Hydrocodone detox is a process that takes place under medical supervision, rids the body of all toxic substances, and prevents the unpleasant and possibly dangerous complications of detoxification from arising.
Hydrocodone is an opioid narcotic that is used primarily for the treatment of pain and is roughly as potent as morphine. The drug is usually administered in pill form, although it can be liquefied and used intravenously.
Regardless of method, however, use may result in a euphoric state in the user, an increased sense of well-being, and sometimes lethargy or sleepiness. Prolonged use often results in increased tolerance, in which ever-increasing amounts of the drug are required to achieve the same effects.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, hydrocodone is the most commonly prescribed and misused medication in the United States, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly 100% of the world’s supply is consumed by the United States.
- Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and Health (NSDUH) revealed that 4 million people over age 12 reported using hydrocodone for non-medical reasons in 2013.
- The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that more than 29,000 hydrocodone-related exposures and 36 fatalities occurred in the U.S. in 2012.
- The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) estimated more than 82,000 emergency department visits in 2011 were related to the non-medical abuse of hydrocodone.
- Prescriptions written for hydrocodone in the U.S. has spiked in the last two decades years. This increase has also resulted in increased drug diversion of hydrocodone on the black market.
Who Uses Hydrocodone?
Anyone regardless of gender, age, race or socioeconomic status can become dependent on hydrocodone. It is widely prescribed for both acute and chronic pain, and those who can’t get legitimate prescriptions can easily pilfer the drugs from the medicine cabinets of family and friends or buy it on the street.
As with any addiction, however, some factors put certain people at a greater risk for addiction. For example, a family history of addiction to any substance, or a personal history of mental health conditions, such as depression.
Side Effects Of Hydrocodone Abuse
Due to the drug’s propensity to invoke tolerance, over time, users may find they require more of the drug that they can obtain. This can result in drug-seeking behavior, such as doctor shopping, in which the person visits multiple doctors or pharmacies in an attempt to get more drugs.
Side effects of long-term use may also include confusion, dizziness, nausea, and constipation. Users may also experience mood changes and begin to isolate themselves from family and social groups.
Another unfortunate effect of prolonged hydrocodone use is hyperalgesia, a condition in which the body becomes more sensitive to pain, thus increasing the experience of pain rather than mitigating it.
Symptoms of overdose include reduced breathing and heart rate, clammy or cold skin, muscle weakness, loss of consciousness, coma, and even death.
Hydrocodone Detox: What To Expect
The professional staff at Detox Center aim to ensure that every client undergoes a safe detoxification and experiences a minimal amount of discomfort. Upon intake, each client receives comprehensive medical and mental health assessments, and critical information regarding family history and home life will be gathered.
The detox process may include a tapering or weaning off of the drug, and other medication may be rendered as needed to reduce withdrawal symptoms. All clients will receive around-the-clock supervision and continual monitoring of vital signs.
After detox, clients are encouraged to enter an addiction treatment program, on either an inpatient or outpatient basis. Therapy and counseling is usually necessary to help clients sustain long-term recovery.
Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms
The abrupt cessation of long-term use of any addictive substance will likely result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and are a common reason for relapse. These symptoms are not usually fatal, but they can be. Common symptoms include:
- cold flashes
- nausea and vomiting.
The duration and intensity of these symptoms will vary among individuals and are often associated with the person’s length and frequency of use. Many people will experience some symptoms for more than a week, but most of the severe symptoms will abate after about two days of detox. However, mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression may last for much longer.
Let’s End Addiction
You are NOT alone. We can help! Detoxing without the help of trained professionals is more likely to result in relapse, and withdrawal symptoms cannot be effectively treated. You can take back your sobriety, and enjoy the healthy and happy life you deserve.