Vicodin is a prescription painkiller that contains the opioid hydrocodone and acetaminophen (Tylenol.) It is a psychoactive drug that when used in combination with alcohol or other intoxicating substances, can result in side effects of the prescription drug compounded with the individual effects of each substance.
You should always ask your physician about potential adverse reactions to any prescription medication, especially if you plan to use it in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol – an action that is not generally not advised by any medical professional.
Moreover, using Vicodin alone certainly does not come without its risks, but these risks are significantly increased when used along with other psychoactive substances.
What is Vicodin?
The active ingredients hydrocodone and Tylenol in Vicodin collaborate to relieve moderate to severe pain and reduce fever. Hydrocodone blocks nerve cells in the brain that create the sensation of pain. Acetaminophen boosts a person’s tolerance to pain, so injuries don’t feel as intense.
Side Effects of Vicodin and Alcohol
Both alcohol and Vicodin are central nervous system depressants and can have adverse side effects when used together. Both also have a high potential for addiction, so if you have a personal or family history of a substance use disorder, it is best to avoid them.
Side effects of using Vicodin and alcohol may include:
- Breathing problems
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Slurred speech
- Memory loss and confusion
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of coordination and motor function
- Constipation or difficulty urinating
- Heart palpitations
- Liver damage
Dangers of Mixing Vicodin and Alcohol
Vicodin and alcohol are both potentially dangerous substances that carry individual risks. These hazards are compounded when the substances are used in combination. Both alcohol and acetaminophen have the potential to cause liver damage, so mixing the two is especially dangerous.
There is also an increased risk long-term of stroke, cardiac arrest, various forms of cancer and more. Some reactions may be fatal – like heaving alcohol use, hydrocodone can decrease breathing, and the elderly or people with serious lung issues are particularly vulnerable.
Vicodin and Alcohol Addiction
If your doctor prescribed Vicodin, he or she will monitor you to make sure you aren’t misusing it and will alter your dosage or prescribe a different medication if necessary. You should be able to identify the signs and symptoms of Vicodin addiction before you become addicted, however.
You may have developed an addiction problem if you exhibit any of the following symptoms:
You increase your dosage of Vicodin yourself instead of consulting your physician. Over time, the body can develop a tolerance to Vicodin, so after a while, it might not be as effective. If this occurs, you should contact your doctor immediately, rather than simply increase your dosage without advice. This is dangerous because your body will continue to need an increasing amount of Vicodin to get the same effect – a reaction that could potentially lead to an overdose if you stay on that path.
You start to associate Vicodin use with a lack of pain or pleasurable feelings. Vicodin is usually prescribed to numb pain after an injury or surgery. It’s indicated for the treatment of acute (short-term) pain, but some people become addicted to the way it makes them feel. Moreover, if you feel you need to take Vicodin whenever you feel pain or that you can’t experience pleasure without it, you may be developing an addiction to Vicodin.
You continue using Vicodin after your doctor has discontinued your prescription. Your physician may decide to take you off Vicodin because your injury is healed or because he or she is concerned that you’ve become addicted. If you save your pills then take them after your doctor advises you to quit, purchase more on the black market, or doctor-shop to obtain more drugs, you may be addicted.
You can’t resist drinking alcohol while taking Vicodin. Combining alcohol and Vicodin is dangerous and potentially deadly. Alcohol is a depressant, so it depresses the central nervous system. Taking a depressant along with Vicodin, which also suppresses your system, can cause your heart and lungs to stop functioning. Also, alcohol impairs your judgment so it’s easier to overdose on Vicodin while intoxicated.
Treatment for Vicodin and Alcohol
If you or someone you love is battling an addiction to Vicodin, alcohol or both, we can help. Harmony Treatment and Wellness Centers specializes in caring for patients who are experiencing substance use disorders as well as co-existing psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Treatment for alcohol and drugs such as Vicodin typically starts with a medical detox, a clinical process that in which the body rids itself of toxic substances. After this stage, clients are encouraged to move into inpatient, partial hospitalization, or outpatient programs, where they obtain the knowledge, confidence, and skills they need to live a life free from drugs and alcohol.
You can regain your life and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness. Please don’t wait another day. We can help – start now!