Like all substance addiction problems, Vicodin addictions are difficult, if not impossible, to overcome without outside assistance. Vicodin is an opiate painkiller. Opiates work wonders in alleviating pain, but they also interact with your brain’s dopamine neurotransmitter reward system. After a short time, opiates change a person’s brain chemistry to create powerful urges and cravings for more of the drug. That person may have every intention of stopping all Vicodin use, but those cravings, coupled with physical withdrawal symptoms, will inevitably keep a person trapped in opiate addiction. When that happens, help will always be available. A Vicodin addict needs to ask for that help, or someone close to him has to convince him to get that help.
Getting Help for Vicodin Addiction
Treatment centers and addiction counselors will generally outline the three recovery phases that Vicodin addicts will go through. The first phase is a detox period in which the physical withdrawal will need to play out. This phase typically lasts for one or two weeks, and it is best managed with inpatient recovery therapy to monitor a Vicodin addict’s physical health when withdrawal symptoms are causing great distress. If a person has a more severe Vicodin addiction, his physician may recommend pharmaceutical treatments, including methadone or naloxone, to help the transition away from Vicodin addiction.
The second physical stabilization phase follows the detox. In this phase, a Vicodin addict’s metabolism and physical health will slowly readjust to life without opiates. Normal sleep cycles and nutrition patterns will resume. This phase is also typically managed in an inpatient recovery center, where a recovering Vicodin addict will undergo behavioral therapy that will give him more tools to survive on his own and to stay sober. The third and final phase will continue to address a Vicodin addict’s psychological connection to the drug.
Resources for Addiction Treatment
A person who suspects that he has a Vicodin addiction can easily find both public and private resources to direct him into a detox and recovery program. Unfortunately, denial is as common a symptom of Vicodin addiction as is thinking that you can overcome that addiction without help. Families and friends frequently recognize Vicodin addiction problems before the addict recognizes and acknowledges those problems himself. Family members who are aware that someone in their family is using Vicodin should watch for personality changes and mood swings in a Vicodin addict. They should also make note of decreasing levels of motivation and poor concentration and coordination. When these symptoms start to become apparent, the best thing that a family can do is to get the Vicodin addict into treatment. If his connection to Vicodin is a psychological dependence and not a full physical addiction, that treatment will be easier and more effective.
Prescription Vicodin and other prescription opiate painkillers are creating a new generation of addicts. Opiate addiction is not limited to any one social class or ethnic group. It cuts across all societal and geographic boundaries and it touches all levels of business and employment. The available treatment options are increasing, and a Vicodin addict who is motivated, either directly or by his family and friends, to find and enroll in a treatment program will be able to find one that suits his needs.
The Last Resort Recovery Center, available at 512-360-3600, offers Vicodin addiction treatment for men. If we are not the best fit, we can help you find a program that will work for you. Please call us while there’s still time.