Vicodin Addiction and Dosage
Vicodin is a prescription pain reliever developed for the relief of moderate to severe pain. It is a prescription tablet of hydrocodone and acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). The hydrocodone in Vicodin is a synthetic opioid, which activates the same neuroreceptors as opiate drugs such as heroin.
Each Vicodin tablet has 300 mg of acetaminophen and comes in three different dosage levels of hydrocodone—5 mg, 7.5 mg, and 10 mg. It is generally prescribed for one tablet taken every 4 to 6 hours, though addicts may take much higher doses.
After an intense surgery or injury, many doctors may prescribe a narcotic painkiller known as Vicodin. Viewed as a unique opioid, Vicodin has a high likelihood of being misused, and misusers can quickly become dependent on it, paving the way for an addiction to develop. If an individual feels as if the use of Vicodin is essential to function during everyday life, then it is possible that an addiction has developed. Although Vicodin has a legitimate medical purpose, the prescription narcotic is a danger to those who may take it simply for the euphoric high the drug can provide. As the drug interacts with opioid receptors in the brain, what started as pain management can easily turn into a physical and psychological dependence.
What Is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a brand-name prescription narcotic. The main ingredient in the painkiller is hydrocodone, a semi-synthetic opiate. Vicodin is prescribed for severe or chronic pain management. Considering Vicodin is one of the most addictive painkillers to be prescribed, the risk of an addiction developing is common. The pharmaceutical company, Knoll, first released Vicodin as a brand-name narcotic in 1978.
However, hydrocodone, the main ingredient in Vicodin, was first discovered in the 1920s. Since hydrocodone has been circulating for nearly a century, people have learned that mixing it with other drugs, such as acetaminophen, can increase the strength and the effects of the drug. While it may be called Vicodin or be given in a generic form when prescribed by the proper medical professionals, there are many other names for the narcotic when it is distributed illegally. Drug dealers and abusers use slang terms for Vicodin to stay under the radar. Street names for Vicodin include:
Vicodin also became very popular within Hollywood, giving individuals more of an incentive to try out the drug since they knew that celebrities utilized it. Fortunately, many members of the Hollywood elite chose to come forward with their struggles to give a proper warning regarding the dangers of a Vicodin addiction. Kelly Osbourne is one of the most well-known celebrities to share her story, largely because she wrote a book about her battle with Vicodin. Osbourne wrote in her book, Fierce, that the Vicodin addiction started with a simple prescription.
As her tolerance level rose, she was consuming up to 50 pills of Vicodin a day. Her friends and parents quickly noticed her symptoms — drowsiness and nodding off, most notably. Eventually, she pursued Vicodin addiction rehab and received the necessary treatment to begin a life of sobriety. Rehabnear.com can give people the opportunity to treat a Vicodin addiction immediately the second symptoms appear. Just like Osbourne, the proper treatment tools can make all the difference when it comes to obtaining a drug-free life.
How Is Vicodin Made?
Vicodin is made from acetaminophen and hydrocodone, with a potency and effect on the body that is similar to another one of the most commonly prescribed opiates morphine. Other drugs that are similar to Vicodin are:
What Does Vicodin Look Like?
Vicodin can vary in appearances, and it varies in the way that they are used. When prescribed by a medical professional, the drug comes in the form of a tablet. The pill has a perforated line down the back of the pill to make it easier to split in half if a full dosage is not needed. The pills usually have an imprint of which kind of Vicodin it is, embedded in it, as well as the number of milligrams of hydrocodone and acetaminophens are in the pill itself. The pill is usually formed in the shape of an oval and is mostly white.
However, there are some instances where the pill can have a tint of blue or yellow, depending on the brand of Vicodin that has been prescribed. Vicodin can also be made into the form of a powder. Individuals who choose to utilize the drug illegally usually purchase them in this form. Rather than be taken orally, the powder is snorted into the body by the user. Doing this allows the Vicodin to permeate the system in a short amount of time compared to being swallowed, but it also puts individuals at a higher risk of experiencing harm and powerful side effects.
