If you’re ready to end your relationship with hydrocodone, there are a few things that you should know. Similar to other drugs, the withdrawal symptoms that come with going through detox can be severe and, in some cases, may even lead to relapse. Some of the withdrawal symptoms commonly associated with abrupt hydrocodone cessation include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. And these symptoms can last between 5 and 7 days on average. While all of these symptoms are unpleasant, most will agree that the pain associated with coming off of the powerful narcotic is by far the worse. Fortunately, many rehab facilities provide substance abuse treatments that can help ease pain and many other symptoms that make achieving sobriety difficult.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHILE DETOXING FROM HYDROCODONE
Now that we have a basic understanding of the withdrawal symptoms that one is likely to face as they work toward ending their relationship with hydrocodone, let’s take a closer look at the withdrawal timeline. According to a study published by Medical News Today, an online resource for medical news aimed at both physicians and the general public, hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms often present themselves within 6 to 12 hours following an individual’s last dose. And all of these symptoms, including pain, can vary in intensity depending on how long an individual has been using and how much of the drug they were consuming before starting their detox journey.
MANAGING PAIN DURING A HYDROCODONE DETOX
When it comes to helping individuals cope with pain symptoms associated with coming off of hydrocodone, many rehab facilities will offer medication-assisted detox, which includes the use of various prescription-based medications that have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Along with helping to soothe pain, many of these same medications are effective in easing many of the other symptoms that can make getting through detox challenging, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, for example. That said, some of the prescription-based medications used by most rehab facilities include
Buprenorphine – This FDA-approved medication is classified as a partial opioid agonist, which means that it blocks opioid receptors in the brain that are responsible for triggering the euphoric high that comes with abusing hydrocodone and many other opioids. It is also worth noting that buprenorphine is a long-acting partial opioid agonist that carries a low risk for abuse. Along with pain, this prescription-based medication also provides relief from several other symptoms, including anxiety, sweating, and vomiting.
Clonidine – Commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), clonidine is yet another FDA-approved medication that is used to treat severe withdrawal symptoms. Studies show that clonidine helps block chemicals in the brain that would otherwise lead to sympathetic nervous system activity, a condition that triggers muscle pain, anxiety, sweating, and vomiting while individuals are going through detox.
Methadone – Similar to buprenorphine, methadone is a long-acting partial opioid agonist that works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, which, in turn, eases pain and other symptoms associated with coming off of hydrocodone. It is important to note that methadone is highly addictive. Therefore it must be taken as prescribed to avoid the risk of substituting one drug problem for another one.
NON-PRESCRIPTION PAIN MANAGEMENT TREATMENTS
Ideally, individuals who are trying to overcome an addiction to hydrocodone should seek the help of a licensed rehab facility, preferably one that offers medication-assisted detox. However, for those who are trying to quit using on their own, there are over-the-counter medications that you can take to ease severe withdrawal symptoms, including
Tylenol – For those who are struggling with minor aches and pains while going through detox, Tylenol can provide some much-needed relief. However, much like prescription-based medication, it must be taken responsibly. Therefore, you will want to follow the instructions on the packaging for safe and effective dosing.
Loperamide – Also known as Imodium, loperamide is an over-the-counter medication that can help combat diarrhea. Studies show that loperamide works by reducing movement in the gut, which can reduce bowel movements while bulking up loose stool.
Electrolytes – While detoxing from hydrocodone, it is not uncommon to experience vomiting and diarrhea, both of which can result in a loss of fluids and dehydration. The best way to combat both of these problems is by consuming sports drinks, such as Gatorade, that contain electrolytes. Staying hydrated can also help ease pain symptoms as well.
All in all, there are many ways to cope with pain and other symptoms associated with overcoming hydrocodone addiction. To learn more about the prescription and at-home treatments detailed in this article, consider speaking with one of our friendly addiction specialists today at 800-737-0933.