Vicodin may be a powerful and effective pain reliever, but unfortunately, it also represents one of the most pressing issues facing the United States today — the opioid crisis. Vicodin addiction is becoming more and more common. According to one recent study, hydrocodone — which itself is the active, opioid part of Vicodin — was the second most frequently reported opioid at the local, state and even federal levels during 2009 and 2010. The same study reported that nearly 16 million people over the age of 12 used prescription Vicodin for some non-medical purpose at least once per year. Hydrocodone in all its forms (including Vicodin) remains the most frequently prescribed opiate in the country, seeing more than 139 million new prescriptions during 2010 alone.
A Growing Problem
Statistics like these paint a very clear picture as to why Vicodin addiction is such a major issue not only in the US, but all over the world. The chances are high that you know someone who is struggling with this very problem – you may even be grappling with it yourself. However, all hope is not lost – there is absolutely a light at the end of this particular tunnel and getting the treatment that you or a loved one needs is a lot more straightforward of a process than you might think it is. You just need to keep a few key things in mind.
Signs of a Vicodin Addiction
The most important thing to understand about all of this is that just because you’ve been prescribed Vicodin does NOT mean you’re an addict — far from it. Again, Vicodin is an incredibly effective pain reliever and it does indeed have a number of totally legitimate uses.
Having said that, if you or a loved one has developed a dependence for Vicodin, at least a few of the following warning signs will likely be on full display:
- The person in question will likely feel and appear drowsy, even after getting a good night’s sleep.
- They will likely have a major inability to focus on any one particular task.
- They will be prone to severe mood swings.
- They likely deal with nausea and vomiting on a regular basis.
- They are also prone to extreme anxiety and/or paranoia.
If Vicodin is taken for a prolonged period of time (meaning more than a doctor recommends and for longer than the prescription), it can also lead to a number of incredibly severe medical issues. These include but are not limited to things like jaundice, urinary system issues, liver damage and even outright liver failure.
Tolerance vs. Dependance
At this point, both tolerance and dependence also become pressing issues. As someone takes a drug like Vicodin longer and longer, their body naturally develops a tolerance to it — meaning that it takes a larger dose for them to feel the recreational effects that they’re after in the first place. Not only does this lead to a dependency issue (where someone literally cannot function without Vicodin and will likely deal with severe withdrawal problems), but it can also easily lead to a Vicodin overdose as well.
According to experts, the major warning signs of a Vicodin overdose are as follows:
- Low blood pressure, otherwise known as hypotension
- Severe fatigue
- A weak pulse
- Constricted (also referred to as pinpoint) pupils
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing, including slowed and/or shallow breaths
- Respiratory arrest
But as stated, there are a number of viable Vicodin rehab programs available in both large and small communities across the country. They come in a few different variations for you to choose from depending on your needs.
Inpatient Rehab Treatment
One of the major options that people have in terms of Vicodin treatment takes the form of an inpatient facility, which is a safe, protected environment that someone will check into for between 28 to 30 days (though it could go as long as 90 days depending on the unique needs of the situation). In an inpatient program, experienced medical professionals are on hand to monitor patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving them the around-the-clock care that they need.
Additional resources are also available, like both individual and group counseling sessions to help patients learn how to deal with their emotions during this difficult time and to help them address the root causes of their addiction in the first place. For many people, inpatient programs offer them the comprehensive, holistic approach to recovery they need — allowing them to address both the surface level dependency issues and the problems in their life that actually led to their addiction at the exact same time.
Outpatient Rehab Treatment
A Vicodin outpatient program, as its name suggests, is a program that both gives patients access to top-quality care while still allowing them to live their lives more or less in the same way that they’re used to. Patients will still receive treatment, group and individual counseling and more, but they won’t stay in the actual facility itself. They’ll still be able to go home at the end of the day and sleep in their own bed and they won’t have to miss work or essentially “disappear” from their life until their issues have been addressed in the best way possible.
Choosing a Rehab for Vicodin Addiction
At this point, it’s important to note that there is truly no “one size fits all” approach to Vicodin rehab. Some people, particularly those who have been dealing with addiction for extended periods of time, will absolutely need a Vicodin inpatient program to help them rid themselves of this critical issue once and for all. Others will find a quality outpatient program more than effective, allowing them to put their Vicodin addiction behind them in a way that doesn’t require them to put their life on hold.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Regardless of which type of facility you choose, it’s important for you to know that the experience will be every bit as private and confidential as you need it to be. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA, all of your medical and other personal information will be fully protected at all times (except in an emergency situation).
You don’t have to share anything if you don’t want to, and during the intake process, you will also be given an optional consent form to sign that specifies whom your information can be shared with and under which circumstances.
Truly, privacy is one of those topics that you should not (and in truth, don’t) have to worry about. This gives you a chance to focus the majority of your attention on your recovery, where it belongs.
Are You Ready to Get Help?
If you or a loved one are grappling with the devastating effects of Vicodin addiction, it is essential for you to understand that this is one journey you do not have to take alone. To find the best inpatient Vicodin rehab facility for you, you can use our search directory to get started. If you need additional help finding a rehab, you can call Recommended Rehabs directly and we will be happy to help – call 1-800-581-0754.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 9-1-1 immediately.