Hydrocodone Addiction: Information about Rehab and Detox

Hydrocodone Addiction: Information about Rehab and Detox

The prescription drug addiction in America is worsening every day. Among the prescription medications that are handed out by doctors, hydrocodone is among the most popular and dangerous.

Hydrocodone is a synthetic opiate medication prescribed for pain relief purposes. People who are prescribed the drug may suffer from chronic pain, acute pain or surgical pain. Many of its users have cancer and other terminal illnesses It works very well for some people but also carries a high risk of addiction.

If you use Vicodin or any other form of the drug on a regular basis, you might be wondering:

  • Am I abusing this drug?
  • What are the symptoms of addiction?
  • What are its long-term side effects?
  • How does it affect my health?
  • Can I quit cold turkey?
  • What types of addiction treatment are out there?

Hydrocodone Addiction: What You Should Know

As with any prescription drug that carries a high potential for abuse, people develop become addicted to the drug for several reasons. Some become addicted by accident after being prescribed and taking it too long. Others use it recreationally. The drug produces a euphoric high and people who abuse it will often crush the tablets into a fine powder. At that point, it can be snorted or mixed with water and injected.

If you’re addicted to hydrocodone for any reason, it’s important for you to understand a few simple facts. The drug can have long-lasting effects on your mind and body.

Habitual opiate use is a big problem. This is a drug that should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor. It should only be used in small controlled doses. Educating yourself about the drug and its risk of abuse can help you to identify whether you’re using it responsibly or suffering from an addiction.

A Quick History Lesson

Hydrocodone was developed in the early 1920s by scientists in Germany. These scientists wanted to create a drug that could provide the effects of codeine while eliminating codeine’s negative side effects.

The drug first appeared in the United States, marketed under the name Dicodid, between 1920 and 1930s. It wasn’t approved for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration until 1943.

Throughout the early 21st century, hundreds of millions of people receive prescriptions for the drug each year. As recreational use of the drug grew in popularity and overdose rates grew, however, the government took steps to limit opioid prescriptions. In 2010, for example, the United States government began to target doctors and pharmacies who overprescribed opioid painkillers.

Even with regulations, however, overdose deaths are still quite prevalent. In 2016 alone, more than 64,000 people died from overdosing on Vicodin or other similar opioids.

Products that Contain It

The drug is found in several prescription medications. Some common products that contain hydrocodone are:

  • Vicodin
  • Norco
  • Co-gesic
  • Hycodan
  • Vicoprofen
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet-HD
  • Liquicet
  • Anexsia
  • Dolacet
  • Xodol
  • Zydone

What Does Hydrocodone Look Like?

Hydrocodone addiction, rehab, detox and overdose information

The drug is prescribed in a drinkable liquid form and a tablet form. The tablets are the most common form of the drug. These pills are small, white and oval-shaped. Depending on the brand, these pills vary in size from 10 milligrams to 120 milligrams.

Like most pills, they are inscribed a quantity on them. Each pill is marked with the number of milligrams it contains.

There are only two companies that produce a liquid version. Pharmaceutical Associates Incorporated makes a yellow liquid version and Par Pharmaceuticals produces a red liquid version.

Street Names and Slang Terms

Outside of the doctor’s office, hydrocodone goes by a number of different street names such as:

  • Vics
  • Vicos
  • Vikes
  • Hydros
  • Norcos
  • Lorries
  • Watsons
  • Tabs
  • 357s

What is the difference between Percocet and Vicodin?

Vicodin is a prescription painkiller product that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Percocet, on the other hand, contains oxycodone. The two drugs have similar effects, are just as addictive as one another and each play a significant role in the opioid crisis.

Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone

There aren’t huge differences between these two chemicals. The main difference is that drugs like Vicodin are immediate-release opioids. It takes effect very quickly and those effects will usually only last for a couple of hours.

Oxycodone-based drugs like Percocet and OxyContin, on the other hand, are extended-release opioids. The chemicals are released gradually over the course of an entire day. It can take a few hours for the effects of the drug to peak.

