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. Also, severe, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with the use of these drugs. 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.
Signs of Hydrocodone Addiction
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. Examples include:
- 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).
- 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. Taking increasingly large amounts of this drug may lead to physical dependence, and ultimately, 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 effects that the drug produces. For example, while hydrocodone abuse produces effects of euphoria, withdrawal induces depression. It includes symptoms such as:
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Mood swings
- Drug cravings
Symptoms last 5-7 days, in most cases. Medically-Assisted Hydrocodone detox and therapy can soothe distress and reduce the risk of drug relapse.
Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline
First 48 hours
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 5 slowly. Diarrhea will likely stop, and the pain will continue to subside. 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. This requires further 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.
Medically-assisted Hydrocodone detox and rehab can provide tools and resources to get sober.
We Level FL Mental Health Center: Primary Mental Health Treatment with Secondary Co-Occurring Treatment
We Level Up FL primary mental health center stands ready to help. Offering secondary treatment therapy for underlying problems like Hydrocodone Addiction often fuels negative behaviors. Taking that first step to get the help you deserve can be life-changing.
We understand how behavioral disorders and secondary co-occurring addiction diagnoses directly impact each other. We Level Up Florida can instill a support system through our mental health treatments that can make you feel valuable. Call us now for a free mental health assessment! Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up Treatment West Palm Beach.