Any addiction is a serious problem including one where a person is addicted to Vicodin. When the problem occurs with a teenager, it’s best to seek help from one of the teenage drug treatment centers in the region. These places are specifically designed to deal with substance abuse in adolescents.
Vicodin is a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. The acetaminophen, which is better known by its brand name Tylenol, heightens the effects of the hydrocodone without being a narcotic pain reliever itself. Vicodin is classified as an opioid and is used for moderate to severe pain.
Although it is successful at treating pain, it has the potential to cause a euphoric effect. This is because it works by binding to the opiate receptors in the brain, which are responsible for how people perceive pain. Vicodin lessens how one feels about the pain and the overall perception of it. It’s not truly an opiate since this classification of drug entails ingredients that naturally have an opioid effect, and Vicodin is only a synthetic, opium-derived substance. It depresses the central nervous system (CNS), which slows down activity in the brain, and this decrease may affect other aspects of the body as well. In addition to relieving pain, it has other effects such as sedation, euphoria and respiratory depression. A person may feel confused or have unusual thoughts or behaviors. In some cases, a person may experience unwanted side effects of the drug such as lightheadedness, nausea, anxiety, drowsiness, constipation, anxiety, upset stomach, headache, ringing in the ears, dry mouth, difficulty urinating and blurred vision.
In some cases, a person may experience serious side effects such as shallow breathing or bradycardia, also known as a slow heart rate. Sometimes, a person may faint or have a seizure. Fever, stomach pain and jaundice may occur as well.
Generally, a person will be prescribed one to two capsules or tablets every four to six hours, as an as needed prescription. It comes in three different strengths. One of which is 5 mg of hydrocodone with 300 mg, which a person can take one to two tablets of every four to six hours. Another is Vicodin ES, which is 7.5 mg of hydrocodone with 300 mg of acetaminophen. The other form is Vicodin HP, which is 10 mg of hydrocodone with 300 mg of acetaminophen. Only one tablet of Vicodin ES and Vicodin HP can be taken every four to six hours as a safety precaution since it’s easy to overdose on this medication. The amount taken by teenagers is usually less because of its potential to be abused and because it will have a stronger effect on them.
The hydrocodone in this drug can cause a fatal overdose. It may also cause symptoms like pinpoint pupils, low blood pressure, cold and clammy skin, fainting, a weak pulse, coma, a slow heartbeat, blue lips, shallow breathing or extreme drowsiness. Although the hydrocodone isn’t safe in large quantities, neither is the acetaminophen. It may cause liver failure in large doses. At first, it may lead to a loss of appetite, vomiting, stomach pain, confusion, sweating or nausea. Later, it may lead to dark urine and yellowing of the skin and eyes because it leads to liver problems.
Vicodin should never be combined with other opiates. Mixing it with alcohol also has dangerous effects since this can increase sedation and cause confusion. It shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women, especially for prolonged periods of time because the unborn baby can become addicted to the substance. It’s secreted via breast milk; therefore, a nursing mother shouldn’t use this medication.
It can be addictive even when taken at the prescribed amount for the amount of time a physician says it’s safe to take. In as little as two to three weeks, a person can start to develop a tolerance, and the addiction begins. Unfortunately, it’s one of the more abused prescription drugs in America. Overdoses are common with it. In fact, in seventeen states, Vicodin overdose deaths exceed the number of automobile accident deaths. Despite its dangers, doctors are still prescribing it. In fact, statistics indicate that there are more than 130 million prescriptions given out for Vicodin each year. In addition to it being prescribed, many people don’t have a prescription for it and obtain it illegally. This can lead to addiction even quicker since people aren’t generally taking the recommended dosage within the recommended time frame.
Vicodin is generally just swallowed, but people also crush it and snort or inject it. This can make a person get addicted quicker and cause the symptoms of withdrawal to be even greater.
Early signs of Vicodin withdrawal include a runny nose, yawning, anxiety and agitation. It’s not uncommon for a person to have difficulty sleeping and experience sweating spells and muscle aches. More serious signs of withdrawal include cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
If you believe your teen has an addiction to Vicodin, contact our facility today and we will stand by him or her in his or her time of need to help the teen take control of the addiction. We help teens ease off the drug, hold their hands through the withdrawal symptoms and assist them in finding ways to live without the drug at our teenage drug and alcohol abuse rehab facility. Our drug rehab centers help teens detox from drugs without experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms. This leads to more of a success rate. Plus, we’ll make sure teens have all the tools they need to cope with their problems outside of the facility post rehab.