Statistics at a Glance

In 2016, A research paper published by the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health reported that:

  • In a 2014 survey, nearly 5% of high school children interviewed reported that they had used Vicodin for non-medical purposes.
  • An estimated 14% of all adults between the ages of 18 and 25 used Vicodin recreationally in the year 2012.
  • Both of these numbers showed that recreational Vicodin use was far more prevalent than recreational use of OxyContin. Only 3.3% of high school students reported using oxycodone for recreational purposes and only 5.4% of adults ages 18-25 used the drug for non-medical reasons.

Even more alarming, the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board stated in the 2008 report that:

What is Hydrocodone Abuse?

Prescription drug abuse is defined as the use of medication outside of its prescribed parameters. When someone is abusing it, they may:

  • Take higher doses than they were prescribed
  • Take it for longer than they were prescribed
  • Visit multiple doctors in order to get several different prescriptions
  • Buy it illegally on the street
  • Use illicit methods to consume it (snort, inject, smoke, etc)

Drug abuse is dangerous and often results in hospitalization. Statistics tell us that opiates are responsible for more non-medical emergency room visits than any other cause. More than 100,000 ER visits that occur each year are related to Vicodin and other prescription opioids.

Short and Long-Term Side Effects of Abuse

When used responsibly, the drug can provide short-term pain relief. That’s why it’s such a popular drug for doctors to prescribe. Unfortunately, there are many people who choose to increase their dosage without permission or take it for longer than they were prescribed. People who do this can suffer from some serious negative side effects.

Some negative side effects of hydrocodone abuse include:

  • Severe confusion/disorientation
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Significantly painful headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Onset of anxiety symptoms

The longer that it is abused, the more serious the side-effects can get. Some long-term side effects of abuse include:

  • Severe anxiety/panic attacks
  • Onset of seizures
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Breathing trouble
  • Risk of coma
  • Risk of developing a heroin addiction

Obviously, these effects are a hefty price to pay for a high. Fortunately, you don’t have to remain a slave to your addiction. With proper treatment and a commitment to recovery, you can overcome your habit.

Signs of Abuse

Abusing this drug is particularly dangerous because the drug targets your central nervous system. As a result, abuse can lead to a slowing down of important body functions. Your pain receptors, heart rate, and blood pressure can all decrease in functionality. This can lead to more severe side effects like a coma or even death.

If you or someone you love is abusing drugs like Vicodin, therefore, it’s important to reach out for help. Some physical signs of abuse are:

Dilated pupils: The eyes can be a helpful way to identify opiate abuse. When someone has constricted pupils, it’s a sign that their central nervous system is not operating at an optimum rate.

The pupils in our eyes dilate and expand in order to let in the proper amount of light we need. As our brain adjusts to the light in a given environment, the pupils will shrink or grow to accommodate that light. If it’s dark outside, for example, we need to let in the maximum amount of light so that we can make our way through the darkness. When it’s sunny, on the other hand, we don’t need as much light so our pupils will dilate.

If someone is using opiates, their brain is not functioning in the right way. As a result, it may not receive the signal that the eyes need to dilate. An addict will often have small pupils in their eyes no matter how dark or sunny their environment is.

Breathing difficulties: Most doctors will advise against using opiates if the patient has asthma or other breathing difficulties. This is due to the fact that narcotics block the brain’s pain receptors. Interestingly enough, our pain receptors are closely linked to the part of our brain that regulates breathing. It’s even common for patients who take small amounts of the drug to have some difficulty breathing.

A normal, prescribed dose of the drug won’t bring your respiratory system to a halt. However, the drug can have negative effects on your respiratory system if you use it heavily over time.

Nodding off: One common stereotype of opiate addicts is that they can’t seem to stay awake. You may have seen TV shows where an addict is constantly dozing off, unable to hold their head up despite the noise around them. This half-asleep, half-awake state is referred to as “nodding out” or “nodding off”. The phrase is used because the addict’s head will nod downward and fall asleep for short periods of time as the drug takes effect.

If someone is nodding out on a regular basis, it could be a sign of a hydrocodone addiction. When users take too much of the drug, their central nervous system starts to slow down and they fall asleep. In severe cases, nodding out can be a sign of an overdose.

