Vicodin Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

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Vicodin is a combination medication that contains hydrocodone (a strong opioid painkiller) and acetaminophen (a mild over-the-counter painkiller). Like all Schedule II controlled substances, Vicodin is associated with the risk of abuse and addiction in the form of opioid use disorder. Read on to learn more about the signs and symptoms of Vicodin addiction, and discover how to connect with evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction in Ohio.

Is Vicodin Addictive?

Vicodin, a prescription pain medication that combines hydrocodone and acetaminophen, has addictive properties due to its opioid component. Hydrocodone – an opioid agonist – can trigger a sense of relaxation and euphoria, leading to its potential for misuse and addiction. Continued use of Vicodin, especially beyond the prescribed duration or dosage, can result in tolerance, where higher doses are needed to achieve the same effect, and dependence, wherein the body becomes reliant on the drug to function normally.

Tolerance builds as the body adjusts to the consistent presence of Vicodin, often prompting people to increase dosage or frequency of dosage. This abusive form of consumption can accelerate the development of physical dependence. As the body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug, the absence of Vicodin can cause distressing withdrawal symptoms to manifest, reinforcing the cycle of use and leading to a heightened likelihood of addiction.

A woman stares out at the sunset after she learned about Vicodin addiction

Vicodin Addiction Signs

If you are concerned about Vicodin abuse in yourself or someone that you care about, look for the following warning signs:

  • Increased secrecy about medication use: Individuals addicted to Vicodin may attempt to hide or downplay their consumption, leading to heightened secrecy regarding their medication use.
  • Seeking multiple prescriptions: Persistent efforts to obtain multiple prescriptions for Vicodin from different doctors can be a significant marker of Vicodin addiction.
  • Changes in social behavior: Noticeable alterations in social interactions, such as withdrawal from social activities or a sudden change in social circles, can indicate the emergence of Vicodin addiction.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: A sudden decline in fulfilling personal or professional obligations, coupled with a lack of focus and commitment, may indicate the onset of Vicodin addiction.
  • Continuing use despite negative consequences: Disregarding the adverse effects of Vicodin on physical health, mental well-being, and interpersonal relationships can suggest an escalating dependency on the drug.

Vicodin Addiction Symptoms

Like all opioid use disorders, Vicodin addiction is characterized by 11 symptoms delineated in DSM-5-TR (fifth revised edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Vicodin addiction is diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe according to the number of symptoms that manifest in a one-year period. These are the symptoms of Vicodin addiction:

  1. An increase in tolerance to Vicodin, leading to the need for higher doses to achieve the desired effect.
  2. Manifestations of withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, muscle aches, anxiety, and irritability, when Vicodin use is reduced or stopped.
  3. Making unsuccessful attempts to reduce or control Vicodin consumption despite the desire to do so, as well as unsuccessful attempts to obtain Vicodin.
  4. A significant amount of time spent engaging in activities related to obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of Vicodin consumption.
  5. A reduction in participation in favored activities due to Vicodin use.
  6. Engaging in the use of Vicodin in situations where it poses a physical danger, such as while operating machinery or driving.
  7. Persistent Vicodin use despite ongoing interpersonal conflicts or relationship issues resulting from substance use.
  8. Giving up or significantly reducing participation in important social activities due to Vicodin use.
  9. Experiencing intense drug cravings or a strong urge to use Vicodin, often leading to compulsive consumption.
  10. Engaging in Vicodin use that leads to failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school, or home.
  11. Continuing to use Vicodin despite being aware of persistent physical or psychological issues exacerbated by the substance.

Treatment for Vicodin Addiction

A comprehensive and personalized approach will streamline successful recovery from Vicodin addiction. The journey typically begins with a thorough evaluation by healthcare professionals to determine the extent of the addiction and any co-occurring mental health issues.

Medical detoxification

In severe cases, medical detoxification under the supervision of healthcare experts might be necessary to manage the often challenging withdrawal symptoms associated with Vicodin addiction. This step ensures that the detox process is as safe and comfortable as possible.

Behavioral therapy

Therapy forms an essential component of Vicodin addiction treatment, with CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) being a common approach. CBT helps people identify and modify harmful thought patterns and behaviors related to substance abuse, enabling them to develop healthier coping mechanisms.

MAT (medication-assisted treatment)

FDA-approved medications may be used throughout ongoing treatment for Vicodin addiction, as well as during detox. Healthcare providers carefully monitor the use of such medications to ensure their effectiveness and safety. MAT is always more effective when blended with CBT or other talk therapies.

Support groups

Engaging in support groups or group therapy sessions can provide people in recovery from opioid addiction with a sense of community and understanding. Sharing experiences and insights with others who have faced similar challenges can be immensely beneficial in maintaining motivation and fostering long-term recovery from Vicodin addiction.

Aftercare planning

Planning for aftercare is crucial in maintaining sobriety after rehab. This often includes ongoing therapy, support group participation, and other forms of follow-up care tailored to individual needs. It aims to prevent relapse and promote a smooth transition back into daily life.

By approaching Vicodin addiction treatment with a combination of these strategies, individuals can receive comprehensive care that addresses the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction, setting them on the path to a healthier and more fulfilling life. Here’s how you can achieve this in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Why is Vicodin addictive?

Vicodin is addictive due to its interaction with the brain’s reward system, triggering a sense of euphoria and relaxation. Prolonged use can result in the development of tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction (opioid use disorder).

How addictive is Vicodin?

Vicodin is a Schedule II controlled substance that is highly addictive, especially when used in ways other than prescribed or for an extended period, leading to a heightened risk of dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.

Ohio Recovery Centers, where Vicodin addiction treatment is available

Get Treatment for Vicodin Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

If you or a loved one is addicted to Vicodin, we can help you recalibrate your life at Ohio Recovery Centers in Cincinnati, OH.

We treat Vicodin addiction, in an outpatient setting. This provides you with the most flexible and affordable pathway to long-term recovery from opioid use disorder. For those who require more structure and support in their recovery, we also offer intensive outpatient treatment at our Cincinnati rehab.

All Ohio Recovery Centers treatment programs blend, behavioral, holistic, and pharmacological interventions for a science-based approach to addiction recovery. All treatment programs also include a relapse prevention and management component. Call 877-679-2132 when you are ready to move beyond Vicodin addiction.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn