Vicodin is a pain relief drug that contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Because it contains an opioid, it is one of the most addictive drugs on the market. Comprehending how long it lasts in your system can be useful in helping determine the best course of treatment in case of a dependency.
Vicodin is often prescribed to individuals who are experiencing pain due to an injury, surgery, or chronic illness. Ideally, Vicodin should be swallowed or injected. However, people struggling with an addiction to Vicodin will snort it in an attempt to experience more intense effects of the drug.
How Will Vicodin Affect My Body?
The main ingredient is Vicodin is hydrocodone, a narcotic analgesic. Hydrocodone binds with some of the cells in the spinal cord and brain, known as opioid receptors. Opioids manipulate the signals in the brain that perceive pain and emotional reaction. This causes a euphoric feeling that is very calming and highly addictive. Most individuals get hooked on this euphoric feeling and begin taking higher doses of Vicodin in an attempt to reach that high. A first-time user will experience the high, but they will find that they need higher doses to achieve this high as they continue using it.
Some of the effects linked to Vicodin use are:
When Vicodin is taken together with alcohol and other pain meds such as cold medications, sedatives, opioid antagonists, muscle relaxants and anxiety meds, it can heighten the effects of the drug. Interactions between Vicodin and these substances puts one at a higher risk of experiencing harsh side effects. Harsh side effects can include severe dizziness, liver damage and shallow breathing. They could also indicate that one is going through an overdose or at the risk of experiencing one.
A Vicodin overdose occurs when an individual deliberately or accidentally consumes excessive amounts of Vicodin or uses other substances such as alcohol. An overdose can happen on purpose when one wants to hurt themselves or by accident if they are struggling with an addiction.
An addiction to Vicodin is very dangerous and has tremendous effects on the body. Even if you don’t overdose, misuse of Vicodin can cause liver damage or liver failure. When taken for a long time, Vicodin causes scarring and inflammation in the liver leading to liver damage. Moreover, the drug slows down the respiratory and digestive systems leading to intestinal damage and chronic constipation. This leaves one more vulnerable to lung problems and respiratory infections.
The symptoms associated with a Vicodin overdose include:
- Low blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Constricted pupils
- Shallow breathing
- Discolouration on the lips and fingernails
How long will Vicodin Stay in my system?
When you take Vicodin, it takes about four hours for the drug’s concentration in your body to be reduced by half. Tests are done to determine if you have Vicodin in your body examine the traces of hydrocodone. Various tests can be conducted to determine if you have taken Vicodin. These include:
- Blood test
- Urine test: This is the most common test for Vicodin. This is because it can show traces of Vicodin four days after it was last consumed. If the individual is a chronic user, the detection window is longer.
- Saliva test: This type of test is not the most ideal. It has to be conducted shortly after use; that is, before 12 hours lapse. If the test is conducted after, the traces of Vicodin will not be detected.
- Hair follicle test: This is the most reliable test because traces of Vicodin can be found in hair follicles 90 days following the last intake.
What Determines How Long Vicodin Will be in my System?
Various factors determine how long Vicodin will last in your system. They include:
- Testing time: If you take long to get the test done from your last intake, the chance that Vicodin will be found in your system is slim.
- Metabolism: We all have unique metabolisms. The faster your metabolism is, the quicker the drug will be eliminated from your system. Metabolism varies depending on one’s sex, age, environmental factors, and other predispositions.
- Overall wellbeing: If you suffer from liver disease, you will probably have difficulties breaking down Vicodin. It means that it will stay in your body longer than normal. You could even test positive weeks after your last intake.
- Interaction with other medication or substances: Some interactions with other drugs and substances can affect how long Vicodin will last in your system.
- Body fat composition: When taken for a considerable period, Vicodin is stored in one’s fatty tissue. This causes the traces of Vicodin in the body to show up in tests even when you have not taken the drug for a while. The more fatty tissue one has, the more hydrocodone is absorbed. It is worse if one has a compromised metabolism as a result of liver damage.
How can I Eliminate Vicodin from My System?
The best way to eliminate Vicodin from your system is by quitting the drug. Depending on how deep the dependency is, you might not be able to go cold turkey. During the detoxification phase that involves getting rid of the Vicodin from your system, one is expected to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are often very harsh and the reason why most people relapse during their recovery journey.
It is advisable to go through detoxification from a recovery centre or with a qualified medical practitioner at home. Some of the symptoms are life-threatening and require medical attention, such as convulsions, slow heart rate, and loss of consciousness. Medical professionals might need to administer drugs to help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms.
Once the detoxification is complete, the hardest task for users is staying sober. Joining a support group can help you in the journey of sobriety. It allows you to walk the journey with others going through similar situations.