Our Vicodin addiction rehab program in San Antonio, TX, treats patients who are suffering from the long-term effects of Vicodin abuse. Vicodin is an opioid painkiller. Opioids produce morphine-like effects and are primarily used for pain relief, including anesthesia. Vicodin combines a narcotic pain reliever (hydrocodone) with acetaminophen, a non-opioid pain reliever available over the counter.
Physicians prescribe Vicodin to treat moderate or severe pain, which during the normal healing process after injury or surgery will go away. Although Vicodin can help pain sufferers, it can also lead to addiction. Suddenly stopping, especially after prolonged use or with higher doses, can cause unpleasant opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Vicodin Short-Term Effects
According to the web article “The Effects of Vicodin Use” on Drugabuse.com, the presence of the hydrocodone opioid leads to “effects that are similar to other opiates like morphine and heroin.” Its short-term effects occur when the substance enters the body and attaches itself to the body’s opioid receptors in the brain, the spinal cord, the gastrointestinal tract, and other organ systems.
The immediate effects are pain relief, suppression of the cough reflex, and a feeling of euphoric calm and relaxation. Those effects are present in all users—patients who have prescriptions, as well as those abusing Vicodin. Abusers tend to view prescription drugs as a safer alternative to buying heroin on the street. That perception is dangerous. Vicodin overdose can result in loss of consciousness, respiratory failure, and death.
Vicodin Addiction Problems
Using Vicodin over time builds up a tolerance. When used as a pain reliever, Vicodin users will need higher or more frequent doses to achieve the same pain relief. This tolerance can lead to increased use and addiction.
People addicted to Vicodin have resorted to falsifying or modifying doctors’ prescriptions, making fraudulent calls to their pharmacy, or seeking prescriptions from multiple physicians. There is also an illegal prescription drug source ranging from street dealers to physicians who have been arrested for trafficking in opioids.
Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Sudden Abstinence
Vicodin withdrawal symptoms mirror those associated with heroin withdrawal. They include general body pain with discomfort, restlessness, and trouble sleeping. Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and accompanying poor appetite.
An opioid detox center in San Antonio, TX, can help you get through some of these harsh effects.
Long-Term Effects of Vicodin Abuse
Addiction aside, there are also long-term effects of Vicodin use. The drug can produce a number of troubling side effects—nausea, headache, confusion, etc.—which quickly dissipate after the drug leaves the system. However, the long-term effects of Vicodin can impair the user’s overall health in a number of ways:
- The high level of acetaminophen, the non-opioid in Vicodin, is damaging to the liver. Extended Vicodin use over time can lead to irreversible scarring, liver dysfunction, and eventual liver failure.
- Vicodin also slows the respiratory reflex. This can cause respiratory infections and other serious lung problems.
- Vicodin affects the gastrointestinal function. The results can be chronic constipation, leading to other serious health conditions, including permanent damage to the intestinal tract.
- Vicodin users experience difficulty in urinating, which can lead to infections in the urinary tract. Left untreated, urinary infections can progress to the kidneys. Kidney damage can be life-threatening.
- Other side effects include hearing loss, cardiovascular damage, reproductive problems, and risks associated with pregnancy.
San Antonio Recovery Center’s Drug Rehab Program
We have addressed the long-term effects of Vicodin abuse. At San Antonio Recovery Center, our addiction treatment programs focus on your recovery, and our compassionate professionals tailor them to your specific needs.
Call us at 866.957.7885 so that you can begin your journey to recovery. Don’t let addiction control your life. Take charge now.