Vicodin Addiction Treatment
Vicodin Addiction Treatment
Vicodin is a semi-synthetic opioid narcotic used in the treatment of pain. It is a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Acetaminophen can cause damage to the liver which can become fatal and hydrocodone is highly addictive. Vicodin is a powerful drug that is readily prescribed by doctors and is often abused. Long-term use or using the drug at high doses will lead to tolerance of the drug. When a person becomes tolerant of a drug, more intake of the drug is required to achieve the same desired effects. Vicodin depresses the central nervous system and lowers respiration and heart rate. Because of this depression, overdose of the drug can cause coma or death.
Vicodin abuse symptoms can include fatigue, drug cravings, inability to focus, extreme anxiety and paranoia, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness and mood swings. Over 100 million prescriptions for Vicodin were filled in 2010, making Vicodin the most frequently prescribed opiate narcotic in the U.S.
The Vicodin detox process is different for everyone and that is why the patient will be given unique treatments specific to their situation. The patient is usually monitored during the withdrawal process where they are slowly being weaned off the drug. Specific medications may also be given to the patient to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Vicodin withdrawal can be difficult and frightening and should be done at an inpatient rehab center. The withdrawal symptoms of the drug may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, depression, cold sweats, tremors, panic attacks, seizures and convulsions. Because some side effects can be severe, being treated by trained medical personnel can greatly improve a person’s outcome when going through detox.
Recovery from Vicodin Addiction
When a person becomes addicted to Vicodin they can lose control of their life. Substance abuse affects the mind, emotions, body and spirit of a person leading to multiple problems. At first many addicts are in denial but eventually they have to admit that they have a problem and need help. This is the first step in the recovery process.
The addict may also be suffering from co-morbidity in the form of physical health problems, mental disorders or the effects of trauma, abuse or neglect. Treating the addict holistically is the most effective way to help them achieve sobriety and remain drug-free. In-patient rehab facilities offer many different modalities of treatment including nutrition, exercise and a spiritual aspect like meditation or prayer. Exercise builds up the physical body and increases serotonin levels in the brain which have a calming, healing effect. Nutrition also builds up the body and immune system which both suffer from drug abuse. Healthy food and supplements provide the essential vitamins and minerals needed to keep the body and mind healthy and strong. The addition of important amino acids such as tyrosine and tryptophan clear the mind and help to keep the patient positive and confident.
Most Vicodin patients need to learn pain management techniques, such as biofeedback and self-hypnosis, to know how to effectively handle pain. Emotional and psychological issues are treated with individual and group therapy and counseling. Recovery management is also an essential part of the process that will equip the patient with the understanding and skills they need to get well. Vicodin addiction can cause changes in the brain that challenge the addict’s control over their situation. Behavioral therapy techniques combined with medications are the most effective way to treat these problems.
Treatment is tailored to suit each patient’s drug abuse patterns and behavior. Social, psychological, physical and emotional issues are discussed and treated as they are chronic, re-occurring illnesses.
Aftercare 12-step programs, support and accountability groups, individual and family counseling are all a part of out-patient procedures. Life-long aftercare programs ensure that the patient has, and is using, the necessary tools to stay sober and avoid relapse.
Vicodin is a powerful drug that is very affordable, especially in its generic form of hydrocodone or when it is covered by health insurance. It is often prescribed in situations where a less powerful drug would have been sufficient in alleviating pain. If you or a loved one are prescribed Vicodin, ask your doctor if it is necessary to be on such a strong medication, or if a weaker medication may work against the pain you are experiencing.