Prescription opioids are increasingly prescribed for chronic pain in the United States. Vicodin is one of the most prescribed opioid pain medication and is one of the most abused prescriptions. A thousand people are treated daily in emergency departments across the nation for abusing opioids. Know the signs of abuse to help prevent Vicodin addiction.
What is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a synthetic opiate known as an opioid. Vicodin is acetaminophen (non-steroid pain reliever) and hydrocodone (opioid pain reliever). Hydrocodone is dangerous and addictive. By blocking pain receptors in the brain, the drug allows users to relax and release pain. This sensation is sought after regardless of the damage being done to the user’s physiology by excessive use. Acetaminophen is dangerous because it can cause serious damage to the liver. Together the drugs depress the central nervous system. They decrease heart rate and respiration. This can be fatal if too much is taken at one time.
Vicodin is Easily Obtained
Vicodin is an affordable opioid pain medication for those who have insurance. Because of its affordability, the drug is prescribed often by doctors for minor to chronic pain. But the neurotransmitters in the brain build tolerance to the drug quickly, requiring more to be used to get the same relief. Over a short time, users of the opioid may show signs of abuse.
Signs of Abuse or Vicodin Addiction
Doctors prescribe Vicodin for chronic and short-term pain. When used appropriately some side-effects are common, but should not continue more than a few days. If the side-effects seem to get worse or last longer than a few days, it may be a sign of abuse. Encourage the person to seek medical attention and discuss the side-effects with a physician.
Signs of abuse include:
- Difficulty focusing and staying awake, even during conversations or activities.
- Physical symptoms including slower breathing, constricted pupils, flushing of the face and neck, constipation, nausea, vomiting, paranoia, anxiety, and severe mood swings.
- Withdrawal from social activities, work, school, or family.
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using Vicodin.
- Using Vicodin without a prescription.
- Using more Vicodin than prescribed.
- Repeated loss of prescriptions requiring a new one to be written.
- Using more than one doctor to get Vicodin prescriptions.
- Unwillingness to be tested for Vicodin levels in the bloodstream.
- Refuses to share medical records with new physicians.
- Continues using Vicodin despite negative outcomes.
- Signs that the drug has been crushed (snorted) or liquefied (injected).
What to Do for Signs of Vicodin Addiction?
If someone is showing any of the signs of abuse or Vicodin addiction, they need to seek help. Speak to a doctor about the symptoms. To help, the doctor must know exactly how much Vicodin is being taken and how often.
If the person abusing Vicodin refuses to seek medical attention, it may be time to schedule an intervention. An intervention specialist can speak to the family of the person showing signs of Vicodin addiction first. After it is clear how the addiction should be handled, the intervention specialist can help the family confront the person abusing Vicodin.
Need to Schedule and Intervention for Vicodin Addiction?
Contact Northlake Recovery in Southern Florida for help with a Vicodin Addiction intervention. An intervention specialist can help you via telephone or can come to your home. Help is a phone call away. Call (561)-770-6616 now.