The common thread running through most Vicodin addiction stories is blatant misuse of this prescription medication. The presence of hydrocodone as a primary ingredient in Vicodin contributes to this drug’s high potential for addiction. When coupled with the failure to take Vicodin as stipulated by the prescribing physician or through prolonged use, many people frequently transition from legitimate use to chronic abuse of this drug. However, there has been reported cases in which dependence has occurred despite strict adherence to use guidelines. Unfortunately, people who become dependent on Vicodin rarely seek medical help to stop the progression to full blown addiction.
This was the case in Mark’s Vicodin addiction story, who made several attempts on his own to stop the abuse before finally seeking professional treatment because he did not want anyone to know how miserable he was. “So I kept doing what I thought would fix it and that was getting high. That insanity is what brought me to treatment.” Which, according to Mark, is where his journey to freedom really began. An addiction to Vicodin typically begins when the body gets used to the amount being consumed. Once this occurs, the effectiveness of the drug diminishes and the user gradually begins to increase the dosage. Overtime, a dependence drives the need for greater amounts of Vicodin. If the user does not meet this demand, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms usually occur. These can range from mild to severe.
In most cases, rather than suffer the consequences of abstinence, most people will do anything to feed the addiction with more Vicodin. Based on a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the rate of painkiller overdoses linked to Vicodin overdoses between 1999 and 2010, increased by approximately 260% for men and 400% for women. While Vicodin addiction for some people may occur accidentally, delaying treatment can have serious and life-threatening consequences including:
In recent years, many teenagers in America have been experiencing Vicodin addiction. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in every five teenagers say they have used a prescription drug like Vicodin primarily for its euphoric effects. Sadly, this often translate into risky behavior and drug overdose deaths. Since the at-home medicine cabinet is often the gateway to Vicodin abuse by this demographic, parents are cautioned to safe-guard, monitor and safely discard unused Vicodin and other narcotic prescription drugs. Signs of dependence or addiction to Vicodin may include:
If these symptoms manifest in people that are using Vicodin for legitimate medical reasons, it is important to seek help immediately. There are many treatment options in various settings are available for both adults and teenagers that have become addicted to Vicodin. With appropriate and timely treatment any Vicodin addiction story can be changed from a potential tragedy to victory over addiction.
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