If you know you’ve got a problem and that you can’t stop taking Vicodin, before you take any action you need to first figure out what type of problem you have – essentially, are dependent on opiates, or addicted and dependent on opiates?
Vicodin Dependence vs. Vicodin Addiction
If you take Vicodin every day for a period of weeks, you’ll become dependent on the medication, you’ll need to take gradually increasing doses to feel the same analgesia of euphoria and you’ll experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop or wait too long between doses.
However, if you use the medication only as prescribed and never take a higher dose than directed – and use it only to control pain and never to change the way you feel, then you while you may be opiate dependent you are very unlikely opiate addicted.
If you sometimes or always use Vicodin because for reasons other than doctor prescribed, especially if you use the drug to get high or to change the way you feel, then you are an opiate abuser – and people who abuse opiates for any length of time are very likely to become opiate addicted.
- People who are opiate dependent only do not need addiction treatment. These people can taper their daily dose down, under the direction of the prescribing physician, and while there can be some discomfort associated with this tapering process, drug cravings should not derail the process.
- People who are opiate addicted and opiate dependent will experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use and will also experience very strong drug cravings. Opiates are notoriously tough to break away from and most people who become opiate addicted need some form of addiction treatment – often combined with medication – to stay in recovery for any significant length of time.
Page last updated Jul 01, 2011