If you are physically dependent upon hydrocodone and would like to stop taking the drug, your doctor will recommend that you taper off your dose until you are no longer using the substance at all.
This is a simple process that does not require any further support or treatment – as long as you are not psychologically dependent upon your hydrocodone prescription.
Hydrocodone addiction is defined by cravings for the drug as well as an inability to stop taking the pills despite the negative consequences caused by ongoing use and abuse (e.g., financial problems, health problems and relationship issues). If you are living with a hydrocodone addiction, a taper-down program with your primary care physician will not be effective; instead, it is recommended that you enroll in a drug detox and addiction treatment program for at least the length of the duration of your hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms.
Factors that Impact the Length of Hydrocodone Detox
Withdrawal symptoms caused by hydrocodone detox will last days, weeks, or months based upon a number of different factors, including:
- Dose at the time of cessation of use
- Use of and/or addiction to other addictive substances, including alcohol
- Use of detox medications
- Use of holistic and alternative support measures
Each person is different, and the choices you make concerning how you go about stopping your use of hydrocodone will heavily impact your experience. For example, if you choose to quit taking hydrocodone on your own, the withdrawal symptoms may be significant but last for a shorter amount of time than if you were to choose medication-assisted detox.
It is important to note that whatever detox path you choose as you break free from hydrocodone dependence, it is never recommended that you attempt the process at home. It is too easy to relapse and/or experience medical complications if you do not have the support of substance abuse treatment professionals.
For some patients, the use of long-term medications during hydrocodone detox may be appropriate. The dose of hydrocodone as well as the use of other medications and the existence of underlying mental health or medical disorders may impact which medication will be most appropriate for the purposes of detox. These medications are addictive, and patients must be monitored for the long-term by trained professionals. While they do serve to mitigate withdrawal symptoms, they can prolong the hydrocodone detox experience for months.
In other cases, it may be more appropriate for the patient to simply take non-addictive medications that help him or her to get through the more difficult withdrawal symptoms associated with hydrocodone detox. They may help to limit the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, but they will not make the process last any longer than it would naturally.
What to Expect
Hydrocodone detox will define the first week, or the first few weeks, in recovery when you embark on a journey into sobriety. Your sole focus during this time may be simply dealing with the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with detox and stabilizing physically in recovery – and that’s okay. When you are feeling better, you can turn your attention to other aspects of treatment, namely the therapeutic and holistic treatments that will help you to explore the issues underlying your addiction and learn how to prevent relapse in the future.
Learn more about what you can expect from hydrocodone detox and addiction treatment when you contact us today.
Further Reading About How Long Is Withdrawal from Hydrocodone?
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David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.