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Vicodin Addiction Treatment

Vicodin addiction treatment aims to help individuals struggling with addiction to Vicodin, a combination of hydrocodone and the active ingredient, acetaminophen. This prescription medication is commonly used for pain relief but can be highly addictive when misused or taken in larger doses than prescribed.³ Vicodin addiction treatment typically involves a combination of medication-assisted treatment, therapy, and support groups.²

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Vicodin Addiction Symptoms

Physical symptoms of Vicodin addiction may include drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and difficulty breathing. Behavioral symptoms may include changes in sleeping patterns, secretive behavior around medication use, and increased tolerance for the drug.

Psychological symptoms may include anxiety, mood swings, and cravings.³ If you are unsure if you need professional treatment for vicodin addiction, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you take more Vicodin than prescribed?
  • Do you continue taking vicodin despite suffering negative consequences as a result of your Vicodin use?
  • Do you have difficulty stopping or reducing your Vicodin use despite wanting to do so, and suffer intense cravings when you attempt to stop?
  • Do you need more frequent doses that you used to?

Understanding What Makes Vicodin Addictive

Vicodin addiction is largely driven by the drug’s impact on specific receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Hydrocodone, the opioid component in Vicodin, binds to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain. When these receptors are activated, they trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. This release of dopamine creates the ‘high’ that is experienced when taking the drug. ³

Over time, regularly abusing Vicodin can lead to changes in the same neurotransmitters in the brain that result in addiction. The brain begins to rely on Vicodin to stimulate the release of dopamine, leading to cravings and withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not available. Understanding the role of these receptors is crucial to understanding the nature of Vicodin addiction, compulsive use of the drug, and developing effective treatments.³

When taken in higher doses or for a prolonged period, the body can develop a dependence on Vicodin, leading to addiction. The risk of addiction also increases when individuals misuse the medication by crushing or snorting it to achieve a quicker and more intense high. Chronic pain relief can also play a part in an addiction, as many individuals struggle to treat pain with over-the-counter medications and instead begin using opoids, increasing the likelihood that they may eventually abuse vicodin.³

How Dangerous is a Vicodin Overdose?

Vicodin overdose is a serious and potentially life-threatening complication of Vicodin addiction. An overdose occurs when too much of the drug is taken, leading to an overwhelming effect on the body and brain.⁴

Signs of an overdose may include slowed breathing, blue lips or fingernails, extreme drowsiness, loss of consciousness, and organ failure.⁴ It is important that an individual seek immediate medical attention if they are concerned about themselves or a loved one suffering an overdose or other risky effects of vicodin abuse.

vicodin addiction treatment

What is Vicodin Commonly Prescribed For?

Vicodin is commonly prescribed for the treatment of pain. It is often used for acute injuries, post-surgical pain, and chronic conditions such as arthritis or back pain. However, it is essential to note that Vicodin should only be used as directed by a medical professional and for a limited time period to avoid developing dependence or addiction.³

Treating Severe Pain Without Opioids

As the opioid crisis continues to plague the United States, medical professionals are exploring alternative methods for chronic pain management to reduce the risk of drug abuse and addiction.² Non-opioid medications, physical therapy, and other non-medication treatments are becoming more widely used for pain. These approaches can be effective in managing pain without the potential for addiction that can occur with prescription painkiller use.

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Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

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What Are Common Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms range from moderate to severe, depending on the individual’s level of dependence and usage, and whether they are abusing other opiates. Common symptoms from the effects of vicodin may include nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, sweating, anxiety, and insomnia. Severe withdrawal symptoms may include seizures or hallucinations. ²

How Long Does Vicodin Withdrawal Last?

Vicodin withdrawal typically lasts between seven to ten days, with symptoms gradually decreasing in intensity. However, some individuals may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), where they continue to experience mild symptoms for weeks or even months after detoxing from the effects of Vicodin. Seeking help at a professional treatment center during this period can help manage PAWS and prevent relapse.²

What Risk Factors Affect Withdrawal Timeline?

Several factors can influence the duration and severity of Vicodin withdrawal. These include the length and dosage of use, how physically dependent a person is on vicodin, co-occurring mental health disorders, and individual physiology. Additionally, attempting to quit Vicodin suddenly or without medical help can lead to more intense withdrawal symptoms as the drug leaves the blood stream, making professional drug use treatment essential for a safe and successful recovery.

Vicodin Abuse Treatment

Treatment for Vicodin abuse typically involves a combination of medication-assisted treatment, therapy, and support groups. Medications such as buprenorphine or methadone may be used to help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.²

Therapy can include behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors related to addiction. Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, offer a supportive community for individuals in recovery.¹

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment Options

Inpatient treatment involves staying at a facility for the duration of treatment and receiving round-the-clock care and medical supervision and support. These treatment programs are recommended for individuals with severe addictions or co-occurring mental health disorders.¹

An outpatient treatment program allows individuals to live at home while attending therapy sessions and support groups regularly. It may be a more suitable option for those with mild opoid addiction or responsibilities that prevent them from being away from home for an extended period. Outpatient options include a partial hospitalization program (PHP), intensive outpatient program (IOP), and traditional outpatient options.¹

Seeking Help for Vicodin Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with Vicodin addiction, seeking professional treatment is crucial for long-term recovery. Treatment options may vary depending on individual needs, but it’s essential to find a program that offers personalized care and support.

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

If an individual has co-occurring mental health disorders, therapy for both addiction to benzodiazepines, withdrawal symptoms, and underlying mental health issues may be necessary. This can help individuals address the root causes of their substance abuse and develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage anxiety, stress, and other symptoms.¹

Therapy for Vicodin Addiction

Therapy is a crucial component of Vicodin addiction treatment. It helps individuals identify and address the underlying causes of their addiction, develop coping skills to manage cravings and triggers, and learn healthier ways to treat moderate or severe pain pain and stress.¹

Therapy can be conducted in individual, group, or family therapy settings depending on the individual’s needs. Family members are encouraged to participate in coming up with a treatment plan for opoid abuse, including volunteering family history, helping with alternative ways to reduce pain, and understanding that addiction recovery is a long-term process.¹

vicodin addiction therapy

Are Other Prescription Opoids Addictive?

Like Vicodin, other prescription opioids can also be highly addictive when misused or taken in larger doses than prescribed. These include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, and fentanyl.

Individuals struggling with opioid use disorder may find benefit from professional help at a treatment center. Individuals who combine Vicodin with other illegal drugs may need additional help with addiction control.³

Seeking Substance Abuse Help for Vicodin Abuse

With the right support and treatment, long-term recovery from opioid abuse is possible. At Woburn Wellness, our team is dedicated to providing compassionate care that is tailored to each individual.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, contact us today to find out treatment options. We understand that opioid addiction can be challenging to overcome and we are here to help.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of drug addiction treatment: a research-based guide (third edition).
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Medications for opioid use disorder. Treatment improvement protocol (TIP) series 63 publication no. PEP21-02-01-002. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021). Prescription opioids drug facts.
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Opioid overdose.
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Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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