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Vicodin Addiction: 5 Signs You May Have a Problem

By Marta Manning
Medically Reviewed by Arpan Parikh, MD, MBA on July 08, 2021
Using Vicodin can lead to opioid addiction. These red flags may be a sign of Vicodin addiction.

If your Vicodin use is becoming a habit, you may wonder if you have a substance use problem. Small changes in your behavior may be the first hint that you are at risk of developing a Vicodin addiction. Here are some warning signs to look out for when using this highly addictive drug.

Tolerance

Vicodin (hydrocodone) belongs to a class of drugs called opioids. You may develop a tolerance for opioids such as Vicodin if you use them regularly over a long period of time. National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus reports that Vicodin users often need more and more of the medication to get the same pain relief levels and pleasant feelings.

“It is important to note if you are taking increased amounts to achieve the same effect, experiencing diminished effects with the same dose, or taking more than is prescribed by your provider,” psychologist Tiffany Grimes, PhD, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

No Longer Doing Things You Once Enjoyed

Opioid drugs like Vicodin can overshadow other parts of your life, leading you to lose interest in things that once gave you joy. The Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Health and Human Services warns that chronic opioid use may lead you to give up hobbies and social opportunities. You may also start to neglect work or school or miss important appointments.

Cravings and Constantly Thinking of Using

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long-term Vicodin use can lead to opioid use disorder (OUD), a condition in which opioid use changes your thinking patterns and causes you to crave more drugs. You may frequently feel the need to take Vicodin and spend a lot of time planning for your next dose.

Hiding Vicodin Use

If you find yourself acting secretive about your Vicodin use and concealing it from others, your drug use may be entering dangerous territory. According to the National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus, people who show signs of risky or problematic drug use often keep secrets about their drug habits from friends and loved ones.

Money Problems and Trouble with the Law

If your Vicodin use is turning into an addiction, the number of pills your doctor prescribes for you may not feel like enough, and you may turn to illegal channels to get more of the drug. Addiction specialist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD, CHt, tells WebMD Connect to Care that many chronic Vicodin users “resort to ‘doctor shopping’ or forging prescriptions or buying the pills on the black market.” Paying increasing amounts of money for Vicodin and other drugs can lead to financial hardship, reports the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

If you see any of these hydrocodone addiction signs in yourself or your loved one, don’t hesitate to contact an addiction specialist to find a customized treatment plan that works for you.

Don’t Wait. Get Help Now.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help.

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