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How Long Does Withdrawal From Hydrocodone Last?

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Withdrawal from hydrocodone typically begins within a few hours after the last dose. The most severe symptoms usually peak within the first 3-5 days, then gradually resolve over the next week.

What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid, which means it is a drug related to those made from the opium poppy. It is in a class of drugs known as narcotic opioid analgesics. It is used to relieve severe, constant, or chronic pain that often occurs around the clock. 

It is often used in situations where the pain cannot be controlled with other medications or therapies. Hydrocodone is generally found in extended-release capsules or tablets, which allow the effects of the hydrocodone to continue being released into the body for up to 12 hours. 

The dose of hydrocodone is taken once every 12 hours, or once daily, depending on the formulation being prescribed and the doctor’s instructions. It is crucial that those being prescribed hydrocodone during medical care follow the instructions of their doctor as well as those on the label. The potential for hydrocodone dependency and addiction is so high that even taking them as directed has the potential to result in situations where dependence or tolerance has formed, which can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms.

Getting Addicted to Hydrocodone is Easy

Getting addicted to hydrocodone is relatively easy, and it can happen even when a patient is closely following the dosages and directions given to them by their doctor or healthcare professional. This is often due to the very nature of needing hydrocodone to be prescribed in the first place. 

Since the pain often cannot be managed with other techniques, hydrocodone is the only option. This means that eventually, someone who has been prescribed hydrocodone to deal with chronic pain will begin to develop a tolerance and dependency on it. 

Over time, this tolerance will reduce the effectiveness of the hydrocodone, and the patient will either need to be prescribed larger doses or they will begin misusing the medication. This misuse is often the first step in substance use disorders and the first indication that the individual should seek out treatment options. 

Thinking About Quitting Hydrocodone?

One of the most common things that those struggling with addiction battle with is the desire to quit using hydrocodone, but being unable to do so on their own. Getting these individuals’ help is vital. Opioid overdose deaths statistics show the number of opioid overdose deaths is growing each year. 

Perhaps the most dangerous physical complication is relapse, or a return to drug use, and the potential for a fatal overdose that comes with relapse. A drug overdose occurs when toxins overwhelm the body and can no longer be broken down or metabolized. Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in the United States, and opioid drugs were involved in six out of every 10 drug overdose deaths in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports.

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Starts Quickly

One of the biggest indications that a person is becoming dependent on hydrocodone is the appearance of withdrawal symptoms following a period of misuse. Most hydrocodone products, including Norco and Vicodin, are immediate-release formulations. Their duration of effects last roughly 4-6 hours. 

This means that even though someone who has been legitimately prescribed hydrocodone may not need to take another dose for up to 12 hours, those who have begun to misuse or abuse the drug will often feel the withdrawal symptoms starting sooner than that, generally within 6-8 hours.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Withdrawal Last?

From the first signs of detox from hydrocodone and the oncoming hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms to the beginning of long-term recovery can take up to four weeks. The question of how long withdrawals last doesn’t have just one answer, and the answer will be highly dependent on the individual undergoing the detox from hydrocodone. 

In some individuals, the physical symptoms will not be as debilitating as in others. Some of the biggest factors in the withdrawal intensity and timeline are going to be the physical condition and medical history of the person, their addiction profile, and many more things. 

Those who are in better general health will find it easier to bounce back from the withdrawal stage, while those with more health challenges may find it more difficult. Likewise, those who used it for shorter periods or used smaller doses of hydrocodone may find that the withdrawal symptoms are not as intense or long-lasting as they are for those who used it more heavily or for longer periods.

In-Depth Timeline of Hydrocodone Withdrawal

One of the most common concerns of those about to enter an opioid detox program is what the timeline is going to look like, starting from the moment they are admitted.

Within a few hours of the last dose fading, the individual will begin to feel the withdrawal symptoms coming on. These will continue to build over the next 3 days, at which point they will peak and begin to fade.

The first symptoms that occur are things like muscle aches, dilated pupils, and flu-like or common cold symptoms. Those symptoms could be fever, sweating, and runny nose or nasal congestion. The entire first week will also feature periods of intense drug cravings. After the first week, most of the physical symptoms will subside and more of the emotional and psychological symptoms will be left, like insomnia, depression, anxiety, and irritability.

Hydrocodone Detox and Treatment Options

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to hydrocodone, getting help as soon as possible is crucial to the overall recovery of the person, even if it is just outpatient treatment. Reach out to Agape and speak with a local addiction expert, person to person, about your addiction treatment needs, and get started down the path to recovery today.

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