Hydrocodone Withdrawal

Can You Get Hooked on Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone addiction withdrawal can be difficult to overcome on your own due to a range of withdrawal symptoms that occur when stopping the drug abruptly. Nausea, bone pain, and insomnia are just some hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to severe and that can cause extreme pain and discomfort.

But getting help for hydrocodone withdrawal at an addiction treatment center can help you experience a safe recovery, and lower your risk for complications including overdose, coma, and death.

Here’s what you need to know about hydrocodone addiction, its detox symptoms, and what you can do to experience a safe, full recovery from hydrocodone addiction.

What Is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid pain reliever often administered to treat moderate to severe pain. Doctors may prescribe this opioid to treat short-term pain after dental surgery or manage pain from an injury. However, because opioid medications are addictive, regular use of hydrocodone can lead to mental or physical dependence.

When the body becomes dependent on this pain medication to feel normal, stopping use causes withdrawal symptoms. Individuals should treat hydrocodone addiction through detox and rehab to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Hydrocodone is the most abused prescription opioid medication in the United States. The drug’s addiction risk is associated with abuse, not with the therapeutic usage of the medicine in compliance with a prescribing doctor’s directions.

What Makes Hydrocodone Addictive

Drug Interactions

When you mix prescription opioids with alcohol, it prolongs the drug’s effect. Alcohol and hydrocodone have a synergistic effect, meaning that one enhances the impact of the other. However, because both are depressants, mixing hydrocodone with alcohol can result in deadly respiratory depression. Other drugs that interact with this opioid and boost its effect are:

  • Antidepressant medications.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs.
  • Other narcotics.
  • Antihistamines.

Hydrocodone Versions

Hydrocodone is available in various forms and combinations with other medications, but the most common is Vicodin,  a blend of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Different types of hydrocodone are Norco, Lortab, and Zohydro.

Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone addiction is an opioid use disorder (OUD) characterized by overuse, dependency, or addiction to the prescription pain reliever hydrocodone, commonly referred to as Vicodin. Hydrocodone addiction is a chronic and recurring condition characterized by severe withdrawal symptoms. A hydrocodone addict continues to use the drug despite its adverse effects on their physical and emotional health and well-being.

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Why Is Hydrocodone Addictive?

Hydrocodone is a narcotic analgesic opiate. Drugs in this class bind to opioid receptor proteins in the brain and spinal cord. Opioids disrupt pain signals as they travel to the brain, altering your sense of pain and your emotional response to the stimulus. Hydrocodone is usually safe and effective when used carefully and for a short while.

Some individuals who start using hydrocodone for pain may take the drug for its euphoric effects. Because of this, people may use it for longer than suggested or in more significant quantities than their doctor has prescribed.

Tolerance to hydrocodone might develop after a long period of use. This means your body requires more of the medicine to feel normal. Signs of hydrocodone addiction include:

  • Lightheadedness and dizziness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Depression.
  • Confusion.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Fatigue and weakness.

 

Psychological, biological, or environmental factors can contribute to hydrocodone addiction. An individual’s mental health and social circle can also predispose them to addiction.

Hydrocodone addiction has severe consequences on the patient’s health and well-being. The physical and mental health of someone addicted to hydrocodone deteriorates with time. Their relationships and productivity at work or school can suffer.

Even though hydrocodone addiction causes severe physical symptoms, therapy is achievable with a quality program and strong support from family and friends. Call Find Addiction Rehabs today for help locating a hydrocodone detox center near you.

The Many Ways Addiction Can Change Your Life

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Most people addicted to hydrocodone suffer from chronic pain, which is why they began using the drug. Other than the psychological problems of living with chronic pain, like depression, opioid addiction can raise the risk of developing a variety of mood and mental health issues, such as depression.

Hydrocodone addiction can also cause people seeking the drug to engage in unusual or unlawful conduct, like seeing multiple health care providers and requesting multiple pain prescriptions. As tolerance develops, people may take steps to increase their euphoric response to the drug by combining it with other substances. The most common drugs used to enhance opioid effects include alcohol and benzodiazepines.

The potential of accidental overdose is a primary concern for hydrocodone addicts and their families. The CDC considers prescription painkiller overdose an epidemic in the United States. According to the institution, 44 people die from a prescription opioid overdose. The worry of overdosing can be highly stressful for the addict and their loved ones.

Preventing Hydrocodone Addiction

Below are some valuable tips for preventing hydrocodone addiction:

Following Prescriptions

Persons with hydrocodone prescriptions for a medical condition should take it exactly as directed. Addiction might develop if you take more pills than advised or take the medication more frequently than prescribed.

Evaluating Dosage

Patients prescribed hydrocodone should contact their healthcare professional immediately if the prescription’s effects are not as powerful, if the medication stops functioning, or if they begin wanting the medication even though their pain is not as severe. Physicians have access to a various pain-relieving medications, and rather than increasing the dose of hydrocodone, a change in pain management treatment may be necessary.

