Last updated: 06/5/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Vicodin is a dangerous drug that, when abused, can cause severe problems for the user. In most cases, professional treatment for Vicodin addiction is necessary for a safe and effective recovery.
How Serious is Vicodin Addiction?
According to the National Library of Medicine, Vicodin is the brand name for acetaminophen and hydrocodone, and it is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The latter drug is what causes addiction when Vicodin is abused; hydrocodone is an opioid, and when taken in high doses, it eventually changes the way the brain works so the individual will crave the effects of the medication and go to great lengths to obtain and abuse it. While Vicodin can be taken safely under a doctor’s care, those who abuse the drug put themselves at risk for many serious side effects, including:
- A deadly overdose syndrome that causes respiratory depression
- Worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression
- A severe withdrawal syndrome that will occur when the individual attempts to quit using the drug
- Legal, professional, and personal problems that all often occur with addiction
Why Is Professional Help Necessary?
Those who do not get the treatment for Vicodin addiction that they require often have a very hard time ending their abuse of this drug. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs, but over time, a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised.” When an individual in this situation does not seek help, they are putting the entire burden of ending their substance abuse on their own shoulders, which is especially dangerous when their ability to do this has become compromised.
Professional treatment in a rehab center allows patients to receive many benefits and a number of helpful aspects that they would not be able to receive if they were trying to go through recovery on their own. These can include:
- A detox program that can help wean the individual off Vicodin, allowing them to experience less severe withdrawal symptoms
- Evidence-based treatment options like medication and behavioral therapy that have been proven to be effective for one’s recovery from opioid addiction
- Holistic treatments that take a person’s entire situation into account and provide them with help that affects them in other ways, including:
- Evaluation and treatment for any psychological disorders that the individual may be suffering from
- Aftercare programs that can help prevent relapse
Do I Need to Seek Help for My Vicodin Abuse?
Most people who are addicted to Vicodin need some sort of professional help. Whether you would benefit more from outpatient care, inpatient care, individualized drug counseling, or another type of rehab program is important to consider, but if you are suffering from an addiction, it is not usually safe to attempt to work through this issue without professional treatment.
Ask yourself the questions below to find out if you are likely addicted to Vicodin.
- Do you abuse Vicodin every day?
- Do you crave the drug when you are not using it?
- Do you feel like you need it to get out of bed in the morning, fall asleep at night, get through the day, etc.?
- Do you make excuses in order to be able to use more of the drug?
- Have you experienced a higher tolerance to Vicodin after taking it for a while (and have you started to take more of the drug to combat this tolerance)?
- Have you experienced severe effects of your substance abuse, including professional, personal, legal, and other issues?
- In spite of these issues, do you feel you would be unable to stop abusing Vicodin on your own?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, there is a strong chance you are already addicted to the drug and will require professional care for your safe recovery.