Abuse of hydrocodone, a commonly prescribed opiate medication for the treatment of pain, is an ongoing problem in the United States. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about 99 percent of hydrocodone pills dispensed in the entire world are prescribed here in the US. High numbers of prescriptions translates into easy access to this potent drug, which in turn has created an increase in abuse and high rates of addiction.
A medical disorder, hydrocodone addiction must be treated medically: detox followed by intensive therapeutic treatment and long-term follow-up care is the recommended treatment protocol. Though many view the physical dependence as the main focus of recovery, it is just the first step – an important step, but only the beginning of a comprehensive treatment program. Here’s what you can expect.
Physical withdrawal symptoms are the focus of hydrocodone detox. These will vary in severity from person to person depending upon factors that may include:
- Daily dose of hydrocodone at the cessation of use
- Length of addictive use of hydrocodone
- Dose and length of use of other addictive substances (e.g., alcohol, prescription sedatives, etc.)
- Underlying medical problems
- Underlying mental health disorders
Depending on these factors and more, someone attempting to stop taking hydrocodone after long-term addictive use may experience:
- Restless legs
- Bone and muscle pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Not sure which prescriptions will trigger hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms? There are a number of hydrocodone combination products
available on the market, and use of all of them comes with the risk of addiction. Commonly prescribed medications include:
- Norco (hydrocodone and acetaminophen)
- Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen)
- Vicoprofen (hydrocodone and ibuprofen)
- Lortab (hydrocodone and acetaminophen)
- Lortab ASA (hydrocodone and aspirin)
- Lorcet (hydrocodone and acetaminophen)
Psychological Aspect of Detox
Addiction is more than physical dependence, and hydrocodone detox should also address the mental aspect of addiction – arguably more powerful in the long term than the initial physical withdrawal symptoms. Psychological issues often experienced by people in hydrocodone detox include:
- An obsession with getting high and staying high
- Worry or fear of living without the medication
- Cravings for hydrocodone or being high
- Obsession with pill management (e.g., getting more pills, how many pills are left, etc.)
A number of emotions and psychological issues characterize hydrocodone detox as a result, often requiring professional therapeutic support and the support of peers in recovery:
- Low self-esteem or self-confidence
- Disordered eating habits
These may be related only to the use of hydrocodone and the process of stopping use of this and other drugs, but they may also indicate an underlying mental health disorder (e.g., grief disorder, moderate to severe depression, anxiety or panic disorder, personality disorder, etc.). If that is the case, then mental health treatment that provides intensive treatment for the issue must follow hydrocodone detox.
Simply overcoming withdrawal symptoms is not enough to help someone stop addictive use of hydrocodone and other substances. Hydrocodone detox at its best provides all the medical and psychological care necessary to navigate the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping use of the drug. It also sets the foundation for a comprehensive treatment program designed to help the person remain free of hydrocodone relapse for the long term.
Learn more about what you or your loved one can and should expect from hydrocodone detox and addiction treatment when you contact us at the phone number listed above today.