Vicodin is a brand of painkillers containing a mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen or APAP. It is a prescription drug, and, as a potent opioid medication, it should be used with caution.
If not used carefully, people can experience a range of unwanted sensations. The question is: can you get high off Vicodin?
What does a Vicodin high feel like?
A Vicodin higher can trigger feelings of well-being, relaxation, and sensations of euphoria. The main active ingredient in Vicodin, hydrocodone, affects opioid receptors in the brain. In short, that dampens the person’s pain perception. If the dose is high enough, hydrocodone can go as far as to act on pleasure centers in the brain.
Does It Work On Everyone?
Not everyone gets high on Vicodin. You will find that some Vicodin consumers claim that it is impossible to get high on Vicodin. Often people who use it as a pain reliever will develop a tolerance. To attain a high, they would have to ingest dangerously high amounts. Before prescribing Vicodin as medication, the physician usually explains what is at stake.
Patients are generally interested in their own well-being and are aware of physical dangers that can come with overdosing on medications. So although that happens to severe addicts, most of the patients do not take the risk of taking dangerously large doses.
After all, they take these drugs to relieve pain, not to add to it.
Getting High On Proper Dosage?
It is very unlikely that someone will accidently get high on Vicodin while respecting the doctor’s prescription.
The decision of the exact dosage is the physician’s responsibility. Based on your pain level and your history of painkiller use, the type and dose of pain reliever will differ. Usually, Vicodin is not intended for prolonged use, precisely because it has potential for dependence and even addiction.
There are three main Vicodin formulations, with the following usage guidelines:
- Regular Vicodin pills (with 5 mg hydrocodone and 750 mg of acetaminophen):
The typical dose for adults is one or two tablets every four to six hours. The daily dose should not exceed eight pills.
- Vicodin ES pills (containing 7.5 mg of hydrocodone and 750 mg of acetaminophen) or Vicodin HP (with 10 mg of hydrocodone and 750 mg of acetaminophen):
An average dosage for an adult is to take pills every four to six hours, but not more than five pills per day.
- Liquid Vicodin doses including 7.5 mg hydrocodone and 325 mg acetaminophen:
The adult safety limits dictate ingesting 15 mL every four to six hours, without exceeding six tablespoon intakes per day.
For children or adult weighing less than 100 lbs, each serving should be adjusted to the patient’s weight: 10 mL for a weight of 70-100 pounds, 7.5 mL for a weight between 51-69 lbs and 3.75-5 mL for children up to six years.
People that observe these guidelines should neither expect to suffer from unpleasant side effects, nor to get high. The most likely scenario would be that their bodies may increase their tolerance to the drug over time. In that case, people won’t benefit from the pain-relieving effects of Vicodin. They would have to increase the dose.
Once you become tolerant to the drug, you will need to increase the amount of Vicodin to obtain the same goals as previously. Your perception of pleasurable sensations dampens too, and that includes pain relief and any relaxing feeling. The most likely result of increasing doses, in that case, would be gradual physical damage and worsened withdrawal symptoms.
Getting High On Vicodin?
So if it is unlikely to get high on Vicodin when you follow the dosage recommendations, is there another way?
Improper Dosage of Vicodin
Many people do experience the sensation of a high after using Vicodin. As explained above, it rarely happens to regular patients. Here are two main scenarios how someone can get high on Vicodin:
- Accidental overdose. Some patients are less careful than others. They can forget a dose and then take a double dose after realizing it. It is never advisable to make up for any forgotten dose because it can be too much to handle by your body. A double dose doesn’t cancel out the previous omission. The result is the same as accidentally taking the medication in excessive amounts or too frequently.
- Non-medicinal use. Other people take Vicodin on purpose to trigger the “high” These people either already use Vicodin as pain relievers and enjoy consuming larger amount to feel the pleasant sensations. Or they do not suffer any pain and plainly consume Vicodin for recreational purposes.
Mixing With Other Substances
A much more probable scenario of getting high when using Vicodin is to mix it with other substances. Again, some people can do it unknowingly or by accident. They might not be aware or may have forgotten that it’s dangerous to, for example, drink alcohol while on Vicodin.
Others do it on purpose, knowing that alcohol enhances the effects of hydrocodone, one of the main ingredients of Vicodin.
And conversely, the active ingredients in Vicodin interact with alcohol, changing the person’s perceptions and sensations.
Why snort Vicodin?
People that deliberately use Vicodin to get high have a preferred method: snorting Vicodin powder. There are two reasons why snorting is so popular among addicts:
- Fast-acting. The reason is that hydrocodone can get to your brain much faster that way than by swallowing it.
- Enhanced sensation. Snorting increases the intensity of euphoric feelings.
However, that comes at a price. Other than the usual side effects you can expect of abusing Vicodin, snorting has a couple of serious downsides:
- It damages the nasal and sinus cavities
- The analgesic effects wear off quicker (this is important for patients who use it as painkiller)
- It causes damage to the liver and can trigger a liver failure
- It increases the risk of physical dependence and psychological addiction
- The danger of causing an overdose is much higher
How Much Vicodin To Get High?
It is impossible to precisely predict what dose you need to take to get high on Vicodin. People usually follow patient guidelines and increase their doses stepwise.
- Are you a patient? Patients know their directives and limits of safe use. Those that seek a high usually navigate between safety limits that are explained Other people should be aware these recommendations, to be aware of the maximum recommended doses.
- Weight plays a role. People that are very thin will need much smaller amounts to get high than those that weigh 200 pounds.
- The method of ingestion matters a lot. You need smaller amounts when you snort because the effects are ten times quicker. The effects are more intense than after swallowing Vicodin, but other factors decide what sensations you will experience.
Yes, you can get high on Vicodin. If you are a patient already using it as a pain reliever for an extended period, you are unlikely to experience a high on Vicodin. But an accidental (or purposeful) overdose might lead you there. But of course, it comes with dangers. You risk dependence and addiction as well as physical damage to your body.
Vicodin abuse may also mean that the medication will stop being effective as a pain reliever.