The Drug Enforcement Administration claims that hydrocodone remains the most frequently prescribed opioid in America. It is also the most heavily abused opioid drug in the country. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 135 million prescriptions of hydrocodone products were prescribed and filled back in 2012. This shows how vast the potential for abuse of the hydrocodone actually is. In this article, we look at how long it takes to effectively detox from hydrocodone, and in particular seek to answer the question: Can you detox from hydrocodone in less than a week?
How Is Hydrocodone Properly Controlled?
Properly utilized, hydrocodone is heavily prescribed for relieving pain in many combination products that typically contain the readily available painkiller acetaminophen. By 2014, the DEA had changed the hydrocodone classification from a Schedule III drug to a Schedule II controlled substance. Thanks to this move, hydrocodone is now heavily regulated and controlled by federal law in large part because of its common misuse and addiction. In the year 2014, more than four million adult Americans abused such prescription painkillers as hydrocodone. This was recorded in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Complications and Side Effects of Hydrocodone Withdrawal
Hydrocodone is powerful as an opioid drug that impacts the central nervous system as a depressant. In other words, it acts to slow down an individual’s heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and blood pressure all the while it diminishes pain, anxiety, and stress. Such opioids impact the opioid receptors of the brain. This impacts the neurotransmitters that are related to feeling pleasure such as dopamine. Increased levels of dopamine within your brain create the overwhelming feelings of euphoria (a high) that hydrocodone is famous for producing.
After you become dependent on hydrocodone, there are powerful and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that you can anticipate suffering through as the effects of the drug wear off. These are intense and both psychological and physical. Among the symptoms are the following problems:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Joint and bone pain
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal pain
- Irregular heart rate
- Agitation and restlessness
- High blood pressure
- Tremors and shakes
- Irritability and appetite changes
- Suicidal thoughts
- Dilated pupils
The withdrawal effects from hydrocodone are not typically life threatening.
Duration of Hydrocodone Withdrawal
The amount of time that withdrawal symptoms take to start is around 12 hours or less from the final dose of the opioid. It is possible for it to start even earlier since it is a short-acting drug. These symptoms typically reach their most critical level within two to three days. They endure an average of from five to ten days for the average user, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
A few different considerations affect how severe and long a withdrawal process from hydrocodone turns out to be. The longer you have been addicted to it and the greater a dependency you have on it, the more difficult the withdrawal symptoms will prove to be. The level of dependence can also be impacted by any family addiction history, biological or genetic factors, and even environmental aspects.
Other factors include how it was used, the first age when it was taken, and any additional simultaneous drug abuse. All of these will influence the amount and severity of the dependence and resulting withdrawal from the drug. An individual who takes a great deal of hydrocodone on a routine basis and injects, snorts, or smokes it will show a greater dependence on the opioid. This causes a harder, longer, and more complex withdrawal phase. Co-occurring or underlying medical or mental health conditions may also make the withdrawal more complicated and extend the number and severity of the withdrawal symptoms.
Medical Detox Duration
Medical detox is able to effectively and efficiently manage these troubling withdrawal symptoms, as well as to diminish their severity. Experts do not recommend stopping these opioid drugs without help and medical supervision. Instead, they prefer a tapering off schedule that can be established to gradually reduce the dosage given a certain amount of time. Generally, the supervising physician will choose to replace hydrocodone with another longer-acting opioid drug as a substitution in detox. This assists in reducing the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone and buprenorphine are two favorites in the long-acting opioid category chosen for this role. Both have the seal of FDA approved medications to treat opioid dependence. Either drug will function as an opioid agonist. This means that they fill the opioid receptors of your brain while producing an effect that lasts for longer than the old hydrocodone. It allows the doses to be spread further apart and administered less frequently, all the while managing a minimal withdrawal experience in detox. The advantage of buprenorphine is that it proves to be just a partial agonist. It will not give a full replacement euphoria effect that hydrocodone and similar full agonists will.
The detox staff may also administer certain other helpful medications in the detox phase to deal with some of the withdrawal symptoms. These can include anxiety, depression, and nausea to list a couple of them. Among the greatest advantages to medical detox lies in the fact that mental and medical health experts are at hand. They can deal with all unpleasant side effects from the hydrocodone withdrawal that may occur.
This then is the amount of time it takes to go through detox from hydrocodone dependence. Without any substitution medications, such withdrawals commonly last from only five to ten days. Using replacement medication therapy, complete detox from such opioids and their replacements requires months or sometimes even years. The psychological impacts of this withdrawal can hold for months to years beyond this first withdrawal experience. They are dealt with in continuing therapy. If you are ready to get started with your detox and withdrawal treatment from hydrocodone dependency, we are here to help. Simply call us now at 877-497-6180. Our counselors will be standing by fully 24 hours per day to assist you.