According to a post by M13, an enthusiastic online user on Urban Dictionary.com, his (or her) definition of Vicodin is “a really great painkiller with heroin like properties. Perfect for putting up with idiot co-workers and micro-managing bosses. Makes getting out of bed everyday worth the hassle!”
And then M13 concludes with, “Its easy to get Vicodin if you do a ‘lil doctor shopping!”
Besides M13’s somewhat carefree and misleading definition of Vicodin, what is it exactly and what is it medically used for?
Is Vicodin an Opiate?
Vicodin is an opiate, and is scientifically known as hydrocodone. Doctors or dentists often prescribe Vicodin for clients who are suffering from various levels of pain. When used as prescribed, Vicodin provides relief from physical anguish. Inside the brain, there are receptors that signal the sensation of pain to the body. Vicodin acts as a blockade to these receptors, thus providing relief which lasts several hours, depending on the person.
M13 was correct when he insinuated that Vicodin is not that hard to acquire. According to Narconon.org, there are over 139 million prescriptions for hydrocodone-containing meds filled on an annual basis! The top two of these medications are Vicodin and Lortab, the latter being a drug that has similar properties to Vicodin.
Also, clients who are prescribed Vicodin after surgery can usually get the drug on a long-term basis, which means a lot of refills.
Also, if the patients have been a doctor and/or dentist for a long time, sometimes a simple phone call to the dental care or medical health provider’s office will warrant a refill or two. After the final refill, when addiction begins to take over, and the medical or dental provider begins to get a little suspicious, some individuals will find another doctor or dentist or medical clinic. Or maybe if they live in Southern California, they will drive down to Tijuana, Mexico and pick up a few bottles.
Others might resort to theft, writing up fake or altering prescriptions, using manipulation to get mom or cousin Nora to help them get the drug, or even try to buy the stuff online from one of those illegal prescription drug companies.
Addicts can become quite clever and very desperate when they want to secure the drug of their choice, and Vicodin is honestly not that hard to get.
M13 sounds like the perfect poster child for Vicodin. That’s scary, because an unsuspecting reader will read M13’s definition of Vicodin, and perhaps be intrigued to check out the drug, which as M13 fails to disclose, is highly addictive and dangerous.
Effects of Vicodin High
What makes Vicodin so addictive? Well, not only do Vicodin users experience a sense of relief from pain, but also they get an extra perk. They feel really good, for a few hours or so. Also, Vicodin users become very relaxed. Some become happy couch potatoes. The roof could fall on their head, and honestly they would not even notice.
The problem is that after using the drug for a short period of time, users require more of a dosage to get the blissful effects, as well as to get relief from pain. By this point, their bodies have developed a tolerance to the drug. Taking more Vicodin can make the pain even worse. Those who take Vicodin just so that they can get high are abusing it and become addicts. Plus the euphoria doesn’t last as long as it used to. The addict takes more and more in the hopes of capturing that high that they used to get when they first started abusing that drug.
Well, guess what? That euphoria slowly dissipates and then goes away. And what is left in its stead are dangerous side effects, and horrible withdrawals. And instead of feeling happy, the addict becomes very unhappy and obsessive. The only thing that’s on their mind is getting their next Vicodin fix. It’s not uncommon for a person who abuses Vicodin to take between 20 and 30 pills a day.
Also, instead of feeling relaxation, they become lethargic, and walk around in a zombie-like state.
And how else do addicts abuse Vicodin?
Dangers of Abusing Vicodin
A common practice for them is to mix Vicodin with alcohol. This is extremely dangerous because when they get intoxicated, all rationale goes out the window. Sometimes they lose count of how many pills they have taken, or how booze they have drank. Many addicts have died this way, usually from an overdose.
Other addicts crush the pills and then snort them. This is done so that they can get an instant rush, but what they might not know is that by crushing or breaking the pills they are altering the chemistry of the drug.
Snorting Vicodin is truly alarming, because the body is going to absorb a highly concentrated amount of the drug at once. Another favorite way that an addict abuses Vicodin is by dissolving the pill in water, and then injecting it.
Snorting, swallowing, mixing with booze and/or injecting Vicodin is like booking a seat on the Titanic.
And beside death, what are some other side effects of Vicodin abuse? Well, for one thing, taking too much acetaminophen can lead to liver damage and failure.
Other side effects that Vicodin addicts experience are paranoia, swelling, itching, volatile mood swings, fainting, nausea and vomiting.
Sometimes the paranoia is accompanied by delusions or hallucinations, and some addicts hear voices that are not there or see frightening images that are straight out of a horror movie.
Oddly throughout all this, the addicts still maintain an obsession with the drug, and experience intense cravings until they get their next fix.
Treatment for Vicodin Addiction
Vicodin abuse is obviously life threatening and very damaging. By this point, professional help is required, and that includes detox and residential treatment, because physical addiction is often just a symptom of other more serious mental health issues that generally lie beneath the surface.
At Cycles of Change Behavioral Health Services, a high-end residential treatment facility in Palmdale, California, clients suffering from Vicodin addiction, as well as other opiates, are provided with sub-acute detox, prior to attending residential treatment. Medication-assisted treatment, therapy and medical monitoring are offered, so that the addict can safely withdraw from Vicodin’s horrible side effects.
Individuals who are addicted to Vicodin, and other opiates often require the help of professionals, so that they can be safely weaned off these chemical substances. Once abused, Vicodin can kill. It is important to seek out professional medical help.
Vicodin abuse is dangerous, but there is a way out and we can help at Cycles of Change Recovery.
Once addicts become clean, they will realize that recovery often produces a natural euphoria that is so much more fulfilling and much more safer, than any chemical bliss.