Signs and Symptoms

Vicodin is a prescription pain medication that is often abused. More than 60 percent of people who take Vicodin to relieve pain will become addicted to the substance. It is very easy to form an addiction to painkillers, but it may take months to overcome that addiction. The signs that indicate a person is addicted to Vicodin may vary. Not every person will exhibit the same signs. In fact, in more than 35 percent of addicts, it has been difficult to distinguish an addiction to Vicodin or if the person is experiencing inadequate pain control or mental illness. When a person is prescribed Vicodin, there are some warning signs to look for that could indicate that a Vicodin addiction has been formed.

  • Doctor shopping is a common practice of Vicodin addicts. This refers to the patient going to different doctors trying to get them to write another prescription for the medication.
  • Going through a prescription too quickly can indicate dependency.
  • Many addicts will claim they have lost the prescription, that is has been stolen or that they need another prescription early in order to go away on vacation.
  • Vicodin addicts will claim they have a favorite pain medication and that no other medication will work.

There are a number of other signs that can indicate an addiction to the substance. These are commonly seen in people who have recently developed an addiction. More than 80 percent of Vicodin addicts will display at least two of these signs when they are addicted:

  • Stealing, dishonest behavior and lying
  • Secluded behavior and needing a lot of time alone
  • A lack of money that cannot be explained
  • Changes in social circles
  • Changes in moods or behaviors that cannot be explained

Reasons for Vicodin Dependencies

About 90 percent of all Vicodin addicts have become addicted to the substance after taking it for only a few weeks. It is a highly addictive drug that causes a mental and physical dependence. When a person uses Vicodin, the drug will affect the function of the brain, causing it to stop producing endorphins. After repeated use, Vicodin abusers will feel that they cannot function normally without using the drug. Vicodin can product many desirable effects, which is the main reason an addiction is formed. Some of the symptoms that are experienced while using Vicodin include:

  • Anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lethargy
  • Sense of relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Constricted pupils

vicodin addictionVicodin Addictions vs. Side Effects of the Drug

Based on research, Vicodin can produce side effects in at least 60 percent of patients when the medication is first taken. These effects will soon disappear after the body adjusts to the drug. Addiction symptoms will occur long after the drug was first taken and after the body has built up a tolerance to Vicodin. Side effects caused by the drug can include drowsiness, dizziness, inability to organize thoughts and having a hard time paying attention. Many of these symptoms are similar to those experienced when the addiction forms. The main difference between side effects and addiction symptoms is the time frame in which they occur.

Physical Symptoms

Most addicts enjoy some of the psychological symptoms, such as euphoria and a sense of relaxation. These are the desirable effects that 90 percent of Vicodin addicts enjoy when taking the drug. There are also physical symptoms that can be red flags when trying to determine if someone has an addiction to Vicodin. These physical symptoms can include:

  • Feeling lightheaded and dizzy, drowsy or tired
  • Heightened anxiety and fear
  • Severe and sudden mood changes
  • Dysphria
  • An impairment of physical and mental health performance
  • Feeling sedated and very tired
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Skin rashes
  • Passing out

Importance of Noting Signs and Symptoms

More than 70 percent of addicts will not admit they have formed an addiction to Vicodin. This is why it is important for friends and family members to be aware of the various signs and symptoms that can indicate an addiction to the drug has been formed. Not every person will have the same signs and symptoms but the majority of Vicodin addicts, more than 95 percent, will have at least two of the mentioned symptoms. Being able to recognize the symptoms plays an important role in being able to help the person with the addiction. When the addict receives treatment after the signs and symptoms have been noticed, there is an 85 percent success rate that the addict will overcome the addiction and lead a drug-free life following treatment.

Co-Occurring Disorders and Addiction

According to a recent survey, over 80 percent of individuals addicted to Vicodin have struggled with another form of substance abuse in their life. In addition, it is well documented that about half of those with a drug or alcohol addiction have a Dual Diagnosis with at least one form of psychological disorder. Vicodin itself is no exception, as 45 percent of all people with a Vicodin addiction also have been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Treating patients with a Dual Diagnosis of Vicodin and a psychological illness presents many challenges over a standard substance abuse rehab program. As one issue, at best, will aggravate the other and, at worst, will actually cause the second problem. Statistics are showing that standard treatment is lacking as nearly two-thirds of individuals with a Vicodin addiction have already been treated for addiction and/or a psychiatric illness in the past. This fact illustrates the need for Dual Diagnosis treatment in place of standard rehab because six out of 10 patients are failing to get what they need from this type of therapy.

The Importance of Vicodin Addiction Treatment Programs

Statistics show that more than two million people in the United States are taking Vicodin for reasons other than pain management or other medical reasons. Of these two million, more than 80 percent have a full-blown addiction to the substance. Overcoming a Vicodin addiction cannot be done at home. In order for the cycle to be broken, addicts must seek professional treatment. While it is possible to get through the withdrawal symptoms without treatment, addicts will not be able to recover from the mental addiction to the drug. Of the 10 percent of people who successfully stop using the drug on their own without treatment, 80 percent of them will relapse and begin using Vicodin or another addictive substance in the near future.

Why Choose Rehab

By attending a rehab program for a Vicodin addiction, the addict will be able to detox from the substance in a safe environment. While the physical addiction to the drug will be cured during the detox process, the remainder of the program will help the addict address the psychological addictions to the drug. The first step in rehab will always be detox. During this process, more than 80 percent of addicts will successfully beat their physical addiction. It is the remaining portion of time that is difficult and this is when many addicts will relapse. While in a rehab program, addicts will receive services to help them deal with the withdrawal symptoms experienced during detox as well as therapy and mental health counseling to address the causes of the addiction and the psychological factors.

  • An addiction to Vicodin is often the result of an emotional issue.
  • More than 70 percent of Vicodin addictions are cured during rehab.
  • Vicodin is one of the most addictive prescription medications and has a high rate of relapse for those who are receiving treatment, making rehab even more important.

Choosing a Program

After the addict goes through the withdrawal symptoms of the addiction, they will need additional services while in treatment. The rehab should provide a structured environment in which the addict can concentrate on overcoming their mental dependency on the drug. One of the most important aspects of Vicodin treatment is counseling. This is usually a 12-step program that includes ongoing drug testing and individual counseling. When looking for the right treatment center, there are some questions to ask. The following questions will help choose the right treatment program to address the addiction issues:

  • Does the treatment center accept health insurance? If not, are there payment plans available?
  • Are there services for other family members to help them deal with the addiction?
  • Are there individual and group therapy options?
  • How comfortable is the facility?
  • Are staff trained in the effects, symptoms and treatment of Vicodin addiction?
  • What are the success and relapse rates at the center?

Choosing the right treatment program will play a large role in successfully overcoming the addiction. When the right program is chosen, success rates are typically high, with more than 80 percent of addicts completely recovering from their addiction with no relapse. Some addicts may feel more comfortable in a treatment program that is not of mixed gender. These programs are available and offer some great benefits, including the ability to build a strong support system with a safe environment to share feelings, experiences and thoughts.