Is Vicodin addictive?

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Vicodin, a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, can be a highly addictive substance.

Physicians prescribe Vicodin to help patients manage pain, but like most opiate-based painkillers, it is easy to misuse and abuse.

Effects

Taking Vicodin often produces a strong sense of euphoria and well-being, inducing relaxation and decreasing any physical pain. Vicodin can also help to ease feelings of anxiety, which makes it particularly appealing for people who find it difficult to manage stress in healthy ways.

Abuse

Addiction to Vicodin happens when, over time, the user needs to take more of the drug in order to achieve the same euphoric feelings because he or she has developed a tolerance to it. Many people who abuse Vicodin will end up taking anywhere from 10 to 30 pills a day – sometimes more.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Vicodin abuse can vary, but you may notice a person looking drowsy, sedated or "fuzzy." The user will tend to have a preoccupation with getting and using the drug and may also suffer from severe mood swings, nausea, vomiting or inability to focus. A user might also try to engage in "doctor shopping," where he or she tries to garner prescriptions for Vicodin from more than one physician.

Overdose

Taking too much Vicodin can cause itching, swelling, dizziness, weakness, vomiting or upset stomach. If taken for an extended period of time, it might also create health complications like liver damage or urinary tract issues.

Treatment

Treating Vicodin addiction is like treating most other addictions: It starts with getting professional help or attending a 12-step meeting for drug abusers. Inpatient programs may be required for users with more serious addictions, while outpatient programs may suffice for some. It is recommended to have a supervised detoxification period when withdrawing from Vicodin use, as you may experience unpleasant symptoms.

Source: drugabuse.org

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