Vicodin is a prescription drug that combines acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an opioid pain reliever, and acetaminophen is a pain reliever available over the counter in brand-name medications like Tylenol. Among pain medications, hydrocodone is one of the most prescribed and misused.

Understanding Vicodin Addiction

Vicodin is part of the opioid class of drugs. Other opioids include heroin, fentanyl and other prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, morphine and others. Opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors found on nerve cells in the brain and body. In addition to pain relief, Vicodin and other opioids produce euphoria and can activate areas of the brain that play a role in pleasure and reward. Activating the brain’s reward pathways can contribute to the compulsive, out-of-control use of opioids.

Signs of Vicodin Addiction

Vicodin addiction is a substance use disorder characterized by solid cravings to keep using Vicodin, regardless of the consequences. 

Physical signs of Vicodin misuse or addiction can include:

  • Changes in appearance
  • Decreased breathing rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Loss or increase in appetite
  • Small pupils
  • Hiding arms or wearing clothing that covers all of the body, even when the weather doesn’t call for it

Behavioral signs of Vicodin addiction can include:

  • Changes in personality or attitude
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Declining performance at school or work
  • Moodiness, irritability, or nervousness
  • Secretive behavior

Some of the symptoms used to diagnose Vicodin addiction include:

  • Opioids like Vicodin are taken for longer than intended or in larger amounts
  • Unsuccessful or persistent efforts to control Vicodin use
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using or recovering from the effects of Vicodin
  • Cravings, which are a strong desire to use Vicodin or other opioids
  • Continuing to use Vicodin, despite related relationship or social issues
  • Giving up an important job or social or recreational activities
  • Using opioids when it’s dangerous
  • Continuing to use Vicodin even when known physical or psychological problems stem from its use
  • Developing a tolerance and needing higher amounts of Vicodin to achieve the desired effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms when cutting back or stopping Vicodin

Long-term Effects of Vicodin Abuse

Along with potential addiction and physical dependence, long-term effects of Vicodin abuse can include:

  • Decreased levels of testosterone in men and hormonal deficiency
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduced immune function and higher risk of infections
  • Risk of lung dysfunction
  • Potential heart-related complications
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Risk of unintentional overdose and accidental death

Treatment for Vicodin Addiction in Atlanta

While Vicodin addiction is complex and can be life-threatening if untreated, treatment options are available. At The Recovery Village Atlanta, we offer an evidence-based continuum of care personalized to each person. We also treat co-occurring mental health disorders.

Patients often begin their treatment and recovery journey in medical detox at The Recovery Village Atlanta. Under medical supervision, patients go through Vicodin withdrawal and withdrawal from any other substances they may be dependent on. Our medical team helps keep the person safe and can reduce complications and uncomfortable side effects.

Residential rehab at The Recovery Village Atlanta includes staying onsite at our facility for intensive treatment. Residential rehab includes around-the-clock medical support and a combination of individual, group and recreational therapies.

Aftercare planning begins as soon as patients start their treatment program at The Recovery Village Atlanta. Aftercare planning includes relapse prevention, discharge instructions, follow-up appointments and referrals to local resources like 12-step programs.

Our Philosophy

At The Recovery Village Atlanta, we understand that addiction is a chronic disease and mental health disorder. Each patient receives holistic treatment, addressing addiction’s mental, physical and emotional symptoms. Our treatment approach examines the root causes of addiction for a full healing experience. 

Our Facility

The Recovery Village Atlanta is in historic Roswell, an Atlanta suburb conveniently located just 25 miles north of downtown Atlanta. Our treatment is compassionate and evidence-based. Along with a continuum of care, we offer a range of amenities that promote building healthy habits to last a lifetime. Amenities include a fitness facility, sports courts, yoga, entertainment lounges and walking trails. 

Our board-certified medical director leads our facility, and our team of experts includes licensed physicians, mental health counselors, behavioral health professionals, registered nurses and social workers.

Let Us Help You Today

We’re here and available to answer questions about treatment or help you take the next step. Contact us today.

The Recovery Village - Atlanta
By – The Recovery Village Atlanta
The Recovery Village Atlanta builds tailored treatment plans with an understanding that addiction is a mental health disorder and a chronic disease. Read more
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Editor – Theresa Valenzky
Theresa Valenzky graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in News/Mass Media Communication and a certificate in psychology. She is passionate about providing genuine information to encourage and guide healing in all aspects of life. Read more
Danielle-Boland
Medically Reviewed By – Danielle Boland
Danielle is licensed clinical social worker, currently living and practicing in central Connecticut. Read more
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NIH National Library of Medicine. “Hydrocodone.”>Hydrocodone.” MedlinePlus, January 15, 2021. Accessed October 3, 2022.

NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Opioids”>Opioids.” Accessed October 3, 2022.

Habibi, Manuchehr and Peggy, Kim Y. “Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen”>.” NIH National Library of Medicine, May 2, 022. Accessed October 3, 2022.

Kosten, Thomas R. MD and George, Tony P MD. “The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence: I[…]or Treatment.” Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, July 2002. Accessed October 3, 2022.

NIH National Library of Medicine. “Opioid addiction”>.” MedlinePlus, November 1, 2017. Accessed October 3, 2022.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Module 5: Assessing and Addressing Opioi[…]sorder (OUD).” Accessed October 3, 2022.

NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Prescription Opioids DrugFacts”><s[…]an[…]ids DrugFacts.” June 2021. Accessed October 3, 2022.

Kotlinska-Lemieszek, Aleksandra, et al. “Less Well-Known Consequences of the Long[…]rature Review.” Dovepress, December 7, 2021. Accessed October 3, 2022. 

 

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village Atlanta aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.