Vicodin is the most commonly prescribed brand name of the opiate pain reliever hydrocodone, mixed with acetaminophen. It’s strong pain relieving effects have been a favorite for recreational drug abuse since the mid 1980s, however it’s also responsible for some pretty damaging long term effects.
So How Does Vicodin Affect Your Body Long Term?
One of the more serious of these long term effects on the body from Vicodin abuse is liver damage. This is caused by the over-use of the acetaminophen which erodes the lining of the liver. This liver damage can lead to various liver diseases including cancer, especially when the drug is abused in high doses. When the pain-reliever is combined with heavy alcohol abuse, the liver really takes a beating and wears down quickly.
Vicodin targets the pleasure centers in the brain where it produces a euphoric feeling in the body, one of the reasons it can override feelings of pain. However abuse of Vicodin can cause long term damage to this area of the brain which leads to persistent occurrences of anxiety, depression, psychosis, paranoia, and mood swings. People feel anxious and irritable, and in some extreme cases experience vivid hallucinations.
Clearly it’s no picnic if Vicodin becomes a serious problem in a person’s life. Aside from the physiological damage to the brain and liver, the typical side effects of addiction are always a factor. These include the erosion of relationships, financial instability, career upsets, and an inability to perform in school or on the job.
Over time a person will develop a tolerance to Vicodin and require larger and larger doses for the same pleasure-stimulating effects. Addiction to opiate-based painkillers can be one of the most difficult dependencies to break and often requires the intervention of professional medical treatment.
If you or a loved one is trapped in an addiction to Vicodin or other painkillers, contact one of our intake specialists for advice on what The Last Resort can do for you.