Vicodin is also a Hydrocodone based drug that is available through many easily recognized brand names. As a semi-synthetic opiate it derives from codeine and thebaine, two naturally occurring opiates. Since it is used for coughs as an analgesic and anti-tussive it can be found in tablet, capsule and tablet forms. Vicodin has seen tremendous increases in its illicit use recently.
As a pain reliever, vicodin is like other narcotics doing so by attaching to various receptors in the spinal cord and brain. Vicodin should never be taken with alcohol and may or may not be taken with food.
Narcotic use overall has increased significantly over the last ten years. Mid-western and non-urban areas are seen with the largest increase in use of these narcotics. Over 53% of people admitted in 2000 to an addiction unity were admitting to a dependency on Vicodin in a study.
This dependency on opiates was shown to be just one of the drug dependencies for the majority of them. In the study mentioned above, 83% had another drug addiction and 45.1% had other psychiatric disorders. There was a high level of previous treatment program use with over 60% having had a history of such treatment. There is also more use of Vicodin than Oxycodone. Alcoholic abuse is a high predictor of an addiction to Vicodin or other drug addiction.
It has been found that people who can [ay for their medical treatment are more likely to seek pain killers and therefore Vicodin is more likely to be prescribed, leading to their addiction. Head and neck pains are reported most to the doctors when they present themselves to their doctors. Potential drug addiction was often not as important as the treatment of the real or perceived pains. When heavy use of Vicodin is then seen, real risk is then seen of withdrawal symptoms that can be deadly. Chronic pain just shouldn’t be treated with narcotics like Vicodin, as the potential addiction is very difficult to manage.
There is a set of common side effects including:
Vomiting and constipation
The potential damage to the liver is the main issue with overdosing on Vicodin. Containing high levels of acetaminophen or Tylenol, danger to the liver is very damaging with prolonged use. Severe toxicity to the liver can be experienced with just ten to fifteen grams in a twenty-four hour period. Fatality can occur with use of fifteen to twenty grams.
If users realize the potential for liver toxicity they may steer themselves toward a single substance opiate based drug like OxyContin.
Unless dosages are closely monitored, an overdose could occur. Signs of an overdoes include:
Cold or Clammy Skin
Bradycardia (slowing of heart beat), and hypotension.
Circulatory Collapse, Cardiac Arrest and/or Death.
Addiction to any drug, Vicodin included, shouldn’t be taken lightly as it is a very serious situation. If attention isn’t paid to this situation for an individual, overdoses may occur, leading to death. Any suspicion of addiction or overuse of Vicodin should be followed up on with a medical professional.