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Vicodin Abuse And Its Effects on The Body

If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for alcohol or substance abuse, please call our partner facility today:
The PAC Program
(866) 516-8266


Vicodin, a central nervous system depressant used as a pain reliever, lasts for about 4-6 hours. It stays in the body for a day or two, however. The drug is tolerance-building and highly addictive.


Vicodin’s main ingredient, hydrocodone, is an opioid. Opioids are proteins that alter and diminish our perception of pain, both physical and mental. They attach to receptors in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs. Opioids can be used effectively for medicinal purposes, but they are also commonly abused by millions worldwide.

When someone misuses Vicodin or takes it for too long, it can be very addictive. Signs of Vicodin abuse include:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Feelings of pleasure, relaxation, and contentment
  • Impaired coordination
  • Lessened feelings of pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Slowed or shallow breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Stop coughing


Vicodin takes about 1.3 hours to reach peak effect. Its half-life for a typical adult is a little under 4 hours. As for how long it takes to wear off, that depends on the person and their usage habits.


Vicodin is only detectable in the blood for a day or two, but it remains visible on urine screens for a couple of days longer, and traces can be found in hair for 90 days or even longer.


Trying to detox on one’s own is a far-reaching feat, but for no greater end. Under doctors’ supervision, not only will an individual be safe, but the person will be made as comfortable as possible–with medicinal aid, if necessary. After detox comes long-term treatment, either inpatient, inside a facility; or outpatient–either in the clinic or somewhere else. Sobriety is a long-journey which makes aftercare so critical.

When taking Vicodin without a prescription, or taking higher doses than prescribed—don’t keep it to oneself. Even if there are feelings of needing to do what is being done, there are undoubtedly a dozen safer options for treating pain, no matter how severe. Let us help you through the withdrawal symptoms; you do not have to face this time alone.

Vicodin abuse is a life-threatening problem that requires immediate intervention. That’s why we’re here.