What Is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a commonly used pain medication. It’s made up of hydrocodone (a type of opioid) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Most of the time, it is given to relieve acute pain, such as after surgery or a significant injury. It works well to reduce the function of the pain signals going to the brain, but it also carries the risk of addiction. That’s why most people will only be prescribed this drug for a short amount of time and with the smallest effective dose. Larger doses can lead to compulsive use, making it very difficult for a person to stop using it.
How Does a Person Get Over Vicodin Addiction?
Because Vicodin carries the risk of addiction and dependence, a person’s body and brain may become reliant on the drug. That typically leads to withdrawal symptoms when a person tries to stop using it.
Some of the most common Vicodin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Increased cravings for the drug, often making it hard to resist
- Mood swings and irritability
- Confusion and paranoia
- Tremors and shivering
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping and restlessness, sometimes exhaustion
- Fever, chills, congestion, and a runny nose
- Diarrhea or constipation
Most of the time, the withdrawal process takes 5 to 8 days, but it can last for 10 or more in some people. More so, those who have used Vicodin for a long period of time or use a very high dose may also experience longer-lasting symptoms of withdrawal.
Many people with a dependence on Vicodin fail to stop using on their own because of the length and severity of withdrawal symptoms. That’s why professional treatment is often the best way to treat this condition. It’s not common to be able to detox from Vicodin without some help from a treatment center.
What Types of Treatment Help with Vicodin Addiction?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states there are numerous treatment paths for those with Vicodin and opioid addiction. In some cases, there is a benefit to using medications to help minimize the impact of withdrawal symptoms. These medications include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.
Medication is not always necessary, especially for those who may not have severe withdrawal symptoms or cravings. For some people, the best type of treatment is behavioral therapy, often called talk therapy. It means working hand-in-hand with a therapist to work through the common causes of dependence and addiction and develop strategies to avoid relapse. Some of the types of therapy commonly used as a treatment for Vicodin addiction include the following:
This type of therapy aims to address negative behaviors and how they form. Specifically, it helps a person to see that their negative thoughts and inaccurate beliefs are what often lead to poor decisions. The goal is to teach a person to recognize those negative thoughts and make better decisions.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
This type of talk therapy focuses heavily on living in the moment. For many people with Vicodin addiction, it’s hard to focus on anything but the drug use. Over time, you may find that you feel compelled to use because of negative thoughts, concerns about what may happen if you don’t use, or a negative self-image. Dialectical behavior brings you back to reality – focusing on what is really happening right now so that you do not spiral out of control.
Mental Health Disorder Treatment
Many people with addiction struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other types of mental health disorders, all of which can make it much more difficult to manage addiction itself. One of the ways your therapist can help you is by addressing these conditions and creating a plan for managing them. That may include the use of medications as well as therapy.
Vicodin use may damage family relationships, make it hard for you to maintain a job, or may leave you battling constant pain and disability. At Peak View Behavioral Health, we understand and can successfully treat opioid use disorder. Through treatment and therapy, you can regain control and build a stronger, healthier future for yourself.