Nausea: All opiates are known to cause nausea and vomiting. They are, after all, toxic chemicals that our bodies aren’t exactly equipped to process. We actually have a mechanism in our brains called the chemoreceptor trigger zone (or “CTZ”) that triggers vomiting whenever a potential danger chemical enters our bloodstream or digestive system.

When you ingest opiates, therefore, your brain will send a signal to the rest of your body. The signal will tell your digestive system to expel that chemical as fast as possible. As a result, users of Vicodin and other similar drugs might find themselves throwing up after they ingest the medicine.

Of course, nausea doesn’t happen to everyone who uses the drug. Particularly when someone has been using it for a while, their body may become accustomed to having it present. When someone first starts using more than their prescribed dose, however, you might find that they throw up a lot.

Frequent constipation: Opiate addicts and abusers will often become constipated when they’re using the drug. In some cases, this is due to a poor diet. In many other cases, however, it is due to the fact that the drug disrupts the digestive process. When food can’t move through the system rapidly, the user’s body will take longer to digest it.

In severe instances, abusing Vicodin or similar drugs can lead to stomach paralysis. This is dangerous because food and toxins will accumulate in the body. Stomach paralysis can lead to long-term consequences if not treated properly.

Overdosing on Vicodin or Similar Meds

If you take enough Vicodin, Norco or Lorcet to bring your vital functions to a halt, you’ll experience a hydrocodone overdose. An overdose happens when your central nervous system slows down so much that it no longer sends signals to your heart or lungs. As a result, your heart and lungs can stop working entirely.

Individuals who abuse their prescription by taking too much or using illicit methods to consume it (such as snorting it or injecting it) are far more likely to overdose than responsible users. An overdose is the biggest risk involved in hydrocodone abuse and addiction. When you overdose, you can face lifelong health consequences, slip into a coma or even die.

Mixing Hydrocodone with Alcohol: A Dangerous Combination

Mixing any two drugs is never recommended. When combined, mixed drugs can produce new chemicals that are particularly toxic to the body. Combining Norco or Vicodin with alcohol, however, is particularly dangerous.

Because narcotics and alcohol are both depressants, they both slow your central nervous system down. When you ingest either one of them, your heartbeat, blood pressure and body temperature will all decrease. When you combine them, however, you can slow your body down to a dangerous level. This mixture is a common cause of overdose for many drug users.

Hydrocodone Addiction

When you’re addicted to a drug, you feel compelled to use it regardless of the consequences of doing so. An addiction can develop at any time after abuse has started.

Some of the more common signs of addiction include:

  • Becoming isolated from friends and family because of your drug use
  • Hiding your drug use from the people you love most
  • Purchasing it illegally
  • Stealing money to pay for the drug
  • Experiencing negative side effects of addiction but having no desire to stop using drugs in spite of that

Why are Opiates so Addictive?

Opiates like hydrocodone are particularly addictive because they target the parts of our brain that produce pleasure. Usually, we get pleasure from eating food, laughing, exercising or doing other fun things. When we do these things, our brain receives a rush of serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals make us happy as a way to remind us to do them again and more often.

When we use Vicodin or other similar drugs, they allow for the maximum amount of serotonin and dopamine to enter the brain. The user feels euphoric as the drug takes effect. Because few other activities can produce the euphoria that opiates do, your brain starts to crave the drug. If you feed those cravings, you can start to become chemically dependent on the substance.

Of course, Vicodin and comparable drugs help many sick people with pain relief. However, when you use too much of it, snort it or inject it, you run the risk of developing a serious addiction.

Opiate Addiction and the Brain

Our brains have a built-in mechanism for limiting pleasure. There are tiny neurotransmitters that regulate the amount of serotonin and dopamine we can receive at any given time. These neurotransmitters prevent us from experiencing some of the negative effects that an overload of serotonin can have.

The reason why Vicodin and other hydrocodone-based drugs are so addictive is that they actually prevent these pleasure-regulating neurotransmitters from functioning properly. When they do that, they enable our brain to receive the maximum amount of serotonin and dopamine. This can be good for people who suffer from pain but bad for people who are just using it recreationally.

If you use Vicodin or other opiates for a long period of time, you’re essentially training your brain to crave the drug. You may find yourself thinking about the drug often and getting agitated if you aren’t able to get a fix.

