When an addict makes a conscious decision to seek help in breaking their addiction to Vicodin they should first seek out a qualified addiction treatment center. Whether they choose to take part in an out-patient therapy group or check into an in-patient facility, specialized treatment centers can not only help ease the symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal put can also equip the addict with the tools they’ll need to avoid a relapse into use and ultimately obtain long-term recovery.
Most often the first step in Vicodin addiction treatment is a medically supervised detoxification process that helps gradually remove the drug from the body’s system. This stage of detox is often eased with synthetic opiate drugs such as Suboxone, which replaces Vicodin and calms withdrawal symptoms. Some addiction treatment centers will also utilize buprenorphine paired with naloxone during the initial detox stage, which activates opiate receptors in the brain and reduces cravings for the drug while also preventing the addict from abusing the medication designed to help in recovery.
Once initial detoxification has been completed the addict should begin a course of intensive therapy that explores the issues that led to dependency. During therapy—whether it’s in an individual or group setting—addiction specialists can offer tools and alternative ways to deal with these issues as well as address emotional and psychological problems that exist. They can also help the addict find ways to repair the damaged relationships with family and friends that very often occur with drug abuse.
Unfortunately, Vicodin addiction most likely developed because the user was taking the drug for a legitimate reason, such as for the management of chronic and long-term pain. This pain may still exist, and therefore must be treated with methods that can no longer involve opioid medications such as Vicodin. Therefore, an addiction treatment program should work in conjunction with the addict’s physician in order to find healthy pain-management techniques. Such techniques may involve meditation and self-hypnosis combined with specially designed exercises as prescribed by a doctor or other health care professional.
As well as the continuing existence of chronic pain, certain psychological and social factors and stressors may still exist that can push a Vicodin addict back into a life of drug abuse. The “escape” effect that Vicodin provides is hard to break free from, and relapse into use is a real danger at all points of addiction recovery. So, it’s important that the addict receive some form of cognitive and behavioral therapy that can assist them in coping, in healthy ways, with the stressful realities of everyday life.
The relatively new existence of opioid-based drugs such as Vicodin means addiction counselors and specialists are still seeking new ways to treat abusers and help them achieve lasting recovery. But the proven methods and therapies that do exist for opioid abuse and addiction are highly effective, and anyone seeking to end their dependence on the drug should absolutely seek help from in- and outpatient programs as they provide the best possible chances for a long life free of Vicodin addiction and dependence.