The prescription drug Vicodin is a combination of two active ingredients; acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate which is an opioid analgesic. It is prescribed by doctors for the relief of moderate to severe pain. The usual adult dosage is one tablet every four to six hours as needed for pain with the recommended daily dosage not exceeding 5 tablets.
How Vicodin is supplied by the maker Abbot Laboratories:
Vicodin comes in the form of oval shaped, white faceted edged tablets. They have a line on one side and are imprinted with the words “VICODIN ES” on the other side. Bottles of 100 are marked NDC #0074-1973-14 and bottles of 500 are marked NDC #0074-1973-54.
Prescription Drug Abuse
The majority of people addicted to prescription drugs started to abuse these medications after their doctor wrote a legitimate prescription for them. The prescription may have been written due to chronic pain, auto or sports injury, surgery or to relax strained muscles.
Individuals don’t begin taking prescription drugs with the idea in mind of becoming an addict. What begins for one reason then continues for another. Many individuals took the medication to “feel better” physically, hoping they would gain some relief from their pain. Another effect of the medication is it provides a pleasurable effect. In an attempt to reduce the pain even further and enhance the feeling of pleasure, individuals began to take more medication. A tolerance to the drug is gradually developed, so now more and more medication is required to produce the initial effect. Soon, the pleasurable feeling cannot be achieved; some of the physical pain is still present; and an addiction to the prescription drug now also exists.
Vicodin is an extremely physically and psychologically addictive drug when used improperly. Improper use is the obsessive compulsive overuse of a mood-altering drug. Misuse means the usage of a drug without a doctor’s authorization, taking more of the drug than was prescribed or taking the drug when it is no longer required for pain. Over time the addicted individual becomes dependent on the vidocin not for pain relief but for the euphoric relaxing feeling in both the body and the mind that vicodin produces.
Vicodin abuse is very difficult to treat because the denial around the addiction is so strong. Many individuals rationalize their use saying things like, “I can’t be addicted, it’s prescribed by a doctor,” or “I need it for pain management.” Vicodin addiction is often thought of as “less serious” than street drug addiction but its effects can be just as devastating on an individual’s life.
Vicodin addiction affects every area of an individual’s life including mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects. It can tear apart families, destroy relationships and leave lives in havoc without proper intervention and a treatment center.
Physical Symptoms of Vicodin Addiction Include:
- Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, drowsy and lethargic
- Impairment of mental and physical performance
- Anxiety and fear
- Mood changes and dysphria
- Feeling tired and sedated
- Nodding out or passing out of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rash
Treatment of Prescription Drug Abuse
By the time most vicodin addicts seek vicodin addiction treatment, they have already created a significant amount of damage in their lives and the lives of those closest to them. It is important that detox from prescription drugs be carefully medically monitored. Going “cold turkey” off of large quantities of vicodin can be deadly. After the initial detox at a drug detox center, therapy, 12 step programs, support groups, and education can be very helpful in recovering from vicodin addiction.