Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms | Help

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms | Help

Vicodin withdrawal - what are the symptoms? what can be done?

Vicodin withdrawal – what are the symptoms? is it addiction?

Vicodin Withdrawal – what should I look for? does that mean I’m addicted? what can I do?

I have had a lot of questions regarding Vicodin addiction and withdrawal of late and thought it would be helpful to share the following resources from NIDA to answer common questions. This is not to be construed as medial advice, rather simply a sharing of information because the problems that arise with not using Vicodin – or any prescription medication, for that matter – as prescribed can be life-altering. [Note: in case you’re not aware, Vicodin is one of the Opiods, which is why the term Opiods is used throughout the following.]

Explain What Vicodin Is and Why It’s Prescribed

“Opioids [Vicodin] are medications that relieve pain. They reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus. Medications that fall within this class include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), codeine, and related drugs.” [NIDA What Are Opiods?]

How Does Vicodin Affect the Brain and Body?

“Opioids [Vicodin] act by attaching to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs in the body. When these drugs attach to their receptors, they reduce the perception of pain.” [NIDA How Do Opiods Affect the Brain and Body?“]

Is Vicodin Addictive?

“Physical dependence is a normal adaptation to chronic exposure to a drug and is not the same as addiction (see textbox, Dependence vs. Addiction).” [NIDA What Are the Possible Consequences of Opiod Use and Abuse?]

What Are Some of the Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms?

“…withdrawal symptoms may occur if drug use is suddenly reduced or stopped. These symptoms can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”), and involuntary leg movements.” [NIDA What Are the Possible Consequences of Opiod Use and Abuse?]

What if it is Addiction? How is it Treated?

“Years of research have shown that addiction to any drug (illicit or prescribed) is a brain disease that can be treated effectively. Treatment must take into account the type of drug used and the needs of the individual. Successful treatment may need to incorporate several components, including detoxification, counseling, and sometimes the use of addiction medications. Multiple courses of treatment may be needed for the patient to make a full recovery.” [NIDA Treating Prescription Drug Addiction]

What If I Need It for Chronic Pain?

“To mitigate addiction risk, physicians should screen patients for potential risk factors, including personal or family history of drug abuse or mental illness. Monitoring patients for signs of abuse is also crucial, and yet some indicators can signify multiple conditions, making accurate assessment challenging. Early or frequent requests for prescription pain medication refills, for example, could represent illness progression, the development of drug tolerance, or the emergence of a drug problem.” [NIDA Chronic Pain Treatment and Addiction]

Single Source for Prescription Drug Information

For all of the above information and more, please find NIDA’s PDF, Prescription Drugs: Abuse and Addiction.

For Help With Vicodin Withdrawal

Here are three resources provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

Opioid Treatment Program Directory

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator

Call SAMHSA's 24-Hour Toll-Free Treatment Referral Helpline

For More Information About Addiction – Whether It’s to Drugs or Alcohol

Visit this website, The Addiction Project, a collaborative work done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and HBO.

Lisa Frederiksen

Lisa Frederiksen

Author | Speaker | Consultant | Founder at
Lisa is the author of hundreds of articles and 11 books, including "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop!," "Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn't," and "Secondhand Drinking: the Phenomenon That Affects Millions." She is a national keynote speaker with over 25 years speaking experience, consultant, and founder of She has spent more than 14 years studying 21st century brain research in order to write, speak, and consult on substance use disorders prevention, intervention and treatment; mental disorders; addiction (aka substance use disorders) as a brain disease; adolescent addiction treatment vs adult addiction treatment; effective treatment for co-occurring disorders (having both a substance use and mental disorder); secondhand drinking | drugging; help for the family; and related subjects. In 2015, she founded SHD Prevention, providing training and consulting to companies, public agencies, unions, nonprofits and other entities to address the workplace impacts of employee secondhand drinking and alcohol misuse.
Lisa Frederiksen

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8 Responses to Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms | Help

  1. Herby Bell says:

    Great information, Lisa and once people are free and clear from the habitual use of Vicodin when it is not indicated, it’s a best practice to direct them toward a low carb, low inflammation and sensible exercise lifestyle so that those natural endorphins can get back on line ASAP!

    Opioids have their place, but this seductive and highly addictive substance can lull people into a false sense of well being that believe me, won’t last and can be deadly.

    Thank you for your diligence in bringing this commonly prescribed medication into clearer focus.

  2. Tammy says:

    Been addicted to Victorian 10/325’s for about 15 years. I quit before a d the primary reason I resume using them is the extreme fatigue that I experience. No matter how I stop using, or how long I’m clean the fatigue is constant to b the point I don’t even have enough energy to wash my hair. I take about 8+ / day just to have enough energy to function normally. How can I get back to normal because I’m spool tired of this cycle and just want a normal life.

  3. Debbie Dial says:

    I withdrew from Vicodin 4 weeks ago. I was on 6 to 8 a day. I went through horrible with drawls one week after I was off the pills. It’s been 4 weeks and I still don’t feel so well. I definitely feel better in the day and I am so happy mentally to be off of the evil pills. I still can’t sleep and I’m still restless especially my lower legs. I feel like I have a hang over through out the night. Can you tell me if this is normal please. I was on Vicodin for 5 years.

  4. Monica Mc Daniel says:

    I have been on 10-325 vicodin for 8 doctor just cut me off.said he cant do anymore for me. I need to withdrawl now…I have 220 ledt and dont know how to detox without harm. I need help to withdrawl any ideas

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