Hydrocodone addiction develops when someone takes increasingly larger doses of the pills over time, developing a tolerance along the way. This tolerance is otherwise known as a need for more and more of the drug in order to experience its intoxicating effects, and it’s one of the red flags that point to the need for treatment.
Unfortunately, when it’s time for detox, the patient cannot simply reverse the process, taking fewer and fewer pills until they are drug-free. Addiction comes with cravings and impulsive behavior as well as illogical rationalizations for more and more pills. The best way to detox off hydrocodone is to stop taking the pills – and any other drugs or alcohol – completely.
This is easier said than done for almost everyone addicted to hydrocodone and other prescription painkillers. Detox from hydrocodone can be a risky proposition, as it comes with a host of serious mental and physical withdrawal symptoms. The only safe and efficient way to undergo the process is to choose a professional detox program to assist you, one staffed by professionals who specialize in the treatment of opiate addiction as well as consulting physicians.
Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms
There are a number of withdrawal symptoms that can characterize hydrocodone detox. Not all patients will experience all symptoms or experience those symptoms at the same level of intensity. In most cases, however, certain symptoms signify the beginning of the detox process, and then those symptoms worsen as others begin later until all reach an apex and then slowly start to fade.
First symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal include:
- Watering eyes
- Aching muscles
- Increased sweating
- Runny nose
- Difficulty sleeping
Later hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps and diarrhea
- Goose bumps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bone and muscle aches
Risks of Hydrocodone Detox at Home
Withdrawal symptoms are not insignificant. For some, they can be debilitating. Many patients who attempt to take on hydrocodone detox at home will find it difficult to make it through without relapse. Unfortunately, the body is a fragile and constantly changing machine. The tolerance described earlier can be altered significantly even after a few days of being hydrocodone-free. This means that when the patient takes what was a normal dose a few days earlier, he ends up overdosing in his post-detox state even if the detox was not successful and the drug-free period didn’t last long.
Additionally, the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms can trigger extreme issues caused by underlying disorders. Mental health disorders and medical issues alike can become critical problems during an opiate detox. If not addressed immediately in a medical setting, these complications can become deadly.
Benefits of Professional Opiate Detox
A professional opiate detox is the first step to a safe and effective addiction treatment program. Medical care provided by experts who specialize in the treatment of opiate addiction can recognize potential issues before they begin and help to prevent them when possible and treat them effectively when impossible.
In some cases, a medicated detox process can help to significantly increase the comfort level of the patient during hydrocodone detox. Medication is not appropriate in every case, but for the patients for whom it is a viable option and who choose to go this route, it can make detox far more comfortable, providing them with the opportunity to more quickly transition into the therapeutic portion of addiction treatment.
Would you like to learn more about options available to your loved one in hydrocodone detox? Contact us at The Oaks at La Paloma now.