Consuming Hydrocodone: How Much Is Safe?

vicodin addiction

Medically assisted detoxification can help you safely and comfortably detox from the substance. Detox programs use medications for a period of five to seven days while your body withdraws from hydrocodone dependence. Vicodin is an opiate pain reliever typically used for severe pain. However, because of its high potential for abuse and misuse, it’s only prescribed when other pain medications don’t work or following a surgical procedure. All opiate-based drugs can become habit-forming and cause physical dependence. Once you develop a Vicodin dependence, quitting or cutting back suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Depending on how much and for how long you have been taking Vicodin, the withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to very severe. When Vicodin is taken over a lengthy period of time, you can build up a tolerance to the medication. This means you have to take increasingly larger amounts to achieve the same effect.

Oftentimes, maintaining a full recovery requires ongoing medication-assisted therapy to prevent relapse. You may be prescribed medications — such as methadone or buprenorphine — to help you safely and effectively recover from hydrocodone addiction. Ongoing use of the medication can cause physical dependence, increased tolerance, and an increased risk of addiction. Hydrocodone should only be used when prescribed and closely monitored by a healthcare provider. Even at standard doses, this drug can cause a potentially deadly overdose if not consumed as instructed.

vicodin addiction

Combining the medication with other substances can be fatal. And do not stop or change a dosing regimen without first discussing it with your doctor. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. Hydrocodone addiction isn’t a reflection of your character or willpower. It’s an indication that the drug has changed the way your brain experiences pain and pleasure. Outpatient treatment programs typically require you to attend a treatment center for 10 to 12 hours a week.

More about Vicodin (acetaminophen / hydrocodone)

Your doctor may want to reduce your dosage gradually and have you stop taking it sooner than expected. The ER formulations of hydrocodone reach peak blood concentration within hours. After a single oral intake, hydrocodone reaches maximum serum concentrations within one hour. It is the strongest warning the Food and Drug Administration assigned to bring attention to the significant risks of the drug. When used in combination products, it relieves cough by decreasing brain activity in the specific part that causes coughing.

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of prescription painkillers because their brains have not yet fully developed. It’s possible to become physically dependent and addicted to Vicodin, especially after long-term use. If you stop using it, you may also feel withdrawal symptoms, which is why doctors recommend tapering off the drug. Addiction is characterized by an inability to stop using a drug, despite harmful consequences to your life and overall health.

By Buddy TBuddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. While Vicodin withdrawal can be unpleasant, there are things you can do to help relieve many of your symptoms. Hydrocodone, one of the main ingredients in Vicodin, is the most frequently prescribed opiate in the United States. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. The more you know about hydrocodone, the better your chances are of avoiding addiction.

Other side effects of Vicodin

It’s possible for someone using Vicodin to treat pain to develop a physical dependence on the drug, but this doesn’t always indicate an addiction. Withdrawal symptoms are possible, so doctors sometimes gradually reduce the dosage. Undiagnosed addiction and termination or untreated mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD can increase your risk of addiction. Research suggests that 50% to 75% of those with substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health condition.

  1. With its easy availability and abuse patterns, hydrocodone is a primary driver of opioid-related abuse and misuse.
  2. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine.
  3. This may not be a complete list of drugs that interact with hydrocodone.
  4. Opioids work by attaching to proteins called opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other body parts.

Physical dependence is characterized by the body adapting to the drug over time, requiring more of it to achieve desired effects. This can occur even when review and comparison you take the medication exactly as prescribed. It’s important to note the difference between a hydrocodone addiction and physical dependence on the drug.

Hydrocodone is an opioid in a class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics. These drugs connect to proteins in the brain and spinal cord called opioid receptors. If your doctor prescribes hydrocodone for you, you can take steps to avoid serious complications from hydrocodone addiction. First, though, you must understand why and how hydrocodone becomes addictive and the signs and symptoms of hydrocodone addiction. Prolonged use of hydrocodone during pregnancy can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the infant if not treated.

Common Side Effects

When stopping hydrocodone, your healthcare provider will gradually decrease the dose. Don’t suddenly stop taking hydrocodone, even if you feel well. Individuals battling Vicodin addiction are also susceptible to long-term mental health problems such as depression. If you are experiencing co-occurring disorders, both diseases can be simultaneously treated at rehab. Do not share your pills with others because this can cause them to experience an overdose or develop addiction. People addicted to Vicodin may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it.

Always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any drug when using hydrocodone. Boxed warnings are safety-related warnings related to a medication causing severe adverse effects or even death. Hydrocodone is also available in combination with liquid marijuana other ingredients prescribed for different uses. Hydrocodone combination products are used to relieve moderate-to-severe pain. With its easy availability and abuse patterns, hydrocodone is a primary driver of opioid-related abuse and misuse.

Withdrawal symptoms usually begin six to 30 hours after the last use of the drug. Most people get through the most uncomfortable symptoms within a few days or a week. Many people who used the medication only therapeutically and as prescribed, sometimes do not even realize they are experiencing withdrawals. Even when taken at recommended doses, Vicodin can result in addiction.

Rehab centers use evidence-based strategies to alleviate opioid abuse. A treatment plan may include opioid agonist medications, such as methadone, to relieve withdrawal symptoms. They may also include cognitive behavioral therapy to teach strategies for living a healthier life. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, speak with a medical professional about your treatment options. If you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms, a medical detox can help you manage these symptoms. Hydrocodone is also an opioid drug used for pain management, available on prescription in ER dosage forms.

Hydrocodone addiction may be difficult to overcome, but with the right support, it is possible. There are many treatment options available to help you achieve recovery and remission. Hydrocodone works by attaching to specific opioid receptors in the brain and blocking pain signals. At the same time, it causes the release of dopamine — a “feel good” hormone — throughout the body. If you think you can’t quit on your own, there are many programs available to help you.

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