Are You Addicted?

There’s a thin line between using the drug responsibly and abusing your prescription. If you are afraid that you or someone you know is addicted to Vicodin or a similar drug, look for the following signs:

  • Taking too much: Addicts will take far larger quantities than their doctor prescribed them. They may have started by taking the prescribed dose and gradually increased it. Many addicts will obtain the drug through friends, dealers or other people besides their doctor.
  • “Doctor shopping”: If you’re addicted to Vicodin, Norco or similar drugs, you may require more of the substance than your doctor will prescribe. As a result, many addicts will visit multiple doctors and get separate prescriptions in order to feed their cravings.
  • Snorting or injecting: After a certain period of time, taking the drug orally might not cut it anymore. Addicts often resort to crushing up prescription pills and snorting or injecting them in order to experience a heightened effect.
  • Strong cravings: If you or someone you know has strong cravings for a prescription drug, it could be a sign of addiction. Vicodin addicts and abusers will often become anxious or agitated when they are unable to get a fix.
  • Lack of productivity: Over time, any opiate addiction can cause you to lose focus on the things that were important to you before you started abusing. Addicts may stop caring about passions and be unable to meet obligations like work, school and family life.
  • Safety risks: Addicts will often put themselves in unsafe situations when they’re using. They might drive under the influence, operate heavy machinery with the drug in the system or do dangerous things in order to obtain their drug of choice.
  • Inability to quit: When someone wants to quit using hydrocodone but isn’t able to, they are most likely suffering from an addiction. If you or a loved one expresses the dire to stop but can’t seem to do so, it’s important to seek out professional help.

Does it sound like you might have a drug addiction or know someone who does? Take one of our online addiction quizzes:

Hydrocone Laws

On top of being life-threatening, a hydrocodone addiction can actually land you in jail. Possession of the drug is classified as a crime unless you hold a prescription from a licensed doctor. The prescription must be for the amount that you have in your possession at the time.

Violating this law can get you arrested and lead to a heavy prison sentence. If you’re caught in possession of the drug, you’ll be charged with possession of a narcotic drug and may get fines or probation on top of jail time.

Controlled Substances Act

Under the Controlled Substances Act, hydrocodone is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. It had previously been classified as a Schedule III substance but was reclassified in 2014 in an effort to target illegal opioid dealers. Now, medications like Vicodin, Norco, and Lorcet all fall under this category because they contain the chemical.

Schedule II drugs are those medications that carry a high risk of addiction but can also be used for medical purposes. Ever since the United States government has started cracking down on opiate-related crimes, these drugs have been taken very seriously. Anyone charged with possession or distribution of these drugs will be charged accordingly.

Possession and Distribution Laws

American citizens are not allowed to have hydrocodone in their possession unless they hold a prescription from a licensed doctor. If you’re caught with it in your possession, you are likely to be charged with a crime.

Distributing (selling) or even having the intent to do so is also a serious crime. Possession with the intent to distribute is a felony. If you’re charged with this crime, you’ll face a heavier penalty than those who are simply caught carrying the drug.

For both possession and distribution, the sentence will vary depending on the state and the circumstances. On the higher end, though, you could be looking decades prison and a fine as large as $1,000,000 for your first offense. If you are convicted of selling or giving the drug to someone that died as a result, you can face life in prison.

What is the Prison Sentence for Hydrocodone Possession?

The nature of a possession sentence will differ depending on the circumstances. Each state has its own sentencing guidelines, so the state you’re caught in can impact the severity of your sentence. However, federal drug laws provide the following sentencing guidelines for possession of Schedule II drugs:

First offense: The first time you’re caught with the drug in your possession, you could be facing no more than 20 years in prison accompanied by a $1,000,000 fine.

Second offense: The second time you’re caught in possession of the drug, you can be charged with no more than 30 years in prison accompanied by a $2,000,000 fine.

Intent to Distribute

If you attempt to sell or show any evidence of the intent to sell hydrocodone products, you’ll be charged the same as someone who is actually caught selling it. The arresting police officers will simply need to produce evidence that you had the intention of distributing the drug.

