Vicodin Addiction Treatment

Vicodin is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for moderate to severe pain. Made up of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, the drug is available in multiple strengths and dosages depending upon the severity of the issue, and perhaps for this reason, it is one of the most commonly prescribed painkillers on the market.

Acetaminophen, the drug’s first ingredient, works as an analgesic or painkiller. Hydrocodone, the other active ingredient, is an opioid analgesic, which means that it binds to the pain receptors in the brain to essentially block the patient’s experience of pain, according to Medline Plus. It can also cause a feeling of euphoria at the same time, a high that can trigger psychological dependence in patients. Though the drug is highly effective in helping patients navigate pain more comfortably, even a legitimate prescription can ultimately lead to an addiction that is both physiological and emotional – one that requires treatment at a medical and psychotherapeutic drug addiction treatment program.

Not everyone with a Vicodin prescription will need addiction treatment. But those who develop a physical dependence in addition to a psychological addiction to the drug will need to undergo a medically supervised rehab program in order to safely and effectively recover from Vicodin addiction. If you or someone you care about is struggling with the issue of painkiller dependence, contact us at the phone number listed above. We can help you to find the right program for your needs and your family.

prescription drug rehabHow Physical Dependence Happens

It is a common assumption that Vicodin addiction is always the result of misuse of the drug. The truth is, however, that anyone using Vicodin has the potential to develop an addiction, whether or not they abuse it. One of Vicodin’s most active ingredients is hydrocodone, an opioid. Opioids, although helpful in diminishing the experience of pain, are highly addictive. Because of the way opioids like hydrocodone act on the body, the human brain becomes dependent on it and the body develops a tolerance, requiring more and more of the substance in order to continue to numb physical pain. Soon, the production of other chemicals in the brain is altered based on the expectation of a continued supply of Vicodin, making it difficult to impossible for the patient to stop taking the drug spontaneously or to quickly alter his or her dysfunctional relationship upon the drug, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Of course, abusing the drug in any way increases the patient’s chances of developing an addiction to it. Taking the drug without a prescription, taking more than prescribed, augmenting the drug with other substances including alcohol, crushing the pills before snorting, swallowing or injecting the drug – all of these are choices that can lead to a physical and/or psychological dependence upon the drug.

The Need for Treatment

Vicodin addiction happens quickly and often unexpectedly. It’s not always easy to figure out when use has turned into addiction – that is, when physical dependence is compounded by psychological dependence and becomes a serious issue that requires addiction treatment. Psychological dependence is the hallmark of an addiction that is serious enough to require treatment. Cravings for Vicodin in between doses and an inability to stop using the drug on your own even when the withdrawal symptoms fade are sure signs of psychological dependence. The combination of the two signifies a serious addiction and the only way to stop using the drug successfully is to attend an addiction treatment center.
the need for vicodin addiction rehab

The Provisions of Vicodin Rehabilitation

Vicodin rehab provides, first and foremost, the medical care and protection necessary to stop abusing the pills safely. Because the body becomes dependent upon them, it can be a physically arduous process to stop taking them. Few can accomplish this on their own. Most will only make it a day or so before withdrawal symptoms become overwhelming and the patient opts to take another pill rather than to continue to feel ill during detox.

When detox is accomplished at a medical facility with substance abuse treatment specialists available, patients are protected from relapse and also provided with medications and medical care that will protect them from harm while decreasing their discomfort. Therapists and peers who are going through the same process can also be a support system during this period.

After detoxification, the focus shifts to psychotherapeutic care. Without physical dependence upon Vicodin throwing up a constant roadblock, patients are free to focus on the psychological issues that may encourage compulsive use of the pain pills.

Working on these issues helps to ensure that the patient avoids some of the emotional triggers that may encourage relapse and a return to addictive behavior after rehab is over, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Aftercare services like behavioral therapy, counseling and self-help groups will help patients to avoid relapse as well. Long-term involvement in active therapy will help patients to solidify the concepts of sobriety into an active sober life that is sustainable.

