What is Vicodin?

Vicodin combines hydrocodone and paracetamol to create a prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. This drug combination is available under many other brand names, including Lorcet and Norco, as well as generic forms.

Vicodin Abuse on the Rise

Prescription drug addiction, and Vicodin addiction in particular, is on the rise in the U.S. Abuse of Vicodin has quadrupled in the past decade, while emergency room visits caused by Vicodin abuse have increased 500 percent.

Vicodin is a Schedule III drug, which means it has been classified by the U.S. government as having the potential to cause moderate or low physical dependence, or a high psychological dependence if misused. Those who abuse Vicodin may forge prescriptions, steal, buy drugs from illegal online pharmacies, and visit multiple doctors to get more drugs. The street value for Vicodin ranges from $2 to $10 per pill, making it a drug of widespread abuse.

Experts estimate that Vicodin addiction can develop in just one to four weeks of use. Like other prescription painkillers, Vicodin is abused by people from every age group, class, ethnicity and background. Vicodin addiction affects teens, elderly, movie stars, athletes and professionals, many of whom began using the drug legally for the treatment of pain.

Treating Vicodin Addiction

Like heroin and morphine, Vicodin produces a calm, euphoric state. While it serves the valid purpose of relieving pain, it also carries a high risk for Vicodin addiction. A Vicodin high is reportedly similar in strength to the effects of morphine.

Even though Vicodin takes away pain, it brings a new set of problems into the user’s life. Telltale signs of Vicodin addiction include tolerance, withdrawal and drug cravings, which impact the user’s career, finances, relationships and self-esteem. Over time, damage to the reward centers of the brain makes it difficult for the user to feel pleasure of any kind.

A common obstacle to Vicodin rehab is denial. Many users believe that because the drug can be prescribed by a doctor for legitimate purposes, it can’t be dangerous. In reality, Vicodin addiction requires professional treatment, often in the form of residential Vicodin rehab.

Individuals receiving treatment for Vicodin addiction can expect to begin with Vicodin detox (sometimes assisted by medications like methadone and Suboxone). Individual and group counseling, combined with 12-Step support groups and family therapy, have proven effective in helping patients beat Vicodin addiction.