Courts usually look for the following sources of evidence to convict people for intent to sell:

  • A large quantity of the drug on your body, in your car, or in your possession in any other way.
  • A large sum of money that suggests you may have sold the drug.
  • Additional ingredients or chemicals that suggest you may be “cutting” the substance with other materials in order to make bigger batches.
  • Packaging materials such as Ziplock bags or bread ties that might be used to distribute the substance.
  • If you have a few bottles of Vicodin, some plastic baggies and a large sum of money when you’re arrested, for example, it’s entirely possible that you could be charged with intent to distribute.

School Zone Laws

Under the Controlled Substances Act, any individual who is caught selling or attempting to sell Schedule II substances near a school may have their prison sentence doubled. The individual may also have their probation period doubled.

According to the Act, a school zone is defined as:

  • Less than 1,000 feet from an elementary, secondary or vocational school (public and private schools)
  • Less than 1,000 feet from a college, university or junior college (public and private schools)
  • Less than 1,000 feet from a playground
  • Less than 1,000 feet from a public housing facility
  • Less than 100 feet from a public swimming pool, youth center or video arcade (public and private)

Hydrocodone Detox

If you’ve developed an addiction, the first big step toward recovery is going through detox.

Detox (short for “detoxification”) is the process in which you stop using the drug and allow it to exit your body. If you’ve been addicted to it for a while, the process can be uncomfortable and even painful.

Fortunately, there are a number of professional detox programs that can help you overcome your addiction. In a professional detox facility, you’ll have the benefit of being under medical supervision. This can help to ease your withdrawal symptoms as you work through detox.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Hydrocodone is such a powerful and potent medication. Its withdrawal symptoms can be powerful, as well. If you plan on trying to detox from the drug, it’s important to get some professional help and guidance.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Runny nose
  • Profuse sweating
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Psychological symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • Anxiety/panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Severe cravings

In severe cases, individuals may experience seizures during withdrawal. It’s important, therefore, that addicts consult a doctor before attempting to quit using.

How Long Does It Stay in Your System?

Normally, a prescribed dose will remain in your system for around 7 hours. The drug has a half-life of around 3.5 hours, which means that after that time period your body will have expelled 50% of the total dose.

Many addicts, however, use much larger quantities than is normally prescribed. The drug will remain in their system for a much longer period of time. When going through detox, it can take more than a week for someone who is addicted to Vicodin or similar drugs to complete the withdrawal process.

Withdrawal Timeline

If you’re a habitual user, you’ll probably experience withdrawals once you stop taking the drug. Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms will begin around 8 hours after your last dose. From there, the withdrawal timeline will look something like this:

Day 0 to Day 3: If you’re a heavy user, you’ll start to experience withdrawal symptoms pretty quickly. Your muscles and bones will probably start to ache. You may also start sweat heavily and feel nauseous.

Day 3 to Day 5: After a couple of days without using, the withdrawal symptoms will become more extreme. Between the third and fifth day, your symptoms will probably “peak” meaning that this is the worst they are going to get. You may vomit, sweat profusely and experience diarrhea.

During this period, you’ll probably experience extreme cravings. It is important that you make it through the peak stage without a relapse. Once you can do that, you’ll be on the road to addiction recovery.

Day 6 to Day 8: Toward the end of your first week off of the drug, the most severe symptoms will start to dissipate. Because the physical pain will have passed by this point, you may start to feel anxious or depressed.

Without the presence of physical pain, addicts often start to reflect on their life as an addict. For many people, this is the first time that they’ve been clearheaded in a while. As a result, you might find yourself thinking about things you said or did when under the influence. It is common to feel remorse for these things.

Day 8 and beyond: During your first month after detox, you might become increasingly anxious or depressed. It is important to remember that these symptoms are temporary. Now that you’ve finished detox, you are on your way to a healthier, happier life.

If your anxiety or depression becomes too overwhelming to handle, make sure to reach out for help. There are a number of addiction resources that will offer you the support you need during this time.

Factors that Affect the Withdrawal Timeline

There are a few factors that will influence how long it takes you to detox from hydrocodone. These factors can cause the withdrawal timeline to get longer or shorter depending on the circumstances.

Factors that affect the withdrawal timeline include:

Physical health: In order for you to metabolize any properly, your organs need to be in good shape. Your liver, in particular, is an important part of the detoxification process. If you have an unhealthy liver, it’s probably going to take you longer to finish withdrawing.

Age: It’s common for older people to take longer to detox from drugs. This is due, in part, to the fact that younger people usually have healthier livers than older folks. It is harder for an older person’s liver to metabolize drugs and flush them out of the body.

Metabolism: Some people are lucky enough to have been born with a fast metabolism. The amount of time hydrocodone stays in your body is a reflection of how quickly your body can metabolize it. If you happen to have a slow metabolism, it could take you longer to finish going through withdrawals.

Nature of addiction: The amount of hydrocodone you used and your frequency of use can lengthen the withdrawal process. When our bodies metabolize drugs, there are all kinds of chemical byproducts that gather in our liver and other organs. Withdrawals can last as long as it takes for those byproducts to get flushed out.

If you used large quantities of hydrocodone for a long period of time, it is likely that you have a good amount of the drug and its byproducts left in your system. It could take a while to eliminate all of them from your body.

Other substances used: Mixing hydrocodone with other drugs is not only dangerous but can lengthen the withdrawal timeline. Oftentimes, mixing drugs creates new byproducts that can take longer to eliminate than the original drugs themselves.

Professional Detox Options

There are two main types of programs you can go through to detox from hydrocodone. These two programs are:

Inpatient hydrocodone detox: In an inpatient detox program, you’ll live in the treatment facility while you go through withdrawals. You’ll be under the supervision of doctors and addiction experts for 24 hours each day. These individuals will monitor you regularly, help to ease your withdrawal symptoms, make sure that you’re as safe as possible as you go through detoxification.

Inpatient detox centers are often located on the same property as rehab facilities. This is ideal for many addicts as it makes the transition from detox to rehab a quick and easy one.

Outpatient hydrocodone detoxification: In an outpatient detox program, you’ll report to the treatment facility on a daily basis. When you get there, you’ll meet with doctors who will monitor the progress of your detox. They’ll do what they can to help alleviate your withdrawal symptoms.

In an outpatient detox program, it is up to you to avoid relapsing when you’re outside of the facility. A relapse can seriously set your recovery process back.

Can I Go Through Detox at Home?

Some addicts choose to detox on their own instead of checking in to a treatment facility. They might be deterred by the cost of detox or believe that they don’t need the help of a doctor to get clean.

While it is entirely possible to do a home detox from hydrocodone, most addiction specialists would strongly advise against it. The drug’s withdrawal symptoms can be quite unpleasant. It is common, therefore, for addicts to relapse before they complete the detox process. Going through detox in a professional facility will allow you to cut yourself off from the temptation to relapse.

Additionally, the detoxification process can have some dangerous side effects. In extreme cases, addicts in withdrawal will experience tremors or even seizures. Attending detox in a professional setting will give you the benefit of being monitored by doctors who can keep you safe. They’ll ensure that you are hydrated and will administer the medication necessary to prevent seizures.

The Value of Medical Detox

Detoxing from hydrocodone under the supervision of a doctor has a number of significant benefits. It can greatly decrease the length of your withdrawal timeline. The doctors on staff at the treatment center will be able to assess your condition and determine the best way to expedite the detox process.

During detox, a doctor will monitor your vital signs to ensure that everything is going smoothly. They’ll consistently check your blood pressure, heart rate and respiration levels to ensure that you’re safe and healthy as you withdraw. Doctors will also monitor your temperature to make sure that you don’t develop a serious fever during detox.

Addiction Rehab: An Essential Step in Hydrocodone Recovery

Overcoming any addiction isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are plenty of addiction treatment options out there.

Among the most important steps in addiction recovery is rehabilitation, also known as “rehab”. Like detox, rehab takes a variety of different forms and will differ depending on your own personal circumstances.

At the heart of any rehab program, however, is the desire to help addicts beat their addictions. Rehab programs will not only work to help you kick your drug habit but will give you the mental tools you need to stay clean after you leave.