What is Vicodin Used For?
Vicodin is a prescription painkiller that is intended for those suffering from chronic pain or recovering from an intense surgery. The medication is prescribed by medical professionals to help alleviate the pain being experienced to make the patient more comfortable. When used correctly, the medication can calm the discomfort that a patient feels. While an addiction can occur from building up a tolerance to the drug, individuals who are misusing it tend to take the powerful medication to alleviate the smallest of symptoms, such as a headache.
The user begins to rely on the medication for that sense of relief and tranquilization that follows the slightest discomfort. However, people who are not using Vicodin to lessen pain, tend to use the drug recreationally to obtain a euphoric high. With these recreational users, since there is no medical need to take the drug, the tolerance level is aimed at achieving a certain level of euphoria.
Is Vicodin an Opioid?
Vicodin is a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, which is a kind of opiate. Vicodin is a manmade product, but considering that it contains the same kind of semi-synthetic substance an opiate has once it’s been modified, it is still seen as an opioid. The hydrocodone focuses on tackling the central nervous system, while the acetaminophen in the drug works to reduce the pain. Considering the fact that an opioid is mixed into this drug, it’s very possible that an opioid addiction can form from the intake of Vicodin. This kind of substance misuse centers around the dependency on prescription painkillers in order to function. Other kinds of opioids that people can develop addictions to are:
As well as treating an addiction to Vicodin, Rehabnear also offers individualized treatment plans to help people manage addictions to any of these opioids.
Those who struggle with an addiction to Vicodin may not notice their symptoms at first, as the euphoric high and their level of relaxation can blind their symptoms. As the tolerance for Vicodin grows, so do the addiction symptoms. Someone struggling with an addiction to Vicodin can experience emotional symptoms like anxiety, irritability or mood swings. Physical symptoms that can be experienced include:
- Small pupils
- Ringing in the ears
When an addiction to Vicodin forms, it is highly recommended to seek help from an accredited facility or work with a medical professional. Most people believe that they can ease themselves off of the drug on their own, but this is not the safest way to clear the body of the drug. Most people believe that if they can stop the drug usage altogether that the addiction will fade away. This is not recommended by physicians and therapists t for a number of reasons. When quitting the use of Vicodin suddenly, the body goes through withdrawal and begin to experience forceful and uncomfortable side effects rather quickly. It is also not guaranteed to be successful and the chance of setbacks occurring are more likely.
If someone chooses to treat their addiction, working with medical professionals will give them the chance to analyze the patient’s specific situation to determine the best way to wean them off the drug. This method is known as tapering. During this process, doctors will decrease the amount of Vicodin taken weekly to ease the body off of the drug. This is typically the safest method to detox from Vicodin and defeats the associated addiction.
The proper dosage of Vicodin that should be taken depends on the individual situation of each patient. It also varies depending on the kind of Vicodin that is taken, such as:
- Vicodin: one or two tablets every 4–6 hours, not to exceed 8 tablets.
- Vicodin ES: one tablet every 4–6 hours, not to exceed 6 tablets.
- Vicodin HP: one tablet every 4–6 hours, not to exceed 6 tablets.
The drug is made up of two different strengths. The first one includes 5 mg of hydrocodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen. The second includes 10 mg of hydrocodone and 660 mg of acetaminophen. The dosage and strength prescribed by a doctor depending on the severity of the experienced pain. However, when individuals become addicted to Vicodin, the body and brain begin to crave excessive amounts of the higher dosages in order to experience a similar high that other opioids can provide, such as heroin.
