Vicodin Rehabilitation in San Diego

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What is Vicodin and how do you treat its addiction?

The treatment of acute and chronic pain is a difficult challenge. The benefits of a substance or compound are equally balanced with proportionate risks. The better a drug is at doing a specific thing, the greater the likelihood of intolerant short term effects and/or damaging long term effects.

Vicodin is a pain reliever composed of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. There are, several different formulations that contain hydrocodone, used for pain relief, but also for cough suppression. 

Vicodin and other very similar formulations (Anexsia, Lortab, Lorcet,, Norco) are the most frequently prescribed forms.

This prescription medication is quite efficient at relieving the perception of pain. Perception is key as the body’s chemical pain messengers are still being produced. As a result, with Vicodin addiction, not only does tolerance develop, but rebound (post pharmaceutical pain that becomes greater than the previous one) complicates the progressive lack of response to increased dosing. To learn more about La Jolla Recovery‘s process in attending substance use disorder, read more about us.

How does Vicodin Addiction Begin?

For some people, it all begins by taking the drug as prescribed. As the tolerance builds, a person must go back to the doctor and tell them that the dosage is not handling whatever pain they are having. The doctor may increase the dosage for a while, but a doctor who is not well educated or experienced in pain management may cut the person off without addressing the fact that they are now addicted.

How Do You Know You Are Addicted To Vicodin

Suddenly, a person who never abused the drug is hit with the fact of needing Vicodin to prevent withdrawal symptoms and no prescription in hand. Thus, she or he may start committing prescription fraud or stealing the drug from acquaintances.

A person who becomes addicted to hydrocodone will have to pass through opiate withdrawal symptoms to get to sobriety. Deep muscle and bone pain, muscle spasms and restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea and insomnia are among the most common ones.

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I need help for Vicodin. Where do I start?

Obtaining Vicodin normally involves doctor-shopping (going from doctor to doctor, accumulating enough prescriptions to permit abuse), altered or fraudulent prescriptions, and theft. Any of these methods of obtaining this addictive drug are illegal and may result in arrest and incarceration.

In other cases, a person starts using it as prescribed but they find they like (and feel like they need) the high. They may begin to abuse the drug by using more than prescribed or they may snort or even inject it.

The other possibility is that the person always used the drug recreationally and then became addicted. He or she must chase that drug every day, making sure there is enough to keep withdrawal sickness away and to enable them to feel normal, to function in daily life.

Unfortunately, a great deal of damage – if not death – is far more likely than an addict seeking treatment on their own. With Vicodin, as with other drugs, intervention is sometimes the only way to get an addict into treatment. Benzodiazepines are other common prescribed medications that begin being used as pain relievers or recreation before growing into full substance use disorders.

Detox or Rehab for Vicodin?

Inpatient or Outpatient Vicodin addiction treatments

There are several options for you when you decide to begin treatment for your Vicodin problems. The first decision you will have to make is whether you should enter an outpatient or inpatient rehab program. If your addiction is acute, an inpatient basis might be the most effective path. The best candidates for outpatient therapy are those who have a strong support network at home, consisting close friends and relatives.

Whether you choose an inpatient or outpatient program, you may opt to go through the process of detox and withdrawal on a residential basis, where La Jolla Recovery’s licensed medical staff and therapies help you or your loved one get through the process minimizing the pain.

Statistics of Vicodin Addiction in the USA

Examining Vicodin Abuse

  • Hydrocodone was the most frequently prescribed opiate , with almost 140 million prescriptions filled during 2010.
  • Of all of the prescriptions containing hydrocodone, the most frequently prescribed are those that combine it with acetaminophen under the brand names of Vicodin or Lortab.
  • The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that almost 25 million people aged 12 and older used hydrocodone recreationally.
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Vicodin Use in Youth

Access to Vicodin as a Way To Experimentation

For many teens, it is easier to steal Vicodin from their parents’ bedrooms than it is to get alcoholic drinks. According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future survey, roughly 10% of all tenth and twelfth graders had used Vicodin for recreation

Hearing Loss, Liver Damage and Vicodin abuse

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.

Get Rehab for Vicodin

Let us at La Jolla Recovery answer any information you have on vicodin abuse with confidentiality and anonymity.

What matters most at La Jolla Recovery is that you or your partner/relative/son/daughter finds an effective path that leads to sobriety once Vicodin use becomes a disorder.