Hydrocodone abuse could result in the user developing a high tolerance to the drug. This process can take as little as 14 days. As a person builds a tolerance for hydrocodone, he/she has to take higher doses of the medicine to feel the effects of the medication.
As soon as a person who is addicted to hydrocodone stops taking the drug, he/she will experience withdrawal symptoms. Hydrocodone addicts depend on the medication to avoid anxiety or uncomfortable feelings.
What Is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is often the main ingredient in painkillers and is combined with over-the-counter ingredients like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Zohydro ER was the first prescription medication that was pure hydrocodone. The medicine debuted in 2014 and was formulated to be a drug that is continually released in the body over time, similar to OxyContin.
Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal can begin two or three hours after the last dose. Hydocodone is an opioid, so the withdrawal symptoms that an individual will experience are similar to withdrawing from heroin and oxycodone.
Individuals who are withdrawing from hydrocodone may experience anxiety or insomnia. Joint and muscle pain are also common, and some people experience stomach and digestion issues, including vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Fever and sweating can occur during hydrocodone withdrawal as well; however, the body can experience cold flashes, too. Many addicts will have significant mood swings due to racing thoughts and extreme irritability. The withdrawal can lead to depression and anger.
Depending on how long the person has been taking hydrocodone, withdrawal symptoms can include intense cravings for certain drinks and foods. It’s also possible to have short-term memory loss or to have dreams about taking drugs. Confusion and lack of motivation are also common in people who are withdrawing from hydrocodone. Individuals who normally don’t get sick may also experience cold and flu-like symptoms if they go too long without taking hydrocodone.
How Long Does Withdrawal Last?
Every person has different symptoms when it comes to withdrawal. The length of withdrawal time and the severity of the symptoms depend on several factors. These factors include the length of a time a person has been using hydrocodone and the average dose an individual takes each time to experience the effects of the medication. Some people take hydrocodone a few times a day, while others take it in the morning and evening, and this will affect the severity of withdrawal as well. Hydrocodone can be taken in pill from or injected, which determines its reaction in the body.
Acute withdrawal can typically last for up to two weeks. After this period, the remaining symptoms can continue for up to two years; these are referred to as PAWS, or post-accurate withdrawal symptoms.
In many cases, withdrawal symptoms can appear between 6-12 hours after the last dose and continue for a week, sometimes longer.
The onset of symptoms varies with the various types of hydrocodone. Since extended release hydrocodone stays in the body for a longer period of time, so it takes longer for withdrawal symptoms to start.
The discomfort and pain that comes from withdrawal usually becomes apparent about 3 days into detox. Near the end of the first week, the symptoms begin to wane. Chronic symptoms such as depression and anxiety can last for weeks or even months.
Withdrawal Timeline For Hydrocodone
During the first 48 hours:
After 24 hours of detox, muscle pain and stomach upset is common. Anxiety, flu-like symptoms, nausea and depression are common. Anxiety or cravings are also strong during this period. Withdrawal symptoms begin to peak at the end of the second day and into the third day.
Day 3 is usually the worst day of the withdrawal period. Acute muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting and excessive sweating are typical. By the fourth day, many of the symptoms are less severe. The symptoms will often subside by day four but will still be apparent. By the fifth day, symptoms are most gone, but the psychological withdrawal effects will still be there.
Once the physical symptoms have been reduced, addicts experience anxiety, depression and a strong desire to return to the drug. This indicates the end of the withdrawal period for the most part. At this point, addicts may start to feel regret or shame for the things they may have said or done while under the influence of hydrocodone.
Day 8 and Beyond
Depending on the individual, psychological effects like anxiety can last for 18-24 months after stopping hydrocodone abuse.
It’s important for hydrocodone addicts not to quit without detox treatment because there can be serious complications in the mind and body. The depression and anxiety can sometimes cause addicts to harm themselves, which is why monitored treatment is necessary. Some addicts will also devise plans to hurt or harm others to steal the medication to continue getting high. Supervised detox assists addicts in fully restoring their health and decreasing the tendency to relapse.
Medications For Withdrawal
There are several medicines used in the detox to make the process less uncomfortable. These include clonidine, which is used to reduce blood pressure and agitation. This medicine also decreases depression, anxiety and cravings. Clonidine also reduces fever, migraines, diarrhea and insomnia, and is used as a treatment for restlessness and mild pain. This medicine is best for people with a low tolerance to opioids.
Buprenophine causes mild side effects that keeps an addict from displaying severe symptoms of withdrawal like pain, muscle spasms, flu-like symptoms and insomnia.
You don’t have to go through the detox and recovery process alone. If you or a loved one need assistance with hydrocodone detox, contact our facilities right away. Our staff has the treatments and therapeutic methods to rid your body of the desire to take hydrocodone. Being in a safe environment where you can draw strength from other addicts who are taking control of their health can be beneficial. Our helpful staff is available 24/7 to assist you in getting the treatment you need for overcoming your addiction. Call 877-497-6180