Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms are distressing but rarely life-threatening. Individuals withdrawing from the opioid without professional assistance often cannot handle the pain. As a result, they fall back to the drug to alleviate their symptoms.However, continuing to use hydrocodone products such as Vicodin can worsen your addiction. To decrease the risk for continued drug use, you should detox at rehab instead of at home. In a quality treatment center you can safely overcome withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms, along with other hydrocodone side effects, are a telltale sign of a substance use disorder.
Hydrocodone causes withdrawal symptoms similar to those of other prescription opioids, such as oxycodone and meperidine. Hydrocodone withdrawal is associated with a number of uncomfortable physical and psychological effects.
According to a 2009 report by the World Health Organization, hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms include:
The intensity of these symptoms varies based on the severity of your addiction, frequency of use and overall health. More severe effects of withdrawal, such as abdominal cramping, are more likely to occur in people addicted to hydrocodone than in frequent users who are not addicted.
Hydrocodone is a short-acting opioid. This means that hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms set in more quickly than those of long-acting opioids, such as methadone. It also means that the withdrawal effects of hydrocodone do not last as long as those of methadone.
Opioid withdrawal comprises three phases of symptoms. The first stage begins within a day of last use and includes perspiration, agitation and muscle aches. During the middle phase, you might experience tremors, dilated pupils and restless sleep.
The most severe effects happen in the third phase, which takes place two and three days after last use. During this time, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur. Over the next few days, these symptoms slowly subside.
Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline
Withdrawal symptoms are delayed when someone who has been taking extended-release hydrocodone products quits taking them. Because they slowly release the drug into the body over time, extended-release products mean that hydrocodone stays in your system longer.
Vomiting and diarrhea during withdrawal can cause electrolyte imbalances and lead to dehydration. You might also deal with mouth or lower back pain, restlessness and insomnia that can linger for nearly two weeks.
Anxiety, depression and insomnia caused by hydrocodone withdrawal can last for several months. Depression is a mental health disorder that requires counseling and therapy. If symptoms continue for longer than two weeks, talk to your doctor.
The chances of overcoming hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms at home are low because most people do not know how to properly manage their discomfort.
If you choose to detox at home, enlist a strong support system. Ask a loved one or friend to stay with you during this time. Withdrawing from hydrocodone should be done slowly to avoid further health complications.
People battling hydrocodone addiction need treatment. Rehab provides safe and effective methods for withdrawing from hydrocodone. During the detoxification phase, treatment experts offer clients around-the-clock care.
For mild withdrawal symptoms, you may receive vitamin B and C supplements to replenish electrolytes. To relieve severe withdrawal symptoms, treatment professionals may employ an opioid agonist such as methadone, buprenorphine or clonidine. These medications reduce the effects of withdrawal.
Other medications may also be administered when necessary. For example, the antihistamine Vistaril may be used to treat mild to moderate anxiety. And Motrin, a nonsteroidal anti-Inflammatory drug, may be used to assuage muscle or joint pain.
But making it through detox does not mean your addiction is cured. Once you complete detox, you can participate in evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to learn the underlying causes of your substance use. You can also learn how to hangle triggers and cravings.
Addiction is a brain disease that lasts a lifetime. If you are misusing hydrocodone, seek help as soon as you can. Don’t wait for you addiction to become unbearable.
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