The dosage of Vicodin that has been consumed within a person’s body will also determine the severity of the addiction, as well as the kind of detox a person will go through. A person who has taken a small amount of the drug for a few months will not have as intense of side effects and withdrawal symptoms as someone who has been misusing the drug for a year. An example of the kind of withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced depending on the severity of the addiction include:
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mood swings
- Muscle aches and pains
Knowing the kinds of symptoms that can be experienced, is another reason why seeking professional help will be most beneficial to the recovery process. When a doctor determines the proper dosage of reducing Vicodin by, it can also help determine the best way to handle the withdrawal symptoms and the severity of them. The dosage of Vicodin that is consumed during an addiction will also be a major part of determining the length that a detox takes. If a person isn’t addicted to a high amount of Vicodin, then the amount of time it should take to detox off the drug will not be as long as it would as someone who is addicted to taking high doses at once.
It’s important to keep in mind that each person has a different chemical makeup, thus varying the kinds of results and reactions each person will have to Vicodin. It’s also important to not compare one person’s situation to another. Recovery is not a race or a competition. Receiving help is something to be proud of, rather than something to be rushed.
At Rehabnear.com, patients can work one-on-one with a treatment team to determine the best route of action to assist them the most efficiently. During a thorough and detailed detoxification process, doctors and therapists evaluate the severity of the addiction and establish a plan to rid the body of the drug in the safest possible way. Withdrawal symptoms for each person will vary, but doctors can prescribe medication to ease the severity of those symptoms. Once a successful detox is complete, patients may be recommended for one of the unique treatment programs at one of the Rehabnear.com facilities.
Such treatment plans can include inpatient, outpatient, intensive inpatient, or partial hospitalization programs. Treatment plans can include one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and recreational therapy. If attending a treatment center offered by Rehabnear.com is not an option, try looking through our online facility locator to find a center closest to you. Distance should not stand in the way of a drug-free life. Rehabnear.com offers different locations nationwide to help assist those struggling with a Vicodin addiction or any other kind of substance use disorder. Calls are free and confidential. Kickstart your recovery process and call today.
Vicodin is currently labeled as a Schedule II controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency after being changed from Schedule III in October of 2014. Because the abuse potential of Vicodin and other hydrocodone combination drugs is so high, the DEA voted to tighten restrictions in order to prevent fraud. Abuse of Vicodin is constituted by any type of use without a prescription or other than directed by a doctor.
One of the negative side effects of Vicodin abuse is liver damage or failure caused by the acetaminophen in the drug. Typical cases of liver damage involve doses of 4,000 mg or more a day of acetaminophen.
For this reason, Vicodin was recently reformulated after the Food and Drug Administration required prescription painkillers to contain a maximum of 325 mg of acetaminophen. Previous formulations included 500 to 750 mg of acetaminophen.
Effects of Vicodin Abuse
Every substance has negative health consequences and Vicodin is no exception. The obvious negative effects are the potential for addiction and liver damage. Some of the other common Vicodin abuse and addiction effects, both mild and serious, include:
- Depressed heart rate
- Depressed breathing rate
- Aches and cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pain
Symptoms of Vicodin Addiction
It can be hard to recognize a true addiction to Vicodin. Some people develop a dependence (having withdrawals and tolerance to Vicodin) to their prescription and don’t realize it until they stop taking it. Dependence can lead to addiction, which is marked by the compulsive urge to use despite negative consequences.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) outlines certain symptoms of those with an addiction. According to the DSM, if a person has 3 or more of the following symptoms, they have an addiction.
- A marked need for larger doses over time to get the same effects
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Taking more Vicodin than initially intended
- Having a constant craving for Vicodin or making unsuccessful attempts to cut down use
- Spending an unreasonable amount of time using or acquiring Vicodin
- Ignoring or forgetting about obligations because of Vicodin abuse
- Continuing to use Vicodin or refusing treatment although you recognize the consequences of abuse
The Short-Term Effects of Vicodin
The effects of Vicodin will vary from person-to-person, but most people experience the following effects in the short term:
- Brain Fog
- Mood Swings
- Slowed Heart Rate
- Difficulty Urinating
- Suppressed Respirations
- Euphoria Then Depression
When someone takes this medication for extended periods of time, they become more tolerant to its effects, which is why many people begin to take more than prescribed by their doctor.