Types of Hydrocodone Rehab

There are several different types of rehab available to addicts. All addicts have different needs and each type of rehab caters to the needs of the individual. Some common forms of rehab include:

Inpatient hydrocodone rehabilitation: Inpatient rehab programs are designed for addicts who want to live in the treatment facility as they work to beat their addiction. When attending an inpatient program, addicts live on-campus at the rehab center as they try to overcome their drug habit.

Each day, the addict will meet with a number of different doctors, psychologists, therapists and other recovering addicts. They’ll attend individual meetings and group meetings where they’ll discuss their experience with addiction and the psychological roots of their drug abuse habit. Ideally, the addict will leave inpatient rehab prepared to function in society without the use of drugs.

Outpatient hydrocodone rehab: While inpatient rehab is a great resource for addicts, not everyone has the time to live in a treatment center. Instead, these people can attend an outpatient rehab program. Outpatient programs are designed for people who want to overcome an addiction while living at home and going to work or school.

Intensive outpatient rehab: Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) offer all of the benefits of inpatient treatment without the residential aspect. When attending an intensive outpatient rehab program, addicts will report to the treatment center on a daily basis. There, they’ll meet with psychologists, doctors, counselors and other addicts to discuss their addiction. These individuals will offer support and help the addict to overcome their addiction.

IOPs are a great option for anyone who wants a high level of support during the early days of their sobriety. These programs are particularly helpful for addicts who have responsibilities outside of the treatment center that need to be taken care of while the addict goes through rehab.

Medicated Rehab

Medication can be an important aspect of the rehabilitation process. While not all rehab patients require meds, many opiate addicts in treatment find that meds help them greatly during the early days of sobriety. Some common meds administered during medicated hydrocodone rehab include:

Clonidine: This drug is often used to treat withdrawal symptoms during detox. As you know, one of the main symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal is nausea. Clonidine helps to reduce nausea and vomiting. It may also reduce the amount of pain that the patient feels in their muscles and bones. Clonidine may also decrease the amount of anxiety that a patient experiences during detox.

Subutex: Subutex is drug most commonly used in medically-assisted treatment (MAT) programs. In MAT programs, addicts will take Subutex as a replacement for their opioid of choice. Essentially, it works to satisfy the addict’s cravings for opioids but does not cause any of the negative physical side effects.

This drug cannot be taken until detox has been completed because it reacts negatively with opioids. Subutex and other MAT medications are intended to be taken only for a short period of time. Subutex does carry a risk of abuse and therefore should never be used without a doctor’s permission.

Naltrexone: Naltrexone is somewhat similar so Subutex in that it is used to treat opioid addiction. Whereas Subutex is an opioid replacement drug, though, naltrexone is an opioid antagonist.

Basically, the drug functions by preventing its user from feeling the effects of opioids like Vicodin. When the patient has naltrexone in their system, they won’t be able to get high off of any illicit or prescription opiates.

Naltrexone is sold under the brand name Vivitrol. Vivitrol is administered through injections once per month.

Antidepressants/anti-anxiety medication: Oftentimes, fighting an addiction is just as difficult emotionally as it is physically. People who struggle with drug abuse often require some medication to cope with depression or anxiety. In turn, many rehab doctors prescribe low doses of SSRIs or other antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds.

What Happens in Rehab?

Planning to attend a rehab program to help you with recovery? Here’s what you can expect:

Psychological counseling: One of the most important steps of recovery is going through intensive counseling. Most rehabilitation programs offer a variety of different types of therapy. From cognitive behavioral therapy to psychoanalysis, you’ll spend time thinking about what caused your addiction and how it took hold of your life. You’ll also work with therapists to learn psychological techniques for fighting off the urge to use hydrocodone in the future.

Group support meetings: When you’re struggling with an addiction, it’s important to always remember that you’re not alone. There are millions of people who struggle with hydrocodone addiction just like you. In your rehab program, there will be dozens of other folks who have also struggled with a chemical dependency on the drug. You’ll get together with them for group support sessions to talk about your experiences and share information about the progress of your recovery.

Education: One of the best things you can do to fight an addiction is to learn how it works. At inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, you’ll spend time learning the basics of what addiction is, why it happens and how it affects your health. Understanding how addiction works will help you to better recognize addictive behaviors so that you can avoid relapsing in the future.