Disposal of Unused Drugs after Healing

Suppose a person’s need for hydrocodone for severe pain has passed. In that case, the remaining tablets should be disposed of by taking them to a nearby prescription medication collection center, usually located at the local police station. Disposing unwanted drugs keeps them out of the hands of persons who will either abuse or sell them to others.

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Hydrocodone and Opiate Rehab Treatment Options

Most rehab centers offer a continuum of care, meaning they offer personalized addiction treatment based on individual patient needs. They provide varying levels of care depending on the intensity of services needed for assessment and recovery. Based on the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) classifies five levels of care for drug abuse patients:

  • Level 0.5: Early intervention treatment plans.
  • Level 1: Outpatient treatment programs.
  • Level 2: Intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization treatment programs.
  • Level 3: Residential or inpatient treatment programs.
  • Level 4: Medically managed intensive inpatient treatment plans.

Substance use disorders can be challenging but there is treatment. Since treatment for hydrocodone addiction needs to be personalized, ASAM established different levels of care. People can enter the most suitable level or swap levels with recovery progress.

Don’t battle a substance use disorder alone. Call us at 877-959-7271, so we can help you locate an experienced hydrocodone detox center near you.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Hydrocodone?

The hydrocodone withdrawal timeline is different for everyone and can take anywhere between a few days and several months based on factors such as the level of abuse, a person’s overall health status, and the detox method being used. For instance, a medical detox from hydrocodone can take up to 10 days, while methadone maintenance therapy can take a minimum of 12 months.

Hydrocodone is a short-acting opioid, which means withdrawal symptoms can begin anywhere between eight and 24 hours after the last dose. When performed as a medical detox, the full length of hydrocodone withdrawal can last anywhere between four and 10 days. A medical detox allows you to withdraw from hydrocodone under the care and supervision of trained nurses and doctors who monitor your vitals and reduce complications as they arise. Medications may be used to relieve withdrawal symptoms.

A hydrocodone detox can also be performed using medication-assisted treatment, or MAT — a detox method that replaces hydrocodone with FDA-approved medications such as methadone and buprenorphine that relieve withdrawal symptoms. A person who detoxes from hydrocodone using MAT can continue performing normal activities while using medications that help them slowly withdraw from hydrocodone. MAT usually lasts a minimum of 12 months, but allows those in recovery to withdraw from hydrocodone slowly and gradually over time until they’re no longer dependent on the drug.

What are Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms?

Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms are similar to those produced by other opioids including oxycodone, morphine, and heroin. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe based on factors such as the amount of hydrocodone you use and the length of time you’ve been dependent on the drug.

Most people experience withdrawal symptoms like:

 

  • Dilated pupils
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Drug cravings

 

Many in recovery from hydrocodone addiction have compared hydrocodone detox symptoms to having a bad case of the flu. But many of these severe symptoms can be eliminated or relieved with professional hydrocodone detox treatment.

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How to Stop Taking Hydrocodone Without Side Effects

Quitting hydrocodone on your own at home is not recommended, since some hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can be severe enough to increase the risk for relapse. Those who relapse back to hydrocodone after becoming sober often face a higher risk for an overdose since their bodies are no longer tolerant to the drug. But a hydrocodone detox program can help you stop using this drug with a lowered risk for withdrawal symptoms and side effects.

If you or a loved one is struggling with hydrocodone opioid dependence, talk to your doctor about starting a tapering schedule. Tapering is when your health care provider reduces your doses of hydrocodone gradually over time so you can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. Tapering off hydrocodone can also take place at a  medically supervised hydrocodone detox center, where hydrocodone may be replaced with methadone, buprenorphine, and/or naltrexone as part of medical detox or MAT.

What Helps with the Hydrocodone and Opioid Withdrawal Process?

Michigan alcohol and drug rehab centers: opioid prescribing pad shown

Hydrocodone and other opioids produce effects including euphoria, slowed breathing, and reduced heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. When a person uses hydrocodone regularly and frequently, the body becomes physically and psychologically dependent on the drug and requires a certain dose to function “normally” without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Hydrocodone withdrawal is the body’s way of trying to rebalance and heal itself after having been dependent on the drug.

Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can be safely and effectively treated using methadone and buprenorphine — both of which bind to the same opioid receptors in the brain as hydrocodone without producing euphoria and other effects. These medications can often reduce or eliminate opioid withdrawal signs in those recovering from hydrocodone addiction.

Other hydrocodone withdrawal remedies are nutrition therapy, hydration, hot baths, and psychological therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy and 12-step support groups. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water during the withdrawal period can help restore nutritional balance, while hot baths may help relieve headaches, bone pain, and muscle aches. Psychological therapies like CBT can help individuals cope with and overcome psychological drug cravings and triggers to stay sober long term.

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Get Help for Hydrocodone and Opiate Withdrawal Here!

If you want to stop using hydrocodone, don’t quit cold turkey. Call our 24/7 hotline to speak with our recovery representatives about substance abuse treatment centers that can help you or a loved one overcome hydrocodone addiction.

During your confidential call, we can perform an insurance verification check at no-cost and help you get started on a safe journey to sobriety!

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