How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?

Alcohol affects everyone differently, which can mean having a universal equation to detect how much alcohol is in someone’s system is impossible. Several factors influence how alcohol will affect any given person, including gender, size, amount of alcohol consumed, and type of alcohol consumed.

While a person may no longer feel the effects that alcohol creates, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have alcohol in their system. People may not feel drunk and still be over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit. This has a lot to do with a person’s tolerance and perception of what it means to be unable to operate efficiently.

If you have to undergo an alcohol test to determine if you have consumed alcohol, you might not be as in the clear as you think. Keep reading to learn more about how long alcohol stays in your system and how long it can be detected through multiple methods of testing.

What Happens When You Drink Alcohol?

As soon as you start drinking alcohol, it enters your bloodstream, working to help you undergo various effects, from giddiness to a loss of coordination. Some effects are deemed more positive than others, but all of them lead to lowered inhibitions and a loss of control over your functioning.

Everyone is affected by alcohol in their own unique way, and the amount of alcohol consumed by a person can influence different behaviors. The more a person drinks, the more incapable they become of making good decisions and taking care of themselves.

Side Effects

Common side effects that a person consuming alcohol will undergo are:

  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Sense of euphoria
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Boost in confidence
  • Giddiness
  • Nausea
  • Head pain
  • Inability to focus
  • Loss of consciousness

These effects can set in at different stages in alcohol consumption, with some of the more serious ones like loss of consciousness and impulsive behaviors happening after several alcoholic beverages.

How Long Is Alcohol in Your System?

Alcohol is not a substance that typically is tested for unless there is a specific reason due to an accident in the workplace or a legal case. Most drug tests that are undergone don’t seek out alcohol in the results, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen!

How long alcohol stays in your system and can be detected depends on the testing method. Most people will test using one of the following five methods: urine, blood, breath, saliva, and hair.


Alcohol stays in your urine for between 12 and 72 hours, depending on your test type. Some newer methods can detect it for up to 72 hours or more, but the typical tests can find it in your system anywhere between 12 and 24 hours.

However, urine tests don’t measure BAC; rather, they test whether or not a person has consumed alcohol within a certain time frame. One type of urine test, known as an ETG test, detects byproducts of alcohol found in the urine up to 72 hours after drinking.


Alcohol stays in your blood for up to six hours and is only detectable via blood tests for around that same amount of time, with a maximum of up to 12 hours. While blood alcohol level tests are the most accurate way to test for blood alcohol content in a person’s system, they do require specific medical training and aren’t always the handiest of test methods.


A breathalyzer is often the most common type of test for detecting BAC and the presence of alcohol, spanning anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after your last drink of alcohol. This means that even after a night of drinking, you could wake up the next morning and still be above the legal limit. If you were pulled over while driving between those 12 to 24 hours, you might still be at risk of failing a breath test.


The presence of alcohol can be detected in a person’s saliva for between 12 and 24 hours, similar to the length that it’s detectable in the breath. Saliva tests are the most accurate to determine whether or not someone has consumed alcohol, but not to determine their BAC.


When it comes to hair tests, alcohol can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days. This doesn’t necessarily pinpoint exactly when it was that you consumed it, but if you aren’t supposed to be drinking, you’d have to wait 90 days after your last drink to have a negative hair test result.

Factors That Influence Alcohol Detection

There are a variety of factors that influence how a body absorbs and processes alcohol. Different people may react differently to alcohol, so not everyone goes through the same experience. A few factors, such as body fat and age, play into a person’s response to alcohol consumption that is consistent, whereas other factors change each time you drink alcohol.


Gender can have an impact on how a body processes alcohol because of an enzyme called dehydrogenase. This enzyme helps to break down alcohol in the liver, but women have less of it than men, meaning their bodies break alcohol down slowly. Additionally, women typically have a lower muscle-to-body-fat ratio, which also impacts the breakdown of alcohol.

