If you’re struggling with an addiction to Vicodin, also known as hydrocodone, you’re not alone. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), nearly 2 million Americans are struggling with a substance abuse disorder that involves the use of prescription pain relievers. However, if you have decided to seek treatment for your addiction, you’re already ahead of the curve in terms of ending your relationship with the Schedule II drug and safeguarding your health. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Vicodin can damage the liver when taken in high doses. The same also applies to long-term use as well. For those who may not be aware, Vicodin contains 325 mg of acetaminophen, and while this ingredient can help resolve pain, it can also pose a significant health risk if not taken as prescribed by a physician. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the symptoms associated with quitting Vicodin, the benefits of medically-assisted detox, and whether detoxing from the medication should take place in a hospital or drug treatment facility.
What To Expect When Detoxing From Vicodin
The withdrawal symptoms that come with Vicodin cessation can start almost immediately after the drug stops being active in the body, which explains why it is easy to build up a tolerance and become addicted to the medication. Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms associated with Vicodin cessation include
- Dilated pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Profuse sweating
- Changes in breathing
- Muscles aches
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
Along with physical symptoms, some individuals may also experience psychological withdrawal symptoms after quitting Vicodin as well, some of which include confusion, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, some people may find themselves struggling with exhaustion, insomnia, and other sleep disturbances. Given the many symptoms that reveal themselves after one stops taking Vicodin, it is easy to see why so many people relapse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the relapse rate amongst those struggling with substance abuse is between 40 to 60 percent. Medically-assisted detox, whether provided in a hospital setting or a drug treatment facility, can help minimize the risk of relapse and can also make coping with withdrawal symptoms much easier. Also worth noting, drug treatment facilities, much like hospitals, are staffed with physicians and other healthcare professionals that can address any serious health concern that may arise as you go through detox.
Vicodin Withdrawal Timeline
When it comes to quitting Vicodin, the timeline and severity of withdrawal symptoms can vary slightly from person to person. Individuals who have not been taking Vicodin for too long will probably not encounter as many severe withdrawal symptoms compared to those who have been taking it long-term. That being said, most Vicodin-related withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days. It is also worth noting that the half-life associated with Vicodin is 4 hours, and it can take as long as 8 hours before the drug is completely out of your system. From there, withdrawal symptom will quickly start to reveal themselves.
What Medications Are Used To Help Patients Overcome Withdrawal Symptoms?
Whether you opt to seek treatment in a hospital setting or a drug treatment facility, most clinicians will recommend prescription medication to help make your detox journey as smooth as possible. One of the most commonly prescribed medications used to help patients overcome withdrawal symptoms is Suboxone, a combination medication consisting of buprenorphine and naloxone. Additional medications used to help individuals overcome severe withdrawal symptoms include Opana, Methadone, Morphine, and certain anticonvulsants. The primary objective when it comes to medically-assisted detox is to make coping withdrawal symptoms easier than it would be otherwise. Therefore, many hospitals and drug treatment facilities will provide patients with electrolytes to help combat fluid loss along with psychotherapeutic drugs to help with feelings of depression and anxiety, which are often associated with quitting Vicodin.
In summation, it is entirely possible to overcome the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting Vicodin without being in a hospital setting. However, patients who have a problem with Vicodin are encouraged to seek treatment that includes medically-detox to help improve their chance of long-term recovery success.