Vicodin Detox: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment of Vicodin Withdrawal
Vicodin is a prescribed medication that contains both acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Because both of these drugs are pain killers, Vicodin can be used as a strong pain medication. It is prescribed by doctors in order to relieve both acute and chronic pain. As hydrocodone is an opiate and is also one of the main elements of Vicodin, the drug has effects similar to other opiates. In this way, Vicodin users are susceptible to addiction as well as abusing Vicodin. Vicodin addiction can become dangerous, and once a person realizes he or she has been abusing the drug, the different options for Vicodin detox should be considered.
Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Programs
There are many detox facilities to choose from, and they range from expensive and private to easily available and low-cost. One of the first things to consider when choosing a detox facility is whether the patient would benefit more from an inpatient program or an outpatient program. Here are the differences:
Patients receive around-the-clock care in a controlled environment when they enter inpatient detox for vicodin addiction. Doctors and nurses assist with the patient’s withdrawal symptoms and medicate based on comfort and necessity. Patients stay in the facility overnight and are able to work through their detox processes without other responsibilities weighing on their minds.
During outpatient detox, patients travel to the facility and leave after their treatment, going back home and to the care of family and loved ones. Most of the same treatments are offed as in inpatient programs, but here, patients are able to continue on with their daily lives, keeping their commitments and working or going to school.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, certain outpatient programs are equipped to treat co-occurring physical and mental health issues.
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It is important to note that someone with a severe Vicodin addiction should consider a stay in an inpatient detox facility while someone with a more moderate addiction could comfortably and more easily navigate an outpatient program that fits to his or her lifestyle. It is all about what works best for the patient.
Withdrawal from Vicodin is not a pleasant experience. It is not highly dangerous, like withdrawal symptoms from other drugs, but that does not make it an easy or enjoyable process. The Drug Enforcement Administration lists several of the most common symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal which affect Vicodin abusers during detox. They are:
- Bone and muscle pain
- Runny nose
As the symptoms can set in quickly, people often don’t realize what they are dealing with. Many individuals do not know they’ve become addicted to Vicodin and simply believe that they have the flu. These symptoms can be painful, especially in the case of the bone and muscle pain. Vicodin is a pain reliever and, after abusing it for a long amount of time, the pain will return at full force when a person stops using the drug. In Vicodin detox, the medical staff will help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms and curb the most uncomfortable ones.
Medications Used in Vicodin Detox
Many detox centers use other medications to lessen the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. According to the National Library of Medicine, here are some of the other prescription drugs used to curb the withdrawal from Vicodin:
Buprenorphine or Subutex
This medication is used to shorten the time it takes to detox and to curb withdrawal symptoms from opioids like hydrocodone (the main ingredient in Vicodin).
This medication is used widely to reduce “anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose, and cramping” in detox patients.
Other drugs are used to treat other symptoms, such as stomach upset and vomiting.
Methadone is used for “long-term maintenance” for patients who are fighting a long period of Vicodin abuse. Outpatient methadone clinics exist for this purpose, and a person considering one should consult with a doctor to decide if it is right for him or her.
Medication is a large part of the process of detoxification. Detoxing “cold turkey” can be a very uncomfortable situation for a person who has been addicted to Vicodin, and it is not recommended. Vicodin is a pain medication and contains opioids, so the withdrawals can become very uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable. It is better to taper off the amount of Vicodin being used or to transition the patient to a more mild medication for as long as he or she needs it.
Therapy After Vicodin Detox
Many detox facilities will insist that patients undergo a certain amount or type of therapy in order to stay in the program. At inpatient facilities, they may have one-on-one or group sessions that last the length of your detox and beyond. Outpatient facilities often have the same requirements, especially since you are not staying in the building. It is important for the people taking care of you to know that you are serious about recovering from your addiction, and going through therapy works toward that.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse illustrates the possible therapy treatments that detox centers might offer, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Multidimensional family therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Motivational incentives
Different types of therapy may work better for different people. The most important thing is that the patient is receiving good results and is working through his or her addiction.
According to the NIH, most opiate overdose deaths occur in people who have just withdrawn or detoxed as their tolerances for the drug have lessened and they attempt to go back to the high dosage they were taking before. This is why it is important to stay in treatment after detox. Most detox centers have continual treatment options (such as therapy) or will recommend another facility where they are available. With the help of medical professionals and loved ones, you can continue your rehabilitation from Vicodin abuse.
For help finding a Vicodin detox program in your area, call 800-483-2193 today!
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)- Types of Treatment Programs.
- United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (2017). Drugs of Abuse.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.
- National Institutes of Health. (2016). Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.