Vicodin Effects – Long Term
Many people begin to enjoy the euphoric feelings Vicodin produces and ignore the potentially dangerous side effects of the drug. The body’s reward system is responsible for the desire to ignore the dangers of the drug and to seek its effects.
When someone is addicted to Vicodin, they will ignore the warnings given to them by their family and risk being arrested when they break the law to obtain the drug. Other long-term effects include:
- Breaking The Law By Modifying Prescriptions To Obtain More Of The Drug
- Steal To Afford Their Habit
- Doctor Shop To Obtain Multiple Prescriptions
- Buy Drugs Illegally
Physical Long-Term Effects
Those who have a Vicodin addiction typically ignore their personal responsibilities because they spend most of their time trying to obtain the drug. This can be difficult because the body craves more and more of the drug the longer someone uses opiates.
The majority of the health risks are related to the damage this drug does to the nervous system over time. When too much of the drug is taken, breathing becomes slow and shallow, reducing the amount of oxygen carried to the organs and brain. Other physical long-term effects include:
- Changes In Pain Perception
- Difficulty Handling Stress
- Rebound Pain Sensitivity
- Mood Swings
Teen Vicodin Abuse
For many teens, it is easier to steal Vicodin from their parents' medicine cabinet than it is to purchase alcohol. According to 2013 Monitoring the Future survey, roughly 10% of all tenth and twelfth graders had used Vicodin for nonmedical purposes during the previous year.
If you suspect that your teen is abusing Vicodin, we can help. Call us to learn more about how to help a Vicodin addict.
One of the most common problems with Vicodin is that withdrawal symptoms can set in after reducing your dose even slightly or waiting a bit longer to take your next dose. Because of this, many users are afraid to begin the recovery process.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Pain in the muscles and bone.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Restlessness and uncontrollable leg movements.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Feeling cold.
A reported 5.3 percent of 12th graders abused Vicodin in 2013.
The production of prescription painkillers increased substantially from 2000 to 2010.
Up to 131 million Americans were, oftentimes unnecessarily, prescribed Vicodin in 2011.
Vicodin Addiction Treatment
Once a physical dependence on Vicodin develops, addiction becomes more likely. Vicodin withdrawals can be intense and painful, and many people will continue using Vicodin just to avoid them.
Receiving professional treatment is the most successful way people break their addiction to Vicodin. This type of treatment offers therapy and support in a setting conducive to recovery. It also offers a detox program that helps addicts safely and successfully manage their withdrawal symptoms. These programs also offer medications that ease these symptoms and make recovery more likely. Two of the most common are:
Buprenorphine—This drug activates the same receptors as Vicodin, releasing dopamine and relieving withdrawals. Naltrexone—Also used for treating alcoholics, Naltrexone reduces cravings and also blocks the effects of Vicodin in the case of a relapse.
In 2012, nearly 1 million people received treatment for their addiction to prescription pain relievers. You aren’t alone in your journey to recovery. Call us now to learn more about your recovery options and breaking the cycle of addiction.
Choosing the Best Inpatient Vicodin Rehab Center
Vicodin is a prescription painkiller that combines the opioid hydrocodone with acetaminophen, and is commonly prescribed to treat moderate pain. Opioids can be highly addictive, leading to physical and psychological dependence if the drug is used long-term. The development of compulsive patterns of misuse of Vicodin and other opioid drugs is made more likely by their reliable, pain-relieving properties and their rewarding, euphoric effects.
Vicodin can be addictive even when taken as prescribed by a doctor, and prescription drug abuse is becoming more common. In 2015, approximately 12.5 million Americans age 12 or older reported misusing prescription painkillers. However, recovery from painkiller addiction is possible, and the first step is finding the right rehabilitation center to meet your needs.
