Opioid Detox

The words narcotic, opiate, and opioid are often used interchangeably to describe addictive drugs that are or have been used as pain medications. While “narcotic” is often thought of as a synonym for “illegal drug,” it really describes a drug that induces narcosis or insensibility. The word narcotic is also a broader term than either opiate or opioid; while all opiates are narcotics, not all narcotics are opiates.

An opiate is a natural substance derived from opium, which is itself an extract from the opium poppy. Opium contains chemical compounds like codeine and morphine. These compounds are thus opiates. The word “opioid” originally described a synthetic or semi-synthetic substance.

While it binds to the same receptors as an opiate and has the same effects, an opioid did not occur naturally. Wholly synthetic opioids like methadone and fentanyl are manufactured in a lab. Semi-synthetic opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone are opiates that have been chemically modified. The word “opioid” is now applied to natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic drugs derived from opium.

What are narcotics?

The Greek physician Galen (130 -210 AD) is believed to have coined the word narcotic, which comes from the Greek word “narkō,” which means “to numb.” He used the word to describe any drug that dulled pain or induced sleep. Galen classed poppy juice and mandrake root as narcotics. Today, narcotics used in medicine are considered a type of powerful analgesic.

Narcotics not only block pain, they also cause euphoria and other altered mental states. Such effects encourage people to abuse narcotics and make them addictive. Consequently, the UN implemented the Single Convention in 1961 to regulate the sale and use of narcotics. The UN used the word “narcotic” to describe drugs like cocaine or cannabis, as well as opioids. While these drugs are not derived from opium, they have many of the same effects. They can block pain sensations, alter mood and/or induce euphoria, and cause addiction. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), by contrast, considers only drugs derived from opium to be narcotics. It also treats the words “opioids” and “narcotics” as synonyms.

What are opioids?

Opioids are drugs derived from opium. While the word originally described only synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs, it now includes natural derivatives of opium. It is thus more or less synonymous with “narcotics.”

Opioids are also defined as anything that can bind to the opioid receptors found on some nerve cells. Once there, they send a message to the brain that slows breathing, blocks pain, and reduces stress and depression. The body can actually produce its own opioids; they are called endorphins. It cannot, however, produce enough endorphins to relieve chronic or severe pain.

Examples of opiates

Opiates are natural derivatives of opium. They are sometimes called “natural opioids” in contrast to the semi-synthetic or wholly synthetic opioids. Codeine and morphine are opiates. Morphine is considered one of the world’s most effective pain relievers. It could originally only be taken through injection, but can now be taken orally or as a suppository. In addition to blocking pain, it also slows respiration, heart rate, and blood flow, and it causes a feeling of euphoria. People can become dependent on morphine to feel pleasure, and that dependency can lead to addiction. It may take only a few doses to become psychologically dependent on morphine.

Examples of opioids

Opioids work the same way opiates do and have the same analgesic effects. Some weaker opioids can be used to treat severe diarrhea or to suppress coughs. Opioids can be taken in a variety of ways that include the following:

• By mouth
• Skin patch
• Implanted pump
• Injection into muscle, vein, or area surrounding the spinal cord
• Nasal spray
• Suppository
• Tablet dissolved between the cheek and gum or under the tongue

Opioids are used to treat severe pain caused by injury or surgery. Most doctors use them to treat acute pain that lasts only for a few days. Opioids vary widely in strength; some are effective for only three to four hours, while the effects of the stronger opioids can last for up to half a day.

Examples of synthetic and semi-synthetic opioids include the following:

• Oxymorphone
• Oxycodone
• Methadone
• Hydrocodone
• Fentanyl
• Heroin

Hydrocodone is the generic form of such medications as Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab. It is the most commonly prescribed opioid in the US, and it is also the most commonly abused opioid. Hydrocodone is generally used to treat moderate to severe pain, and it can also be used as a cough medicine.

