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Vicodin Abuse, Side Effects, and Detox: What You Need to Know
“Vicodin Abuse, Side Effects, and Detox: What You Need to Know”
When you combine hydrocodone and acetaminophen, you get a pain-relieving substance that is better known under the trade name Vicodin. Some people may be more familiar with the name Norco. Whatever you call it, this is a very potent drug.
Vicodin is a very powerful drug that can either be helpful or harmful—it all depends on how you use it. It has amazing properties that allow it to relieve pain, but it also has a high potential for abuse.
The medical industry recognizes this substance’s ability to help patients that are suffering from moderate to severe pain. However, doctors aren’t the only ones who appreciate Vicodin—it is also popular amongst illicit drug users.
Just like other pain-killing medicines, Vicodin can induce feelings of euphoria for its users.
Today we will explore both sides of the story: its medical uses and the culture of abuse associated with Vicodin. We will tackle the effects of Vicodin misuse, and how detox works for addicted individuals.
Vicodin: What are its Medical Uses?
Vicodin is primarily used to help patients get through moderate to severe pain. This combination works well against surgical pain, cancer pain, and traumatic pain. It is often taken orally, with the use of a tablet formulation.
If you or someone you love is prescribed with Vicodin, it is best to follow the doctor’s prescription carefully. This is a potent substance that can lead to side effects when abused or misused—no matter the intention. So even if you are taking it for pain and not for recreational purposes, and you accidentally take a higher dose, you can still put yourself at risk of its adverse effects.
Do not take larger doses of this drug, and do not share it with other people, especially those with a history of drug abuse. Also avoid taking this drug more frequently than you’re supposed to, or taking it for longer than is recommended. Doing so can lead to addiction, tolerance, and dependence.
What are the Side Effects of Vicodin Abuse?
Vicodin has many effects that recreational users enjoy—this is why they couldn’t care less about the risks. It can relax a person and reduce their inhibitions. It can make them more sociable. And they get an intense high that’s associated with feelings of joy and freedom. These sensations are what truly get people hooked on Vicodin.
But Vicodin’s pleasant effects don’t last long. Its adverse side effects, on the other hand, can last for quite some time, depending on the user’s drug habits.
It can make a person tolerant, addicted, and physically dependent. This is bad news for those who are taking this drug to escape stress—they’re bound to face some other forms of stress anyway.
Frequent Vicodin use can lead to nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, anxiety, constipation, and itchiness.
There have also been reports regarding severe skin reactions, some of which have proven to be fatal. If you develop redness all over your body, get in touch with your doctor right away.
As with any other drug, the intensity and duration of these adverse effects will vary from person to person. It will depend on a number of factors including the user’s age, body weight, rate of metabolism, diet, health condition, drug intake, and frequency of abuse, among other factors.
What are the Effects of Vicodin Overdose?
Long term use of Vicodin can lead to an even more serious problem. It is possible to overdose on this substance, especially with frequent intake of high doses.
In recreational settings, users often take such large amounts because there’s no one to keep track of their intake. There is no one to limit their consumption, because their goal is just “to get high”. Recreational users are prone to binging on Vicodin, not to mention the fact that they also have a habit of abusing other drugs alongside it.
Being a combination drug, Vicodin produces overdose effects that are similar to those of the two substances that make up its formulation.
Hydrocodone overdose symptoms include coma, sudden loss of heart function, limpness of the muscles, and respiratory depression. Meanwhile, acetaminophen overdose can cause liver or kidney failure. Not only are these effects life-threatening, they are also made more lethal by the fact that Vicodin abuse can lead to any of those risks mentioned above.
It doesn’t end there.
Once a person has developed tolerance, they will try to take more and more of Vicodin just to get the same euphoric effects. This can quickly spiral into addiction or dependence.
With dependence, the person’s body can no longer function properly without the use of Vicodin. It causes intense withdrawal whenever the person attempts to quit. This is why drug dependent individuals are urged to detox instead of trying to abstain entirely right off the bat.
Withdrawal symptoms include trembling, insomnia, agitation, and physical pain. These effects often force users into relapse.
As for addiction, the person develops a compulsive need to take the drug, even as they are suffering its consequences. They can’t quit no matter how hard they try. They may have even developed the inability to feel euphoria on their own.
It is usually at this point that the person’s relationships break down. Their career suffers, their responsibilities are neglected, and they present no desire to make it better. This is why financial problems are also common for Vicodin addicted individuals.
The person’s sense of self-worth takes a blow, as they can’t find a way to beat the problem. They just embrace the drug, as it is the only thing they feel could make them happy again.
How Does Vicodin Detox Work?
Addiction isn’t just a simple problem you can face head-on—it’s a multi-layered thing that requires so many angles of support, and the first and most essential one comes from the addicted person himself. Remember that you can’t force an individual to get sober. You can’t blame yourself for this. They need to see the destructive nature of their actions and decisions. Before anything else, they must be willing to get better.
Vicodin detox tackles one of the most essential layers of this problem: the person’s health. They can’t make good decisions if their system is full of harmful substances.
And because it’s not a good idea to just cut the drug off completely, a good detox facility will gradually lower the patient’s Vicodin intake. Medical professionals will supervise this process, managing all the withdrawal symptoms that may arise. The person slowly goes back to their old, healthy self—but the battle doesn’t end there either.
There are other aspects that need to be addressed. Detox can make them sober, but the process of staying sober is another thing entirely.
Behavioral therapy and counseling, among other methods, can help teach them ways to deal with their cravings. In the end—with enough support from the family as well as medical professionals—they will be able to get back to living a happy and sober life.