Signs and Symptoms of Vicodin Use, Abuse, Addiction & Facts

Couple in recovery from hydrocodone addiction

Getting Counseling for Vicodin Addiction Saves Relationships

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is a highly addictive, legal prescription medication that is abused by thousands of people in the US on an everyday basis. Like other opiates, when used as directed, Vicodin still has the potential to cause withdrawal symptoms. Usually prescribed by a physician, the drug is intended to help patient cope with acute or chronic sever pain. Like other opioid drugs, Vicodin blocks the body’s ability to perceive pain. This can produce both a state of relaxation and euphoria in the user.

Vicodin is a formulation of both hydrocodone (the opiate component of the drug) and acetaminophen, which also helps quell pain. This combination can actually be very hard on the liver when the drug is abused, leading to permanent damage or even death.

Vicodin is also known as:

  • Vics (pronounced “Vikes”)
  • Vicos
  • Vikes
  • Hydrocodone or “Hydro” (after the active ingredient hydrocodone)

In different parts of the country, it may be known by other street names.

How is Vicodin Ingested or Used?

Vicodin is taken in pill/capsule form and is sometimes available as a liquid.

What are the Symptoms of Vicodin Use?

Friends and family of a Vicodin user may be able to notice changes in their loved one when they take the drug. This can be true even if the person taking the drug is not abusing it. Vicodin is a powerful narcotic that causes side effects even when used as directed.

Vicodin users will have symptoms similar to users of other opiate drugs. While under the influence, they may be short of breath and small, constricted pupils. They may act disoriented or have trouble following a conversation. Somebody who is high on Vicodin may appear “heavy” when they are high, unable to even lift their head.

A person who abuses Vicodin may exhibit drug-seeking behaviors such as pill hoarding and rationing. They may keep multiple bottles around the house with half-pills or full pills inside them.

What Are the Long-Term Effects and Dangers of Vicodin Use?

Vicodin is a dangerous narcotic drug that can cause death when overused (or mixed with other drugs – especially alcohol). The drug also contains acetaminophen, which is toxic to the liver in large amounts. Users who abuse the drug will build a tolerance to it, which means they will require more of the drug to get high. When they do this, they will run the risk of liver failure or permanent organ damage.

Vicodin users are at risk for:

  • poor immune system
  • malnutrition
  • infections of the heart and heart-related illnesses

Many Vicodin users will experience itching and risk skin infections. Others suffer from arthritis and rheumatologic problems.

Of course the most pressing risk with Vicodin (second to overdose) is that the user will gravitate toward other opiate drugs or even transition to heroin use (happens all the time and in the most unexpected affluent ares especially).

Signs and Symptoms of Vicodin Dependency/Addiction

Vicodin users can become addicted fairly quickly once exposed to the drug, and they will start to build a tolerance. With this tolerance comes painful withdrawal if the drug is not in the user’s system.  These withdrawals will often cause drug-seeking behavior that causes problems in their daily life. They may “doctor shop” or make emergency room visits in an attempt to acquire more Vicodin.

Side effects from Vicodin abuse and addiction can change as the disease progresses.

You may notice a person addicted to Vicodin has rapidly lost weight and appears pale or sickly. They may have financial problems or trouble keeping a job. Vicodin abuse can also cause dramatic behavior changes, such as poor hygiene or a loss of motivation.   The person who uses it to get high may have wild mood swings, and anxiety attacks when they’re unable to obtain a supply of the drug. They may even seek out Vicodin on the street if it’s unavailable.

What are the Symptoms of Vicodin Withdrawal?

Vicodin addicts often feel compelled to continue using the drug because of its pain reliving effects and the euphoria that users experience under the influence. Once a user has built a tolerance, they may fear quitting because of the intense side effects that occur during withdrawal.

Vicodin withdrawal symptoms can start a few hours to a day after drug cessation. The user may experience intense cravings, sweat profusely, and feel muscle aches, bone aches and intense cramping.

Because of these withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended that users “detox” under medical supervision. A clinical team can monitor you to make sure any complications are treated quickly. They will also work to help make you as comfortable as possible.

Getting Help for Vicodin Addiction

If you’re afraid you or a loved one has a problem with Vicodin or other drugs, you’re in the right place. We’ve helped many people addicted to opiates get clean and chart a new path in life. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and you won’t travel it alone in a therapeutic program recommended by us. We’re here for you every step of the way.

Vicodin addiction is a serious medical problem that requires a skilled set of clinical professionals. If you want to know more about our recovery options, please get in touch today. The phone call is 100% confidential and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.