What is hydrocodone withdrawal?
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid drug used for acute and chronic pain relief. It is commonly combined with other drugs like acetaminophen to create pain medicines used for mild, moderate, and severe pain relief, such as Vicodin and Lorcet. Like most opioids, it has the potential for abuse.
Hydrocodone works by attaching to the brain’s opioid receptors to stimulate increased production of endorphins, triggering feelings of pleasure and euphoria. The more someone uses hydrocodone over time, the higher their tolerance will become, meaning they must take larger doses to achieve the desired effect. The built-up tolerance will, in many cases, lead to hydrocodone abuse, physical dependence, and addiction as the user begins to take the drug in higher doses more frequently.
A significant number of people may not realize they are addicted to hydrocodone until they stop taking it and begin encountering negative symptoms known as opiate and opioid withdrawal syndrome.
- In 2018, approximately 5.5 million or 2 percent of Americans aged 12 or older had misused hydrocodone drugs, according to a national survey on drug use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Almost 100% of hydrocodone prescriptions are given in the United States, according to studies conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
- The hydrocodone drugs most commonly prescribed to Americans in 2018 were Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Zohydro® ER, and generic hydrocodone.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms
As one becomes dependent on hydrocodone, withdrawal can occur if the body does not receive enough of the drug. This risk becomes particularly likely if someone attempts to quickly taper off the opioid or stops using hydrocodone cold turkey without clinical care or supervision from a medical professional.
Common hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms include:
- Flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, headache, bone pains, fever, and chills.
- Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
- Changes in behavioral health and mood swings.
- Changes in blood pressure.
- Insomnia and changes in sleep patterns.
- Dilated pupils.
- Muscle aches, pains, and cramps.
- Joint pain.
- Stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Intense craving.
Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms – detoxification and recovery timeline
Opioid withdrawal symptoms will dissipate in just over a week for most people. However, the exact withdrawal period and the intensity of symptoms people feel during their recovery differs from person-to-person. It can be influenced by various physical factors such as the patient’s current health level, height, and body weight, or psychological factors including preexisting mental health issues and the patient’s level of dependence on hydrocodone. The ANR treatment is the fastest addiction, withdrawal, and substance abuse treatment, with patients experiencing a recovery in a very short amount of time (typically just a few days).
Other factors that can influence opioid withdrawal symptoms and recovery time include:
- How the drug is taken (pill/tablet, intravenous injection, snorting, etc.)
- If their drug use involved additional drugs or alcohol.
- The period the user had been taking the substance and their level of dependence.
- The dose of the drug the user had been taking.
- The treatment option they use for recovery.
Withdrawal from opiates can be one of the largest drivers of relapse for an individual in recovery. That is why it is recommended to seek professional medical treatment as soon as possible, so that the individual may begin the detox process under close supervision and have the best chance of success.
Read here on how long does Hydrocodone stay in your system.
As the substance begins to leave the body, the patient will begin to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms. Fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, and anxiety may begin to take place within 6-12 hours of the user’s last dose of hydrocodone.
At this point, the user may begin to experience acute withdrawal, where symptoms are at their most intense. Symptoms may include anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, intense drug cravings, insomnia, abdominal cramps, and the strong urge to relapse.
Most physical effects of opiate withdrawal will start to subside at this stage. Despite this, the urge to relapse can be stronger than ever as the patient is left to deal with psychological symptoms brought on by the aftermath of their drug use. Lethargy, indifference, depression, and anxiety are side effects that can be expected during this period.
Post-acute opiate withdrawal syndrome
Although many patients will begin to overcome withdrawal symptoms in a little over a week, others may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), where symptoms can continue for weeks, months, or even years. Symptoms of PAWS are mostly psychological, causing or exacerbating mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. While post-acute withdrawal symptoms can be physical, this is far less common. PAWS doesn’t have to be a permanent conditionpeople can overcome it as they learn to deal with their symptoms, often with the help of medical professionals, support from loved ones, and long-term treatment.
Rapid Detox for Opioid Addiction
Hydrocodone rapid detox is a method of quickly eliminating opioids from your system. Usually, advanced rapid detox is performed under sedation and involves the administration of opioid blockers, such as naloxone, which help initiate hydrocodone withdrawal.
Although it might seem like a quick fix for hydrocodone dependency, rapid detox comes with many risks, including:
- Side effects, some of which can be life-threatening
- Poor quality, ineffective, or unsafe treatment, as rapid detox centers often aren’t properly regulated and lack experienced medical staff
- Relapse, as rapid detox doesn’t address the underlying cause of hydrocodone dependency, which is the opioid-induced chemical brain imbalance
In other words, although rapid detox costs a lot, it doesn’t guarantee safety and a lifelong recovery from hydrocodone.
ANR Opioid Treatment – Treating Hydrocodone Dependency with ANR
If you’re seeking a safe and effective way to overcome hydrocodone dependency, consider undergoing the ANR treatment, which has helped over 24,000 people worldwide lead an opioid-free life.
Accelerated Neuro-Regulation (ANR) is the only currently available medical treatment that is capable of bringing the endorphin-receptor imbalance in the body back to healthy levels. Since the ANR treatment deals with the root causes behind hydrocodone dependency, it is highly effective.
ANR includes modulation and detox, which allow patients to recover from opiate withdrawal, abuse, and addiction in as little as a few days. ANR patients can, consequently, return to their daily lives without fear of further physical withdrawal symptoms or relapse.
ANR Clinic has healthcare facilities to provide medical detox from hydrocodone in:
- DeSoto Memorial Hospital, Arcadia, Florida
- ANR Europe Thun, Switzerland
- New Vision University Hospital, Tbilisi, Georgia
To get started with the ANR treatment, contact us to schedule a free consultation!
At the ANR Clinic, we offer an opioid addiction treatment program. is an extremely effective treatment for addiction and symptoms of withdrawal that works by restoring the endorphin-receptor balance to regular levels. It is a much faster addiction treatment than other programs such as inpatient treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, residential treatment programs, therapy, intensive outpatient rehab, and even medication-assisted treatment using medicine like methadone.
Many signs help to identify opioid use disorder and addiction to hydrocodone. See here for more health information about opioid addiction and the signs of hydrocodone addiction.