Due to these two things, women can reach higher levels of intoxication at a much quicker rate than most men. Even if a woman and a man drank the same amount of alcohol at the same rate, there would likely be less impact on the man.


Younger people typically have a faster metabolism than older people, so they can process and eliminate alcohol at a quicker rate. It’s also why you might wonder, as you age, why you can’t drink in the same fashion as you used to.

As we age, there is a slowing of our metabolism, a decrease in our water weight, and a loss of muscle tissue, which can impact how alcohol affects us.

Contents of Stomach

When someone drinks on an empty stomach, there is a speeding up in how alcohol impacts them. You might hear people encouraging you to eat before starting to drink, and that’s because it allows for a slower absorption process.

It takes you longer to feel the effects of alcohol when you’ve eaten a big meal, especially if it is high in protein. Drinking water can also help before consuming alcoholic drinks.

Type of Alcohol Consumed

What kind of alcohol you consume can impact how alcohol impacts you and how long it stays in your system. Some alcoholic beverages have higher alcohol concentrations than others, meaning you consume more alcohol with every drink.

Certain spirits and wines might have a greater effect on you than beers or ciders, but you should check the percentages of each drink you have before consuming.

Individual Tolerance

Depending on how much a person drinks regularly, their tolerance will differ from the next. When someone has a higher tolerance, they can consume more in one setting without feeling all of the normal side effects.

What this means, though, is that even though those people don’t feel the same effects, it doesn’t mean that they have a lower BAC level. A person could be perceived as completely sober but have a higher BAC level double the legal limit.

When someone who doesn’t drink frequently has alcohol, it may only take one drink to feel its effects. Consequently, that person may feel inebriated and incapable of proper functioning, but they may be within the legal BAC levels.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Use

Not everyone must have a substance abuse problem with alcohol to receive treatment. Some people may not be comfortable with how they react to alcohol and what it does to their mental health or body and want to find a way to eliminate it from their life.

So many people decided not to get help because they think their problems aren’t as bad as others, but that really is the perfect excuse to change. You don’t want your relationship with alcohol to worsen or lead to binge drinking, especially if you already have conflicting feelings about it.

If you or a loved one are struggling with their alcohol abuse, you can reach out to a representative at Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, to learn more about ways that we can help. There are many options for people wanting to change their relationship with alcohol.

Whether total abstinence is your thing or you are trying to find a way to detox and improve your behaviors surrounding alcohol, we can help you get to a place where you feel confident and healthy.

Through both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, you can gain access to medical professionals, therapists, and other sober-seeking individuals who are on the same journey as you. Don’t wait for things to progress; get help with Soba today!


What Is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)? | Vaden Health Services

The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism | NCBI

Alcohol Metabolism | NCBI

Lean Drug: What Is Purple Drank?

Lean Drug: What Is Purple Drank?

You may have heard the term “purple drank” being referred to by celebrities and hip hop stars over the years, seemingly glorifying the use of the drug lean. You may have never known quite what they were talking about.

Lean is a drug that has caused fatalities due to this nonchalant attitude and comes with some very high risks. Lean may seem unattainable because of its status in Hollywood and the music scene, but it’s a concoction that most people can figure out how to create.

If you are ever offered this purple-colored drink, you should know the risks and outcomes that it can have. It’s always best to turn down substances like lean, especially if you don’t know who is creating them or their intended use.

Keep reading to learn more about lean, what the drink is made of, how it can impact you, and the risks of this substance use!

What Is Lean?

Lean is a drug concoction that typically has three main ingredients: prescription cough syrup, sprite or other soda, and a hard candy for sweetness. Once all combined, it resembles a grape or cranberry soda but has a much different effect on the body.

The main component in lean is the prescription cough syrup. Cough medicine can have Promethazine hydrochloride and codeine, which, when combined, can create a drug that impacts your ability to feel pain and heightened euphoric feelings. Over-the-counter cough medicines do not contain these ingredients due to their misuse.

Promethazine hydrochloride is used in antipsychotic medications and antihistamines, while codeine is classified as an opiate medication that treats pain.

If you take cough syrup at the recommended dosages, you should have nothing to worry about. As soon as you begin consuming them in larger quantities for inappropriate reasons, issues like drug addiction and dependency can form.

Some other names that lean is referred to include:

  • Purple drank
  • Sizzurp
  • Dirty Sprite
  • Purple lean

How Lean Works in the Body

When the codeine in cough syrup is consumed, it is broken down into morphine once it reaches the liver. Morphine is a highly addictive component in drugs that gives a person a sense of relaxation and euphoria, which can be viewed as pleasurable to some.

As you begin to misuse the drug, your body starts to become accustomed to having the morphine in its system and won’t be able to function properly without it. Morphine binds to the nerves that block out pain at the same time that it sends out a rush of dopamine. It also binds to the brainstem, which controls a person’s breathing.

When a person has low levels of oxygen in the blood, the brainstem sends out a signal to breathe deeper and faster. However, when morphine is bound to the brainstem, this function does not work as efficiently and will not send the signals to your body to breathe. As a result, your body can forget how to breathe in these instances,

How Long Do the Effects Last?

Lean gets its name from the fact that when consumed, a person has a difficult time standing up straight. They tend to lean to one side, unable to maintain balance and control of their bodies. Once a person drinks one glass of lean, they can begin to feel the effects of it after an hour or so, and it can last for up to six hours.

However, because lean is regarded as an opioid, this is a very easy drink to become addicted to. A person will need more of the drink to achieve the same effects as the first time they used it, developing a tolerance before de-evolving into a full-blown addiction.

What Are the Dangers of Purple Drank?

The reason why lean is so dangerous is because of the lack of awareness of how much codeine you are actually consuming in one drink. Typically, in just one drink, there is about 25 times the recommended dosage of codeine.

People jump right into consuming more than is good for them, but the results of sipping on just one drink can exhibit a feeling of euphoria that you’ve never felt before. This can become highly addicting extremely quickly.

The risks of drinking lean are much worse than one might think. You may ask: how could a drink be so dangerous? But too many people have lost their lives due to this concoction.

Some potential risks of drinking lean are:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Coma or loss of consciousness
  • Inability to move
  • Delirium
  • Very low blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Death

Who Is Using Lean?

While celebrities and musicians have popularized the drug concoction in media and music, they aren’t the main people affected by its abuse. Lean is most commonly abused by adolescents.

This might be because of the availability of the three main ingredients. If someone can get their hands on prescribed cough medication with codeine in it, they can make their own concoction.

This drink can be created and shared at parties to help achieve heightened effects that alcohol can’t help you obtain. It may be seen as “cool” and “unique,” especially because of its ability to be homemade. For that reason, teens tend to be the ones who are most directly impacted by their addiction.

Side Effects of Lean

The more lean a person drinks, the worse their side effects will be. As someone builds up their tolerance, they stop achieving the desired effects and seek out higher doses. While the physical effects might not seem as bad as you become accustomed to the feeling, extended use can lead to serious health problems.

Additionally, because lean cannot be purchased pre-made, how it’s made each time might use different components or doses of codeine. You never know what the ratio of cough syrup to soda will be, so the effects you feel might differ depending on how you made that specific concoction.


Some of the physical side effects that you might feel after your first time drinking lean are:

  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty with memory and concentration
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria

At first, it may seem similar to what it’s like to drink really strong alcohol and smoke marijuana at the same time, but as your tolerance quickly builds, you’ll need more of the drink to feel anything.

Long-term use of lean can result in a myriad of health-related issues, including:

  • Liver damage
  • Hormonal problems
  • Issues with fertility
  • Pancreatitis
  • Congenital disabilities (when used by pregnant people)
  • Tooth decay
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Constipation
  • Overdosing


Without having lean in your system, you might begin to feel the mental side effects of it more and more. People that are already struggling with their mental health might be more likely to seek out lean because of its side effects of euphoria. If you’re already struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, or other mental health-related issues, lean might cause those feelings to become much stronger, especially when you aren’t using.

If you are relying on lean to maintain some semblance of happiness, you likely have developed an addiction to it and should seek out addiction treatment immediately.

Developing a Lean Addiction

Lean addictions can happen fast, especially when you’re consuming high amounts of it in a short period of time. The feeling that it gives the first time you use it may be addicting enough to develop an addiction right then and there.

It is somewhat hard to track how many people are addicted to lean because prescription codeine is legal and somewhat obtainable. It can be hard to determine who is using cough syrup to create lean and who is using it to help their cough.

If you or a loved one are struggling with their use of codeine in the form of lean, it is necessary to find treatment options for opioid addiction and other substance use disorders if you want to see progress.

Treating a Lean Addiction at Soba Recovery

At Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, we help anyone that walks through our door with an addiction. It can be terrifying to ask for help, but the end result is one that you can’t take for granted.

Struggling with an addiction to lean can alter your life in a very negative way. Especially with so many young people drinking this concoction, seeking out a treatment center for addiction as soon as possible can limit health-related issues later on in life.

Reach out to a Soba representative if you want to learn more about our treatment services. For more severe addictions, like opioids, we recommend going through medical detox to manage withdrawal symptoms under our trained medical professionals’ supervision before entering inpatient or outpatient services.

We help you to figure out what path is best for your specific needs and help you to navigate it, so you aren’t alone during the journey.

Don’t wait another minute and get help for your lean addiction today!


Promethazine – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Codeine – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Beliefs And Social Norms About Codeine And Promethazine Hydrochloride Cough Syrup (Cphcs) Onset And Perceived Addiction Among Urban Houstonian Adolescents: An Addiction Trend In The City Of Lean | NCBI

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

If you have followed the news over the last few years, the rise in fentanyl overdoses has spiked, making it far more common to come across than one might think. In many cases, people that use fentanyl aren’t even aware that they are doing so. They often think they are using another drug, like cocaine or heroin.

However, fentanyl can be used to cut other drugs, which costs less for dealers, especially drugs sold on the streets. Many opioid overdoses in the last few years have resulted from fentanyl in a person’s system. Whether those people knowingly took fentanyl or not, the outcomes have been dire and intense intervention is needed.

For those that don’t overdose on fentanyl, it can become highly addicting and debilitating. To better understand just how long fentanyl stays in your system and how it affects your mind and body, keep reading.

What Is Fentanyl?

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid prescribed to some people to help with severe, uncontrollable pain. Though not frequently prescribed due to its high risk for addiction, it is given out as lozenges or transdermal patches. Compared to morphine, it takes significantly less of the drug to manage pain.

While pharmaceutical fentanyl exists and can contribute to someone’s addiction, most of what harms the general public is illegally made fentanyl. This illegal fentanyl gives off similar feelings as heroin does, and is often mixed with heroin or cocaine.

For many people that use heroin or cocaine, they aren’t being made aware that their drugs have fentanyl in them, which is leading to an influx in overdose and death. A safe dosage of fentanyl is almost impossible to estimate on your own. The margin for mistakes is very slim, putting fentanyl use into the high-risk category.

How Does Fentanyl Work?

Almost immediately after consuming fentanyl, the user begins to feel its effects. Fentanyl attaches to opioid receptors and activates them to impact the pain and emotion part of your brain.

It also gives you a burst of dopamine that can make you feel euphoric, only reinforcing further usage. However, as much as it might make you feel good, there is a high possibility of it slowing your breathing and leading to overdose.

In many cases, we end up reading headlines that involve the words “accidental” and “fentanyl”, because for many people they aren’t aware that it is what they are using. Fentanyl is highly potent — somewhere between 50 and 100 times as potent as morphine is.

If you, knowingly or unknowingly, consume too much fentanyl, you are putting yourself at a very high risk of overdose and death.

Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl can suppress functions in the central nervous system (CNS) that relate to breathing, heart rate, and temperature regulation. Fentanyl additionally increases the amount of dopamine in the body, which is why there is a high rate of addiction with its usage.

You may feel a sense of calmness, peace, euphoria, and sedation, which might be what you’re looking for. However, if you use more than what is considered to be a “safe” dosage, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.

Other effects of fentanyl are:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Hot flashes and sweating

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Use

If you fear that you or your loved one is being impacted by fentanyl use, there are some major signs that you can look out for before it’s too late.

  • If a person is continuously “nodding off”
  • Showing impaired judgment about the drug
  • Not taking the side effects of risk of death seriously

Additionally, someone using fentanyl unknowingly might go through withdrawals like:

  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory depression
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle aches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast heart rate
  • Paranoia

How Long Does It Stay In Your System?

Fentanyl can stay in your system for a varying amount of time, depending on how much you use, your biological makeup, metabolism, and how you tested for it. The effects of fentanyl may only last for a few hours, but it stays in your system for a lot longer.

That means that if you are trying to estimate how long you have to go without using it for it not to be detected in your system, you will have to know what kind of testing you will be undergoing.

  • Urine: If you undergo urine testing, fentanyl can be detected anywhere from one to three days after using it.
  • Hair: Your hair follicles will carry fentanyl in them for up to three months, which means that even if you haven’t used it in several months, it can still be detected.
  • Blood: Fentanyl can be detected in your bloodstream for five to 48 hours.
  • Saliva: Testing through your saliva is ineffective in detecting fentanyl.

What Influences How Long Fentanyl Stays In Your System?

Despite how long fentanyl can be detected in the body, some factors influence how long it actually is inside of you. Your metabolism, weight, age, drug use, and kidney and liver function can all influence how long fentanyl impacts you and stays in your system.

However, the most influential factor that plays into how long fentanyl stays in a person’s system is the method of administration. Each method of administration has a different “half-life.” A “half-life” refers to the amount of time half of the drug takes to exit the body. After half of the drug has left the system, most of its effects of it have worn off.

The main three administration methods are: intravenous, transdermal, and transmucosal.


Intravenous (injected) fentanyl has a half-life of two to four hours, depending on how big the dosage of fentanyl is that you consume. Fentanyl that is injected can have a pretty immediate and jarring effect on a person, but after a few hours, most of the side effects should have worn off. However, this burst of the drug can give an extremely high risk for overdose and be potentially fatal.


Fentanyl administered through an adhesive patch that goes onto the skin has a much slower progression and longer half-life. The half-life of transdermal fentanyl absorption is up to 17 hours, meaning it can impact you for that entire time.


Transmucosal fentanyl is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth in the form of lozenges and has a half-life that sits between five and 14 hours. This depends on the formulation of those lozenges, dosage, and other factors.

How Is Fentanyl Addiction Treated?

Someone with a fentanyl addiction might not even realize that is what they are struggling with. They might think they are using other drugs without realizing that fentanyl is present. Before they know it, the drug they think they are using no longer cuts it, and they seek more powerful substances.

Fentanyl is sought when people no longer get the euphoric feelings their other substances brought to them. Addiction can creep up on you slowly before you realize it’s taking over your life.

Getting help might involve medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in conjunction with therapy and counseling. Seeking out treatment facilities might be the most efficient and safe way to overcome fentanyl addiction, but there are other ways that you can seek out support.

Seek Treatment With Soba Recovery

Fentanyl addiction can be extremely debilitating and seemingly impossible to fight on your own. The risks that come with withdrawals from it make seeking out a detoxification center your best bet for a safe start to your recovery.

With Soba Recovery Center of San Antonio, Texas, you gain access to medical professionals who are available around the clock to support you. After going through the detoxification process, you have options for both inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment services, choosing which fits best with your needs and capabilities.

Overcoming fentanyl addiction is no easy feat, but you shouldn’t give up because it’s hard. Instead, use the resources and help made available at Soba Recovery Center so that you can get back to living your best drug-free life.

Reach out to a representative today to learn more about what Soba Recovery Center can offer to you on your path to sobriety.


Drug Overdose Death Rates | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Fentanyl | Opioids | CDC

Fentanyl | DEA

Vicodin Side Effects And Long-Term Abuse

Vicodin Side Effects And Long-Term Abuse

Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) is an analgesic medication that can be found in hospitals and is prescribed to people with severe pain. It is not always recommended that Vicodin is prescribed to people by their healthcare providers, especially those who are at higher risk for developing an addiction or dependency.

While Vicodin is meant to help people that are in pain, many people end up misusing it. Vicodin might not be the first drug you can find on the streets. This is because this addiction usually starts after being prescribed it.

Most people addicted to Vicodin and other prescription drugs once used it as pain medication for pain relief, but improper usage and habit-forming can happen quickly. Whether a person starts taking more than they need or tries to access it for longer periods than recommended, how the addiction starts doesn’t matter.

Patients can also find themselves experiencing dependency on benzodiazepines, such as Alprazolam, once prescribed for anxiety.

What matters is how long the abuse continues before you can seek treatment for it. In order to enter into recovery, you may need to undergo detoxification and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) at a recovery center like Soba Recovery. Keep reading to learn more about Vicodin, its common side effects, and long-term drug abuse.

What Is Vicodin?

Vicodin is the brand name for a prescription painkiller composed of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. These two components help to minimize pain and fever in someone who has been prescribed the pills. However, hydrocodone is an opiate that has a similar efficiency as morphine.

Acetaminophen may sound familiar because you can buy this at any drug store in the form of over-the-counter Tylenol. It is a fever-reducer and also works as a mild pain reliever.

Hydrocodone is one of the most frequently distributed opioid medications, with Vicodin and Lortab being the top two brands being prescribed to people. Drugs with hydrocodone in them are abused by over five million people in the United States and are constantly being seized on the illicit market.

While the intention might not be to cause addiction, using this drug heightens the risk of developing one over time.

What Is Vicodin Used For?

Vicodin is most commonly prescribed to people experiencing moderate to severe pain due to injury or after surgery. It has a rather fast response time, setting in after about 30 minutes to an hour, and will last four to six hours, providing immediate relief. On top of diminishing feelings of pain, it can bring about feelings of elation and euphoria, which assists in pain management.

Short-Term Side Effects

Due to Vicodin containing hydrocodone, the effects of the drug can be very similar to the effects of other opiates. As the drug enters the system, it attaches itself to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other various organs. Once attached to these receptors, a chemical reaction occurs and creates various effects.

Some of the effects of using Vicodin are:

  • Euphoric feelings and a sense of calm, and relaxation
  • Lower perception of pain
  • Suppression of cough reflex
  • Lightheadedness

These feelings will last between four and six hours after taking Vicodin. People abusing the medication might need a higher dosage to feel these same effects. Otherwise, they might wear off faster than normal.

There can be unwanted adverse effects that happen as a result of taking Vicodin, such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Impaired judgment
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow breathing problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Dangerous drug interactions

The Risk of Abuse

When you take Vicodin for a long period, your body begins to get used to having it in its system. Vicodin impacts the reward system in your body, creating a desire to consume the substance to achieve feelings of euphoria and relaxation.

You will inevitably begin to build up a tolerance over time as your body continues to adapt to it being in your system. What happens as a result of that is needing high doses of the drug to feel its effects.

This mix of tolerance and your body becoming accustomed to the drug to get rid of pain and increase euphoric feelings can lead you down the path of addiction. Soon, you may not be able to function without Vicodin in your system, doing whatever is necessary to get your hands on it.

When a person’s Vicodin prescription runs out, other ways for them to get ahold of the drug might be:

  • Seeking out prescriptions from multiple doctors
  • Falsifying or modifying their doctor’s prescriptions
  • Giving pharmacies fraudulent information
  • Seeking it out on the black market

Withdrawal from Vicodin

If a person cannot obtain Vicodin once their prescription has run out, they might experience withdrawal from the drug. This withdrawal often enforces the need for the drug because the user understands it that if they can take more of it, it will subdue the pain they are experiencing.