About Vicodin Addiction
When a person takes Vicodin consistently over a long period of time, the body becomes physically dependent on the substance, meaning the person will experience withdrawal symptoms when she stops taking the drug. Psychological dependence can also occur with Vicodin addiction. Vicodin affects areas of the brain that regulate learning, memory, motivation, and impulse control, and the drug directly acts on the reward centers of the brain. People struggling with Vicodin addiction may feel they need to continue to use the drug just to function normally.
Prescription drug abuse involves misusing a substance such as Vicodin by, for example, taking it without a prescription, taking it more frequently or in larger doses than prescribed, or taking it for longer than intended. Users often begin to take increasingly large doses of the drug to overcome their growing tolerance to its effects. As more and more of the drug is used, physiological dependence takes hold—a point at which the user is likely to experience acute withdrawal should the drug be slowed or altogether stopped. Vicodin addiction can easily occur as a consequence of these compulsive patterns of abuse, which may continue despite their obvious negative influence on functioning in the person’s life—potentially reflected in declines in school and work performance, and with increased problems at home.
Vicodin addiction often requires treatment in a rehab facility, especially during the detoxification process, which can be difficult to manage without medical supervision. Are you or a loved one having a problem with Vicodin? Take our self-assessment screening quiz to find out. Some warning signs include:
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop using Vicodin.
- Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from Vicodin use.
- Experiencing strong cravings for Vicodin.
- Using Vicodin despite one’s inability to function well at school, work, or home.
- Continuing to use Vicodin even in dangerous situations, such as when driving.
- Using Vicodin even when its continued use has resulted in physical or psychological health issues.
- Development of a tolerance to the effects of Vicodin.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when Vicodin use is stopped.
If you or a loved one is demonstrating some or all of these symptoms, it may be time to consider rehab to overcome Vicodin addiction.
Choosing a Vicodin Addiction Rehab Center
There are a variety of rehab centers available to meet the needs of patients seeking treatment for Vicodin addiction. Detox is an important first step, but in order to successfully overcome addiction, Vicodin detox should ideally be followed by a more protracted course of substance abuse treatment at an inpatient or outpatient rehab facility.
"Studies show that being in treatment for at least 90 days is associated with better sobriety outcomes in the long term."
Many inpatient programs take place in residential facilities that provide around-the-clock monitoring and support for patients. Treatment generally lasts 28–30 days, but can be extended to 90 days or even longer if needed. Inpatient facilities provide a safe, protected environment where patients can avoid outside stressors and triggers to relapse. The medical staff is available to monitor patients, and counseling staff conducts intensive individual and group therapy sessions to aid patients in learning how to cope with emotions, avoid or manage triggers, and address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the addiction. Depending on the needs of the patient, outpatient treatment may be recommended as a follow-up to or step-down from inpatient treatment to help ease the transition to living outside the facility.
Outpatient rehab programs, on the other hand, allow patients to receive top-quality treatment while still participating in their regular duties at work, school, or home. Patients still receive effective group and individual therapy sessions while living at home and following their daily routines. Outpatient treatment varies in intensity and time commitment and generally lasts at least 6 months (longer if needed) to provide the optimal benefits to each patient. The various forms of outpatient rehab—partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, etc.—offer a continuum of treatment intensity to meet the individual needs of each patient. Outpatient treatment is beneficial to those with very busy schedules, those who cannot take time off work or other commitments to attend inpatient treatment, and those with supportive relationships with family and friends.
Which Vicodin Rehab is Right for Me?
Regardless of the type of facility you choose, it is important to understand some basic principles of effective treatment so you can choose the best Vicodin rehab facility for your needs. Studies show that being in treatment for at least 90 days is associated with better sobriety outcomes in the long term. Vicodin addiction treatment must address all of the patient’s needs, including physical health, mental health, socialization, any associated legal trouble, and career issues, not just substance use. Effective treatment should also be sensitive to the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity, cultural background, and sexual orientation. Finally, effective treatment needs to be flexible, since the needs of each patient may change throughout the course of treatment.
If you or a loved one has a problem with Vicodin and wants treatment, please call our confidential helpline at here. Addiction placement specialists can help answer any questions you may have and assist you with finding the right Vicodin rehab treatment for you.
