Vicodin, a blend of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, is the most frequently prescribed opiate painkiller in America, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unfortunately, the NIDA also reports that prescription painkillers are also the fastest growing drug problem in the country, with emergency room visits skyrocketing from Vicodin addiction year over year.
People who suffer from untreated or undiagnosed anxiety, who have a genetic link to addiction or who are self-medicating because of a traumatic experience are more likely to fall prey to substance abuse. Unfortunately, even people who begin taking the drug exactly as directed can find themselves falling victim to addiction to Vicodin because of the tolerance and physical dependence it causes. If you suspect that you or someone you love is abusing drugs, call 12 Keys Rehab to learn more about Vicodin and addiction, and to get the help you need.
The History of Vicodin
German scientists first developed hydrocodone after World War I. Like all narcotic painkillers, it derives from the opium poppy, which is also the chemical home of heroin and morphine. The U.S. government knew hydrocodone was addictive as early as 1934; nevertheless, its effectiveness as a painkiller and as a cough suppressant led to its popularity among physicians and patients. Acetaminophen — itself a health hazard in large doses because of potential liver damage — enhances the effects of hydrocodone, and a pharmaceutical company blended the two drugs to create Vicodin in 1978.
Since 1990, the NIDA reports that emergency room visits related to hydrocodone increased more than 500 percent in the 12-year span from 1990 to 2002. Just seven years later, one federal advisory panel recommended banning Vicodin because of its addictive side effects. Because of its effectiveness as a painkiller and its popularity, — doctors write well over 100 million prescriptions every year — it remains in use.
Vicodin works in the human brain in two ways. Acetaminophen lessens the production of a natural chemical that affects how we feel pain; hydrocodone forces the release of the brain’s feel-good chemicals. Taking Vicodin not only stops pain, but it also produces a warm feeling of euphoria that users learn to depend on. This dependence results from the brain relying on Vicodin to produce good feelings. Eventually, the dependent user becomes an addict and must take increasing amounts of the drug simply to avoid withdrawal.
Vicodin Addiction Recovery
Withdrawing from Vicodin without help is not only unpleasant, but it is nearly intolerable. Physical symptoms last for days and sometimes longer; psychological symptoms can last for months. Because the physical symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal include severe pain and cramping, it can often be difficult to convince a Vicodin addict that treatment is necessary. More symptoms of withdrawal include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, agitation, insomnia, chills and strong, persistent cravings to use Vicodin again.
Call 12 Keys Rehab for the Help You Need Now
At 12 Keys Rehab, we have helped thousands of people recover from drug addiction, even when rehab has been tried before. You’ll begin your stay in our medically assisted detox, where our qualified and understanding staff will help you feel comfortable during early withdrawal. Next, our therapists and counselors will design a progressive treatment program that will help you figure out why you started using. Finally, you’ll join our recovering family members in our supportive aftercare program, where you’ll begin to build your life without drugs.
Call 12 Keys now at 866-480-4328 and find your path to freedom, starting today.