Hydrocodone detox and withdrawal symptoms may only last about a week, but the symptoms can be severe and can include:
- Mood swings
- Runny Nose
- Muscle Aches
- Drug cravings
Symptoms of detox and withdrawal can last up to 7 days in most cases, but medical detox, combined with medications and therapy, can reduce recovery time and the risk of relapse.
Hydrocodone type products are the most commonly prescribed medication in America, according to Consumer Reports. It has been moved to the Schedule II Drug Enforcement Administration classification because the risk of addiction and a high incidence of abuse. The FDA requested this change in 2013 after a scientific review, and that means the medication is now more tightly controlled.
In 2013, the National Institute on Drug Use (NIDA) reported that prescriptions for opioid painkillers had gone up to 207 million in the U.S. It is also reported that Americans consume almost 100% of the world’s hydrocodone. Almost 2 million Americans are thought to be dependent on or addicted to prescription drugs, or are abusing opioid medications, according to the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine).
These medications are prescribed for extreme or chronic pain, but they can also alter ones mood and make a patient feel happy or euphoric by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. Because the brain can become tolerant to the amount of hydrocodone taken over a period of time, more of the drug is needed to feel the effects. This may increase the brain’s dependency which is when an addiction can form. Once a dependent person stops taking the medication, the onset of withdrawal symptoms will occur.
Timeline of Withdrawal
Hydrocodone withdrawal will usually begin 6 to 12 hours after the last dose, depending on the specific drug. Opioid withdrawal can last up to a month, but usually peaks around 72 hours. Without the support of a mental health specialist, some cravings and emotional issues may last longer.
The withdrawal timeline may be affected by various forms of hydrocodone, including Lorcet, Lortab and Vicodin, as well as the amount of the medication taken. If the drug has been taken for a longer period of time, the brain will be more dependent on the drug. Injecting or smoking hydrocodone will cause faster dependence on the drug, thereby affecting how long withdrawal will last.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
Detox and withdrawal symptoms from Hydrocodone range widely from person to person, from mild to severe, depending on the level of dependency. Opiates act as central nervous system depressants reducing body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. This is caused by the binding of the opioid to the opiate receptors in the brain. The sudden absence of the drug can cause severe symptoms as the brain and body go into overdrive to try and rebalance once the brain is dependent on an opioid like hydrocodone. If hydrocodone use is stopped “cold turkey,” all vital signs may spike, therefore medical supervision is advised.
Withdrawal symptoms may include: muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, tearing of the eyes, runny nose, sweating, chills, nausea and cramps, yawning, night sweats, difficulty concentrating, irregular heart rate, restlessness, fatigue, headache, mood swings, depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, high blood pressure, drug cravings and thoughts of suicide.
Hydrocodone Detox Centers
Removing a drug from the body is referred to as detox. An inpatient or outpatient medically supervised detox is needed once an individual is dependent on or addicted to hydrocodone. Checking in to a hydrocodone detox center is often the best method of treatment because they will monitor vital signs around the clock and use medications that will keep a patient comfortable and safe for 5 to 7 days. The medications will reduce the withdrawal symptoms and help prevent relapse by lowering the intensity of cravings. It is also important the for the treatment plan to include counseling, therapy and relapse prevention techniques.
Withdrawal Medications for Hydrocodone
Opiate use shouldn’t be stopped suddenly. Instead the dose of hydrocodone should be tapered slowly during medical detox to wean the body of the drug in a controlled manner. This will also keep symptoms from becoming too uncomfortable.
Buprenorphine, or Subutex, is a medication approved to treat opioid dependency. This medication fills opioid receptors, stopping withdrawal symptoms from being too overpowering. It is also longer acting and stays in the body longer than hydrocodone. It also has a lower potential for abuse because it does not give the effect of being “high” to the patient.
During hydrocodone detox and withdrawal, Resolutions Behavioral Health will provide a supportive and comprehensive medical environment throughout all stages of detoxification to ensure a successful recovery. If you or a loved one need help, call one of our professional admissions team members today for a free and confidential assessment.