Vicodin withdrawal treatment: How to treat Vicodin withdrawal
Vicodin is a man-made opioid drug containing hydrocodone that affects the brain in a particular way. Vicodin specifically works with opiate receptors in the brain which function is to regulate pain. It is for this reason that Vicodin is used to treat pain.
But what do you do when you want to stop taking one of the strongest and most prescribed narcotic drugs out there? We review basic protocol for coming off Vicodin and how to treat Vicodin withdrawal. Then, we invite your questions about symptoms of Vicodin addiction and/or Vicodin withdrawal treatment at the end.
Effects of withdrawal from Vicodin
We’ll begin with a question: “Why are effects of Vicodin withdrawal uncomfortable?” Over time, your body develops dependence to Vicodin. Dependency means that the brain chemistry has been altered to the degree that the body needs Vicodin in order to function in a normal way. That is why when you stop taking Vicodin, withdrawal symptoms result.
In effect, Vicodin withdrawal triggers your central nervous system to work overtime. Neurotransmitters need time to readjust and route information in the brain to compensate for the lack of Vicodin in the body. Withdrawal is a way for the body to figure out the proper way to function. It is for this reason that withdrawal can be uncomfortable or painful.
Withdrawal from Vicodin symptoms
Withdrawing from Vicodin can be distressing and painful since the body is suddenly being flooded with sensations Vicodin was helping to block. Withdrawal occurs in the 4-6 hours after your last dose of Vicodin has worn of. After Vicodin has worn off, you can expect to deal with the following:
- abdominal cramps
- anxiety and agitation
- drowsiness and fatigue
- erratic moods
- flu like symptoms
- nausea and vomiting
- sleep disturbance
- strong drug craving
- yellowing of the skin and the white of the eyes
If find yourself experiencing any of the above symptoms there are ways you can treat them individually so that your body can be in comfort as much as possible as your body is going through withdrawal.
How to treat Vicodin withdrawal symptoms
There are three ways you can treat Vicodin withdrawal symptoms:
1. Detox: Detox is an important process that addresses the physical symptoms of withdrawal. During medical detox, you are monitored by clinicians and given medications for the symptoms that arise. It is also a process by which Vicodin is eradicated from the body.
2. Prescription medications: Naltrexone and/or buprenorphine are effective and common medications used to treat and help the process of detox and withdrawal symptom maintenance. Clonidine may also be prescribed to cope with gastro-intestinal symptoms. Short acting benzodiazepines may also help during Vicodin withdrawal, especially if severe anxiety is present.
3. Inpatient treatment facilities: How to help Vicodin addiction? One way to help cope with Vicodin withdrawal symptoms is to actually look into an inpatient addiction treatment facility that has support groups and therapy. You can safely withdrawal with the help of people around you as well as work to help with psychological symptoms that occur. If you suspect that you are addicted to Vicodin, this is a good option so that you can get social support and don’t have to experience several other periods of withdrawal from Vicodin.
Best way to withdraw from Vicodin
The best way to withdraw from Vicodin is by first tapering down your doses of hydrocodone until you can safely eliminate it from the system with minimal effect. Work with a doctor to reduce the dosage of Vicodin over an period of time. Dose reduction happens in a 10-25% increments depending on your level of use and the severity of dependency. This process takes several weeks but tapering down off Vicodin can decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms and helps to manage the pain of withdrawal.
Vicodin withdrawal treatment questions
Still have questions about Vicodin withdrawal treatment? In the comment section below, please ask us any questions you would like to have answered. We will get back to you as soon as possible.