Benefits of Addiction Treatment

The benefits of Vicodin addiction treatment are so great that they are difficult to quantify. The significant improvements to the patient’s experience permeate every aspect of their lives. A bad day when drug-free is better than the best day on Vicodin. According to a study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment [2009 Mar;36(2):127-30[, there are a number of benefits for patients who fight addiction with rehab and aftercare services. These include:

  • Physical Benefits. Patients feel better physically almost immediately after Vicodin detox. Energy increases, respiratory issues dissipate, memory returns, and day-to-day functionality improves.
  • Psychological Benefits. Vicodin can cloud the mind and without regular use of the drug, mental clarity quickly returns, getting them closer to feelings of calm, focus and balance. Additionally, the vivid dreams that often occur with regular Vicodin go away after detox, allowing the patient to get a more restful night’s sleep that increases their energy and acuity during the day.
  • Emotional Benefits. When patients feel better physically and mentally, their emotional well-being improves as well. Better able to handle the stressors of daily life and more adept at handling larger emotional issues, many patients live with lower levels of stress, anxiety, fear, paranoia and other issues.
  • Spiritual Benefits. Few people function spiritually while in the grips of Vicodin addiction. This part of the individual dies like every other part of life – addiction leaves room for nothing but addiction – but treatment offers a chance for the return of spiritual impulses and growth. Patients can pick up where they left off and rediscover their spiritual self or create for the first time a meaningful spiritual life and practice.
  • Financial Benefits. Patients not only save the money they usually spend on high-priced prescription pills but the return of energy, impetus and focus means that they are better able to work and earn money.

Risks of Avoiding Treatment

Patients take on a number of risks when they choose to continue living without the treatment they need to fight Vicodin dependence. Some of these include:

  • Overdose and Death. Overdose and death are perhaps the primary risks of concern when addiction is an issue. In most cases, the two are intertwined; most people who overdose on Vicodin die as a result. Others, however, are saved by paramedics if they are found in time, but these folks may still end up in a coma, suffering seizures or brain damage. Death due to negligent acts is also a risk.
  • Breaking the Bank. Vicodin prescriptions are expensive. The financial loss due to an inability to maintain employment through an addiction and/or missing bill payments are also costly. Financial problems can isolate patients and make them feel powerless to help themselves.
  • Breakups and Divorce. No marriage or partnership fares well when one half of the equation suffers from addiction. Fights are not uncommon – everything from the amount of money spent on prescriptions to bad behavior under the influence and the inability of the addict to pay attention to conversations and follow through on promises can add fuel to the fire. Few relationships make it through a full-blown Vicodin addiction.
  • Losing Children. Child Protective Services usually responds with a full investigation when it is reported that a parent is abusing drugs. Teachers, therapists and doctors are mandated reporters if they suspect drug abuse in the home but anyone can report that a child is suffering due to a parent’s need for addiction treatment. It can take years to get children back home and this only happens when treatment is sought and sobriety is proven over time.
  • Lost Reputation. Even the suspicion of drug abuse is enough to damage a patient’s reputation, but when divorce, loss of employment, loss of child custody, accidents under the influence and other issues start to circulate in the rumor mill as being caused by addiction, it can make it even more difficult to get the necessary help to heal.

How to Pay for Rehab

Paying for rehab can be tricky, especially when finances have been devastated by addiction. It’s important to choose the most effective and comprehensive addiction treatment services available, but the best is often expensive. The good news is that there are a number of options for paying for those services. Among them are:

  • Insurance. Many insurance companies now provide coverage for addiction treatment. For patients who have health insurance, detox bills and bills for psychotherapeutic treatment may be covered, at least in part, by the insurance provider. Patients are encouraged to check the details of coverage with their insurance company before enrolling in treatment.
  • Employee Benefits. Some companies have made Vicodin and other drug abuse rehabs part of their employee benefits packages. This is another possible method to help lower the cost to the patient in need of addiction treatment.
  • Financing Options. If insurance coverage is not possible, financing is another possible option. Low-interest and no-interest loans are often available, and funds can be made ready within days of application.
  • Sliding Scale. Qualifying for a sliding scale option is one way to cut the overall cost of rehab. A sliding scale works by lowering the cost based on a lower income. Some rehabilitation facilities do not offer a sliding scale. A waitlist may also be utilized at treatment centers that only have a certain number of openings for sliding scale patients.
  • Financial Aid. A financial aid option is also income-based, and therefore patients must qualify for it. In this case, the addiction rehab facility will cover a portion of the costs, leaving a much smaller amount left for the patient to pay. Usually the programs that offer this option have very few spots, and again, patients may need to spend some time on a waitlist.
  • Borrowing From Family. Family members with the resources may be interested in helping patients cover the cost of treatment. It never hurts to ask.

Find Addiction Treatment That Will Work for You

According to NIDA, about 16 million Americans abuse a prescription painkiller non-medically each year. If you are experiencing physical or mental health problems, financial issues or problems in your relationships due to your abuse of Vicodin yet still cannot stop using the drug, rehab can help. If you have tried to stop abusing Vicodin on your own and have been unsuccessful or if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop, contact us today and let us help you locate an addiction treatment program that can help you heal. Addiction to Vicodin is not something you should hide – get addiction treatment as soon as you recognize you need it.