Vicodin detox may be necessary for anyone who has built up a tolerance for the prescription painkiller even while taking the drug as directed by their physician. They may not be truly addicted in the sense of the word used by the general public, but developing a tolerance to a substance is typically the precursor to an addiction. Vicodin detox can be handled in a variety of ways, but is best accomplished under the supervision of a doctor or other trained medical personnel.
Vicodin, like Percocet, is the brand name for a prescription pain medication that is actually the combination of two drugs. Vicodin contains hydrocodone, the main painkilling ingredient, and acetaminophen, which is also a common painkiller. In this case, the acetaminophen is used not so much for its painkilling properties (it is available by itself as the main ingredient of the over-the-counter medicine Tylenol), but to enhance the effects of the hydrocodone. It is the hydrocodone that people using Vicodin develop a tolerance for and can become addicted to if their use is not monitored properly. Taking a prescription medication puts responsibility on both the doctor ordering the drug and the person taking it, in this case for symptoms of pain. Doctors should not over-prescribe medications and should monitor a patient’s reaction to a particular drug, and individuals taking the medication should be quick to report any changes in the way it is working for them to their doctor. In this way, instances of tolerance and even addiction through legitimate medical use can be reduced and even eliminated.
Of course, in the end, not everyone who will need to go through Vicodin detox will have become tolerant or addicted to painkillers through purely legitimate medical use. Popular medications prescribed by doctors, of which Vicodin is certainly one (hydrocodone is reported to be the most widely prescribed narcotic analgesic in the United States), are well known to the general public and their use other than directed has become common. Abuse of any drug, including prescription medications, can easily lead to addiction, and even a single instance of using a prescription drug other than it being prescribed by a doctor should be avoided. Additionally, it is all too commonplace for family members or friends to “borrow” prescription drugs from someone because they are experiencing similar symptoms to the ones for whom the drug was actually prescribed is suffering. Drugs are prescribed based on many factors, not just a specific symptom like pain. A person taking a drug without first consulting a doctor could have a dangerous reaction based on something in their medical history that they themselves could be unaware of, but one that a doctor would catch during their exam. Avoiding using prescription drugs like Vicodin other than directed is always the best course of action.
Referred to as medical detox, this is the safest way for a person to go through the process of removing the drug from their system. Replacement drug therapies can also be used during Vicodin detox, and some of the drugs used for this process are Suboxone, Methadone
Naltrexone, Antabuse, Neurontin and Bupropion. Methadone may be the most famous of this type of detox protocol, as it has been used for many years in detox programs for heroin addicts. Additionally, many of these drugs have primary medical uses as well, outside of being used during detox, like Neurontin, which is used to treat nerve pain. Finally, Vicodin detox can also be assisted through the use of non-addicting medications ordered by a doctor, for symptoms of withdrawal during the detox process. These can be typical over-the-counter medicines that help take the edge off of the side effects that are caused by removing Vicodin from a person’s system.
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