Am I Addicted to Vicodin?
Under normal circumstances, Vicodin is helpful in certain cases of chronic pain, such as the immediate days following a major surgery. But because Vicodin is a powerful pain reliever, there is an inherent danger of becoming addicted to it. If you’ve been prescribed this medication and you’re not using it as directed by your doctor—or if you are using Vicodin that hasn’t been prescribed to you—then you may be in a position to ask yourself, “Am I addicted to Vicodin?”
Vicodin Addiction Facts
Vicodin is a brand name for a drug called hydrocodone. Vicodin and other hydrocodone drugs are considered opioids that are prescription pain relievers that help the body relax. Like opioids—including the illegal drug heroin—Vicodin blocks pain signals traveling from the brain, replacing them with a feel-good rush of dopamine. The pleasure associated with this feeling can lead to cravings for more of it in the brain. While this shouldn’t be a problem if the medication is managed by a physician and only used a short time, it can become a serious issue if the drug is misused or abused.
You won’t feel any pain while on Vicodin, but if you take an illegal prescription or don’t use the drug according to orders, it can have critical repercussions on your health. Among the possible signs of short-term issues related to Vicodin misuse:
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Breathing problems
With long-term use, you run the risk of becoming dependent on, and eventually addicted to, Vicodin. This can cause severe health complications, such as those that are considered Vicodin addiction symptoms:
- Hypoxia, when you aren’t breathing enough to get your brain the oxygen it needs
- Potential risk for brain damage
- Compulsive Vicodin consumption
- The possibility of giving birth to a drug-dependent baby if Vicodin is misused during pregnancy
- Potentially harmful interactions with other prescribed medications
- Risk of infectious disease if the Vicodin is liquefied and injected
- Higher risk of overdose, which can lead to neurological damage or death
Vicodin addiction, as with addiction to other opioids, can be debilitating to your daily life, and you may find it challenging to carry through with your responsibilities. While this can be destructive, the intense withdrawal symptoms associated with Vicodin misuse can also pose problems. Among those symptoms:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Chills and cold spells
- Pain in the muscles and bones
- Restless legs
Because these symptoms can seem overwhelming, it is important to seek out professional and knowledgeable help in treating a Vicodin addiction. If you are wondering, “Am I addicted to Vicodin?” then it would be worthwhile to take our free, confidential self-assessment. In just a few minutes, you can get the answers you need to determine if it is time to reach out and get help. If you are grappling with a Vicodin addiction, don’t let it take over your life. Call Sheer Recovery today and get the guidance you need from our trusted and experienced staff members.