Hydrocodone is a popular opioid painkiller prescribed for people who have moderate to severe pain. Although it is an extremely effective painkiller, it is also highly addictive.
When you stop taking it you will go through an opiate withdrawal similar to that faced by heroin users. If you are taking hydrocodone it is a good idea to know the symptoms of withdrawal, the link between withdrawal and overdose, and the possible treatments for hydrocodone withdrawal and addiction.
Symptoms of Hydrocodone Withdrawal
You experience withdrawal when you suddenly stop taking hydrocodone. These symptoms are known to be extremely unpleasant. According to the National Library of Medicine Medline, you may experience:
- Muscle aches
- Increased tearing
- Abdominal cramping
- Joint pain
- Loss of pleasure
Although these symptoms do not sound terribly painful, they can be quite severe. Imagine having all of the symptoms at once.
If you are in withdrawal or considering stopping hydrocodone use, you should seek treatment. To find treatment, call 800-584-3274; we can help.
Withdrawal and Overdose: The Link
When someone is in withdrawal, they know that all they have to do to make the withdrawal stop is just start using the hydrocodone again. People who are going through withdrawal will often take too much of an opiate in order to compensate, rather than just letting an opiate work.
Some have been known to take one pill and when it does not solve their withdrawal problems immediately, they will take another, and then another. They might even mix the drug with alcohol or other drugs.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one of the most effective forms of withdrawal treatment is medication assisted treatment. This is a combination of medications and behavioral therapies. The medications that are used are:
- Methadone: treats withdrawal symptoms and chronic pain, may be used as maintenance indefinitely
- Buprenorphine: lighter than methadone but still useful in treating withdrawal and chronic pain
- Suboxone: usually only used for treating withdrawal in patients with a high risk of relapse, the safest of the maintenance drugs
- Naltrexone: a drug that is only used to treat opiate addicts in ongoing treatment as a preventative.
There is also a behavioral component to medication assisted treatment. While you are on any of these drugs, it is important to seek counseling in order to treat the causes and effects of the addiction. Some of the counseling methods employed are:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- 12 step counseling