Vicodin Addiction Symptoms, Signs & Side Effects
In Ohio, the opioid epidemic that has been spreading across the nation has been front and center. One of the most popular drugs that is part of this epidemic is Vicodin. This drug is a prescription opioid that combines acetaminophen with hydrocodone. If you think you might have a problem with Vicodin or you think that someone you love may have an issue, it’s smart to know about the symptoms, signs and side effects of Vicodin addiction.
Vicodin Side Effects
When a person takes Vicodin, it will impact their opioid receptors. This is how it can decrease the sensation of pain. It also is what causes the feelings of euphoria that make the drug so addictive. Like any opioid, Vicodin slows down the functionality of the central nervous system, which is what causes most of the Vicodin side effects. Some of the most common side effects that people experience with Vicodin include:
- Sense of relaxation or well-being
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleepiness or lethargy
Some people also experience more severe Vicodin side effects like confusion, altered judgment, slowed breathing, loss of consciousness, extreme drowsiness and feeling like you’re going to faint.
Side Effects of Vicodin Abuse
The side effects described above can be experienced anytime the drug is taken – whether it’s taken for legitimate purposes or not. The side effects of Vicodin use and Vicodin abuse are similar but slightly different, especially if Vicodin is taken in the long-term.
In the long term, one of the most dangerous side effects of Vicodin abuse is addiction. Vicodin actually changes the neural pathways of the brain, which is what fuels the chronic disease of addiction.
Vicodin Addiction Signs
If you suspect someone you love has an issue with the drug, it’s good to know about the Vicodin addiction signs. It’s also good to know the common signs of addiction if you feel you may have a problem. Here are some of the things you may want to be on the lookout for:
- If a person is using Vicodin without a prescription, it’s likely they may have a Vicodin addiction. This is also true if they have a prescription but are taking the drug in ways other than prescribed by their doctor.
- If someone is addicted to Vicodin, that means they have developed a physical dependence on the drug, which means they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop the medication.
- If you are crushing up Vicodin and snorting it or injecting it, you may have a problem with Vicodin addiction.
- You may notices changes in a person’s behavior when they are addicted to Vicodin. They may begin stealing, lying or trying to hide their Vicodin use.
- There may be financial troubles, poor school or work performances and/or problems in relationships.
- When someone is addicted to Vicodin, they may try to stop using it unsuccessfully.
- When a person is addicted to Vicodin, they may try pharmacy shopping or doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions.
If a doctor starts a patient on Vicodin, they will usually begin them at a low dose and then gradually increase it as necessary. This can alleviate many of the Vicodin symptoms, but there may still be some symptoms associated with Vicodin. These symptoms are likely to be more prominent when someone uses Vicodin recreationally.
When Vicodin is taken in the long-term, it can cause changes in mood, irritability, anxiety, stress and changes in mood. People who are using Vicodin regularly can also tend to have sleep disturbances and memory problems.
If you or someone you love is suffering from Vicodin addiction, it’s imperative that you seek out addiction treatment in a facility like The Recovery Village Columbus. We offer inpatient and outpatient programs to help you on your path to long-term recovery.
- Medlineplus.gov. “Hydrocodone.” National Institutes of Health, January 15, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021.
- Medlineplus.gov. “Hydrocodone Combination Products.” National Institutes of Health, January 15, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021.
- NIH News in Health. “Biology of Addiction.” National Institutes of Health, October 2015. Accessed May 3, 2021.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Know the Signs and Get Help for Opioid Addiction.” December 21, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village Columbus aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.