Is It Private and Confidential?
Attending Vicodin rehab is a highly personal decision, and you may have concerns about your privacy while in treatment. That is why the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted to protect the privacy of all medical and treatment information, except in the event of an emergency. During the initial patient intake process, you will be given the option to sign a consent form regarding the sharing of your treatment information, and you can control who has access to your private treatment records. This means that your privacy is protected, allowing you to focus on recovery.
Vicodin Detox and Addiction Treatment
Vicodin addiction treatment is a multi-step process. It begins with an intake interview and medical evaluation to determine the physical and psychological needs of the patient. This information allows the intake coordinator to identify the course of treatment that will be the best fit. The intake process is also used to identify any underlying medical or mental health issues that need to be addressed as well.
Detox is the next step in treating Vicodin addiction, and it generally occurs in a medically supervised facility where staff can monitor patients and manage their symptoms as they move through withdrawal. Medications may be provided to ease withdrawal symptoms and make the process easier and quicker. Vicodin withdrawal symptoms vary in intensity and can include:
- Depressed mood.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Aching muscles.
- Excessive tearing and runny nose.
- Dilated pupils.
- Sweating and goosebumps.
- Stomach aches and diarrhea.
- Excessive yawning.
- Fever or hot flashes.
- Difficulty sleeping.
Upon completion of Vicodin detox, the professional staff will evaluate the patient and make a recommendation for continued treatment. Ongoing treatment may occur in either an inpatient and outpatient setting and can include behavioral counseling, group therapy, medication, and treatment for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety that may be contributing factors to the addiction.
Prior to discharge from rehab, the patient will meet with doctors and facility staff to develop an aftercare plan to continue treatment as the patient transitions back to everyday life. Aftercare is vital to maintaining long-term sobriety from Vicodin. Patients learn and practice relapse prevention skills, and gain the tools required to live a normal life without Vicodin. Recovery is a lifelong process that takes a daily commitment to sobriety.
How Long Is Vicodin Rehab?
While most inpatient programs last at least 30 days, many experts recommend patients stay in treatment for a minimum of 90 days. Patients with more severe addictions and those who frequently relapse, have major medical or mental health disorders, lack a supportive network of relationships, or have unstable home environments may be referred to a long-term residential program lasting 120–180 days or longer. These extended programs often include caseworker attention and other treatment provisions to better allow patients to gradually reintegrate into society while continuing to receive the support and treatment they need. Vocational training is commonly made available, and patients can be encouraged to work and attend self-help meetings in the community while continuing rehab in an extended care facility.
For more information on Vicodin addiction rehab, please call our 24/7 helpline here. Treatment support specialists can help you determine the right rehab for you to kick a Vicodin addiction for good and reclaim your life.
I Want to Find an Executive or Luxury Rehab Center
Some Vicodin rehab centers are tailored for business professionals who cannot ignore work duties while receiving treatment, or for those who desire a more luxurious rehab experience. Executive rehab facilities cater to business professionals and CEOs, providing high-quality Vicodin detox and addiction treatment as well as the ability to meet work obligations with access to phones and computers. This allows patients to manage work responsibilities in a safe, supportive environment.
Luxury rehab facilities provide cutting-edge addiction treatment paired with high-end amenities, including housekeeping services, yoga, massage, spa treatments, animal-assisted therapy, and aromatherapy, among other potential offerings. These amenities make Vicodin rehab feel more like a vacation, all while providing patients with the best treatments available to overcome substance abuse.
For more information about luxury or executive options for Vicodin rehab, call our helpline here. Trained support specialists can help direct you to a facility that will meet your needs and help you overcome addiction.
Drug Enforcement Agency. Drug Fact Sheet: Hydrocodone
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Prescription drug use and misuse in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research based guide (3rd edition).
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2007). The Neurobiology of Drug Addiction.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th edition). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Your rights under HIPAA
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Drug Fact Sheet: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction