Every Monday night, Sam and I watch the TV show House. How are signs of vicodin addiction related to that? Why am I writing about TV shows on my addiction website? If that is what you are wondering, perhaps you have never seen the show.
Dr House is a renowned doctor; he is one of the best. He also happens to be addicted to vicodin.
While watching the show last night, I became very emotionally involved in the episode. After being clean for two years, Dr. House, after finding out that his girlfriend was sick and believing that she might die, relapsed on Vicodin.
When his girlfriend found out about his signs of vicodin addiction, she realized that Dr House could never step up to be the kind of man and boyfriend or husband that she needed, so she broke up with him. Living with a drug addict was not the life she wanted. After hearing this news, Dr. House began on a binge of Vicodin abuse, drinking, and other harmful behaviors.
While this TV show and the character of Dr. House may be fictitious, the signs of Vicodin addiction, drug addiction, relapse, and the hopelessness and indifference for living that Dr. House displays is not at all a fictitious concept.
It is not uncommon for people to relapse after hearing what they consider to be devastating news. Drug addicts are so used to ‘fixing’ their problems by turning to drugs. To an addict, even one in recovery, this sometimes is their automatic response and seems to be the easiest one at times.
The hope would be that after someone has been clean for 2 years, they would have the proper coping skills and support network to get through anything in their life without using drugs. However, there are many factors that play into relapse, including the fact that it is a TV show that needs to stay interesting! And let’s be honest – this show is a bit more interesting when Dr. House is acting crazy and showing signs of vicodin addiction.
In real life, though, relapses happen all the time. It is not unusual for a recovering addict who is going through something painful in their life to want to turn to using painkillers, such as vicodin abuse, especially if this was their drug of choice. The idea is just that: it will kill the pain and the person will no longer have to deal with reality.
Signs of Vicodin addiction are very similar to signs of any other kind of addiction. Some of the classic behavioral signs of Vicodin addiction and other addictions are:
- Stealing and lying, or just overall dishonest behavior
- Abandoning friends or changing friends
- Extreme mood swings
Aside from these signs of Vicodin addiction, if a person is using Vicodin without a prescription or misusing their prescription (going through it too quickly, obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors, taking more than the prescribed dose) this is a major cause for concern.
Vicodin is an opiate, and opiates in general are very addictive, and even someone who is not an addict could easily engage in vicodin abuse and become dependent on these drugs. The physical dependence of narcotics happens very quickly, so these drugs should be taken only when necessary and with extreme caution.
Other signs of Vicodin addiction include seeing constricted pupils (very small). Also, Vicodin will cause euphoria, and drowsiness, often causing people to ‘nod out.’
Nodding out essentially means the person temporarily falls asleep at unusual times. When a person is taking large amounts of an opiate, nodding out can occur even while a person is standing or in the middle of having a conversation. Someone who is nodding out has most likely taken a large amount of opiates and addiction is very likely.
This is not to say that someone who does not nod out is not under the influence of opiates. Over time, people will develop a tolerance and will be able to use more of the drug and not feel the same effects, therefore being able to hide it better. Someone who has been using for a while may appear relatively normal and not seem to be high even if they are.
This idea becomes very central to my discussion about the TV show House. Dr. House would come into work every day under the influence of Vicodin, using more while he was at work, and would appear pretty normal to the people around him. He was an incredible doctor and hardly ever messed up despite his drug use.That being said, he was a completely and utterly miserable person. He didn’t love anyone and he didn’t really respect anyone. There was pretty much nothing besides Vicodin that made him happy.
Once he got into legal trouble related to his Vicodin abuse and had to get clean, he had to find other passions. His work, his girlfriend and her daughter became his passion. While he was clean, he was not actively working a 12 step program, and this seemed to play a role in why he was unable to deal with his feelings and why he turned back to his Vicodin addiction.
I understand that Dr. House is a fictional character, but this character is actually a very great example of what happens to some people and why it happens. I found myself tearing up at the end of this episode when he loses his girlfriend and then relapses. He lost what seemed to make him truly happy – his girlfriend and maybe even being Vicodin free.
I know what it’s like to relapse and what it’s like to almost lose everything that I care about, so I imagine that’s why this episode really affected me. It has only been 7 months since I relapsed, and I remember very clearly the day I relapsed and the 2 months that I spent in rehab. I remember what it did to my family, to my friends, and most importantly what it did to me.
I know that I don’t ever want to go back to rehab and I don’t ever want to disappoint myself and the people who care about me again. I simply do not want to feel that way ever again and I do not want to live like that anymore. Sure, it’s not always as simple as not wanting to do it anymore. I have to do a lot of work to stay clean, but it pays off. In rehab I was taught that I don’t have to do any of the things that I used to do. I truly don’t have to live like that anymore.
When I watch TV shows or movies like the episode of House I was watching last night, it really makes me think. It makes me think about how great life is today and how grateful I am. I have so much to be grateful for, but really the one thing I’m most grateful for is to be alive. When I relapsed, I came very close to killing myself with drugs.
As clichéd as a lot of what I’m saying may sound, it’s the absolute truth. It’s not always easy and I have cravings or thoughts of using drugs from time to time, but I never have to give into them if I put in the necessary work and continue doing what I’ve been doing for the last 7 months.