A person that is going through the withdrawal of Vicodin will have symptoms that mirror the withdrawal from heroin. Some withdrawal symptoms to expect are:

  • Discomfort throughout the entire body, not just the original source of pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold Sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to sleep
  • Irritability
  • Agitation and aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Cardiovascular issues

Long-Term Side Effects

Someone addicted to Vicodin can also expect to see negative long-term side effects. There is a reason that when Vicodin is prescribed, it’s often only a very small amount and is instructed to be taken with the right dose as needed.

Because the main goal of Vicodin is to relieve pain and help people with their discomfort, long-term usage is often overlooked. People might think, “If it’s helping me, isn’t it doing its job?”

When you misuse Vicodin, the job it was meant to do becomes null and void. Instead, you’ve created an entirely new issue for yourself that Vicodin can’t fix. Instead, it makes things much more difficult in the long run.


With long-term use of Vicodin comes tolerance and addiction. Even if you start using Vicodin as prescribed, continued drug use will raise your tolerance. You might begin to notice that what you’re prescribed is no longer allowing you to reach the drug’s desired effects.

You might feel that you’re still experiencing pain and think that raising your dose on your own could do the trick. Soon you’ll need higher doses more frequently than originally intended as your tolerance builds up.

This is when addiction really begins. As you need more of the drug, you put more time and effort into finding and obtaining Vicodin. For many, it becomes like a full-time job acquiring Vicodin illegally, as it’s not always the easiest of processes.

Physical Effects

Using Vicodin at an unintended rate can lead to serious side effects. For one, there is the risk of overdosing on Vicodin if you take too much of it at one time.

This is because your heart rate slows, and you can have trouble breathing, not allowing enough oxygen to reach your brain. These effects can be life-threatening.

Some physical effects related to long-term Vicodin abuse are:

  • Liver damage and problems with its functioning
  • Respiratory infections and lung problems
  • Chronic constipation and permanent damage to the intestinal tract
  • Infections in the urinary tract can lead to kidney problems
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Reproductive issues
  • Loss of pregnancy
  • Hearing loss
  • Increase of bodily harm as a result of frequent sedation

Mental Effects

Vicodin addiction can cause serious mental health-related issues to arise. Not only does addiction impact you physically, but it takes a toll on a person’s mental health. Trying to obtain a drug that is not easy to get can create a lot of tension and frustration in a person’s life.

Addiction controls a person’s behaviors, and the possible side effects of long-term use of Vicodin can make seeking help very difficult.

A few mental health side effects that arise when a person has been using Vicodin long-term are:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Mood changes
  • Long-term mental illness
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Loss of memory skills
  • Tension among family and loved ones

Get Help From Soba Recovery Center

When you are struggling with addiction to Vicodin, getting help can be a scary thing. For many, the whole point of Vicodin was to help the person receiving it, so admitting that it has made your life worse can feel contradictory. It can also bring up many feelings of shame and guilt about substance abuse of a drug that was prescribed to help.

If you want to get help, then you should. Everyone deserves treatment for their addiction, no matter how deep it has taken them. At Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, you can access the best care in a way that makes the most sense for you. By undergoing the detoxification process with us, you can lower your risk for opioid overdose simply by putting yourself into good hands.

Our goal here at Soba is to help you get back the life you had — free from pain but also free from addiction. Whether you stay with us through our inpatient treatment or become a part of the outpatient program, the goal is to help you overcome your addiction and get back on track.

If you’re ready to make the change to sobriety, reach out to a Soba representative today to discuss how we can help free you from addiction.


Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Hydrocodone (Trade Names: Vicodin®, Lortab®, Lorcet-HD®, Hycodan®, Vicoprofen®) | Drug Enforcement Administration

The Vicodin Abuse Problem: A Mathematical Approach | ScienceDirect