Vicodin Abuse And Withdrawal Symptoms
Vicodin is a drug which is prescribed for the treatment of various conditions. It is a narcotic which can produce various effects in the body when taken in high doses, for a long period of time or when taken at the same time with other drugs. When taken together with certain other drugs, the effects of Vicodin may be decreased, altered or increased.
Consult your doctor before taking Vicodin if you are taking:
• Librium or Valium
• Tofranil, Elavil or other Tricyclic Antidepressants
• Tavist or other Antihistamines
• Parnate, Nardil or other MAO inhibitors
• Haldol, Thorazine or other Major tranquilizers
• Demerol and other narcotic analgesics
• Restoril, Halcion or other depressants of the central nervous system
Generally all medications have undesirable and damaging effects in the body when taken in excessive quantities. Heavy usage or overdose of Vicodin can be dangerous or even fatal. After prolonged usage, the body develops tolerance the effects and one may be required to take higher doses in order to feel the same effects. It is recommended that, in case of an overdose of Vicodin you should seek immediate medical attention. A person who has used Vicodin over a period of time will show and experience serious withdrawal symptoms if he or she does not take the drug all of the sudden.
Continuous and repeated administration of Vicodin for long period of time causes physical dependence, psychological dependence and tolerance. Psychological dependence is highly unlikely to develop when Vicodin is not used for long.
Addiction to Vicodin develops when one continues taking it past where is necessary or prescribed, in in order to either get the euphoric sensation or in an attempt to avoid physical withdrawals which have been noticed when there is less of the drug in their system. Addiction to Vicodin may develop within two weeks to two months of continuous use of this narcotic.
Tolerance to Vicodin develops when the body becomes used to the effects of the drug. In this case the person will be required to take increased dosages so as to experience the normal analgesia. In other words, the patient will be required to nearly overdose so as to experience the same level of analgesia which should be experienced from a normal dosage. Depending on the strength of the body and other factors, the rate of tolerance varies from one individual to another.
Vicodin has analgesic properties which are similar to oral morphine but is more powerful. In most cases, this drug is taken and administered orally instead of intravenously. If the drug is taken as required and according to the advice of one’s doctor or other medical professional, physical dependence will more often than not be averted.
According to the US Food and Drug administration, addiction is mainly shown by compulsion for use for non-medical purposes and continuous use without any tangible negative side effects.
If a person who had been taking Vicodin over an extended time abruptly stops taking it, withdrawal symptoms begin within 6 and 12 hours. The withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe depending on the level of addiction. The symptoms will climax within a period of 24 and 72 hours and they will begin gradually declining and will eventually disappear within a period of one to two weeks.
Symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal
They include but are not limited to:
• runny nose
• involuntary leg movements
• cold flashes
• bone pain
• muscle pain
• goose bumps
• watery eyes
• loss of appetite
More Facts On Vicodin Abuse
Vicodin is a prescription drug which is mainly composed of two active pain relievers namely acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Acetaminophen is mostly sold under the brand name Tylenol. Hydrocodone is simply codeine in synthetic form. Vicodin is mostly prescribed to different patients suffering from various medical conditions.
This pain killer has effects like those of opium which is used in the manufacturing of heroine. Vicodin has the effects of a narcotic in the blood and is widely abused in the US and in many other countries. The main culprit for abuse is that it is readily available in pharmacies and is very accessible financially in contrast to other narcotics that may be abused. Because of its effects on the body, most pharmacists only administer it to individuals with a medical prescription from a doctor.
Those who have found themselves in the grips of addiction to Vicodin have been known to forge a doctor’s prescription. Because of its great negative impacts on the physical and emotional health of a person, you should seek adequate information from a qualified medical practitioner before you start taking this medication. If there is an alternative medication, it should be prescribed first. In essence, vicodin should only be prescribed where other medications have either failed to work or have not produced the desired results.
If you experience out of the ordinary symptoms such as: insomnia, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, physical lethargy or any other symptom when taking this medication, then you are most probably suffering from its addiction. In most cases, vicodin is recommended for the first time by a doctor to a patient for the purpose of relief of serious pain. This drug is very effective because it is rapidly absorbed by the intestinal tract and stomach after oral administration. It then brings quick relief from pain.
