You may be wondering why the person who’s popping Vicodin pills like there’s no tomorrow needs Vicodin addiction treatment. Can’t they just stop? Why can’t life get back to normal? It’s because Vicodin medication is frighteningly addictive, and it locks a pretty strong hold on a person’s heart and soul. They’re going to need help.
Vicodin belongs to the families of opiates—as in opium—and while the generic form is synthesized from codeine, codeine comes from the beautiful flowers of the poppy plant. Remember The Wizard of Oz, when the Witch of the West casts a spell over Dorothy and her friends by putting them in the middle of a field of poppies and several of them fall down unconscious? Only the Woodsman and the Scarecrow, not made of flesh and blood, are immune to the poppies’ effect until the Good Witch of the North intervenes. Scary things, those poppies.
Vicodin pills are scary, too. One of the most intimidating things about them is that in the beginning they seem so ordinary. Usually the doctor prescribes them to help someone get over the pain of a surgical procedure or an injury involving some kind of trauma to a muscle or joint. Take one or two every four to six hours, the doctor probably writes. With that kind of latitude, how dangerous can they be? Everybody takes Vicodins!
But the doctor allows the person to choose between one or two, and between every four to six hours, because some people need more Vicodin than others, and they need it more often. Or they only need one every six hours initially, but the week after surgery, even though they are healing they are taking two tablets every four hours. The person quickly develops a tolerance for their medication, meaning that they take more medication more often without noticing any change in its effect.
Without Vicodin Addiction Treatment, Life Seems Dull
When a person takes a medication that stimulates specific receptors in the brain they feel the same flush of pleasure as if they’d just eaten a wonderful meal or tried an exciting experience. The affected part of the brain releases neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
If the person continues using the drug without Vicodin addiction treatment, the brain gradually decreases its natural production of those neurotransmitters. Your loved one reaches a point at which they really cannot get the same enjoyment without drugs. The brain comes to depend on the drug for its supply of the neurotransmitters. That may be the reason why your loved one seems to show no enjoyment in life these days.
There is also some evidence that the brain begins to produce some proteins associated with the Vicodin, and those proteins stop the person from feeling relief from pain. It becomes a vicious cycle of the need for drugs, taking more and more of them, and then looking for doctors who will keep prescribing them.
The only answer is to get the person into Vicodin addiction treatment. Medication-assisted therapy offers a viable way for the person to receive medical treatment that will satisfy their cravings and urges. They will only need their medication once a day, unlike the Vicodin. At a medication-assisted treatment program that offers methadone and Suboxone therapy as an option for Vicodin addiction treatment, the person can explore the reasons why they became addicted—why they ignored the warning signs, what triggers them to want more drugs, and how to get their life back together.
In the Meantime, Keep Your Guard Up
Vicodin addicts are very good at finding ways to get their medication. They will go to multiple physicians and dentists complaining of different medical problems. You can recognize the power of Vicodin addiction if you realize that someone would rather get their teeth drilled and pulled than go into Vicodin addiction treatment.
Watch out for evidence or talk of Vicodin in your household. It comes as capsules, tablets, or liquid. The person usually swallows them, but some addicts snort them or inject them. They should never drink alcohol or take tranquilizers along with their pain medication.
The symptoms include increased sleepiness. The person may complain of constipation. Their pupils will be small when they are high. If they run out of their medication, they will suffer from nausea and vomiting, and you will notice them scratching quite a bit.
Family members should hide their prescriptions because someone needing Vicodin addiction treatment will take another person’s medication with no guilt or remorse. Avoid giving money to the addict, even for logical reasons—if the car needs gassing up, go along with them and pay for it but do not give them cash.
Your loved one’s doctor is prohibited by confidentiality guidelines from discussing their patient with you. However, you can call the doctor’s office and tell them you aren’t asking them for any information but you do have some for them. Expect the nurse to listen to you and then hang up without any kind of response.
Vicodins are the brand-name medication made from hydrocodone, and they are cousins with Lortabs, Lorcet, and Norco. All those formulations contain a mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, but Zohydro and Hysingla are pure hydrocodone. Hycodan is a prescription cough medicine that contains hydrocodone.
The pharmacists who fill those prescriptions are increasingly good at catching on to the people who are addicted. The addicts usually aren’t stupid enough to take multiple prescriptions to the same pharmacist, but the pharmacists know how to spot an addict. If a pharmacist suspects that someone is getting more than one prescription for Vicodin or for another opiate such as Percocet, he can run a report to see how many opiate prescriptions a person is getting. That is, the pharmacist can do so if he lives in any of almost 40 states that have passed laws to operate such programs. Also, as of January 2015, there are only 27 states that share information across state lines.
In the meantime, confront your loved one about your suspicions and ask them to visit a program for Vicodin addiction treatment. You cannot yourself make an appointment for the person to go to a methadone Vicodin addiction treatment center, but you can call and find out the intake times and give the information to your loved one. Give them an ultimatum so they’ll be motivated to go. Their life could depend on it.