If you have a prescription for Vicodin, learn about the effects of mixing Vicodin and alcohol before you start drinking. Alcohol can enhance Vicodin's muscle relaxant effects. This can be fatal, as your heart may slow down too much or stop beating and you may have difficulty breathing. If you can't stop drinking while on Vicodin, you may be addicted to one or both substances. Call us to get help with a Vicodin or alcohol addiction.
Am I Addicted to Vicodin and Alcohol?
Vicodin is a prescription strength painkiller because of the risk of becoming addicted to it. If your doctor prescribes Vicodin, she'll monitor you to make sure you aren't taking it inappropriately and will change your dosage or prescribe an alternative drug if necessary. However, you should also know the signs of Vicodin addiction because if you become addicted you might not share information with your doctor that he needs to know to help you. You may have an addiction problem if you have any of the following symptoms:
- You up your dosage of Vicodin yourself instead of consulting your doctor. Your body builds tolerance to Vicodin, so after a while it might stop working or not be as effective. If this happens, you should call your doctor immediately. Some people decide to up their dose themselves. This is dangerous because your body will need more and more Vicodin to get the same effect. If you keep upping your Vicodin dosage, particularly if you don't tell your doctor about what you're doing, you may be addicted to Vicodin's effects.
- You associate Vicodin use with lack of pain or with pleasurable feelings. Vicodin is often prescribed to numb pain after surgery or a serious injury. It's meant for short-term use, but some people get addicted to the way it makes them feel. If you feel you need to take Vicodin every time you feel pain or that you can't feel pleasure without it, you may be dealing with a Vicodin addiction.
- You continue taking Vicodin after your doctor has discontinued its use. Your doctor may decide to take you off Vicodin because your injury is healed or because he's worried that you're becoming addicted. If you save your pills and take them for pain even when they haven't been prescribed, you may be addicted, especially if you do so without telling your doctor about it.
- You can't resist drinking while on Vicodin. Mixing alcohol and Vicodin is dangerous and sometimes can be deadly. Alcohol is a depressant, so it slows down your central nervous system. Taking a depressant along with Vicodin, which also slows down your system, can cause your heart and lungs to stop functioning. In addition, alcohol impairs your judgment so it's easier to overdose on Vicodin while drunk. If you continue drinking while on Vicodin despite these risks, you may be addicted to one or both of these substances.
Concerns of Mixing Alcohol with Other Opiates
Treatment for Addiction to Vicodin and Alcohol
Vicodin, like other opiates, can cause a physical addiction. Over time, your body needs more and more Vicodin to function normally. This is one reason why unchecked Vicodin addiction can lead to death; your body may eventually need so much Vicodin that you overdose. For this reason, treatment for this addiction must begin with detoxification. You stay in the hospital during detoxification and doctors monitor you for withdrawal signs such as nausea and vomiting. Your doctor will help you keep these symptoms under control and withdraw safely from the drug. Detoxification lasts about seven days.
After you've detoxified, you'll be ready to enter an inpatient rehabilitation treatment program. This type of program requires you to live at a rehabilitation center. While you're in rehab, you'll participate in group and individual therapy sessions as well as 12-step programs to help you get additional support and learn how to live without Vicodin and alcohol. Rehabilitation lasts from 30 days to one year, depending on the severity of your addiction problem.
After you complete rehabilitation, you may want to take advantage of outpatient treatment services. During this stage of treatment, you live at home and go to the treatment center for therapy and other treatments. Outpatient treatment can help you to stay committed to your new way of living rather than relapsing into Vicodin and alcohol use.
The effects of mixing Vicodin and alcohol can be fatal, but you don't have to let this addiction kill you. If you're ready to get help, call us so that you can free yourself from addiction and live a healthy life.