Vicodin is an opioid commonly prescribed to treat pain. It also has a relatively high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. Fortunately, although recovery may be challenging, it is entirely possible with the right resources, tools, and professional help.
What Is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a painkilling medication available by prescription only. It consists of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Together, these drugs can be very effective at mitigating pain. When used as prescribed and for a brief period, Vicodin can improve an individual’s comfort and quality of life.
If you are Vicodin- or hydrocodone-dependent, you are by no means not alone. Millions of individuals in the U.S. have an addiction to Vicodin or other opioids. Vicodin may be misused for a few different reasons. Often, those with a legitimate prescription for Vicodin experience an increase in tolerance gradually, over time. This condition means that they need to use ever-increasing amounts to alleviate their pain.
However, some people also abuse the drug to induce relaxation and euphoria. Others purchase Vicodin illegally from dealers because they experience chronic pain but cannot obtain their own prescription.
But any acute positive effects that an individual feels will ultimately be overshadowed by the negative effects of abuse. Even in the short term, Vicodin use can lead to slowed breathing, constipation, impaired judgment, and unconsciousness.
Using it in an excessive amount can result in an overdose, which can be life-threatening. Also, chronic use can lead to addiction, an increase in the overall perception of pain (hyperalgesia), and many other health complications.
Timeline to Recovery
Once a person has developed an addiction to Vicodin, recovery will take time. There’s no instant cure for this problem. The recovery timeline starts with withdrawal. A medically-monitored environment is advised as it allows individuals to withdraw safely. This also prevents relapse and represents a person’s willingness to commit to a positive change.
Detox can persist for several days. Following this process, individuals enter long-term treatment for drug addiction. This treatment includes several therapeutic modalities, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Behavioral therapy
- Individual and family counseling
- Peer Group support
- Health and wellness education
- Art and music therapy
- Aftercare planning
During rehab, each person is encouraged to uncover the underlying factors that contribute to why they began abusing Vicodin in the first place. In addition to medical reasons, many individuals have mental illness and use substances as a self-medication method.
Following addiction treatment, individuals will likely need continual support in the form of therapy, counseling, and peer support groups. Long-term sobriety occurs daily and is not something that can be achieved and then neglected. Those in recovery need to care for themselves and be pay close attention to their sobriety for the rest of their lives.
Preparing for Vicodin Withdrawal
Many individuals avoid addiction treatment because they are dreading withdrawal. Vicodin withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, and unaddressed symptoms can become severe. Fortunately, medical supervision can increase detox’s safety and mitigate pain and discomfort.
During the withdrawal process, individuals can expect a variety of side effects, including the following:
- Runny nose
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mood swings
Many of these symptoms can be relieved under medical supervision through medical detox.
It’s also possible to transitorily experience rebound pain. Because Vicodin changes the way the body responds to and feels pain, withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, this renewed sensitivity to pain is only temporary, and there are many healthier ways to manage pain besides Vicodin abuse.
A Full Spectrum of Care for Recovery
Recovery is so much more than merely achieving abstinence. It’s also about learning how to sustain a sober lifestyle for years to come, and hopefully, the rest of one’s life. The full spectrum of care starts with medical detox and continues with multifaceted, customized treatment, relapse prevention, and improved pain management approaches.
Relapse occurs among at least half of all persons who receive treatment. Relapse prevention is a central focus, as all persons develop coping mechanisms and techniques to minimize cravings.
Individuals are also taught that relapse should not be considered the ultimate failure. On the contrary, relapse is often an integral part of the recovery process. Relapse offers the opportunity for a learning experience that teaches individuals how to avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly.
For some, pain management programs may also be vital in recovery. This fact is especially important for those who initially began using Vicodin to treat chronic pain.
Overcoming Vicodin Addiction
Whether you opt for partial-hospitalization or outpatient programs, Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery centers can help you through the recovery process. Our treatment programs are comprised many evidence-based services, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, substance abuse education, aftercare planning, and more.