Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Hydrocodone is an opioid drug commonly prescribed for moderate to severe pain or as an antitussive for dry coughs. As with other narcotic drugs, there is a high risk tendency for addiction and not all dependencies are related to abuse. A person can become addicted to hydrocodone in as little as 4 weeks and sometimes sooner with higher levels of abuse. Hydrocodone withdrawal may be unpleasant but, typically, is not dangerous unless other factors such as health complications or dual addictions are involved. The hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms usually include insomnia, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills, and sweating. These symptoms will improve within a few days. Hydrocodone withdrawal can be minimized with a reduced rate of the drug’s intake but immediate discontinuance may require help from a medical source such as a detox process in a drug treatment facility. Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms are intensified with long term abuse and depending on the severity of the addiction, other hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms may be more serious and result in life-threatening complications. Dangerous symptoms may also include seizures and convulsions, mood changes, excitability, anxiety, and severe depression. Intense cravings are another withdrawal symptom and one that results in many addicts resuming use to avoid.
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Dangers of Hydrocodone Withdrawal
When an addict becomes physically dependent on opioids, an abrupt discontinuance can cause the body to go into shock. Depending on tolerance levels and addiction duration, complications from hydrocodone withdrawal can be serious, life-threatening, or even fatal in severe cases. It is never advisable to quit use of this drug by going “cold turkey” without help and monitoring of an experienced medical professional who can manage the hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms and provide immediate care when complicated situations arise. It is important to realize that hydrocodone withdrawal can also be dangerous after long term use of acetaminophen compounds which may damage the liver.
Treatment for Hydrocodone Withdrawal
Fear of hydrocodone withdrawal may be extremely overwhelming to an addict and treatment is often not sought until an external occurrence forces the issue. There are many treatment options available for hydrocodone withdrawal when medical help is needed. A physician can prescribe gradual reductions of intake amounts and manage those cases not involving abuse. Withdrawals are usually minor and after detoxification, counseling and therapy options can be recommended according to the severity of the case along with any other medical or social issues being addressed. Outpatient treatment is commonly appropriate but, in extreme cases, a more intensified treatment through an inpatient program may be necessary. This type of treatment is often recommended in cases of dual addictions, repeat relapses, or complicated dual diagnosis.
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