Is Vicodin Withdrawal Dangerous Without Professional Treatment?

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As stated by the National Library of Medicine, “Opioid withdrawal reactions are very uncomfortable but are not life-threatening.” This is one of the reasons why many individuals attempt to withdraw from opioids like hydrocodone, the main ingredient in Vicodin, without professional treatment. However, just because the main symptoms associated with Vicodin withdrawal are not normally life-threatening does not mean that it is safe to go through the process of withdrawal without professional treatment.

Vicodin Withdrawal Can Have Complications

Uncomplicated withdrawal from Vicodin can be done safely in most instances, sometimes even without medical treatment. However, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, “Medical complications associated with opioid withdrawal can develop and should be quickly identified and treated.” If an individual going through Viocdin withdrawal does happen to experience severe complications during their withdrawal syndrome, it is much safer for them to already be in professional treatment of some type or for them to be receiving treatment from their personal physician. Without this kind of help, if a complication does occur, the individual will in much more danger and may not receive treatment in time. Professional treatment is usually preventative in the case of Vicodin withdrawal, but there is no way to know if a certain individual’s withdrawal syndrome may suddenly become dangerous.

Possible Dangers Associated with Vicodin Withdrawal

vicodin withdrawal

Some complications of Vicodin withdrawal are muscle, bone, and joint pain.

Although the symptoms of Vicodin withdrawal often feel similar to a bad case of the flu, there are some dangers that can occur during this process, and these are more likely to occur and/or to become life-threatening if the individual is not in treatment. One such issue is caused by the severe pain associated with opioid withdrawal in general. Many individuals feel that they will be able to handle the symptoms of muscle, bone, joint, and abdominal pain that can occur when they stop taking or abusing opioids, and others may quit taking Vicodin without knowing about these painful symptoms at all. Unfortunately, this can create a major problem for those withdrawing from Vicodin.

According to SAMHSA, “Even mild levels of opioid use commonly produce uncomfortable levels or withdrawal symptoms.” Someone who has consistently been abusing Vicodin is likely to experience even more intense levels of pain. If you do not seek professional treatment for your withdrawal syndrome, you will be unable to receive the recommended dosages of the most beneficial medication for your syndrome. “Management of withdrawal without medications can produce needless suffering in a population that tends to have limited tolerance for physical pain.”

While suffering often occurs during this process, many individuals feel that they cannot handle the pain of withdrawal once they have already begun going through it. This, unfortunately, can lead to relapse, where the user returns to their earlier drug abuse in order to avoid further pain. In the case of heroin, an illegal opioid drug that is similar in nature to the hydrocodone within Vicodin, “many users continue abusing the drug even after they no longer experience the euphoric effects, simply to provide relief from the painful, flu-like withdrawal symptoms” (Center for Substance Abuse Research). Relapse can occur because many individuals would rather continue abusing the drug than experience the painful withdrawal symptoms.

When this type of relapse occurs, there is a likelihood that the individual may overdose on the drug. In many instances, the person’s tolerance has minimized because they have attempted to quit abusing Vicodin, and they do not realize this before taking a large dose that is meant to end their suffering. Instead, it may cause severe respiratory depression, coma, brain damage, and even death.

Individuals who do not attend detox treatment are also more likely to relapse because they are less likely to attend addiction treatment after they are no longer dependent on Vicodin. Many detox programs help facilitate the transition from detox to addiction treatment; if a person merely goes through detox on their own, they will no longer be dependent on Vicodin, but they will still be addicted. As a result, they will have a high risk of relapse and, as stated previously, have a lower tolerance for the drug, which can lead to overdose. According to the NLM, “Most opiate overdose deaths occur in persons who have just withdrawn or detoxed,” and going through the process without professional medical help strengthens the chance of this dangerous result.

There is also a possibility that opioid overdose of any kind can lead to depression. In most cases, these feelings are mild, but some individuals, especially those who have been abusing Vicodin for a long time, may become extremely depressed or even suicidal. This is incredibly dangerous, especially for a person who is not being treated professionally for their Vicodin withdrawal, as they will not have anyone watching them for signs of depression or suicidal thoughts.

Going through Vicodin withdrawal without the help of a professional treatment program or a healthcare professional of some kind can be dangerous. It is important to understand why you will require professional treatment during this time and what program will be most effective for you.

What Kind of Vicodin Withdrawal Treatment Do I Need?

You may need a different type of treatment depending on your situation. If you have been taking Vicodin under the advice of your doctor and have decided you no longer want to do so, you must discuss this with your doctor before you stop taking the medication. As stated by the NLM, “Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.”

If you have been abusing Vicodin and need help going through withdrawal, an outpatient clinic should be beneficial, unless your addiction is severe or you have other physical or psychological issues that require you be monitored in a 24-hour facility. If you do, you may want to choose inpatient or residential care.

No matter what type of program you choose, it is much safer to go through Vicodin withdrawal with some sort of professional help. If you choose to do so without this type of help, you will likely experience harmful effects in the event of any complications related to your withdrawal.

Where Can I Go For Professional Vicodin Withdrawal Treatment?

We can help you find professional treatment programs in your area where you can be treated for Vicodin withdrawal. Call 800-584-3274 today.


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