Everything You Need To Know About Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms
Vicodin is a prescription painkiller that is made from a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Acetaminophen is the active ingredient found in Tylenol while hydrocodone is a semisynthetic opioid. The drug is usually used as a short-term option for dulling moderate or severe pain, for example, after surgery. Because of the hydrocodone ingredient, Vicodin is listed as a Schedule II substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that it is limited to specific medical uses as it has a high risk of addiction and abuse. However, Vicodin is one of the most abused substances in the US.
Signs of addiction to Vicodin usually include;
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Shallow breathing
- Feeling of confusion
- Reduced size of pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mood swings
Vicodin addiction increases the risk of overdose and death. There is also the likelihood of the user switching to heroin to satisfy their addiction as it is relatively easy to obtain.
Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms
The problem is that users who try to get off Vicodin usually end up experiencing the side effects of Vicodin withdrawal, some of which can be severe. Users may experience the following withdrawal symptoms;
- Reduced appetite.
- Mood swings, irritability, and other psychological changes.
- Sleep disorders such as insomnia and restlessness.
- Nasal problems.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Dilated pupils.
- Muscle pain.
- Sweating, tremors, and shivering.
- Rapid breathing.
Since the drug has a half-life of four hours, the symptoms can kick in after 8 hours since the last dose. It is important for users to visit a Vicodin withdrawal treatment center where they can get proper Vicodin withdrawal help.
How long do Vicodin withdrawals last?
The withdrawal symptoms can take up to 10 days before they go away. However, the psychological symptoms can even take months to clear. Some patients develop post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) which makes the detox process quite difficult for them. We have inpatient treatment facilities that ensure such patients receive round-the-clock medical supervision and support they need to reduce the chances of relapsing.
It is also important to note that factors such as length of Vicodin use, the dosage, level of addiction, and the method of Vicodin detox will affect how long a patient experiences Vicodin withdrawal symptoms. Attempting to quit Vicodin cold turkey can result in more severe symptoms.
Getting medical assistance during detox
Just like other opioids, people who abuse Vicodin might need Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) during detox. This involves the use of prescribed medications to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and reduce the patient’s physical dependence on the drug. Some of the medications mostly used include buprenorphine and naloxone.
Tapering, under the supervision of medical personnel, might also be used by reducing Vicodin dosage gradually until the patient is completely off their dependence on the drug. The higher the level of addiction, the slower the tapering will be.
After the detox process is complete, there will be a need for addiction treatment, especially if the patient had co-occurring mental health issues such as depression that drove them to abuse Vicodin. Such treatment can be gotten from a drug rehab facility. Rehabilitation is the most effective way to treat substance addiction. Depending on their needs, patients can opt for either inpatient or outpatient treatment.