Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Scared to go to rehab? Understanding hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can ease your fears of entering rehab

Understanding hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms, how long they last, and the treatment options that can manage symptoms can take some of the fear out of entering rehab. One of the scariest parts of getting treatment for hydrocodone addiction is knowing you are going to experience withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking the drug. In fact, fear of hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms is one of the top reasons that individuals don’t seek treatment for hydrocodone abuse. Don’t let fear stop you from breaking free from your hydrocodone addiction. Educating yourself on the withdrawal symptoms you will face, their probable duration and severity, and the treatments that help alleviate symptoms will take some of the fear and uncertainty out of going through detox. This knowledge can help you find the courage to enter rehab and free yourself from hydrocodone abuse.

Hydrocodone is a highly addictive, semi-synthetic opioid medication that is prescribed to manage severe pain and debilitating coughs. It is frequently combined with other analgesics such as acetaminophen and marketed under various names, including Vicodin, Percocet, Lortab, and Lorcet.  One of the most prevalent misunderstandings about this drug is the question of how long does it take to get addicted to hydrocodone. Physical addiction (also called physical dependence), where your body adjusts to the presence of hydrocodone and you experience physical symptoms when you don’t take it every 12 to 24 hours, can begin to occur within a week of use, depending on how high of a dose you are prescribed. Psychological addiction, where individuals actively seek out hydrocodone in order to enjoy the feelings of euphoria that occur when it is taken, and begin to focus on obtaining the drug above all else, can occur in some people from the first time they take it.

Physical hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms

Even when taken for a short time and exactly as prescribed, hydrocodone can cause physical withdrawal symptoms that can make the detoxification process extremely uncomfortable.  Runny nose, sweating, chills, and a debilitating “sick” feeling with flu-like symptoms is common. Nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps can occur, with an accompanying loss of appetite. Muscle aches, cramps, and pain can become severe, particularly in legs and back.

Psychological symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal

The psychological symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal include an intense craving for hydrocodone and the feelings of euphoria it produces, insomnia, and sleep disturbances. This can lead to severe fatigue, depression, and feelings of anxiety and irritability. Lack of concentration and focus are common as users

Duration of hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms

Addicted individuals can begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms as soon as 12 to 24 hours after their last dose of hydrocodone.  Symptoms become severe within 1 to 2 days, and these acute withdrawal symptoms can persist for 3 to 5 days.  Starting around the fourth or fifth day, withdrawal symptoms still linger but become less intense. These weaker, post-acute withdrawal symptoms can  continue for 1 to 2 weeks, although psychological cravings for hydrocodone can occur for years after physical symptoms have disappeared.

Treatments to manage symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal

When you undergo a medically supervised hydrocodone detox, you will be slowly weaned off the drug to help your body adjust gradually. You may be given Suboxone, Clonodine, or other medications that will minimize acute withdrawal symptoms, as well as methadone to help you manage long-term cravings.  As you go through addiction treatment and rehab, you will attend addiction education, behavioral and group therapy sessions to acquire coping skills that will help you resist your cravings for hydrocodone. Support groups and relapse prevention training will help you overcome your addiction to hydrocodone and embrace a healthy life.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.