After continuous intake of this drug for more than two weeks, addiction symptoms may begin creeping in. Vicodin will eventually hinder the normal chemistry of your brain and prevent it from producing endorphins. From there, you will be forced to take increasing dosages of the drug so as to feel the same effects. Taking higher dosages in order to get the same effect from any medication is referred to as drug tolerance which may lead to dependency, a very serious condition with this sort of drug. It can get as severe in some cases where to stop taking the drug could end up lethal, so extreme caution must be exercised.
With time, the normal vicodin dosage may not be able to produce the desired effects and the user will now turn to taking stronger dosages in order to feel the same effects. Abuse of vicodin is in most cases involuntary; most people do it as a result of addiction below their level of awareness in most cases, or out of a fear of the withdrawal symptoms they have started to notice upon awakening or when there are temporarily lower levels of Vicodin in their body.
If an addicted person stops taking the Vicodin suddenly, then withdrawal symptoms will be experienced. The symptoms of withdrawal are as serious as the effect of the initial disease or condition in which the medication was taken in the first place. To avoid these complications, Vicodin addicted persons should be accorded professional medical assistance and treatment immediately once even a hint of an addiction may be detected. Rehabilitation involves detoxification as well as treatment for the pain using alternative safe medications.
Vicodin is a tablet which is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The hydrocodone is one of the well known narcotic pain relievers. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever which is less potent and it has been proven to increase the hydrocodone effects in the body. Generic names of vicodin are hydrocodone or acetaminophen. The brand names of Vicodin are as follows: Anexsia, Zolvit, Liquicet, Lortab, Norco, Stagesic, Xodol, Dolorex, ForteCo-Gesic, Hycet, Lorcet, Maxidone, Polygesic, Zydone, Zamicet and Vicodi.
Vicodin is prescribed for the relief of moderate or severe pain. It may also be prescribed or used for others purposes apart from the relief of pain. As a narcotic, Vicodin is highly demanded and abused. To abuse a substance means that the drug is being used for other purposes other than which it is prescribed and meant for, often for recreational purposes. A distinction should be made here between the abuse of Vicodin and just physical dependence on the drug. Physical dependence results after long term usage.
Withdrawal symptoms are in most cases a sign of abuse of drugs but in the case of physical dependence in Vicodin, that is not necessarily the case because the use of the drug could have been legitimate for that extended duration. Abuse as stated earlier is the taking of a drug or other substance for non-medical and often recreational purposes, and oftentimes as a form of maintenance for when physical dependence has at some level been detected within the body, to achieve what feels to the user as a state of normalcy in comparison to when there is less Vicodin within their system.
Once the body becomes used to the effects of Vicodin it will develop a tolerance. Then the person will be tempted to take more so as to feel the effects. Taking the normal dosage will not produce any effects. This is still not a sign of Vicodin abuse per say because it is physical response of the body which is to be expected after a certain duration. Persons who have used or abused narcotics for a long time may take dangerously high levels of Vicodin, where were this level administered to another person with no tolerance, it could result in death. Even if a person is tolerant to the effects of vicodin or other narcotics, he or she should not ever exceed the recommended safe dosages. In addition to this, one component of Vicodin, acetaminophen, can cause failure of the liver or even death when taken in excessive doses also.
While most doctors believe any person who takes vicodin continuously or frequently for a long period will become addicted, some other medical professionals hold a different view; they believe that some individuals who are inclined towards the abuse of drugs or alcohol are the ones who are likely to suffer from the abuse of Vicodin.
The difficulty lies in predicting who is at risk and those who are not at risk of developing complications with the use of Vicodin. Doctors believe that persons from a family which has a history of abusing drugs and alcohol are at a higher risk. Individuals with any sort of mental impairment are also at higher risk of Vicodin abuse because the drug can worsen the mental illness symptoms. In all cases Vicodin abuse is a health hazard. Any individual who finds they are, or even may be addicted should seek professional drug rehabilitation services immediately.
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