Hydrocodone Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms
The drug epidemic has reached epic proportions. More than 72,000 people lost their lives last year because of substance abuse issues. There is no state or area of the country that is immune. Even with mandates for doctors to be careful when handing out prescriptions for painkillers, still the high risk of abuse makes any usage dangerous. The withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and can last for weeks or months after the medication is stopped. Though difficult, the detoxification period is essential. It’s better to do so in a safe environment where medical access is readily available as hydrocodone withdrawal is no easy task.
Understanding the Painkiller Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone is used in many prescriptions to help with pain management, and it can be used as a cough suppressant too. It comes under a few brand names, but the most common is Vicodin and Norco. On the street, these drugs may be called Viko or Happy Pills. Taking these medications at higher than average doses can produce a euphoric high, but it can also cause some unpleasant symptoms, such as the following which users report:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Twitching muscles
- Sleep disturbances
Taking too much of any hydrocodone product can cause an overdose that may have deadly consequences. Overdosing can cause the heart to slow, a person to enter extreme sedation, as well as slowed breathing and loss of consciousness. A person can slip into a coma and die before anyone can help them. Even though there are numerous risks, people still look to hydrocodone because of the relaxing feeling it gives them.
Tolerance to this drug builds quickly, and more of the drug is required over time to get the same euphoric effects. It’s easy to become compulsively addicted. Users will change the way they use the pills to get a different feeling. Rather than taking it orally, they will snort or inject a crushed tablet into their bloodstream. Also, mixing this drug with alcohol can enhance the effects.
One reason why hydrocodone is so misused is because it’s readily available. It’s one of the top 11 prescribed prescriptions in this country. Shockingly, the United States consumes most of the world’s supply of this powerful drug.
If you have a dependence on hydrocodone, then you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop using it. The usage will dictate the severity of your withdrawal. The brain becomes adapted to the regular presence of the drug, and the dependence cycle must be broken. Since the brain has adjusted to the medication, when it’s no longer in your system, the harmonious balance is disturbed. Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms may include the following:
- Chills and Fever
- Extreme Anxiety
- Irritability and Other Mood Disturbances
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Sinus Like Issues – Watering Eyes and Runny Nose
- Dilated Pupils
- Excessive Yawning
- Amplified Sensitivity to Pain
- Muscular Spasms and Discomfort
Though withdrawing from an opioid is not usually deadly, the side effects can be very intense. Things can be severe if there is vomiting that results in choking or dehydration. Also, blood pressure may increase, and it can aggravate pre existing heart conditions. Anxiety and other mental health disorders may be worsened. Family and friends may notice aggression, suicidal tendencies, and an increase in panic attacks.
The symptoms of withdrawal are unpleasant. During detox, a person will likely have the impulse be to get some of the drugs back into their system to alleviate their discomfort. An inpatient treatment facility is the best place for this challenging time. There is no access to hydrocodone, and there is a whole staff of supportive people who are knowledgeable in helping those with substance abuse issues.
Choosing a Medical Treatment Facility Over Detoxing at Home
It’s always best to use professional detoxification services to ease the discomfort of withdrawal. Having a medical team in proximity can help to avoid relapse by using the tools and techniques proven successful. Each withdrawal treatment is tailored to the client and their unique needs. A physician monitors the client’s progress and helps to address any medical issues that may arise during this period. Certain medications can help to curb the cravings of hydrocodone and alleviate distress.
One of the benefits of having a medical team supervising is that they can help to treat symptoms that arise, such as an increased heart rate or high blood pressure. Using medications, they can lessen the severity and bring comfort. Other medicines, like antidepressants, can help to treat anxiety and mood disturbances too. Choosing a home-based detoxification process will not offer the same assistance.
Many people want to conquer their demons at home. Using the “sleep it off” approach has worked for some. However, it takes a strong person with plenty of support to do this, and most will fail. Even the mildest withdrawal symptoms can be very distressing. The physical pain and the psychological cravings a person experiences during this time can be overwhelming.
In most cases, sleep will not come easily. A professional treatment center offers support and a safe environment to get clean. Remember, substance abuse is a disorder, and it’s often accompanied by comorbidities like anxiety, depression, mood disturbances, and other psychological issues. You need a medical team that can handle all aspects of your recovery. They can help to correct the underlying problems that caused you to use in the first place.
The First Step to Get Help
Treatment for hydrocodone addiction is complex and requires attentive continued effort, but recovery is possible for anyone. If you are ready to get the help you desperately need, then call St John’s Recovery Place. The admissions department is here to help with anything you need. We walk this journey with you, so you are never alone.
Once you complete your detox, we help you put the pieces of your life back together. With an aftercare plan, you can slowly rebuild and start living again. You will have support, a shoulder to cry on, and a team of people who want you to succeed. What are you waiting for? Call 1-833-EZ-REHAB today.