Fentanyl is prescribed to people who suffer from severe chronic pain. It is the generic form of such medications as Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic, and Fentora. In addition to being 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, fentanyl is made in illegal laboratories. Fentanyl causes an immediate feeling of euphoria, and its potency makes it extremely addictive. Fentanyl’s potency also means that even a small dose can kill.

Heroin is an illegal drug with no medical use. It is less expensive than many prescription drugs, so many people start using it instead of a costlier medication. The CDC found that 75 percent of the people who use heroin had started by abusing a prescription opioid, and nearly 50 percent of the people who use heroin are also addicted to another opioid. Heroin is notoriously addictive, and an overdose is often lethal.Opiates vs Opioids

What makes opioids so dangerous?

Opioids can be extremely addictive, and an overdose can kill. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, over 52,400 people died from drug overdoses in 2015, making drug overdose the most common cause of accidental death in 2015. Over 60 percent of those deaths were caused by opioids.

Heroin alone caused 12,990 overdose deaths, while opioid prescription pain medications caused over 20,000 deaths. These deaths have been increasing since the turn of the century; four times as many people died from opioid overdose in 2008 as in 1999. Sales of prescription pain relievers showed a similar increase. In 2012, doctors wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioids – enough to medicate every adult in the US.

“Getting clean” is difficult, for opioid withdrawal causes symptoms similar to those of a bad case flu. Anxiety and depression often accompany the physical symptoms. If you have an opioid addiction you will need to undergo a medical detox, and you will also need a doctor’s help and guidance. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call us today for more information.

South Florida has some of the of the best specialists on hand to help you get your life back on track. Many people, in the eastern united states, choose this area for themselves, or their loved one, because of the relaxing environment offered and the friendly community they meet. You want that special person in your life to beat this addiction and come out victorious, so it’s important they find a detox center that will work.

However, many find themselves without a lot of funds due to their addictive pasts, so they don’t seek help. Or they don’t know where to go to get help for their problems. It’s important that they realize all the solutions available to help them get their life back in order. Payment plans are one way to go. Sometimes, a government-funded plan will help, but, not everyone has that option, so they come to us asking whether the insurance policy through their place of employment, will cover it.

The good news is that many insurance companies will cover a detox center. The Affordable care act, put in place by a previous president, Barack Obama has helped get treatment programs, and mental health services, covered under most policies as a legitimate medical condition. What services are covered and how much they cover differs with each policy plan though. If your insurance policy covers rehab, contact the company for more information about the coverage.

The next question we get often concerns the plans we accept for our services. You’ll find that we accept many of the major insurance companies offered by many of the South Florida area employers. For a list of the companies we accept, check out our website or call one of our representatives to find out.

Questions to ask your Insurance provider About Coverage on Detox Centers

Here are some questions you should ask your insurance representative about detox coverage for your plan:

Let’s explore why each question listed is important to know.

What coverage do you provide for treatment?

While many insurance policies cover detox centers, most will require you pay a certain portion of the expenses incurred. This may require a co-payment or they may pay for only certain parts of the treatment, leaving you to pick up what’s left. Each policy is different as far as what they will and will not cover, so you need to check with one of their agents to see where you stand with yours.

How much does it pay for in-network and out-of-network providers?

For those who have insurance plans that deals with the in-network and out-of-network providers, you will need to know which is which on your plan. In-network providers will be the list of centers they approve for their insurance coverage services. Typically they pay the most for the services they approve. The out-of-network centers are ones they pay a smaller portion for since they’re not approved providers. If the treatment program you’re looking to get into is an out-of-network provider, then you should be prepared to pay a higher amount than what you would’ve with the in-network list.

Are inpatient services covered?

As a part of your treatment program, you may need inpatient services. But, not all insurance companies cover this, though. They may ask that you have outpatient services first before getting into one of the inpatient programs. Only when outpatient treatments turn out to be insufficient, will they cover a portion of the inpatient program, in some cases. It’s important to know this before signing up for any rehab services.

Are prescription medications covered?

