What is Vicodin

Vicodin is a type of opiate drug with the well-known use in treating moderate to severe pain. Vicodin can pose deadly dangers to the liver when abused, due to the combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Abuse of Vicodin can lead the user to become addicted and build tolerance. Dependency leads to the consumption of higher doses, sometimes without control. When prescribed, it can help with chronic pain in the body. In many cases, abuse of Vicodin can lead to the use of more powerful opiates such as Heroin, Oxycontin, and Fentanyl.

Vicodin is a more popular name for the brand name combination of other opiates hydrocodone and acetaminophen, an over-the-counter painkiller typically sold under the brand name Tylenol. Other names such as acetaminophen and hydrocodone APAP market themselves under this name. These drugs are generally used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Relief usually lasts up to 6 hours. However, it varies from each person. This medication, which patients consume orally, comes with various strength levels.

If you or your loved one undergoing their struggle with Vicodin or any other opiate addiction, it is strongly urged that you seek help. Reach out to a professional as soon as possible before addiction becomes worsened or the addict starts to become a harm to themselves or those around them.

Vicodin Addiction

Can I get addicted to Vicodin?

Just like any other opioid medication, Vicodin can lead the user to become addicted. Some users end up building a tolerance to it, which means the user starts taking greater doses more frequently. Additionally, some users become reliant on taking many pills throughout the day without being able to stop. Therefore, due to their dependence, if they stop taking this medication/drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Unlike other pain reliever drugs, Vicodin can pose deadly dangers to the liver. Research has shown that acetaminophen taken in large doses were found to cause terrible allergic reactions and liver damage to abusers who consumed over 325 mg of the drug often and usually ended up in the emergency room due to an overdose. 

Vicodin Withdrawal

What are the withdrawal signs of Vicodin?

After being dependent on taking a specific dosage of Vicodin regularly, quitting the intake of the drug will cause the body to experience sudden changes. The physical and mental effects of the drug have become a regular occurrence for the user. Such changes after discontinuing drug use almost always lead to withdrawal symptoms taking effect. These symptoms include:

  • Severe mood swings, confusion, and irritability
  • Reduced appetite: thus a decrease in craving for food 
  • Saliva production increase
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Tremors, nausea, and vomiting
  • Goosebumps and chills 
  • Muscle aches or cramps
  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia and restlessness
  • Flu / Cold-like symptoms
What is Vicodin

Vicodin Withdrawal Timeline

The typical timeline for an addict’s Vicodin withdrawal phase lasts seven to ten days. However, more severe cases of drug abuse withdrawal can last for weeks or months, especially the psychological symptoms. Similar to other drug addictions, the craving for Vicodin may suddenly occur years after the addict has stopped taking it. It’s important to be aware of the potential feelings even after withdrawal. 

Vicodin’s concentration starts to become lessened within four hours, which means the drug entirely leaves your body after a full eight hours. Withdrawal signs begin to occur soon after. Drug withdrawal is an individual process. That is, while these symptoms may last for only two weeks for one person, it could end up lasting close to one year for another person. However, symptoms also occur based on other specific factors.

Factors for Vicodin Addiction

1. Duration of Usage

The duration of usage of the drug can have an influence on how the addiction evolves. Additionally, have a role in how the withdrawal symptoms and process goes. Altogether, if the addict has only been taking the drug for a few days or weeks as a prescribed medication, their symptoms are more likely to be nonexistent or may be very minimal. However, if the drug was being taken for recreational use over a long period of time, the more severe your withdrawal will be as there is a 99.9% chance that you or your loved one has developed tolerance.

2. Dosage

When an opiate addict begins to build a tolerance to Vicodin, they eventually stop feeling the usual effects that they would typically feel. Basically, the user will then think that it is not working for them anymore, hence the need to up their dosage and take more of the drug. A lot of people who eventually abuse the drug will take more than the prescribed amount. In fact, they might also try to “cheat the system” in attempts to try to get more bottles of pills. For example, this could look like going to multiple doctors, lying about being out of medication, or even illegally obtaining drugs off the street. Once this individual starts to take fewer dosages, the more severe they will experience withdrawal as their body has become so immune to having the drug present in vast amounts.

3. Addiction

Believe it or not, there is a difference between a general built-up tolerance and a downright Vicodin addiction. That is, addiction is the mental disorder that develops when you start to feel as if normal life can’t happen without the use of the drug. You might have a major craving for the drug, or maybe take it just because. On the other hand, you could start to believe that you are unable to function without the medication. This not only worsens you or your loved ones withdrawal symptoms but it also makes the physical effects more difficult as well. Addiction often looks like trying to stop, but not seeming to be able to on your own.

4. Recovery

Quitting your addiction habits suddenly and without professional help will more than likely cause an extreme case of withdrawal. After all, your body will go into a phase of complete shock which may even lead to death. Medical detox is highly recommended to make this phase more tolerable and comfortable. In situations like this, sometimes medications for opiate addiction is prescribed such as Zubsolv. After the process of medical withdrawal, other helpful recovery methods are encouraged. Thus, it’s important to seek community as to not feel alone. Joining a support group, 12-step recovery program, or even group therapy sessions can be of great benefit. Some people have a sponsor, who is someone who has been through the same addiction and can act as a wise mentor through becoming sober. 

American Addiction to Opiates and Vicodin

Wall Street Journal report on Opioid Addiction

Treatment For Vicodin Addiction

In many cases, loved ones struggling with Vicodin Addiction may require a professional drug intervention. Drug interventions are needed as long as the addicted persons are in denial. Many that are addicted to Vicodin often set themselves in a different category than an addict or alcoholic as the Vicodin is prescribed by a doctor. Even though it is prescribed by a doctor, it’s still totally possible to become addicted to the substance itself. Denial is a big issue with prescription medication addiction. Addicts dependent on opiates or pills can try to justify all they want about their issue which they do not want to face. Therefore, drug intervention could be a good tool for the loved ones of the addict to show how much they care about them and help offer them resources to get help for addiction.

Vicodin addiction can lead to more powerful opiates such as Morphine, oxycodone, Fentanyl, and Heroin.  Vicodin addiction often requires treatment at a residential treatment center, drug rehab or a substance abuse treatment center. The sooner the addict can admit their problem and seek recovery from their addiction, the less risk there will be for long-term negative effects. There are many resources available at Prevail Intervention, and we care about every person who contacts us in need of help. In this case, call our free addiction and mental illness helpline today. It’s a free, 24/7 helpline where you can talk to someone about any questions you may have. We can help place you or a loved one into treatment, detox, or mental health facilities that are best suited for your unique situation.

Oxycodone and Opiate Resources


Addiction Help


Further Related Resources:

Can You Get High on Methadone?

Everything You Need to Know About a Sober Recovery 

Drug Abuse Statistics

Heroin Addiction Effects and Treatment

Substance Abuse Treatment Centers

Will My Health Insurance Cover Rehab? 

What is a Drug Intervention?