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Vicodin Abuse In Teens And Next Steps


tied to vicodin

Vicodin is a potent prescription pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a combination of two medications: acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is a narcotic, also known as opioid pain medication. The less potent pain reliever, acetaminophen works to increase the effects of hydrocodone. There is a common misconception that simply because a doctor has prescribed a certain type of medication there is an unspoken implication that there is no risk of addiction. This, however, is wildly incorrect. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Vicodin as a Schedule II controlled substance. As such, Vicodin is marked as having a high potential for abuse, which can potentially lead to severe psychological and physical dependence. When taken exactly as directed by a qualified medical professional, it can be a highly effective medication and a young person that is prescribed Vicodin can experience pain related relief. Vicodin abuse occurs when teen ingests Vicodin that had not been prescribed by a medical professional, uses more than the amount prescribed, or uses a different ingestion method then prescribed. Mixing Vicodin, especially when clearly instructed not to, with other drugs and/ or alcohol could also be considered abuse. If there is concern that your teen may be abusing Vicodin do not delay in pursuing professional guidance to ensure his or her safety. 

Next Steps

Though the recovery process is not always linear, the broad components of substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment are universal. They include the following phases, in sequential order: 

  1. Detox: this is the process that rids and cleanses one’s body of all foreign substances. This is an essential first step in recovery from Vicodin abuse, as it is impossible to effectively begin treatment for substance abuse and/ or addiction without successfully completing the detox process. There are several different ways a young person can undergo detox, each offering varying levels of support. Teenagers that struggle with Vicodin abuse are encouraged to undergo a medically supervised detox process to ensure their safety throughout its duration. 
  2. Formal Treatment: There are several different substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs available for teenagers who abuse Vicodin, some of which include:
    1. Inpatient programs: which are programs that require the teenager to reside at the treatment facility for a certain length of time
    2. Outpatient programs: which are programs that offer more flexible attendance hours without requiring the teen to reside at the treatment facility
    3. Group therapy programs: which rely heavily on group therapy to help treat one’s addiction 
    4. Individualized therapy programs: where the teenager is paired with a therapeutic or medical professional and works with them privately throughout his or her recovery process 
  3. Aftercare: Once a young person completes his or her treatment program it is essential to have a proper aftercare plan in place. An aftercare plan is a unique plan catered to each specific individual’s needs for maintaining sobriety post-treatment. Aftercare plans generally touch upon various healthy daily habits to integrate into one’s life post-treatment, such as maintaining a nutritious diet, regular exercise, getting ample amounts of sleep nightly, and/ or additional self-care practices. Depending on one’s needs an aftercare plan can range from including a highly detailed daily schedule to more vague overall suggestions. Regardless of where the specifics of one’s plan falls on the spectrum, an aftercare plan will always address relapse prevention. The aftercare plan is often a co-creation between the teen in treatment and his or her clinical care team. 

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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