Vicodin, an opioid that contains the synthetic narcotic hydrocodone and the analgesic acetaminophen, is legitimately prescribed by doctors to help patients dealing with severe pain after injuries or surgery. When used for any longer than a few days, however, Vicodin can turn addictive. While hydrocodone's narcotic powers are an addiction risk by themselves, these are compounded when used in combination with acetaminophen. Many users innocently take the drug for legitimate pain, and only notice that anything is wrong when they attempt to go off it. They tend to experience dangerous and painful Vicodin withdrawal symptoms. The only reliable way to face this challenge and successfully come off addiction is to attend qualified Vicodin detox and rehab.
When a person abusing Vicodin takes large quantities of the drug, he does so for the pleasure that the drug induces by acting on the brain's reward center. In other words, chronic Vicodin use disrupts the brain's chemical signaling.
The brain, at some point, steps in to attempt to protect the reward center by shutting off feelings of pleasure for the drug. Termed tolerance, it is an effective step, one that chronic abusers experience as a lack of pleasure in the drug. However, they are unable to stop the abuse. Instead, they usually take even more of it to overwhelm the brain's tolerance defense mechanism.
The brain, unable to indefinitely raise tolerance levels, simply accepts the presence of the drug. It stops trying to defend itself, and adjusts its chemical balance to work with the presence of large quantities of Vicodin in the system. This is physical dependence. When an attempt is made to stop abuse, it seriously upsets the brain's chemical levels, and causes severe symptoms.
Chronic abuse comes with another effect -- psychological dependence. It occurs as a result of the action of Vicodin on the reward center. As this brain region is stimulated into producing feelings of pleasure, it also creates intense emotional loyalty and devotion. Usually, pleasure is intertwined with such emotions in order to be able to produce committed attachment to life-preserving habits, or love for a parent or romantic partner. Vicodin, however, co-opts the process. When Vicodin produces pleasure, it also creates extreme attachment to it, as if it were a person or thing to fall in love with.
The effect of such attachment is perceived as cravings. When an attempt is made to stop, the mind panics, as if it were faced with the loss of a loved one, and craves the drug. Physical dependence comes with its own effects. Vicodin withdrawal symptoms can include depression, cold sweats, seizures and tremors. Where Vicodin is taken for pain, the pain may return with renewed vigor.
Some people attempt to face withdrawal from Vicodin on their own. They attempt to steel themselves through the terrible process that takes weeks. This is not a good idea, however. The seizures and tremors can cause hidden brain injury in ways that make long-term sobriety impossible.
The only safe and sensible way to deal with Vicodin withdrawal symptoms is to seek professional detox and rehab. Fortunately, there are many quality Vicodin detox and rehab centers in Shreveport. All it takes is a search.
With professional detox, especially in residential rehab, addicts have the benefit of close attention by qualified addiction specialists who administer medications to help them deal with pain. With emotional support, medications that help, therapy, and comfortable surroundings where one is able to fully concentrate on getting better, freedom from addiction becomes much more accessible.
If you would like to speak to a friendly expert about your options, all you need to do is to call Drug Treatment Shreveport at 318.550.3059.