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 detox symptoms, and what you can do to experience a safe, full recovery from hydrocodone addiction.
How Long Does it Take to Detox from Hydrocodone?
The hydrocodone withdrawals 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.
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.
Common symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal:
- Dilated pupils
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Bone and joint pain
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- 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 symptoms can be eliminated or relieved with professional hydrocodone detox treatment.
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 hydrocodone detox treatments 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 dependence, talk to your doctor about starting a tapering schedule. Tapering is when your doctor reduces your doses of hydrocodone gradually over time so you can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, or avoid them completely. Tapering off hydrocodone can also take place at a medically supervised drug detox center, where hydrocodone may be replaced with methadone, buprenorphine, and/or naltrexone as part of a medical detox or MAT.
What Helps with Hydrocodone Withdrawals?
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 symptoms 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 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.
Call our 24/7 hotline to speak with an addiction representative about treatment centers that can help you or a loved one overcome hydrocodone addiction. Addiction to Sobriety will perform an insurance verification check at no-cost and help you get started on a safe journey to sobriety.