduce pain and promote relaxation and calm for the patient, thus enabling him to fully recover from his condition or injury. Like most drugs, Vicodin can lead to some side effects, including drowsiness, diminished breathing, weakness, unusual fatigue, vomiting, decreased appetite, and constipation. For some, Vicodin also can cause extreme relaxation and a feeling of euphoria, making it one of the commonly abused prescription drugs.
Vicodin as an Addictive Drug
Vicodin is both physically and psychologically addictive. Continued use for several weeks can already cause mild addiction. As a patient builds tolerance to the drug, he may require greater amounts to get the pleasurable side effect. In this way, addiction to Vicodin is more likely if a patient if a patient begins taking higher doses. Vicodin addiction is much like other powerful addictions: there is a powerful craving to take the drug that can even supersede the need for food and water. Individuals who get addicted to Vicodin will find themselves slowly craving higher doses to achieve the desired effect. A patient may end up taking the drug at increasing doses regularly despite family, legal or health problems. The addiction to Vicodin can be overwhelming and undeniable. If you become addicted to Vicodin, it can take over your life, and you will likely experience moments when you still want to take it, even if you know you no longer need it for medical reasons or it is no longer appropriate.
Overdosing on Vicodin
Vicodin addiction can lead to overdose, and overdose effects of this drug can be fatal. Taking a large single dose can lead to overdose, though the amount will depend on the individual patient's tolerance to the drug. Overdose symptoms range from slow breathing, dizziness, vomiting, weakness, and confusion to loss of consciousness, extreme tiredness and severe respiratory distress and coma. It can even lead to death. An additional danger of Vicodin abuse is that it contains acetaminophen, the long term abuse of which can cause permanent liver damage or even liver failure.
Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms
The hydrocodone component of Vicodin is what makes it highly addictive. Hydrocodone is an opioid, so Vicodin addiction symptoms can be quite similar to addiction to other opioids like heroin. In the same way, deciding to stop the addiction can lead to difficult withdrawal symptoms such as muscle pain, restlessness, insomnia, vomiting, involuntary leg movements, diarrhea, loss of appetite, irritability, nausea, sweating, and chills. The severity of these withdrawal symptoms depend on the degree of addiction and may be most intense during the first 24 to 48 hours. Withdrawal symptoms usually decline in intensity gradually over the next days and weeks. The withdrawal symptoms are bearable and not fatal.
Vicodin addiction can change your life in the worst way, but it doesn't mean that there is no hope for recovery. As with all addictions, Vicodin addiction is difficult to overcome. If you need help for a Vicodin addiction, you will need a good addiction treatment program that includes proper counseling and a support group to help you.