Vicodin is a powerful opiate drug which consists of a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is often abused and the unfortunate abuser can end up with serious effects. Hydrocodone is a very strong opiate painkiller which is highly addictive. Acetaminophen is a well known and much milder pain reliever (Tylenol). Vicodin comes in various strengths, such as 5 milligrams of hydrocodone with 325 milligrams of acetaminophen, up to 10 milligrams of hydrocodone along with 660 milligrams of acetaminophen. When one takes 2 grams of acetaminophen this is considered dangerous as it can lead to liver failure. So a person who abuses Vicodin is not only at risk of opiate addiction, he may also cause his liver to fail.
Signs of Vicodin Abuse
The biggest danger of Vicodin abuse is death. When one takes too much Vicodin, he could be slowing his heart rate down to the point of death. As with other opiates, Vicodin suppresses respiration. The risk of death is increased when this drug is taken in combination with other respiration suppressing drugs or alcohol.
Signs that one is abusing Vicodin can include:
- Drowsiness, anxiety, dizziness
- Lightheadedness, fainting, lethargy
- Confusion, fear, unusual thoughts or behavior
- Seizures (convulsions)
- Nausea and/or vomiting, lack of appetite, dark urine, jaundice, upset stomach
- Headaches, changes in mood
- Blurring of Vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Constipation, dry mouth
- Constricted pupils
- Shallow breathing, slow heartbeat
Tragedies from Vicodin Overdoses
A young actress, Brittany Murphy, was reported to have taken 109 Vicodin in 11 days, an example of how Vicodin consumption can get out of control. A New York Post and Fox News report said that she had filled a prescription for Vicodin just 11 days before dying, and 109 pills were missing from the bottle when she suddenly died in her Los Angeles home. The official cause of death was pneumonia and drug intoxication. This young lady was only 32 years old when she died. She was known as a star of "8 Mile," a 2002 movie.
A report in the Huffington Post states that there has been a dramatic and dangerous rise in abuse of drugs containing hydrocodone. These include not only Vicodin, but also Norco and Lortab (similar formulations containing hydrocodone). It reports that there was a fourfold increase in seizures of hydrocodone pills in the decade from 2001 to 2010. Alarmingly, about eight percent of the 12th graders in American high schools have used hydrocodone for non-medical uses in the past year. Another Huffington Post related article reported prescription painkiller-related deaths were increasing. These deaths include those from other opioids such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and others in addition to Vicodin. These deaths increased between 1999 and 2007 nearly fourfold as well. They increased from just over 4,000 deaths in 1999 to 14,459 in 2007, and those numbers have continued to rise since that time.
In fact, due to the alarming number of such deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared this an epidemic. Curbing abuse - and thereby deaths - from painkillers is a complex problem, and researchers say that a possible strategy is to eliminate commissions for drug companies for marketing the drugs. Many states have now started to implement electronic databases which track the number of times a person retrieves an opioid prescription.
Narconon Has the Solution to Addiction to Hydrocodone and other Drug Abuse
Luckily for anyone who has battled with addiction, Narconon offers a real solution which does not resort to using other drugs in order to get one off of drugs. The Narconon program, offered at more than fifty locations around the globe, has helped tens of thousands to find lasting sobriety. This program involves handling both the physical addiction and the emotional or mental aspects. Those who have gone through withdrawal from opiates before may dread the experience of going through it again. But with ample nutritional supplementation and some gentle physical assists, the Narconon withdrawal part of the program is surprisingly tolerable for most people. Then, one goes almost immediately onto the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program. This is a deep detox, including daily time in a dry heat sauna along with more nutritional supplements and moderate exercise. This combination has the effect of enabling the body to start flushing out residues left behind after earlier drug use.
Once one has completed the physical handling, he goes on to life skills training at Narconon. These classes help him to recover or learn skills to cope with life without the need for resorting to drugs. Many people have found the reasons they started taking drugs and have been able to repair damage they may have caused to friends and family. After graduation, seven out of ten of those completing and going home find lasting sobriety.
Find out all the details of the full eight-step Narconon program by visiting www.narconon.org.