While the most current data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health – NSDUH 2020 – shows a dramatic spike in alcohol use disorder and substance disorder from 2019 data, the number of adults in the US with opioid use disorder decreased.
This is not to say that the opioid epidemic has been resolved, but the downturn in people experiencing opioid addiction is due to two primary factors:
- Fewer opioid painkillers being prescribed for chronic pain.
- The proven effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
Additionally, most people have a greater awareness of the addictive potential of opioids like Vicodin, so there are encouraging signs that fewer people in the US will misuse and abuse opioids like Vicodin.
Is Vicodin Addictive?
This reclassification followed the high abuse potential identified for Vicodin, both in isolation and when used in combination with medications containing hydrocodone. Drugs under schedule II of the CSA have a recognized medical use – pain relief in the case of Vicodin – but they also carry a strong potential for abuse and addiction.
If you use Vicodin other than exactly as directed, this is deemed Vicodin abuse. Using Vicodin with a prescription is also considered abuse.
While hydrocodone abuse triggers symptoms that vary from person to person, three phases will unfold over time:
- Physical dependence
- Addiction in the form of opioid use disorder
Vicodin Addiction Facts
- Hydrocodone is a powerful opioid
- You need to detox from Vicodin before tackling Vicodin addiction
- With appropriate treatment, you can recover from Vicodin addiction
Hydrocodone is a powerful opioid
Vicodin is a prescription opioid painkiller from the same class as morphine and codeine. The drug works similarly, altering the way your body perceives pain. When Vicodin binds to pain receptors in the brain, it disrupts the normal experience of pain, while simultaneously introducing euphoric effects.
Pain is a hardwired survival response, so your body will rapidly adapt to sustained Vicodin use, needing more Vicodin to achieve the same level of pain relief and overall experience.
If you continue abusing Vicodin to the point of addiction, your brain stops producing neurotransmitters related to pain. In people abusing Vicodin, this translates to requiring the drug simply to feel normal and function properly. Once dependence to Vicodin occurs, addiction typically follows soon after.
You need to detox from Vicodin before tackling Vicodin addiction
With Vicodin detox, you will tackle the physical component of addiction to this potent opioid. This prepares you to better address the psychological aspect of Vicodin addiction.
Detox is your first step on an ongoing journey to sober living, and you can take advantage of FDA-approved medications to streamline the more intense withdrawal symptoms. Medications can also reduce the severity of cravings for Vicodin.
It is also possible to detox from Vicodin at home, but a supervised medical detox is the safest and most comfortable method of purging your system of toxins.
With appropriate treatment, you can recover from Vicodin addiction
Once you have detoxed from Vicodin, you can continue with medication-assisted treatment, proven effective for the treatment of opioid use disorders.
MAT is always most effective when supplemented with behavioral interventions, such as:
Many treatment centers also offer access to holistic therapies, family therapy, and peer-support groups.
With a personalized array of therapies and the right treatment team behind you, it is perfectly possible to leave Vicodin addiction behind, reclaiming an opioid-free life.
How do you determine if you have issues with Vicodin abuse in the first place, though?
Vicodin Addiction Symptoms
Vicodin abuse can easily spiral into dependence and addiction before you are fully aware a problem is developing.
Classified as opioid use disorder per the diagnostic tool DSM-5, Vicodin addiction is diagnosed as follows:
- Mild OUD
- Moderate OUD
- Severe OUD
This diagnosis hinges on how many of the following symptoms you exhibit:
- Spending less time on regular activities in favor of using Vicodin.
- Taking Vicodin for longer than planned or taking more Vicodin than planned.
- Unsuccessfully trying to quit Vicodin or moderate Vicodin use on more than one occasion.
- Spending lengthy periods obtaining and using Vicodin, as well as recovering from the effects of Vicodin abuse.
- Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home.
- Using Vicodin in potentially dangerous situations – when driving, for instance.
- Experiencing cravings for Vicodin.
- Needing more Vicodin to get the same results as tolerance builds.
- Developing withdrawal symptoms when the effects of Vicodin dissipate.
- Continuing to use Vicodin in spite of these negative outcomes.
- Using someone else’s prescription for Vicodin or using black market Vicodin.
Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms
You can expect to encounter similar Vicodin addiction withdrawal symptoms to those of other painkillers in the opioid family. These symptoms can be grouped as follows:
- Psychological withdrawal symptoms: Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and confusion, cravings for Vicodin.
- Physical withdrawal symptoms: Reduced hunger, fever, diarrhea, sweating, tremors, enlarged pupils, nasal congestion, cold-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting.
If you’re wondering how to quit Vicodin addiction, you’re already one step closer to a better future.
How to Stop Vicodin Addiction
Addiction to Vicodin effects involves more than simply physical tolerance and dependence. NIDA defines addictions like opioid use disorder as chronic brain conditions “characterized by compulsive drug use.” This psychological aspect of Vicodin addiction means you need to overcome more than just the physical side of addiction.
Attempting to quit Vicodin abruptly and unsupervised is not only inadvisable, but it could even be dangerous. Additionally, you are much more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms, and you will not have access to the replacement medications like methadone or buprenorphine that can mitigate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
The best method of moving beyond Vicodin addiction is to detox in a supervised medical setting. This will minimize your chances of relapse, and will also open the door to outpatient treatment here at The District.
Vicodin Addiction Treatment at The District
Here at TDRC, we offer outpatient programs for opioid use disorders like Vicodin addiction at varying levels of intensity. Choose from the following programs:
- Standard outpatient program (OP): 2 hours of therapy per week
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP): 15 hours of therapy per week
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP): 30+ hours of therapy per week
All of these programs allow you to engage with intensive and personalized treatment, including:
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Talk therapies
- Counseling (individual and group)
- Holistic therapies
- Family therapy
Your treatment team will also ensure you have a relapse prevention and management plan in place, as well as all the aftercare you need to enjoy life without needing Vicodin to function. Reach out to The District today at 844.287.8506.