Do I Have a Vicodin Addiction?

in Addiction
Published May 9, 2021
vicodin addiction

Vicodin is a combination of the narcotic hydrocodone and non-narcotic pain reliever acetaminophen. It is among the opioid drug class and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Vicodin is highly addictive and requires a prescription to be obtained. Some people become dependent upon Vicodin unintentionally after being prescribed the drug to treat pain related to a major injury or surgery. Vicodin addiction can be life-threatening.

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin goes into effect by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. This drug is taken orally and should be taken exactly as prescribed. In addition to treating pain from surgery or injury, it may be prescribed to someone undergoing pain due to cancer. It is not intended to be taken over a long period of time.

What Are the Side Effects of Vicodin Addiction?

Even when used properly, Vicodin can lead to some unpleasant side effects. These could include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Dry throat
  • Rash or itching
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness


Some side effects may be more severe. They could include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Irregular breathing
  • Chest tightness


A patient should alert their doctor immediately if they experience these symptoms.

What is a Vicodin Addiction?

Some people may find it difficult to stop taking Vicodin after their prescription runs out. Tolerance and withdrawals may lead people to find Vicodin through alternative means. If their primary care physician refuses to refill their prescription, they may seek one from another doctor. Other individuals may have had no health condition, to begin with, and choose to misuse Vicodin for the euphoric-like high it gives them.

When Vicodin is misused over a long period of time, the body begins to build up a tolerance to it. When this occurs, an individual will need more and more of the drug in order to experience the same effects. Once individuals have become dependent on the drug, they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t continue taking it.

An individual questioning whether or not they are dependent upon Vicodin can ask themselves the following questions. It is essential to answer these questions as candidly as possible.

  • Have they tried to cut back on their Vicodin intake or quit altogether but struggled to?
  • Have they continued to use Vicodin even though it has impacted their performance at work or school?
  • Has their Vicodin use causes them to struggle to keep up with their day-to-day responsibilities?
  • Has their Vicodin use led to problems within their relationships?
  • Do they experience cravings or urges to use Vicodin?


How Can I Tell if a Loved One Has a Vicodin Dependency?

If someone suspects that one of their friends or loved ones may be dependent on Vicodin, there are some signs they can look out for:

  • They may experience frequent mood swings.
  • They may resort to extreme measures to obtain Vicodin.
  • The individual may show symptoms of depression or anxiety.
  • The individual may exhibit signs of withdrawal.
  • They may begin struggling financially.
  • They may frequently switch doctors in order to continue to obtain a Vicodin prescription.


Watching a loved one struggle with substance use can be heartbreaking, but there are resources that can help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a 24/7 hotline to assist individuals and family members in dealing with substance use disorders.

How Do I Seek Treatment?

If an individual finds that they are struggling with Vicodin addiction, the first step is to consult their primary care physician. Their primary care doctor will be able to offer resources and any referrals that are necessary. In some cases, a patient will need to undergo medical detox. Throughout this process, the body will restore its natural balance, and withdrawal symptoms will be monitored. Undergoing the detox process is the first step in long-lasting recovery after Vicodin dependence. Vicodin withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening; it is safest for this process to be done in a medical facility under 24/7 supervision.

At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we utilize The Gallus Method of detox, which we believe is the safest and most effective form of detox. It incorporates an individualized plan, IV therapy, and a plan for recovery after leaving our facility. Before a patient leaves our facility, we ensure they have every resource necessary to ensure that they enjoy a successful and long-lasting recovery.

Vicodin is a powerful, highly addictive drug that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It may be prescribed to a patient that has recently undergone surgery, sustained a major injury, or is going through cancer treatments. It is not intended to be used over an extended period of time. However, many people find it difficult to discontinue use after their Vicodin prescription has run out. Others intentionally misuse Vicodin in order to experience the euphoric-like high it gives them. Misusing Vicodin is highly dangerous and can lead to dependence. In some cases, medical detox will be necessary for someone struggling with Vicodin dependence. If you or someone you know is struggling with Vicodin dependence, there is help available. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we offer a wide variety of detox treatments and additional resources to help you towards your path towards recovery. If you would like to learn more about our services, call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today at (866) 296-5242.