A mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, the name brand Vicoden, is the most commonly prescribed opiate pain reliever on the market. Not only is it VERY addictive, but there are a plethora of possible long term side effects that come with Vicodin use.
Long Term Effects of Vicodin on the BODY
Because Vicodin contains acetaminophen, there is the risk of liver damage, disease, and/or failure from Vicodin when taken in high daily doses.
Snorting Vicodin can result in damage to the nasal passageways with potential loss of the sense of smell.
Injecting Vicodin can lead to infections and permanent scarring at injection sites.
While uncommon, hearing loss from long term Vicodin use is possible.
Increased risk for arthritis for some users of Vicodin.
Long Term Effects of Vicodin on the BRAIN
Vicodin works as a painkiller because it affects the brain’s pleasure center. Initially, Vicodin can increase the ability to feel pleasure, causing a person to feel happy and euphoric. However, long term use can damage the pleasure center, which can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, and mood swings.
In severe cases, users may begin to experience delusions or hallucinations.
OTHER Long Term Effects of Vicodin
Addiction comes with more problems than just the physical stresses it places on your body. Easy to become physically dependent on, Vicodin addicts can experience all the usual effects associated with addiction, such as problems with relationships, work, money, school, and/or the law.
Once addicted, you can experience withdrawal symptoms if you don’t get a fix. These include nausea, diarrhea, joint and muscle pain, irritability, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating.
The more you take, the higher your tolerance for the drug will become. This translates to needing bigger and bigger doses to get the same rush as before. More quantity equals higher risk of long term effects. Of course, a person’s body chemistry, weight, and any pre-existing conditions will factor into the risk level. With pre-existing depression or anxiety, the long term effects of Vicodin on the brain can be more evident. Same with pre-existing liver damage or liver disease, Vicodin is more apt to cause liver failure or death.
Vicodin and other prescription medications are dangerous (even deadly) if abused. If you need help managing an addiction to Vicodin or other opiates, contact Treatment Now for expert assistance and treatment options.