Hydrocodone Detox Symptoms, Timeline, Medications and Treatment

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  1. Why is Detox Necessary for Recovery?
  2. Is Detox from Hydrocodone Dangerous?
  3. Why Detoxing at Home Can Be Harmful
  4. Medically Assisted Detox and Withdrawal
  5. What to Expect During Hydrocodone Detoxification
  6. How Long Does Detox Last?
  7. Hydrocodone Detox Treatment
  8. Choosing The Best Hydrocodone Addiction Detoxification Center

What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is a highly addictive opioid, and hydrocodone withdrawal is both physically and psychologically arduous.

Getting the hydrocodone out of your system completely is the first step towards recovery.

What is Hydrocodone?

Why is Detox Necessary for Recovery?

Managing the hydrocodone withdrawal process with trained health care supervision is called medically managed detoxification, and it is essential to:

  • Reduce suffering.
  • Provide a safe transition to a toxin-free state of abstinence.
  • Manage and alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
  • Minimize cravings / urge to continue drug use.

Detox addresses the acute physical effects of stopping hydrocodone usage and promotes the physical clearing of the substance itself, as well as removal of the toxic influence that the drug has on the body after sustained use.


Withdrawal will occur when someone who is hydrocodone dependent stops using. Many find it preferable to manage this difficult process under the supervision of a trained professional.

An estimated 5 million people abuse hydrocodone and other opioid painkillers in the U.S. every year.

If you or someone you love is hydrocodone dependent, get help. There are lots of outstanding treatment options for hydrocodone abuse, particularly to help guide you through the withdrawal and detoxification process.

Call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to speak with a treatment support team member about the best hydrocodone detox and addiction treatment option available for you or your loved one.

Is Detox from Hydrocodone Dangerous?

The entire withdrawal period usually lasts about 2 weeks.Detoxing from most drugs of abuse can be dangerous, and detoxing from hydrocodone is no exception. Withdrawal can start as quickly as 6 hours after the last dose of hydrocodone.

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Symptoms become acute within 2-3 days, and the entire withdrawal period typically lasts about 2 weeks.

While physical withdrawal symptoms from hydrocodone abuse may not be deadly, the combination of physical and psychological effects can be so overwhelming that many former hydrocodone addicts report 'wanting to die' when detoxing from opioids.

Physical withdrawal symptoms, while unpleasant, aren't necessarily life threatening. They often mimic the flu and include:

  • Chills.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sour stomach.
  • Sweating

However, psychological withdrawal symptoms combined with physical symptoms are extremely likely to lead to relapse without trained medical supervision. Psychological withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Insomnia.
  • Severe cravings.

The continued abuse of hydrocodone is very dangerous. The likelihood that someone who is profoundly hydrocodone dependent can undergo detox alone or with non-professional help successfully is extremely low.

Why Detoxing at Home Can Be Harmful

Don't Do It Alone Professionals are available to help you recover from hydrocodone addiction today. The extremely high risk of relapse is the primary reason that detoxing from home can be harmful.

The dread of withdrawal is so agonizing for many people who are hydrocodone dependent that it prevents them from ever attempting to stop their addiction.

For those brave enough to try and quit, going into withdrawal and trying to detox solo is doomed for failure because no matter how successful you are at managing withdrawal, your underlying addiction is still there.

The chances that you will use hydrocodone again to alleviate the excruciating withdrawal symptoms are very high.

Medically Assisted Detox and Withdrawal

Medical professionals will focus on your heart rate, breathing and your brain capacities during detox.Medically assisted detox is conducted in a hospital or a residential treatment center that has a specialized detoxification unit.

The primary focus for health care providers is to alleviate the severity of withdrawal in areas of the body that are affected by the use of hydrocodone.

The chemical composition of hydrocodone is similar to natural chemicals we have in our brain. After a period of hydrocodone use, receptors in different parts of the brain are artificially manipulated - they grow 'accustomed' to the presence of the drug.

During the detox process, medical professionals may focus their monitoring efforts on a few main functions compromised by opioid use, including your:

  • Heart rate and breathing.
  • Psychological wellbeing - ability to create feelings of pleasure and calmness.
  • Comfort levels - subjective sense of pain.

Evidence-based best practices for the treatment of hydrocodone withdrawal as part of medically assisted detox recommends the following:

  • Clonidine to treat the flu-like symptoms and anxiety.
  • Buprenorphine to treat the overall discomfort and reduce the length of withdrawal.
  • Trazadone to treat insomnia.
  • Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs for muscle aches.

What to Expect During Hydrocodone Detoxification

Hydrocodone detoxification has a dual focus--physical and psychological remediation. Medical staff provide trained oversight through:

  • The ongoing monitoring of vital signs.
  • Empathy and recognition that your environment needs to be as comfortable as possible.
  • The active prevention of increased symptom severity to promote progress towards recovery.

One of the key benefits of undergoing hydrocodone withdrawal under the supervision of trained medical staff is having a team of individuals that understand the dire nature of extreme cravings to help you through withdrawal.

This level of awareness can not be underestimated, and as outlined above, it is highly unlikely that someone addicted to hydrocodone will be able to withstand the urge to alleviate symptoms by self-medicating without this psychosocial framework.

Please act now if you're concerned that you or a loved one is suffering under the weight of a hydrocodone dependency.

Call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to speak with someone about your hydrocodone detox and addiction treatment options.

How Long Does Detox Last?

Acute hydrocodone detox can lasts approximately 2 weeks, but the protracted withdrawal symptoms of anxiety and depression can last months after the initial physical withdrawal process is completed.

Detoxing from hydrocodone with trained and knowledgeable medical staff is essential, both in the first 2 weeks and for the extended withdrawal process that is likely to ensue.

Hydrocodone Detox Treatment

The primary choices for medically-assisted hydrocodone detox are within a hospital, or at a chemical-dependency treatment center (either inpatient or outpatient).

In some cases, your primary care physician will oversee the process, but this is not the norm.

  • Inpatient Detox

    Inpatient detox is the gold standard of care, but can be prohibitively expensive. The advantages of inpatient treatment include:

    • Provision of more comprehensive, wrap-around medical and wellness services.
    • Opportunity for the hydrocodone dependent individual to be in a supportive environment 24/7 away from common triggers for relapse.

  • Outpatient Detox

    As would be expected, outpatient detoxification is characterized by more of a partnership between the hydrocodone dependent person and the institution providing care.

    Often, under the care of a physician lead, health care practitioners will help the dependent person taper off of hydrocodone by:

    • Gradually administering smaller and smaller doses of the hydrocodone itself.
    • Replacing hydrocodone with similar acting drugs such as buprenorphine or methadone.

Typically the tapering protocol is not as rapid as in inpatient care, and extended-release medications such as methadone are used to treat the hydrocodone withdrawal.

Outpatient treatment is not recommended for individuals with poly-substance abuse and severe mental health issues.

Choosing The Best Hydrocodone Addiction Detoxification Center

Entering inpatient or outpatient hydrocodone detoxification and treatment are the preferred courses of action because it guarantees that the above-mentioned processes are adhered to thoroughly and for an appropriate duration of time.

Before choosing either option, be sure to ask about the success rates at the treatment center

you are assessing, so you can compare the results that different treatment centers claim to achieve.

Also, ask about the concurrent psychological and/or behavioral therapies that are available.

Be sure to contact your insurance provider to see if they can cover inpatient or outpatient therapy.

Detoxing from hydrocodone can be done in a number of different institutional settings, and deciding which one is best for you is difficult. To obtain advice from a treatment support specialist and learn about how to most easily transition back into a clean and sober life, please call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? now.

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