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What is the Length of Time for Vicodin Detox?

What is the Length of Time for Vicodin Detox?

Vicodin is a prescription painkiller made from a semisynthetic opioid, hydrocodone, with acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. It is used to support people with pain that goes from moderate to severe and generally for short-term use only. People who have surgery use it to aid in recovery. Vicodin is not intended for use long-term or for chronic pain management. Addiction is possible and it can create severe withdrawal symptoms. Learn about detoxing from Vicodin if addiction or dependence occur.

How Vicodin Addiction Works

The opiate in Vicodin is a narcotic analgesic, which depresses the central nervous system. The effects of hydrocodone can lead to a sense of euphoria or ease, which may be addictive in itself. The other active ingredient in Vicodin is acetaminophen. This medication helps to reduce pain and fever. It is often in over-the-counter medications like cough syrups or pain relievers. Addiction and dependence are different conditions, but they occur together. Dependence occurs when the brain and body need a specific amount of a substance, like hydrocodone, to feel normal or good. Addiction is a disease where the reward centers of the brain need a substance or behavior to release dopamine, serotonin, or other ‘happy’ neurotransmitters. Without these, the person feels cravings and may suffer withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Addiction to opioids like Vicodin can be harmful physically, with many people struggling to stop taking the drug. Severe withdrawal may occur and look like:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Cold symptoms
  • Repeated yawning
  • Increased salivation
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Cravings

Withdrawal symptoms set in when a person stops taking the drug too suddenly. This makes it much safer to withdraw from the drug (detox) in the presence of medically trained staff.

Medically Supervised Detox

When a person decides to end addiction to Vicodin, it is important to get help. Due to the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and the strong chance of relapse, medical detox is recommended for opiate withdrawal. Medical professionals can help in many ways, including tapering the dosages. The recommended schedule for tapering goes as so:

  • Reducing dose by 20-50 percent per week
  • Monitor for signs of withdrawal and prescribe small doses of antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds to ease psychological symptoms

The timeline may actually take weeks, sometimes even months. When a person works closely with a doctor to detox from substances like opioids, medical monitoring can help prevent relapse and subsequent overdose.

Opioid addiction is a harrowing experience for everyone involved. Let us help you and your loved one discover what healing is like on the other side of addiction. We can help you fight the challenges with our detox and recovery program. Let us help. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401