When Vicodin addiction begins to consume a person, he is very likely to experience several physical and psychological side effects. Sadly, despite the burden of these conditions, quitting the drug is just too difficult to do.
Vicodin, a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, is a synthetic opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. It was only in 2014 that restrictions on using the drug were tightened due to its highly addictive factor.
From a Schedule III controlled drug, Vicodin is now classified as Schedule II. Likewise, formulations of 500 to 700 mg of acetaminophen, it is now limited to contain up to 325 mg considering how any formulation beyond this can cause liver damage.
Despite these red flags, a survey shows how more than 5 million people in the United States have already suffered from Vicodin addiction since 2013, and this number includes about 5% of 12th graders.
Vicodin addiction is a condition that requires immediate medical treatment. Overdose, which can be fatal, is most likely to happen if addiction is left untreated. On top of that, addiction is not just something that can be overcome with a strong will. Medical care is a must.
Are Medications Really Necessary for Treating Vicodin Addiction
A huge amount of strength is required for the body to exert to overcome withdrawal with the use of alternative options for treatment such as meditation, massage, and acupuncture.
This case is far different from using medications since they do most of the work in the body and allow the patient to rest. On top of that, medications have already proven their effectiveness in terms of treating Vicodin addiction for years.
When an opioid use disorder takes place, patients become a slave to substance use, making them lose their sense of control over what is healthy and safe for themselves. It is very difficult to simply rely on one’s strength of will to overcome this.
The body is already going through so much strain from addiction and the use of medications can definitely boost one’s physical and mental disposition to cope with any struggle that comes during treatment.
Any addiction treatment would always start with getting rid of the substance in the body, and this does not happen very easily. The body suffers intensely in the absence of the drug, and taking medications can significantly relieve the pain.
Opioid substitute medications make this safely happen. They bind with the receptors similarly to Vicodin, allowing the body to continuously function while it perceives that the substance is still present.
Although these are still classified as controlled drugs, they can be safely administered with medical supervision. They are already approved by the FDA to treat opioid use disorders such as Vicodin.
What are the FDA-approved medications for Vicodin Addiction
The following are the medications approved by the FDA to treat Vicodin addiction. Their main benefits include limiting the burden of withdrawal as well as reducing the intensity of cravings for the drug once the treatment begins.
Addiction specialists would highly note that medications must be coupled with therapy and counseling for patients to reach optimum progress. On top of that, medical supervision is necessary during treatment to ensure their safety.
As a synthetic opioid agonist, Methadone works by activating brain receptors the way opioid painkillers such as Vicodin do. Plus, it blocks the body from experiencing euphoria. This mechanism made it highly effective during detox for almost 40 years. It is safe as long as taken as prescribed by the physician.
Most studies reveal how high doses of Methadone, particularly ranging from 50 to 60 mg per day, are more effective than taking about 30 mg only. The length of Methadone medication must also last for at least a year. Even though patients may take the drugs home for maintenance, dispensing them is still controlled and can only be done in certified clinics.
Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, may activate brain receptors less strongly than Methadone, however; most studies have proven that they are both equally effective in treating opioid use disorder. Although 70% of patients prefer Methadone to Buprenorphine, the advantages of the latter include accessibility and less addictive potential.
Buprenorphine can be dispensed through certified physicians and healthcare providers, thus; there is no need to look for a certified clinic to get oneself treated. It is also classified as a Schedule III controlled drug compared to Schedule II Methadone. Even when doses of Buprenorphine are increased, when it reaches its ceiling, it does not intensify its strength.
Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist which means it acts on the brain receptors only to fully block the effects of opioids. This results in reducing a person’s craving for a drug such as Vicodin. It does not also belong in the family of opioids which follows that it does not have any addictive potential nor does it pose a withdrawal syndrome.
Although it can be easily accessed among licensed physicians, it is not a suitable option during detoxification. It requires a week of abstinence from short-acting opioids – and at least 10 days for long-acting opioids – before this medication can be taken by patients. For Vicodin addiction treatment, patients are expected to take the injectable formulation of Naltrexone.
These are the top three options that can be used as a medication to surpass Vicodin addiction. There is also another essential medication in case an opioid overdose occurs. This drug is called Naloxone. It can be used as a nasal spray or an injection when a patient shows signs of overdose. It works by reversing the effects of opioids like Vicodin.
Over-the-counter medications can also be prescribed for physical withdrawal symptoms such as headache, nausea, diarrhea, and more. A medication for psychological symptoms most likely needs a medical prescription. It is always best to seek the approval of one’s physician before taking any drug.
Overall, the best medication for Vicodin addiction treatment is the easily available one. Seek the nearest facility to get past one’s Vicodin addiction and enjoy a positive disposition inside and out.