Vicodin is a painkiller created from hydrocodone, a synthetic opioid and acetaminophen (pain-reliever). Hydrocodone is addictive but acetaminophen can be dangerous in large doses. Medical professionals believe in reduced use of Vicodin due to its overprescription and overuse and because it is highly addictive. Learn about how Vicodin addiction affects individuals and how to seek help.



The most frequently prescribed opiate in the United States is Vicodin. More than 139 million prescriptions were filled for the drug in 2010. Vicodin is relatively easy to obtain and use has nearly quadrupled in the past 10 years alone. Some form of hydrocodone is used not only by adults but young teens just over the age of 12 for a multitude of purposes. Millions of people suffer with the effects of Vicodin addiction.


Co-Occurring Disorders

Substance abuse can be accompanied by another mental health condition. Some of the most common co-occurring disorders may include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder



Research has looked into causes of addiction with no clear answer as each individual is different. Addiction occurs as a result of many factors but some of the more well-known ones may include:

Genetic: individuals with family members suffering from addiction are at higher risk for addiction (including a greater predisposition).

Brain chemistry: the brain chemistry of people with addiction lacks appropriate levels of neurotransmitters responsible for joy and pleasure.

Environmental: children who grew up in an environment surrounded by addiction may believe drug use is acceptable or ‘normal’ behavior. Stressors may cause children of loved ones with addiction to turn towards addictive behaviors as a coping mechanism more than those who did not grow up around drug, alcohol or other addiction.


Long-Term Effects

Over a longer period of time, Vicodin use may range from minor annoyances to severe complications such as death, prompting the need for immediate treatment to avoid detrimental consequences. Other long-term issues may include:

  • Liver damage or failure
  • Jaundice
  • Urinary system issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Financial issues
  • Trouble with school
  • Loss of job
  • Incarceration
  • Health consequences or death

The longer a person takes Vicodin, the higher a probability of developing addiction. When an individual addicted to Vicodin lessens the amount of the drug or stops altogether, withdrawal will begin. The unpleasant effects of Vicodin withdrawal may quickly set in causing people to fear the recovery process. Some of the symptoms may include cravings, depression, intense sweating, chills, irritability and other issues. An individual who is afraid addiction to Vicodin has become a normal way of life should seek medical attention prior to quitting. Recovery is possible with the right support and treatment.

Hired Power provides support for seeking options to recover from addiction. It is never easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. Call us to find out how we can help guide you towards a path away from addiction to recovery.