Nutritional therapy: Research shows that there is a strong connection between substance abuse and nutrition. A good diet will not only help to repair any damage that addiction can do to the body but can also help to reduce your cravings for drugs and alcohol. Rehab programs are often staffed with nutrition experts that can help you to eat better and get on the path to a longer, healthier life.

How Long Does Rehab Take?

Hydrocodone drug rehab will generally last for 28-36 days. The exact length of time depends on the needs of the addict. People who attend inpatient rehab, for example, may live on-site at the facility for a month before transitioning to an outpatient program. Other patients may choose to live in the treatment facility for 90 days or more.

It is important to remember that rehab can be a lifelong process and addicts may need to seek addiction treatment in some form (therapy, meetings, etc) for several years. Even if someone completes 90 days of rehab, they may find it necessary to seek out additional support afterward.

What Happens After Rehab?

Recovering from hydrocodone addiction can take a very long time. Even people who attend inpatient treatment and spend months working to recover from their addiction are likely to experience cravings after they’ve left. You may also struggle with anxiety, depression or feelings of guilt due to the things you did while you were using. Once you become chemically dependent on a substance, after all, it can have effects that last long after you’ve completed your formal treatment program.

Fortunately, there are a number of “aftercare” resources that offer continued support after you’ve finished rehab. Rehab aftercare will help you to overcome the challenges of post-rehab life.

Some common forms of rehab aftercare include:

Treatment center housing: Some rehab centers allow program alumni to live in the facility for a certain period of time after they’ve completed treatment. Once inpatient rehab is over, the addict will be permitted to leave the campus as they please (often with a curfew) in order to go to work, find a job or visit with family. This can be a great way for addicts to transition back into society. It limits the temptation to relapse and provides recovered addicts with the continued support they need. Oftentimes, the program will bring in guest speakers to share success stories.

Sober homes: Sober living homes are apartments or houses where addicts can live as they work to get back on their feet after rehab. In order to live in a sober home, you must be committed to staying off of drugs. Most sober homes are owned and operated by former drug addicts or organizations that advocate for former drug addicts. Many folks will move into a sober home if that fear that living on their own could potentially lead to a relapse. The residents who live in sober homes often attend group meetings together, help one another find jobs and share household responsibilities.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings: Narcotics Anonymous is an organization that holds daily meetings for people who struggle or have struggled with drug addiction. At Narcotics Anonymous meetings, addicts will gather to offer support to other recovering addicts. The group takes turn sharing stories and reading addiction-related literature.

These meetings are free and held every day all over the world. Many hydrocodone addicts attend NA meetings to meet folks that understand the difficulties of drug addiction. You can begin attending NA meetings at any point during your recovery process. The group’s only requirement for membership is a commitment to overcoming drug addiction.

Looking for a Narcotics Anonymous meeting?

How Much Does Addiction Treatment Cost?

Some hydrocodone addicts are turned off by the idea of professional addiction treatment because they believe it costs too much. In reality, however, both detox and rehab are very affordable.

Most insurance providers will cover at least part, if not all, of the costs associated with detox and rehab.

Verify Your Insurance

Additionally, professional rehab centers like Northpoint Washington offer payment plans that enable you to defer the costs of addiction treatment. We believe that no one should be turned away from addiction help simply because they don’t have the money for it.

If you’d like to learn more about the cost of addiction treatment or discuss your insurance plan, please give us a call.

Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment

Do You Struggle with a Hydrocodone Addiction?

As you can see, this is an extremely dangerous drug. The short and long-term side effects of it can be hazardous to your health and well-being. Continuing a habit of abuse can lead to a multitude of serious problems.

It may have occurred to you while reading this that you demonstrate several classic signs of addiction. But where do you go from here? At Northpoint Washington, we’ve love to have the opportunity to help you.

Northpoint Washington has a reputation for being one of the best hydrocodone addiction treatment centers in Washington state. We’ve been able to invest in the lives of so many people in order to help them overcome their addictions. If you struggle with a dependence on this or any other drug, we can help you.

If you’d like to speak with us about your drug habit or discuss potential treatment options, please contact us today.
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