Footprints to Recovery

Hydrocodone Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by David Szarka, MA, LCADC

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Hydrocodone addiction can be swift and intense. It’s an opioid prescription drug that affects your brain in powerful ways, putting you at high risk for addiction. Once you start abusing hydrocodone, it’s nearly impossible to stop on your own. You need medical help to safely detox from the drug and behavioral therapy and recovery support to maintain sobriety.

What Happens During Hydrocodone Withdrawal?

You should never try to quit taking hydrocodone cold turkey on your own. Opiate and opioid withdrawal symptoms can be painful and dangerous. Medical supervision is needed to keep you safe and ease withdrawal symptoms so you’re not tempted to take hydrocodone to self-medicate the discomfort.

Opioid withdrawal syndrome is common when you stop abusing hydrocodone. Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Bone and muscle aches
  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Runny nose
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Sleep problems
  • Paranoia
  • Watery eyes
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Paranoia

Self-Assessment: Am I Addicted?

What Causes Hydrocodone Withdrawal?

With continued abuse, opioids begin changing the way your brain functions. The high feeling you get comes from the way opioids make your brain produce excessive amounts of dopamine. 

Over time, your brain begins to need hydrocodone to produce even normal amounts of dopamine. At this point, you have a physical dependence on hydrocodone. When you stop taking hydrocodone, you experience opiate withdrawal symptoms because the brain can’t produce dopamine without opioids. Dopamine is tied to several functions, so your central nervous system causes discomfort in these areas as your body tries to rebalance itself and produce dopamine on its own again.

What Is Hydrocodone Detox Like?

You should undergo withdrawal from opiates under the care of medical professionals. They can ease symptoms of withdrawal and make sure you’re safe and as comfortable as possible. Medical detox at a drug addiction treatment center includes 24/7 staff that monitor you around the clock. They regularly take your vitals and also assess your pain level in case more interventions are needed to alleviate discomfort. You’ll typically have a private room or share a room with one other person in a home-like setting. As you feel better there are often common areas where you can watch television, talk to other clients, and begin participating in some forms of treatment.

What Happens After Hydrocodone Detox?

Detox is the first step in recovery. Once you’ve eliminated drugs and alcohol from your system and have been through the withdrawal process, you can focus on getting better.

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Residential treatment is an ideal level of care for opioid addictions because it gives you space away from triggers. You’ll attend individual and group therapy during the day and live in home-like residences with other peers in treatment. Inpatient treatment varies by the treatment center. At Footprints to Recovery, our inpatient rehab centers offer approaches like:

  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Therapeutic approaches proven effective in treating addiction like cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Co-occurring disorders treatment
  • Trauma treatment like EMDR therapy
  • Experiential therapy approaches like art therapy and music therapy
  • Holistic therapy approaches like mindfulness and yoga

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Mental illness frequently co-occurs with substance abuse. People with mental health disorders like depression and anxiety may use drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate their symptoms. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both of these challenges simultaneously and may include psychiatric medications to help manage mental health disorder symptoms. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Opioid addiction can be hard to overcome because of the intense cravings and flu-like symptoms that occur without the drug. Many people do well with medication-assisted treatment. These are medications that attach to your brain’s opioid receptors in similar ways as hydrocodone. They don’t make you feel high, but they do ease urges and help prevent withdrawal symptoms. Without the distraction of cravings and feeling poorly, you are better able to focus on the behavioral therapy that will help you maintain sobriety.

Continuing Care

Recovery is a lifelong journey. It’s something you must work on. After a structured treatment program, you’ll need an aftercare plan that helps you maintain sobriety. Some components of this may include:

  • Individual therapy appointments
  • Medical appointments
  • Psychiatric appointments
  • 12-step groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Healthy self-care like exercise, proper nutrition, and mindfulness

Looking for Help?

It’s possible to take back your life from addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling, call us. Our admissions team of addiction professionals are caring and compassionate. Many of them have been in your shoes. We’ll provide you with a free, confidential consultation and help you figure out the next steps. Our recovery centers provide evidence-based substance abuse treatment, are welcoming and home-like, and offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab options. You can do this, and we can help.

Questions about treatment options?

Our admissions team is available 24/7 to listen to your story and help you get started with the next steps.

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