Hydrocodone is a genre of opiate drug. It is a partially synthetic medicine which is primarily used to provide relief from pain. Hydrocodone is popularly available in the market as “Norco”, “Loratab”, and “Vicodin”. This particular medication is known to cure diseases like whooping cough and pneumonia, along with its quality to reduce pain. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Hydrocodone falls under the category of schedule II drugs.
Owing to capability of forming dependence and due to its capacity to regulate the amount of dopamine in the brain, this drug falls under strict invigilation in countries like the United States of America. You are lucky if you have just started taking hydrocodone, in case you want to quit, because in that case you will not have to struggle too hard with the symptoms of withdrawal. However, if you have been taking hydrocodone for a span of months or years, then you are bound to face severe problems withdrawing from the drug. Thus, when you abruptly quit taking the drug, your body will try to reimburse the absence of the drug. As a result, the symptoms which hydrocodone used to suppress, the very symptoms will start resurfacing again. Thereby, making you fall back on the drug again and forming dependence.
Hydrocodone makes you oblivious to any kind of pain for a considerable amount of time. It functions, more or less, in the same way as morphine. Most patients get addicted to hydrocodone mainly because of the euphoric feeling it generates. They continue to take it even after its medical purpose is over to enjoy the “high”, and that leads to an abuse of the drug. When you have taken a huge amount of the drug already, your brain will develop a tolerance. As a result of this, you will need to take increasing amount of it to feel the euphoria which was previously caused by only taking a small amount. This is how you get addicted to the drug.
Hydrocodone, like most other opiate drugs, binds itself to the receptors of opiate in the central nervous system. Consuming the drug for a prolonged span of time will make your senses numb. It will decelerate the heart rate, the respiratory rate, and the blood pressure. Thus, if you stop taking the drug abruptly, then these very vital symptoms will reach its peak, causing the following indications of withdrawal to occur:
Usually, hydrocodone will stay in your system for about six to twelve hours of the last dose. The symptoms of withdrawal will be at its height during the next seventy two hours and will start to dwindle within a week, or in extreme cases, a month. However, if you have been taking the drug for a longer period of time than was necessary, then your withdrawal procedure will take longer than usual, and the whole process will be more tiresome. It will be more difficult if you had been injecting or smoking up hydrocodone. That is why, the longer you had been taking the drug, the more dependent will be your brain. Thus, your system will face more challenges while withdrawing from the drug.
The first and foremost point to be kept in mind when you have decided to quit hydrocodone is that you should not quit abruptly. Abrupt cessation of the medication will cause more fatal and severe consequences which can be tough to deal with. Though detoxing from hydrocodone can be done both at home and at detoxification centers, it is always advised that you are under the surveillance of a medical professional who will be familiar with the intricacies of your case as each hydrocodone addict is different from the other. The best choice would be to leave yourself under the care of renowned detoxification center, and they will take care of you thoroughly. Ideally, following the process of lowering the dose of hydrocodone gradually will help you get the drug of your system completely in a matter of weeks or months.
Using medicines to get over your addiction to the drug is the best possible way to start the process of detoxification. Once you start following the principles of medical detoxification, you will immediately feel that your withdrawal is no longer as painful and as challenging as it was previously. It is also safer to gradually reduce the drug intake, as in that way, small amount of drugs are still residual in your system, which does not let you feel a craving for the drug anymore. It gives the brain optimum amount of time to adjust to lowering amount of drug in your system.
Buprenorphine medications like Subutex can be very helpful if they are provided to patients who are withdrawing from hydrocodone. Subutex is not a complete opioid drug, and it stays in the body for a longer time as compared to hydrocodone. As it is not as strong as hydrocodone, it cannot be abused as it does not allow the patient feel anything even closer to euphoric. Hence, there are no chances of forming any sort of addiction to Subutex. Ultimately, this drug used during medical detoxification will help the body grow accustomed to the absence of hydrocodone, and let the brain function properly without any hindrance. Thus, with five to seven days of being under medical detoxification, you can expect to have won the battle against withdrawing from hydrocodone.
You can also try to detox from hydrocodone on your own at home. But for that, you have to be thoroughly prepared. As at home you are without the surveillance of any medical professional, you have to be in great control of yourself. As you have already formed a great dependence on the drug, your brain will have grown tolerance to it. Thus, severing all ties at once with the highly addictive drug will make you go through issues like constipation and dryness of the skin. When you are trying to slowly reduce the intake of the drug on your own, you will feel intense withdrawal symptoms. But there is hardly anything to be worried about because with the right amount of control and with the constant support of your family and friends, detoxing at home will be a cake walk. However, if you, at any point of time, feel the uncontrollable urge to take the drug again, that is when you will have to exercise the greatest control. If you find it impossible to stay away from the drug, it is recommended that you consult the doctor immediately instead of going back to forming a full -fledged addiction. Also, you might feel dehydrated during the detoxification process. Therefore, to reduce the intensity of the withdrawal, drink plenty of water, as that will smooth out the withdrawal process to a great extent.