What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is the primary active ingredient of many prescription painkillers. Several brand names include Vicodin, Norco, and Zohydro.
However, the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA)  warns that Hydrocodone exposes users to risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death.
Withdrawal and dependence on these drugs can be treated with a Hydrocodone detox program in a treatment facility.
Once the body is dependent on this drug, an individual may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if the person suddenly stops taking it or significantly reduce the dosage.
Although withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, this is the body’s way of detoxing itself from the substance.
Addiction To Illicit Opioids
In many cases, the abuse of opioid painkillers, including Hydrocodone, is not detected early enough to prevent a physical addiction.
Sadly, many addicts taste their drug of choice (DOC) for the first time after being prescribed opioids by a doctor.
Typically, younger people have become addicted to opiates due to injuries sustained by playing competitive sports, automobile accidents, etc. This addiction leads to hazardous behaviors.
In addition, social pressure and the use of other illicit drugs can also lead to the abuse of illegal opioids.
Some signs of severe opioid addiction or the use of illicitly made opioids include:
- Withdrawal from normal activities
- Possess drug paraphernalia (mental spoon, glass pipe, syringe, lighter, candle & matches).
- Doctor shopping (going to multiple doctors to receive prescriptions)
- Going to numerous pharmacies around town to fill prescriptions
Misuse or abuse of Hydrocodone can lead to physical dependence and addiction. The most effective treatment to wean off the drug is to undergo Hydrocodone detox.
A person who is physically dependent on Hydrocodone will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if they reduce their dose or cease taking the medication entirely.
Addiction is a chronic, neurobiological disease that is characterized by behaviors such as inability to control drug use, continuing use despite negative consequences, and persistent cravings.
The withdrawal symptoms of Hydrocodone are essentially the opposite of the effects that the drug produces. For example, while hydrocodone abuse produces effects of euphoria, withdrawal induces depression.
Likewise, misusing any Opioid can cause excessive fatigue, while withdrawal causes insomnia.
Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction & Why You Should Get Hydrocodone Detox
Hydrocodone addiction is an opioid use disorder. This is according to mental health and addiction professionals. Such a diagnosis is made based on the presence of several signs, symptoms, and behavioral changes.
- Using opioids in more significant amounts and for more extended periods than intended
- A powerful desire to reduce or stop opioid use without success.
- Consuming a lot of time and energy finding, using, and recovering from opioids
- Craving more of the drug when none is available
- Being unable to fulfill the responsibilities at home, work, and school
- Giving up certain people and activities that were previously important to focus on the drug
- Continuing to use Hydrocodone despite the high likelihood of adverse physical, mental, social, or legal outcomes
- Needing more of the drug to accomplish the same effects (example: tolerance)
- We are experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when lowering your dose or attempting to quit
Common Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Hydrocodone is an opioid drug that alters levels of dopamine in the brain. When an individual takes Hydrocodone regularly for a length of time, they may develop tolerance to the drug, and to continue to feel its desired effects, more will need to be taken.
However, taking increasingly large amounts of this drug may lead to physical dependence and addiction. And if a person stops taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms occur.
The withdrawal symptoms of the hydrocodone detox process are quite the opposite of the drug’s effects.
For example, while hydrocodone abuse has effects of euphoria, withdrawal induces depression. It includes symptoms such as:
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Mood swings
- Drug cravings
Hydrocodone Detox & Withdrawal Timeline
Taking large or frequent doses of Hydrocodone often leads a person to become physically dependent on the drug.
Symptoms last 5-7 days, in most cases. Medically-Assisted Hydrocodone detox and therapy can soothe distress and reduce the risk of drug relapse.
First 48 Hours of Hydrocodone Detox
During the first 24 hours of Hydrocodone detox, there is usually mild stomach and muscle pain and often mild nausea, anxiety, depression, and flu-like symptoms.
Some of the most challenging symptoms for many are cravings and anxiety.
Days 3 – 5
Day 3 is generally the peak of symptoms for acute withdrawal. Acute muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating are common. For most, withdrawal begins to subside on day five slowly.
Diarrhea will likely stop, and the pain will continue to decline. Emotional symptoms will still be present but may get better as physical sensations improve.
Days 6 – 14
Most physical symptoms will have waned, leaving psychological ones. Anxiety, depression, and a desire to return to drug use can present themselves in this time.
In addition, many people begin to struggle with intense feelings of shame and remorse for things they did and said while high during this time.
2 Weeks +
Depending on the person, psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, can linger for 18-24 months after stopping use. But, again, this requires different therapy and long-term treatment of Hydrocodone detox.
Medically-Assisted Hydrocodone Detox Program
The beginning of the treatment of Hydrocodone addiction and withdrawal is a Hydrocodone detox. It is a medically supervised program through the support of our medical staff.
By itself, Hydrocodone detox is not a solution because most people with Hydrocodone use disorder resume taking the drug unless they get further help.
Our compassionate staff provides support and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) if necessary.
This is to help people get off Hydrocodone. MAT may consist of methadone or, more commonly, buprenorphine-based medications like Suboxone.
Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opiates.
A common misconception is that MAT replaces one drug with another. However, these life-saving medications work to relieve the withdrawal symptoms that keep people stuck in the cycle of addiction.
When prescribed and taken at the proper dose, MAT has no adverse effect on a person’s life. In addition, following a regimen of MAT allows many patients the opportunity to overcome opioid use disorder.
Additionally, people with severe hydrocodone dependence may battle more extended withdrawal symptoms. These may include depression, low mood, and continued cravings.
MAT works to stabilize mood and reduce cravings, enhancing a person’s chance of long-term recovery.
Opioid Addiction Treatment Starts With Detox
When the substance is suddenly absent, the body responds with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms ranging from flu-like to potentially fatal.
For this reason, it is recommended to slowly taper off opioid use rather than quitting cold turkey and ideally, with the supervision of a medical professional.
Fortunately, several opioid antagonists can be used to help beat opioid addiction at the more difficult stages. These medications can help mitigate opioid withdrawal effects or intervene in the instance of an opium overdose.
Medically-assisted Hydrocodone detox and rehab can provide tools and resources to get sober.
Our team at Level Up West Palm specializes in creating an ideal environment and providing effective therapies to help individuals who struggle with prescription drug addiction.
We will develop a personalized treatment plan, including Hydrocodone detox, and lead you to recovery. Call and get started today!