VICODIN AND THE PAIN GAME
Vicodin is an analgesic drug containing acetaminophen and hydrocodone, which is an opioid resembling codeine. Vicodin is also used as a recreational drug.
The drug is used mostly as a pain manager. So, if you have a sports injury, or just had a surgical procedure, your doctor will more than likely prescribe Vicodin as a way to deal with the pain.
HOW POTENT IS VICODIN?
Vicodin is not as powerful as Percocet, which contains opioid properties derived directly from morphine.
Vicodin, however, is stronger than codeine, and it’s the drug’s strength that brings Vicodin to a dangerous level.
All-in-all, Vicodin is far down on the potency line, yet the drug still has its dangers.
HOW DOES THE DEA RATE VICODIN?
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) rates Vicodin as a Schedule II narcotic. Originally, Vicodin was rated as a Schedule III controlled substance, although that was before the recent nationwide upticks in prescription drug abuse.
Since then, the DEA has sought ways to clamp down on the misuse of Vicodin. But trendiness and popularity have a much greater impact than DEA ordinances that raise Vicodin’s drug status to reflect it as a much more dangerous drug.
IS VICODIN ADDICTIVE?
Because Vicodin has the opioid properties hydrocodone as well as acetaminophen for additional pain management. Like other narcotics, the DEA has deemed it necessary to monitor Vicodin.
Of course we all know how addictive opioid-based narcotics can be. In that same light, Vicodin is no less addictive.
Vicodin addiction is a double-edged sword: Not only can the opioid properties endanger your life by slowing your heartbeat, the acetaminophen in the drug can cause severe liver damage if taken too often and in large dosages.
Signs of Vicodin abuse can also include:
- Blurred Vision
- Ringing in the Ears
- Constricted pupils
And that is what a doctor-prescribed opioid-based painkiller can do to you, particularly if you abuse it. Most likely, you by now will probably be addicted to the drug.
IN THIS CORNER, MEDICAL MARIJUANA…
Marijuana and opioids approach pain in much different manners.
Opioids simply block pain signals to your brain that tells you you’re in pain. This is because you can’t feel the pain. It’s for this reason that opioids are so readily prescribed to people who have been in surgery.
How marijuana blocks pain is less understood than opioids. For one, cannabis works with the endocannabinoid and the opioid system, giving pot the potential to address an injury or surgery from two separate sources.
Opioids are much more limited than medical marijuana. The endocannabinoid system interacts with parts of the opioid system, but taking prescription opioids does not engage the endocannabinoid system in the way that consuming marijuana does. According to recent research, this may enable compounds in marijuana to:
- Reduce swelling that can cause pain throughout a person’s body
- Trigger the release of
- Reduce fluid buildup around injuries.
- Block pain signals in the brain much in the same way as opioids.
- Act as a muscle relaxer as well as widen tight blood vessels.
- Stop or mitigate neuropathic pain.
THE END ADVANTAGE OF POT OVER PRESCRIPTION VICODIN
Let’s face it, there are some forms of pain that pot might never be strong enough to lessen. For instance, post-surgical pain might be too intense for pot to even approach it. And for that, an opioid should be prescribed.
However, if the pain is not too intense, just discomforting, marijuana is a good alternative.
Pot can react to the pain both as a cannabis and as an opioid. It just doesn’t happen on the intense level of Vicodin.
Another plus: pot isn’t addictive, and Vicodin, because of its opioid properties, is addicting.
Granted, nothing in this article suggests that medical marijuana and prescription pills meant for pain management can’t play nice together.
Treatments are already underway in which medical marijuana is used in conjunction with a very mild narcotic, might be a new way of treating chronic, low-level pain.
We shall see.
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