What is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a semi-synthetic opioid prescription painkiller that contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Vicodin is most commonly prescribed for short-term pain relief, or for those who suffer from severe and/or chronic pain. The drug is very similar to Percocet, despite different compositions, with the main differences being in potential side effects. Both opioids present the risks of addiction, dependence and death from overdose. Due to the high risks of ongoing abuse, dependence or addiction, stronger pain medications like Vicodin should only ever be taken under the direction and supervision of a doctor. Even when prescribed by a doctor, they should only be taken as necessary and not regularly.
One of the biggest dangers of pain management medications is that it is hard to realize that there is a dependence forming. Many individuals with an unintended addiction to Vicodin and other prescription opioids become addicted without even knowing that they were abusing. Individuals in chronic pain who use opioids regularly develop a tolerance over time, at which point they must increase their own dosage to relieve their pain. The other side of this is that opioid drugs increase pain sensitivity when the presence of the drug is not in the system. This makes it harder to tolerate the pain without the medication, leading to increased use. This vicious cycle creates a somewhat innocent addiction that people don’t even notice until they attempt to stop taking their medicine.
Some signs that you may have a substance abuse disorder involving Vicodin include:
- Being unable to cut down usage of Vicodin
- Taking more than your prescription
- Negative impact on work, school or home
- Withdrawing from social situations in favor of using
- Increased tolerance
- Withdrawal if you stop taking Vicodin
If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these behaviors, there is a probability that they have developed a dependency to Vicodin. Due to the extremely harmful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms of opioids, it is important to get help from a team of medical professionals at an accredited medical detox facility near you.
Regardless of long or short term use of Vicodin, there are some common side effects to take into account. The more serious effects on the body occur after large doses and prolonged use.
- Liver Damage
As with any substance abuse disorder, regularly using or abusing opioids will increase the dangers and pains of withdrawal. For individuals that have been using Vicodin for long periods of time, it may take significantly longer to fully withdraw, especially without the aid of medical detox at an addiction rehab facility. Some of the withdrawal effects that you may experience from ending continued Vicodin use may include:
- Mood Swings
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms
- Aches and Pains
Detoxing from Vicodin
Detoxing from Vicodin is very similar to heroin or morphine. Withdrawal effects could occur as early as 6 hours from your last pill. While not nearly as fatal as withdrawal from Valium or alcohol, opioid withdrawal is still extremely unpleasant. Typically, the most major side effects or terrible feelings will end after 8-10 days of detox – though some will persist for longer. Medically assisted detox can help with these symptoms and side effects, and allow you to function normally as well as begin recovery and group treatment.
In any opioid recovery or detox, certain medications that are provided during medical detox can provide relief during the time that the withdrawal effects are the most extreme. These medications are administered safely by medical professionals and then slowly removed from the system to start a life free of chemical dependence.
Medications that we use at Royal Life Detox for our medically assisted detox include:
- Buprenorphine (Subutex or “subs”)
- Buprenorphine with naloxone (Suboxone or “subs”)
These detox medicines aim to ease the physical discomfort and help the guest get the rest that their bodies need. Warm baths, mild exercise, nutritional eating, and the compassionate support of nurses, and counselors help ease a person through Vicodin withdrawal. After the withdrawal has begun to subside, recovery-sensitive counselors will work with you to move toward therapy and support group treatments. Their goal is to help you cope with internal struggles and live life drug free.
Vicodin detox medicine such as buprenorphine should be discontinued as soon as possible because buprenorphine maintenance can change into buprenorphine addiction if it is used for too long.
What Happens After Medical Detox?
Following medical detox at Royal Life Centers, guests will begin a comprehensive, collaborative approach to substance abuse treatment designed to support physical, mental and spiritual wellness. We offer a variety of detox options for treating drug addiction beyond just Vicodin. Our program helps to promote a lasting, sober lifestyle through sobriety and beyond. Our addiction specialists, from our therapists and case managers to our facility staff, are dedicated to providing the best in care and support. Our holistic, evidence-based approach to psychotherapy incorporates individual and group sessions. We use other holistic methods, such as art, music and animal therapy to help our guests to learn to express themselves and communicate. Our treatment features state-of-the-art activity, movement, and adventure therapies to create one program that treats mind, body, and spirit. At Royal Life Centers, we believe that emotional healing is just as important as physical healing.
Guests may begin their recovery journey in our residential inpatient program and continue with us through PHP, IOP, OP, and sober living at our graduate housing residences. At Royal Life Centers, you are always our top priority, and we consistently do all we can to effect lasting change, that you might continue to lead healthy, sober lives long after you have left our care. This is not just our goal, but our mission.
Recovery from Vicodin Addiction
Long term recovery from any opioid addiction, especially painkillers such as Vicodin is made much harder with the wrong mindset. Individuals who think that all they need is detox often fall into the trap of relapse as soon as detox is over. With any addiction to any substance, it is important to understand the recovery lifestyle.
Recovery from a Vicodin addiction requires recovery-sensitive medical care, intensive therapies, guidance and support. Royal Life Centers is experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to treating addiction, which is why we provide comprehensive addiction treatment that works to help guests overcome their substance abuse.
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