If you’re struggling with an addiction to Vicodin while also battling chronic pain, you may not know what to do. There are many people in the United States who develop addictions to these addictive medications because of chronic pain, and it starts to take control of their life. One of the reasons you may be afraid to get treatment is because you’re concerned that you won’t be able to receive any treatment for your pain once you get clean. The reality is that addiction specialists in treatment programs specialize in pain management and will help you learn how to manage your pain without having to abuse these substances
Chronic pain can be absolutely debilitating and hold you back from living your best life, which may be why you continue to take these medications. Two of the main problems of being prescribed these medications long-term is that you develop a tolerance as well as a dependence. The reality is that these medications don’t help treat the pain, but the help blocks the pain receptors. In treatment, you’ll receive the help that will assist in treating the pain and help you discover if you’re abusing the medications to cope with other stresses in your life.
Chronic Pain and Vicodin Addiction
Medications like Vicodin work by helping to block the pain receptors in your brain, which helps to decrease your symptoms of pain. While the medication does this, it also releases dopamine in your brain, and this is a neurotransmitter that gives you pleasure. Over time, your brain starts to need the drug in order to feel well, and you also need to take more in order to get the same effect. The problem with a Vicodin addiction is that at a certain point you may begin taking the medication just to get the pleasure and not treat the pain.
Addiction is different than any other disease because it affects the limbic system in your brain, and this part of the brain is responsible for survival. Once you develop a dependence on the medication, your brain will actually intensify your pain because it’s how the brain tells you to take more of the drug. This, unfortunately, turns into a cycle in which your brain is telling you that you’re in more pain than you’re really in, and if you quit, you can experience the symptoms of withdrawal, which can be extremely uncomfortable. Some of the most common symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal include the following and more:
- Aches and pains
- Flu-like symptoms
How Addiction Treatment Works
The first step in the addiction treatment process is to help you come off of the medication safely and comfortably through medical detox. You’ll receive the help of physicians who specialize in Vicodin detoxification, and they’ll help to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal with various medications. This will help keep you comfortable as well as safe. From here, the addiction treatment center can begin working with you to help you manage your symptoms of chronic pain as well.
As you’ve already learned, Vicodin doesn’t actually treat your pain, but it helps to mask that pain. So, when you go to an addiction treatment program, the top priority is to help treat your chronic pain and help your body begin healing. It’s important to realize that the United States prescribes more pain medications than anywhere else in the world by a large margin. There are actually a variety of different ways to treat pain that the rest of the world uses that can help you manage your pain in a much better way.
When you get clean, you may find that a lot of your pain begins to go away on its own because your body has been healing, but you didn’t realize it. You also may realize that you weren’t in all that much pain, but you were turning to the medication as a way to deal with the stresses of life. Through addiction therapy, you’re going to start to get down to the root of why you started abusing the substance and if you’re using it to self-medicate a different issue. Addiction therapy helps you turn and face your internal struggles and learn how to cope with them in a much healthier way.