Real life hearing authority Dr. John House has called out fictional Dr. Gregory House ( The TV series main character) on the serious effects of Vicodin on vital organs.
He has shown a very real concern about a message and theme used to run through the TV series’ episodes. And it was not his poor bedside manner nor his mistreatment of residents. It was his addiction to Vicodin (acetaminophen/ hydrocodone).
At the House Clinic, Dr. John House and his colleagues have reported a significant number of patients who have become addicted to Vicodin and have gone completely deaf. They have been taking 13 to 76 tablets per day and in a short period of time have developed a rapidly progressive hearing loss, leading to permanent total deafness.
New research by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that people are receptive to health information from prime-time T.V. shows. Almost 46 percent of the audience surveyed remembered the key medical information 45 days later.
So what is the weekly message to the millions of viewers of “House, M.D.” on the safety of an addiction to Vicodin?
In watching Dr. House on TV, one gets the impression that his addiction has no consequences other than affecting his medical judgment. The show ended in 2012, but the reruns are still quite popular. I know “House, M.D.” is a drama, but the real-life tragedies surrounding an addiction to Vicodin can be terrible.
It is bad enough that the show depicted a doctor treating patients while addicted to a serious narcotic, but Vicodin is ototoxic, which means, when abused, it can cause absolute and irreversible hearing loss.
Vicodin and other hydrocodone/acetaminophen prescription painkillers affect people differently. One person may take Vicodin for years and not suffer any hearing loss. Another person may take large doses for only 5 months and suffer acute hearing loss.
The real Doctor House has told the story of a patient called Shannon who was prescribed Vicodin for a back injury. She was taking 39 to 50 pills daily. While it may have temporarily taken away the pain in her back, it permanently killed the sensory neural hair cells in her inner ear, leaving her completely deaf.
Another serious physiologic effect is that acetaminophen is toxic to the liver. A heavy hydrocodone-addiction problem does irreparable damage to the liver.
In addition to this, addiction to Vicodin will tarnish his personal integrity, mental health and personal relationships. The threat of overdose will lurk around.
Reality TV does not reflect the massive problem and reality of addiction that hurts families and society. At La Jolla Recovery we want to meet you where you’re at to make sure the window of opportunity is embraced and help can be taken. Learn more about our unique programs such as mental health attention, pet rehab and medication assisted treatment optional among other innovative evidence based therapies.