How to help a hydrocodone addict?

You can help a hydrocodone addict by showing understanding and support during their treatment and recovery. Find out the best ways of getting help for a hydrocodone addict, here.

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Hydrocodone is prescribed for short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain. However, some people continue to use it long after a prescription expires…or in ways other than prescribed. Why? Because of the level of relaxation and mild euphoria that it creates. With repetitive abuse, many hydrocodone users develop a physical and psychological need for the medication.

Are you or some you know struggling with hydrocodone addiction? Do you feel as if hydrocodone is taking control over your life? Hydrocodone addiction is treatable. Take hope in the fact that it is a medical condition and there are effective ways out of your problem. However low you or a loved one feel at the moment, addiction treatment works!

Here, we review what you can do to help yourself or someone else with hydrocodone addiction. Then, we invite you to ask additional questions or share your experience at the end of the article. Simply post to us in the designated comments section at the end and we’ll try to get back to you personally and promptly.

Help a hydrocodone addict quit

NOTE HERE: Licensed professionals who are familiar with addiction issues are the best at helping a hydrocodone addicts quit in the safest way possible. Professionals who are licensed to treat addiction include:

  • Medical doctors, with an “Addiction Specialty”
  • Psychologists or Addiction Counselors
  • Psychiatrists
  • Other M.D.s, nurses, and credentialed rehab staff

Hydrocodone addiction is best treated with a combination of behavioral and pharmacological therapies. Depending on your needs, during hydrocodone treatment you will work to achieve a different set of goals, including:

Building connections with support networks that encourage sobriety.

Eliminating hydrocodone from your system, which is done by the process called detoxification.

Learning healthy techniques for problem-solving and stress-management.

Understanding the psychological aspect of your addiction.

But, these goals are not the only achievements a person in hydrocodone addiction recovery should strive for. In fact, treatment is different for every individual. That is why the program should be adjusted to his/her individual needs. How long is an ideal stint in treatment?

Calculations about the exact duration of recovery cannot be made with accuracy, although programs usually last from 30 days and up to 120 days. Length of time spent in recovery is an effective investment for the future. Giving yourself 1-3 months minimum to focus on becoming and staying hydrocodone free can pay off the in long run!

Help hydrocodone addict friend

STEP ONE: Seek medical help.

If you have a friend or a family member who is facing difficulties with hydrocodone addiction, should you try to help him/her withdraw from hydrocodone at home? In our opinion, the best advice you can give to a hydrocodone addict is to pay a visit to the doctor before trying to quit and to start with a tapering plan created by their physician or pharmacist. A tapering plan will help your friend to slowly decrease hydrocodone doses in order to escape unpleasant withdrawal or relapse.


But, how can you even get to the part where you approach your hydrocodone addicted friend and express your concerns?

  1. Convey your feelings about their hydrocodone use and it’s effects on their life and health, and on your relationship.
  2. Refuse to protect them from the consequences of their hydrocodone abuse.
  3. Convey the link between the growing problem in their life and their drug use.
  4. Help them find resources for professional treatment and ongoing recovery support.
  5. Provide continuity of contact, caring and support through the stages of addiction, recovery initiation and the transition to stable recovery maintenance.

Some hydrocodone addicts may be in denial about having a problem and refuse to listen to you or even speak about it. In such cases, friends and family members usually set up an intervention to motivate the addicted individual to get help. An intervention is defined as a conversation with the person who is struggling with addiction. Interventions can help move a hydrocodone addict in the direction of forming a concrete recovery plan and taking steps toward addressing the addiction problem. In order to have a successful intervention you can follow these steps:

  • Speak with a licensed interventionist
  • Gather an intervention team
  • Choose an appropriate treatment plan
  • Decide on consequences to put forward
  • Choose the time and location of the intervention

In the end, the most important thing you can do is to provide support for a person in hydrocodone recovery. Remember, they will need you even after they enter treatment! So remind them not to give up and encourage them to continue their treatment because that’s the only way they can continue to live a normal and drug free life.

Self help hydrocodone addiction

One way to assess your hydrocodone addiction and to help yourself is to do an evaluation of your thoughts and beliefs. The way you think and you overview your addiction is very important. Changing how you feel by changing the way you think is a mindfulness strategy that can help you deal with mood and relationship problems, handle stress better, improve your self-esteem and become less fearful.

When you become aware of your hydrocodone addiction problem, your approach towards it becomes more engaging. There are several self-help oriented methods and treatment programs that may be very useful when facing a hydrocodone addiction, such as:

  • 12-Step Programs or SMART Recovery
  • Acupuncture
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Nutrition and exercise
  • Secular and Faith-based Mutual Aid Groups

Get help for hydrocodone addiction

There are a few key places where you can get help for hydrocodone addiction. Your first point of contact can be a trusted family member or your doctor. Doctors can help assess your state and create a tapering plan, as well as prescribe you medications that can help you during the withdrawal period. You can also get a referral for a professional hydrocodone detox center or addiction treatment facility in your area.

If you are seeking quick help you can always contact:

  • Alcohol and Drug Referral Hotline 800-252-6465
  • National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) 800-729-6686
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hope Line 800-475-HOPE (4673)
  • National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service 800-622-4357
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse- Drug and Treatment Information 800-662-4357
  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline 800-273-TALK (8255) or 800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Substance Abuse Helpline is available 24/7 at 800-923-4327
  • Relapse Prevention Hotline 800-RELAPSE (735-2773)

Helping a hydrocodone addict questions

Do you still have questions about helping a hydrocodone addict get treatment? Feel free to post your questions in the comments section below. We will try to respond to all legitimate inquiries in a personalized and timely manner.

Reference sources: Aaron T. Beck, Amy Wenzel, Bruce S. Liese, and Dara G. Friedman-Wheeler. (2012). Group Cognitive Therapy for Addictions. New York: The Guilford Press, p. 139
Lawford. K. Christopher. (2013). Recover to Live. Dallas, Texas: BenBella Books, p. 70-71, 335-336
U.S. Department of Justice: Drug info on hydrocodone
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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