If a regular hydrocodone user stops taking hydrocodone, he or she will experience hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms within 12 to 24 hours if stopping cold turkey, but the withdrawal symptoms are usually not life-threatening. The intensity of withdrawal symptoms depend on the degree of the addiction. For example, hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms may grow stronger for 24 to 72 hours and then gradually decline over a period of seven to 14 days.
Attempting to quit cold turkey can have adverse affects on an individual as withdrawal symptoms can tend to be severe and therefore should be supervised by a medical professional in a detox center. Weaning oneself off of the drug is more successful and counteracts the potential of going into relapse. It also decreases the possibility of an individual having a seizure or going into convulsions.
The duration of hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms varies greatly from person to person and also are dependent upon the severity of addiction. Vicodin (hydrocodone) withdrawal is both a mental and physical process where the mind is telling the body it cannot function without it.
Many of the withdrawal symptoms affect both the mind and the body. Given that the withdrawal is so uncomfortable, it is actually the fear of withdrawal that keeps the opiate addict stuck in addiction. They have experienced the pain of withdrawal and they know how miserable it is, so they will do anything they can in order to avoid it. Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Intense cravings for the drug
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Involuntary leg movements
- Bone pain
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose or eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Cold sweats
- Inability to sleep
In addition to the physical addiction to hydrocodone, some social issues may surface. These include problems in personal relationships, employment difficulties, financial troubles and legal problems. In addition, psychological difficulties commonly occur.
Hydrocodone is a narcotic that can produce a calm, euphoric state similar to heroin or morphine. It is most commonly used to assist those who are recovering from surgery or are enduring chronic/severe pain. However, very few prescription drugs are pure hydrocodone. Instead, small amounts of hydrocodone are mixed with other non-narcotic ingredients to create medicines like Vicodin and Lortab. Nonetheless, it is still one of the most abused drugs on the market.
One of the reasons Vicodin is so problematic for individuals is because they develop a tolerance to the drug and need more and more of it in order to fulfill their craving and obtain the same euphoric effects. Subject to individual tolerance, many medical experts believe dependence or addiction can occur within one to four weeks at higher doses of hydrocodone. The more Vicodin an individual takes, the worse the withdrawal symptoms are and hydrocodone help may be apparent.
Hydrocodone withdrawal may be passed to a newborn infant from a pregnant woman or nursing mother using this medication. Physical harm and organ damage may occur to the child. The acetaminophen component in compound capsules enhances the narcotic effects of the hydrocodone component.
Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
When hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms reach intolerable levels, the drug abuser is more inclined to admit that drug treatment is needed. Acceptance of the drug abuse should immediately be supported by family and friends. Drug detoxification at residential treatment centers is the first step.
Like noted above, Vicodin withdrawal symptoms are severe, similar to opiate withdrawal from heroin, and lead to further use of the drug that will relieve them. Remember that Vicodin addiction tends to be a lower priority than pain management for the patient, so the problem with this drug addiction lies in long-term recovery. Residential drug treatment is not always necessary. For many, outpatient drug treatment will suffice. In either case, drug treatment is necessary to make Vicodin addiction a higher priority.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a hydrocodone addiction, we can help. Please call our toll free number at (877) 345-3362. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions on hydrocodone treatment and addiction.