Vicodin is a prescription painkiller that is commonly used and abused. It is made up of the substances hydrocodone and acetaminophen, and is often prescribed for acute and chronic pain. Because Vicodin is so commonly abused in America, it is important that anyone prescribed this medication take it only as directed, and that they keep the pills in a safe and secure location.
Vicodin is a strong opiate drug that is effective in managing moderate pain. In 2006, there were 112 million doses of this drug prescribed, and by 2011, this number had grown to 131 million, according to one study. It is also one of the most frequently abused drugs in America. Vicodin abuse is common among people of all ages, including teens and adolescents as well as older adults. Because it is an addictive drug, users can quickly become dependent on Vicodin and the feeling of euphoria it produces.
Someone who abuses Vicodin will experience symptoms such as reduced heart rate, lightheadedness, nausea, headache, confusion, blurred vision, constricted pupils, and sometimes seizures and convulsions. Overdose is possible with Vicodin and can cause the person’s heart rate to slow too far, causing them to lose consciousness. If the person does not get help, Vicodin overdose can be fatal.
- Bluish-colored fingernails and lips
- Breathing problems, including slow and labored breathing, shallow breathing, or no breathing
- Cold, clammy skin
- Liver failure from acetaminophen overdose
- Loss of consciousness
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle twitches
- Pinpoint pupils
- Spasms of the stomach and intestines
- Weak pulse
Prescription Drug Epidemic in America
Prescription drug abuse in America has been called an epidemic. It affects millions of people every year, causing dysfunction in relationships, loss of job and productivity, and deterioration of physical and mental health. According to the NIH, almost a quarter of narcotic painkillers like Vicodin that are prescribed for chronic pain are misused, and the rate of addiction among patients is close to 10 percent.
Because drugs like Vicodin are commonly prescribed by doctors, many people feel they are not as dangerous as illicit drugs, or that they can share their drugs with others. Doctor shopping is a common way people get extra pills to support their addiction, and many others steal or buy pills from friends and family. Because Vicodin is so commonly prescribed, many organizations are working to monitor the prescribing of the drug and the safe disposal of unwanted pills. The FDA can provide more information and resources for the safe disposal of prescription medications.
Vicodin Treatment and Recovery
The first step in treatment for any prescription painkiller involves detoxing from the substance, and then learning about the addiction and its causes. The person must participate in rehab in order to learn how to take control over their actions and thought processes. To achieve sustained recovery, the person must heal all areas of his or her life, and replace the crutch of drug abuse with healthy behaviors.
To get started on your recovery from Vicodin addiction, call My Recovery Helper at 1.844.867.6835 today. Our caring staff is standing by, ready to help you with this important first step.