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Vicodin Addiction: Prescription Abuse

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Vicodin Addiction: Prescription Abuse
~by guest blogger Alex Kerwin

Vicodin Addiction: Prescription Abuse
Vicodin is a synthetic opiate created in a laboratory. Similar to morphine, its primary use is to control moderate to severe pain. Since the medication works on pain-receptors in the brain and produces a feeling of euphoria and well-being, Vicodin is frequently a drug of choice for substance abuse. In 2010, over 130 million prescriptions were written for Vicodin, and related medications. Consequently, opiate addiction has surged with over 10 million Americans self-reporting prescription medication abuse. Increasing awareness of prescription addiction with education and alternatives in treatment are paramount. Vicodin addiction is an epidemic in the USA, and people with substance abuse issues should not feel alone or stigmatized when seeking treatment.

How Addiction Begins
Initially, people are prescribed Vicodin for pain, usually after injury or surgery. During the recovery process, Vicodin is taken on a regular basis and the brain begins to experience a “good feeling,” or a state of euphoria. In response, the brain makes less “good chemicals,” on its own, and relies on the Vicodin to supply these chemicals. Unfortunately, when Vicodin is discontinued, the brain continues to create less “feel good” chemicals, and the person may experience depression and withdrawal.

Increased Tolerance and Dosage
Addiction will drive the person to increase the amount of Vicodin to create the feelings of well-being as the tolerance to the drug increases. People with addiction will take dangerously high dosages of the drug and risk liver and kidney damage, as well as overdose and death. It is not uncommon for addicted persons to seek several doctors and visit hospital emergency rooms as a response for the brain’s increased demand of the drug.

Signs of Withdrawal
Once the use of Vicodin is stopped, many addicted individuals will experience an overwhelming psychic desire for the drug. In addition, withdrawal is accompanied by dreadful feelings of impending doom, physical aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, and deep depression with suicidal thoughts. Depending on the extent of the addiction, it is dangerous for people to attempt detoxification from the substance without supervision and they are strongly encouraged to seek professional assistance.


Help from Treatment Centers
In 2009, over 11 million people received treatment for substance abuse and addiction. As awareness of substance dependence increases in society, treatment centers are being recognized as important resources and assistance in addiction recovery. Using an approach of the psychological and physical needs of the individual, treatment focuses not only on the cessation of the drug, but provides coping strategies on restoring the individual to their former selves. The ultimate goal of substance abuse treatment returns people to productive functioning in the family, workplace, school, and the community.

Addiction can be Treated Successfully
As with all chronic disease, addiction can be managed successfully. Treatments centers provide powerful strategies for living a healthy and productive life without drug dependence. According to researchers, most people that enter treatment have positive outcomes and refrain from substance abuse.

NEED HELP NOW?
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RELATED:
>Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?

>My True Story of Prescription Drug Addiction

>Pain Meds Cause More Pain! The new silent epidemic

>Opiate Pain Meds: Avoiding Opiate Prescription Drug Addiction in Recovery

>Read more about this topic—chapter 27, Why Don’t They JUST QUIT?

>Effects of Addiction

>The Accidental Addict

 

SELF TESTS:
> Self-Tests: Codependence

> Self-Tests: Alcohol and Drug Addiction

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