Vicodin is a controlled narcotic (available by prescription only) that combines acetaminophen and hydrocodone (opioid pain medication). While acetaminophen is a less effective pain reliever - works better as a fever reducer - it does serve to enhance the effects of the hydrocodone component. How long does Vicodin stay in your system?
This narcotic is often prescribed to patients that have received some sort of surgical procedure, suffer from chronic pain or have severe back pain; unfortunately - and as it happens with many opioids - many started abusing their prescription and/or commercializing the drug illegally for other purposes.
Vicodin abuse has been on a high for the past two decades, so much so that overdose deaths caused by the narcotic peaked. Another way on which the medication can become lethal, is because not you may not be aware of how long does vicodin stay in your system, thus combining it with other drugs or alcohol which may lead to severe health risks.
While vicodin can start releasing its effects as fast as 30 minutes after its been taken, the drug it self has an acting period of 4 to 8 hours, but can be found in the system (through urine or blood) for up to 4-5 days after dosage; long-term vicodin abuse though, will lead to the drug be store in the body's fatty tissue, being present for a longer period of time.
This means, that if you really don't know or aren't informed how long does vicodin stay in your system, you may be putting your life in danger. Mixing this drug with any other medication - or with alcohol - may have consequences such as:
In addition to these risks, dangers of vicodin addiction are high. People often engage in vicodin abuse because of the euphoric high they get from the painkiller medication. This is the characteristic that makes it such an addictive opioid.
Dangers of vicodin addiction appear in many forms, being the most common:
An accidental overdose on the medication, is also one of the dangers of vicodin addiction. Because as a patient you may not be fully aware of how long does vicodin stay in your system, you may try to increase the dosage, which could lead to death.
Vicodin abuse and a potential overdose may also show the following symptoms:
If any of these symptoms are present, medical help is needed immediately to avoid any fatality.
When suffering from a vicodin addiction, the best way to approach the matter and find a solution is entering a rehab clinic. Many abusers will often deny the problem, so at times an intervention is necessary in order to help.
Treatment for a vicodin addiction can be in a residential (inpatient) clinic, receiving contact care and attention from medical experts, or as an outpatient program, well the recovering addict will need to assist to group and individual therapy to complete the program.
If the vicodin abuse has been long, a detox may be necessary before starting rehabilitation. Detox is a process that may often be uncomfortable or painful, which is why is recommended to do it under medical supervision.
After proper detox, the rehabilitation process with begin. Often led through therapy and learning new coping mechanisms, a recovering addict will find this second step key in developing a new life style.
Finally, an aftercare program can be taken to prevent any relapse and to continue addressing any underlying emotional issue that may have caused the addiction.
If you believe you know someone who is dealing with an addiction problem, you can help them. Support comes in many shapes and forms. Call Drug Treatment Centers Phoenix today at (602) 466-6019 to get all the information you need, help finding rehabs, and provide the necessary support to your loved one.