Vicodin is a drug that is made of a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. It is incredibly potent and can become addictive in as little as a few uses. Additionally, the acetaminophen in Vicodin can cause liver damage if used incorrectly. Despite these facts, hydrocodone is one of the most prescribed painkillers in the United States.
The very best and safest way to overcome Vicodin addiction is through the help of a licensed drug rehabilitation program. Vicodin drug rehab at The Canyon includes safe medically supervised detoxification, quality residential treatment with evidence-based counseling and therapeutic treatment, along with the follow-up care necessary to make a lasting recovery.
Vicodin Recovery Basics
- Physical health
- Mental health
- History of addiction
- Family health and relationships
- Development of healthier social supports
All of these aspects weave and wind around one another, building a strong web of addiction. The treatment team’s job is to untangle all of the causes behind addiction so that the addicted person can build a new life that doesn’t include Vicodin use.
In order to provide the best sort of therapy and truly customize the treatment program, each patient’s medical team begins treatment with a medical evaluation, along with a thorough emotional and mental health review.At The Canyon, each person receives a personalized treatment plan to help build a faster, more complete recovery.
Medical Assistance and Treatment
Vicodin contains a narcotic, but it also contains a significant amount of acetaminophen. Addicts who misuse Vicodin can do a significant amount of damage to their liver as this acetaminophen builds up and destroys tissues. In addition, individuals who crush pills and inject them can develop pockets of infection in their hearts and lungs as the inert ingredients in the pills collect in the sensitive tissues. At the beginning of a rehabilitation program, doctors look for these medical problems and provide therapies to reverse the damage.
Many people begin taking Vicodin because they were in pain from a disease or an injury. This pain may persist when the Vicodin is gone. A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that those who entered rehabilitation programs for prescription opioid use tended to have higher pain levels than people who entered programs for heroin abuse. Vicodin-dependent patients may need new methods to deal with their pain, so relapse isn’t as likely.
For many people, drug addiction problems go hand in hand with mental health disorders. These two conditions work upon one another, feeding each other and growing stronger. In a Vicodin addiction program, doctors attempt to determine what mental disorders might be beneath the addiction, and then they provide therapies to help the addict deal with those mental health concerns. For example, some people who struggle with anxiety might enjoy the sedative feel of Vicodin. When the drug is removed, they feel even more anxious than they ever did before, and that anxiety can help feed their cravings for the drug. By providing anti-anxiety medications, doctors can soothe those feelings and make the Vicodin cravings less intense.
Medication Therapy for Vicodin Dependence
Vicodin addiction can change the way the brain works by reducing the production of some chemicals and causing the brain to go into severe withdrawal when the drug is removed. Those symptoms can persist for months after the addicted person stops using the drug.
Often, medications can help soothe the troubled brain and keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. One medication, known as buprenorphine, has proven incredibly helpful in treating Vicodin addiction. Buprenorphine fools the brain into falsely believing it has access to Vicodin. The drug doesn’t cause sedation or euphoria, either, so it isn’t often linked to addiction.
In 2003, researchers writing for the New England Journal of Medicine attempted to study how well the drug worked versus a placebo. In the end, the researchers ended the study early because the results were so promising. While 20.7 percent of the people taking buprenorphine could provide clean urine samples during the study, only 5.8 percent of people taking the placebo could do the same.
In that study, the participants were given a prescription for the drug, and allowed to take it at home on an unsupervised basis. This is not the only way to provide the drug. A study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that, of people who had to take the medication in a doctor’s office, 59 percent stayed in treatment for over 21 weeks. In other words, buprenorphine seems to work even better when patients are required to go to an office to get it.
Often, buprenorphine doses are carefully monitored and adjusted by a licensed physician. This helps ensure that only the necessary amount is given and that the patient will be able to comfortably stop using the buprenorphine when the time is right. Decisions about length of buprenorphine use are made in close consultation between the recovering person and the doctor, and there is no right or wrong length of time to stay on the medication.
Changing Addictive Behavior
The recovering person often shares his or her inner feelings about life, relationships, stress, anger and pressure, and works to uncover how substance use began. Talk therapy and targeted treatments to relieve the symptoms of trauma can help build new skills and goals.
The Canyon offers a multi-faceted approach to treatment, with proven therapies like dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR, adventure therapy, and more. We would love to tell you more about what we can do to help.
Our family program also helps many individuals who wish to receive family counseling and support. In family therapy programs, the addicted person, the family, and the counselor all sit down together and discuss how the group communicates, and how that communication can help or hinder the family’s healing process.
Supportive Group Therapy for Vicodin Treatment
Support groups and building new friendships and community are vital to substance use recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 12-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous are designed to complement the formal addiction treatment program. These programs often begin in treatment and continue once treatment is complete.
- Form a new community, made up of others who don’t abuse drugs
- Learn how real people make good choices about drug use
- Understand the addiction
- Talk about the addiction
- Work through the guilt associated with addiction
These programs can be quite helpful for Vicodin addicts, and often, the meetings are held at convenient times in public places. When a craving strikes, it’s easy for an addict to find a meeting and step in for a boost of support. This is an excellent way to keep a relapse from taking hold.
In a typical 12-step program, addicted individuals are asked to think of their addictions as chronic diseases that they can only conquer on a day-to-day basis with the help of supportive others. They take responsibility for their past actions, and they vow to live in compliance with a set of rules, including a vow to stop using drugs of any sort. It might sound like it will not work, but it can be a powerful tool in the fight against addiction. An article published in the journal Psychiatric Clinics of North America makes the role of 12-step meetings quite clear. The authors write, “12-step programs are spiritually based fellowships supporting not only the achievement and maintenance of abstinence from alcohol and other drug use but also lifelong character development.” In other words, these programs can truly help an addict change his or her behavior over the long term, building a life that doesn’t include Vicodin addiction. It’s a worthwhile part of an addiction treatment program.
For more information on Vicodin addiction and treatment, contact us at The Canyon. We are here to assist you as you take the first step on a lifelong journey to recovery.