Q) What is Vicodin?
A) Vicodin is one of the most commonly abused prescription pain medications today. One of the most widely prescribed medications, Vicodin and its related medications, loricet, loritab percodan, and oxycontin are opioid-based pain medications. Vicodin is a derivative of opium, which also used to manufacture heroin. Vicodin successfully diminishes pain, but it is highly addictive and withdrawal symptoms of Vicodin addiction are very similar to the pain it was relieving.
Q) How is Vicodin used?
A) Vicodin when abused can be taken: orally in pill form, chewed, or crushed (then snorted like cocaine).
Q) What are the effects of Vicodin?
A) Over months of Vicodin use the Vicodin effects will become greater and more damaging. At first the user will endure such effects as constipation, speeding up or the slowing down of the heart rate, nausea, and dizziness. As the use grows the Vicodin effects will come in the form of blurred vision, hallucinations, and sever confusion.
- respiratory depression
Q) What are the symptoms of withdrawal?
- muscle pain
- bone pain
- cold flashes
- goose bumps
- involuntary leg movements
- watery eyes
- runny nose
- loss of appetite
Q) What prescription drugs does Vicodin interact with?
- Sedatives: Halcion, Restoril
- Tranquilizers: Thorazine, Haldol
- Antidepressants: Elavil, Nardil, Tofranol
- Carbamazepine: Tegretol
- Other analgesics: Demerol
- Antihistamine: Tavist
- Anti-anxiety: Valium, Librium
- Anti-spasmodic: Cogentin
Q) What is Vicodin addiction?
A) Many people taking Vicodin longer than medically necessary keep using it thinking that if they were to stop taking Vicodin, their pain would return. In reality, the fear of Vicodin withdrawal can be a strong motivating factor in the continuing use of Vicodin, and more importantly, the feeling that more Vicodin is needed to combat the same pain. Over a period of time more and more Vicodin is needed to have the same pain relieving effects and to ward off Vicodin withdrawal symptoms. Many people end up taking more and more Vicodin or changing medications and switching to a strong medication such as oxycontin or loritab and taking more and more of these, due to the highly addictive qualities of these medications.
Prescription fraud is a crime that is committed by people who have become addicted to Vicodin and then have their supply cut off without being referred to treatment. The Vicodin addict rationalizes this behavior, which includes fabricating or exaggerating pain symptoms in order to illicit sympathy, seeking Vicodin from many doctors at the same time, and using fraudulent prescriptions, often created by altering the quantity of number of refills.
Most people who obtain Vicodin by committing prescription medication fraud are good citizens who wouldn’t commit any other crime. They are motivated to do this by the physical symptoms of their Vicodin addiction, which may remain unrecognized by physicians. They are feeling desperate and can see no way out other than the downward spiral of Vicodin addiction. Many Vicodin addicts exaggerate or fabricate symptoms to a doctor hoping to convince them to prescribe more or stronger drugs than are necessary. Upon recognizing this, the doctor may refuse to prescribe any more medication. The Vicodin addict at this point may do one of several things. He may see one or many other physicians simultaneously to obtain Vicodin. This is called physician hopping. Finding prescriptions for Vicodin written by more than one physician is evidence of this.
Often times, Vicodin addiction goes unrecognized by all, including the Vicodin addict until an abrupt change occurs. This change can come in the form of arrest and incarceration of the Vicodin addict for prescription fraud. When this happens, Vicodin user cannot obtain Vicodin and goes into Vicodin withdrawal.
Q) How often is Vicodin abused?
A) It is estimated that in 1999, 4 million people were currently using prescription drugs non-medically. Of these, 2.6 million misused pain relievers the most common of which is Vicodin.
Almost all addicts tell themselves in the beginning that they can conquer their addiction on their own without the help of outside resources. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. When an addict makes an attempt at detoxification and to discontinue drug use without the aid of professional help, statistically the results do not last long. Research into the effects of long-term addiction has shown that substantial changes in the way the brain functions are present long after the addict has stopped using drugs. Realizing that a drug addict who wishes to recover from their addiction needs more than just strong will power is the key to a successful recovery. Battling not only cravings for their drug of choice, re-stimulation of their past and changes in the way their brain functions, it is no wonder that quitting drugs without professional help is an uphill battle.
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