Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than any previous year on record. Between 2000 and 2014, nearly 500,000 individuals died from drug overdoses, including from prescription opioids like Vicodin. In 2013, overdose deaths from opioid painkillers represented 44 percent of all prescription overdose deaths. Most of these were unintentional overdoses.
According to Clinical Services of Rhode Island, people who become addicted to prescription painkillers like Vicodin can quickly develop a physical tolerance to the drug, so they are likely to begin taking more of the medication than prescribed in order to feel the same effects. This can lead to an overdose, which puts the individual at risk of death and other serious health complications.
Vicodin Addiction in Utah
A recent town hall event “Addressing The Opioid Crisis” facilitated by Rivals Podcast revealed alarming statistics about the abuse of prescription painkillers in Utah. The event released the following facts:
- 1 in 23 Utahans ages 12 and older have used prescription opioids non-medically in the past year
- 74% of Utahans addicted to opioids get them from someone they know.
- Over the last decade, prescription pain medications have been responsible for more drug deaths in Utah than all other drugs combined.
- Some common opioids include Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin, Zohydro)
What is Vicodin?
Vicodin is the brand name of a prescription drug made up of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Doctors prescribe the med for moderate to severe pain from an injury or after surgery. Hydrocodone binds to the pain receptors in the brain giving relief. Because acetaminophen can cause liver problems when taken too much, it’s often combined with something else to help with pain relief, such as Vicodin or Codeine3.
Why Vicodin Abuse is on the Rise
It’s pretty easy to attain Vicodin through a physician’s recommendation, as well by illegal means. Prescriptions are also easy to hide and largely accepted as being necessary for pain relief. This is mainly why Vicodin abuse has increased in the last number of years. Addiction can happen gradually and is more socially acceptable than illegal drugs.
A variety of brands that contain hydrocodone includes:
When people start taking prescription drugs, their first thoughts are not about becoming addicted to it. They could have been injured or just underwent surgery and need an effective pain killer. When someone takes this type of drug, a feeling of euphoria, coupled with pain relief, is a welcome change. Once they’re done with the prescription, some users remember that feeling and want more of it, hence when addiction begins.
Vicodin’s Physical Effects
There are really only two effects Vicodin produces: pain relief and a pleasurable feeling. Because it’s used for many types of pain relief, it’s the drug of choice. Taking medication for pain is in itself not bad; it’s when the user becomes dependent on it or craves it that problems occur. When someone abuses Vicodin, it sends signals to the brain to not produce endorphins—our natural pain-killing chemicals. This, of course, makes the body feel as if it can’t cope without the use of the drug.
Users can experience cravings and withdrawal if they cannot get the med anymore, setting up a vicious cycle of dependence and addiction. Once the addiction begins, it often goes unnoticed until it worsens. Some people take upwards of 100 pills daily, which can be incredibly dangerous and why it’s attributed to overdose injury or death. Tapering off the drug is often necessary so the body doesn’t react negatively and unpredictably. This usually means the withdrawal period is shorter and not as uncomfortable.
Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms
The symptoms of withdrawal from prescription meds vary with some mild-to-moderate to others moderate-to-severe and very uncomfortable. Vicodin withdrawal includes the following symptoms:
- Cold sweats
If not weaned off the drug, the effects of the drug worsened. They can include irregular heartbeat, constipation, nausea, and dizziness. Skin problems, such as rashes, hives, and face swelling have been reported.
In the later stages of addiction, addicts can experience hallucinations, vision problems, and constant confusion. They also start to lose control of bodily functions, which can sometimes result in coma or death.
Vicodin Addiction Rehab Center in Utah
It’s vitally important a prescription drug addict get professional help and support from a qualified rehab center. Having support from family and friends is also necessary for the user to successfully overcome the addiction to Vicodin.
Ardu Recovery Center’s hydrocodone addiction treatment program meets your needs because this quality detox and rehab provide a unique, innovative and balanced approach to true healing after hydrocodone addiction. If your opioid abuse started with chronic pain, you can still enjoy a strong and active future with Ardu Recovery Center’s help.
Stop letting your addiction or chronic pain with substance abuse limit your life. Regain a brighter future with the help of Ardu Recovery Center, where you rise up against your past. For more information about hydrocodone addiction treatment, call Ardu Recovery today at 801-810-1234.