“Whether you sniff it, smoke it, eat it, or shove it up your ass, the result is the same: addiction.” - William S. Burroughs…In this day in age people get addicted to video games, the internet even social media, almost everything can become an addiction. From the age 15 to now I have seen people consume a variety of drugs in pill from ecstasy to religiously taking ibuprofen. I never witnessed a full blown addiction until my best-friend, (who I will be calling X for this paper) became addicted to vicodin. She became a completely different person; she was fully emerged in the addiction. It took control of her life. It changed her values, relationships and her health. So, what is Vicodin? Vicodin is a combination of two pain relievers, acetaminophen, commonly known by the trade name Tylenol, and hydrocodone synthetic codeine. Vicodin is one of the most widely prescribed pain relievers and has become one of the most frequently abused.According drugabuse.gov “vicodin can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message, ultimately disrupting communication channels. The difference in effect can be described as the difference between someone whispering into your ear and someone shouting into a microphone”. X began taking the pill when she had an abortion; it was given to her to help the discomfort and pain during and after the procedure. X began taking it as prescribed, then slowly into the month began taking it for “small headaches” or because she had a “bad day”. Her supply ran out and her prescription was no longer filled once the month ended. Her parents were getting a divorce and her home life was deteriorating along with her own relationship. Vicodin became her escape from the real world. Since her supply had run out, she began slowly stealing them from her mom’s medicine cabinet. It began with taking 1-3, then finally she ended up clearing that supply too. According to webmd.com some severe side effects and symptoms that occur while being on Vicodin are the following -
Vocal Cord Swelling
A Spasm of the Larynx
Collapsed Portion of Lung
Significant Decrease in Lung Function
Change in Pulse
Abnormal Nervous System Function Affecting Mental Alertness
X was experiencing trouble breathing at night, confusion and at times would complain her heartbeat was abnormally fast, but she continued to indulge in taking the pills she could get her hands on. Vicodin contains the drug hydrocodone, which binds opiate receptors in the brain. This lessens the feelings of pain. While X was trying to mask the discomfort of her abortion, she was abusing the drug to a whole other level. She was prescribed another dose of the drug when she complained of severe pain in her uterus. The high she was receiving from taking 4-5 pills a day were making her completely enslaved to the drug. She began buying it off the street when her prescribed supply once again had run out. Rehab-international estimates suggest that,” nearly two million individuals across the United States suffer from vicodin addiction”. They also state that “according to a 2010 survey of young adults by the University of Michigan, nearly one in 10 teenagers had used the prescription painkiller by their senior year in high school, and vicodin abuse in the United States alone has nearly quadrupled within the last 10 years”. With vicodin being prescribed so easily in medical offices, many people have begun to sell their supply. The thing with pill addiction is it’s easy to get and pretty cheap. The street value is about 4-5 dollars a pill. But part of the problem the more you take it the higher ones tolerance becomes for it. So this creates, needing more of it to feel the high or wanted effect. The drug abuse government website states, “drug impact on the reward...