Opiates are often given for pain because of how effective they are, and most people have been prescribed Vicodin at least once in their lives. In a lot of ways, the use of Vicodin has been sensationalized in the media, or on television shows, or in movies. So much so, in fact, that it doesn’t seem as though it’s dangerous at all. People regularly take Vicodin for acute and chronic pain, and because it’s prescribed by a doctor, it’s common to take it regularly without any worry or concern about its addictive nature.
You may be reading this because you’re concerned about your own use of Vicodin. Maybe you’ve been getting prescriptions from doctors for a long period of time, or perhaps you’ve been purchasing it illegally because you just can’t imagine your life without it. Either way, if you’re addicted to Vicodin, you don’t have to remain addicted. Many of the top Vicodin rehab programs are located in the Pacific Northwest, and it may help you to understand as much as you can about how dangerous this addiction really is.
When Vicodin is used as prescribed, it’s very helpful to those who are in serious pain. Doctors should only be prescribing it in small amounts, and only the minimum dose should ever be recommended for patients. However, at times those who are having chronic pain will continue to return to the doctor to get refills or new prescriptions, and before too long, they grow to abuse it. It works by blocking the pain receptors in the brain, and in the process, it also produces a very mild, relaxed sense of euphoria.
Vicodin abuse occurs as the body builds up a tolerance for the drug. This can happen very quickly if you’re using it regularly, which some people do when they’ve gotten injured. It isn’t long before you can begin to move from Vicodin abuse into a complete Vicodin addiction.
It’s possible that you started taking Vicodin for medical reasons only, and because of the length of time you’ve been taking it, you’re wondering if you’ve formed an addiction to it. This situation is actually very common for Vicodin, as well as for other drugs in the Opiate classification. You can tell that you either are forming or have formed an addiction to Vicodin if you experience:
In the long term, you may even start to experience damage to your liver and problems breathing. Some people have even reported having seizures or slipped into comas.
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If you have someone in your family, or a close friend whom you suspect is addicted to Vicodin, you’re certainly right to be concerned about the situation. Vicodin can have many long lasting, serious effects. However, it’s not always easy to communicate that you’re concerned; particularly when your friend or family member doesn’t express concern. For them, taking their medication is something that was recommended to them by a doctor. For that reason, they feel it’s completely safe.
If sitting your loved one down and talking about their drug use doesn’t work, please don’t give up. There is still hope, and many Vicodin addiction treatment centers have programs in place that are designed to assist you with this difficult process. You can schedule an intervention that will allow you to communicate your concerns, along with other members of your family or additional friends. More often than not, when an intervention is scheduled, the message is loud and clear. People usually respond favorably to them, and they seek out professional help immediately.
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Because Vicodin is a prescribed medication, it’s quite normal for people to believe that it’s not really all that dangerous. They’re often surprised to find out that they’ve become addicted to it, and because they didn’t intend to get addicted, they’ll stop taking it on their own. Doing so can have a lot of serious consequences, including Vicodin withdrawal symptoms that are rather unpleasant. These can include:
Most experts indicate that when Vicodin is stopped, it should never be stopped abruptly, and should instead be tapered down. Of course, this is going to vary from person to person. Once you’ve been weened off Vicodin, you should go through drug detox as a way to minimize any residual withdrawal symptoms and get past them. Once that process has been completed, Vicodin addiction treatment is usually necessary to help you understand the reasons behind your addiction.
It makes sense that you would only want the best Vicodin addiction treatment centers to help you with your recovery once you’ve decided it’s time to stop using Vicodin. The best treatment centers will help you through the drug detox process and they will also provide Vicodin treatment in the forms of group therapy and individual therapy. A well rounded treatment plan will ensure that you get the help you need to stop using Vicodin long term, and it will minimize your risks of relapsing.
If you’d like more information about how Northpoint Recovery, one of the top Vicodin addiction treatment centers in the Pacific Northwest, can help you overcome your addiction, please contact us.