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Vicodin Intervention

Addiction to Vicodin is a very real problem which affects millions of people each year. A Vicodin intervention is an effective solution to help a friend or loved one stop using the drug and get the treatment they need. Vicodin is a prescription drug that is prescribed to relieve pain. Not only does it contain the synthetic opioid hydrocodone, but it also contains acetaminophen which is also commonly known as Tylenol. Vicodin is prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain, but has also become one of the most abused prescription drugs. The hydrocodone component in Vicodin is chemically similar to heroin, so its effects and the risks for dependence and addiction are also on par with heroin.

Because Vicodin increases dopamine levels, someone taking the drug can experience a feeling of euphoria and in high enough doses the drug can produce what is commonly known as a "high". This is why it is so addictive, and the risks for dependence and addiction to Vicodin are just as likely in someone who is taking the drug legitimately and in individuals who abuse opiates. As a result, statistics show that Vicodin and other similar narcotic pain relievers constitute the most-abused group of prescription drugs in the nation.

As discussed earlier, there can be a problem with Vicodin addiction and dependence without the user even knowing it. Until they stop using it, that is. For example, this may occur if someone were to be prescribed Vicodin for a serious injury to manage pain and were taking the drug daily for a month and then suddenly stopped. This individual would experience withdrawal symptoms almost immediately and probably do whatever they had to do to get more of the drug. Dependence can build rapidly to the drug, and can occur within just a week's use.

If you believe your loved one is taking Vicodin either legitimately or illicitly, here are some examples of symptoms which may point to a problem, requiring a Vicodin intervention:

  • Experiencing "flu like" symptoms, including muscle and bone pain, night sweats, can't sleep, etc., when one stops using Vicodin
  • Takes a higher dose of Vicodin to achieve the desired effect
  • Take Vicodin more frequently or in higher doses than prescribed
  • Vicodin use is having an effect on family life or close relationships and is causing problems at work.
  • "Doctor shopping" to obtain more prescriptions or buying Vicodin illicitly to support one's habit

Abuse of Vicodin can be very dangerous, and this is why a Vicodin intervention will ultimately be necessary if the individual cannot quit on their own. For example, a Vicodin overdoses can occur if an individual takes too much of the drug accidentally because they are not getting pain relief from their normal dose. Likewise, an overdose can occur if the individual hasn't had access to the drug, finally gets some, and is trying to beat withdrawal symptoms. Their "normal" dose after a time period of not having taken the drug may be a fatal dose. All of these risks are associated with the hydrocodone component of the drug, which causes respiratory depression and other symptoms which can create serious health risks and death.

Another element that makes it even more important to intervene when someone is abusing Vicodin is the risk of liver damage as a result of the acetaminophen component in the drug. If someone doesn't realize that Vicodin contains acetaminophen, and happens to take a Tylenol as well, this could result in fatal hepatoxicity (liver damage as a result of the drug combination). The acetaminophen is solely metabolized in the liver, so this can easily occur and it responsible for an estimated 56% of acetaminophen overdoses each year. This is a particular risk if the individual is abusing other substances in combination with the Vicodin and acetaminophen, such as alcohol which is also metabolized by the liver. If the individual doesn't experience an overdose, they will very likely sustain serious damage to their liver, kidneys and stomach.

Individuals who are addicted to Vicodin will most likely not be able to stop using the drug on their own, but may want help. They may just need that extra little push, from family and friends to show them that life doesn't have to be this way and that there are people that love them and are concerned about them. This is where a Vicodin intervention comes in. Family and friends can come together and acquire the guidance of a professional interventionist who can show them how to hold a successful Vicodin intervention. A professional interventionist will help educate intervention participants, help choose the appropriate drug rehab and make arrangements for the individual's impending arrival, and be a helpful presence at the Vicodin intervention itself and help guide everyone through the process.

A professional interventionist will help each Vicodin participant author a letter that will be read at the Vicodin intervention. This letter will provide details as to how the individual's Vicodin addiction has destroyed relationships and is destroying their life. The letters will end with an offer of help in the form of drug rehab, which will be prearranged and all details set up ahead of time. The interventionist and participants will help answer any questions and address any concerns that the individual has, and will hopefully get them in route to a new life and to drug rehab right away.

In the event that the individual does not accept help at the conclusion of the Vicodin intervention, participants should not lose hope. Consequences and "bottom lines" will be put into place as part of the Vicodin intervention which will hopefully change their mind. Participants will have at least put an end to any enabling which allows them to continue their habit, which will also be an important aspect of the individual choosing recovery instead of addiction. Most individuals will accept the help however, and at least family members and friends are doing all they can possibly do to help their loved one.