Treatment programs sometimes require prescription drugs as part of the treatment process. Some companies may cover them while others may not. You will need to check with your health insurance plan to find out if there’s a co-pay for the drugs or if you need to pay them from your own pocket.

What is the deductible for my plan?

Find out what your deductible is. Your insurance plan may kick in a good portion of the treatment center after you pay the deductible amount. Sometimes, it could be 100% after the deductible is met. Again, each plan is different when it comes to the details, so be sure to find out what your plan will cover for treatment centers.

What do I do if my insurance doesn’t cover it?

In the event that an insurance company denies coverage, or if they pay very little of the treatment costs, there are still options to explore. We built our center to help those who have addiction problems, so we will work with you, to the best of our ability, to make your treatment happen. Alternative choices for payment options are:

You have the option to self-pay for your services, whether you’re paying for the whole program or for the rest after insurance covers their portion. You will need to contact us about the self-pay option so we can help set up a payment program that will work for your situation.

Also, you don’t have to go at it alone. Your family and friends can help pay for your services. We have an easy to use, but secure, deposit system set up on our website. Your friends and family can deposit money into an account, set up for you, to help ease some of the costs off your shoulders.

If you’re ready to leave your addictive past behind and start taking control of your future, call us at 877-978-3125. We have customer service professionals on hand to answer your questions or to help you start the sign-up process. Trust us to help you beat your addiction and become victorious for the future.

If you are addicted to opioids, then your doctor or rehab center may decide to put you on Suboxone. By doing this, they are actually using another opioid to treat your opioid addiction. The reason behind this is that it helps you to kick the stronger and more potent drugs. Unfortunately, Suboxone is also a highly addictive opioid. Your doctor or rehab center may have neglected to mention this when they put you on it to help you with the symptoms of your withdrawal from more serious narcotics.

It helps to explain why there are so many myths surrounding Suboxone, addiction to it, and treatment from addiction to it. You may have questions about these myths and whether or not they are true. We will look at and answer them here.

Myths About Suboxone

You may have heard a myth that there is no way to quit taking Suboxone, and another myth is that withdrawal symptoms are so severe you would never dare to stop taking it. If you have become addicted to Suboxone you will be relieved to hear that there is a highly effective detox available for it.

This is also not true if the detox and rehab is effectively managed and controlled. You can break free from this life-controlling addiction.

It is a good idea to understand these two most popular and false myths about the drug while you are looking for the best treatment for it.

Myths About Suboxone Dependence

The all too popular prescription drug Suboxone has been heavily utilized for recovery of drug addiction. Many drug rehab centers look at it as the cure-all for addiction to other, more powerful opiates. What many of them fail to mention is that this drug that contains buprenorphine is a powerful opiate itself that binds on to the brain’s receptors’ sites.

Sadly this makes it is a highly potent narcotic. Unfortunately once you get hooked on it, you will have to undergo detox to have a serious chance of breaking free from Suboxone. The pain and discomfort you feel and the amount of time that you will feel it for at detox will vary greatly both based on the rehab center and the kind of treatment that you select.

The Myth that People Using Suboxone Medicinally Are Not Addicted to it

Studies will tell you that Suboxone can be overused, overdosed on, and habitually abused. Some of them will also reveal that since it is a partial agonist for the brain’s primary opiate receptor, this will create a lower degree of euphoria than competing stronger opiates like oxycodone and heroin. There are many cases where drug addicts will abuse Suboxone by obtaining it illegally in order to assist with their own withdrawal symptoms from heroin. You kid yourself if you believe that this is not a substitute addiction.

Drug Rehab Centers Utilize Suboxone for Detox

It is not a myth that MAT (medication-assisted therapy) is a powerful tool of the detox center establishment. They have studies that demonstrate its ability to reduce the chances of powerful drugs’ fatal overdose by 50 percent. The way that the Suboxone works is by blunting the intoxication of such potent addictive narcotics as:

Suboxone also stops the potent drug cravings and helps a great number of addicts like you to make a successful transition from the addicted life back to one of safety, normalcy, and freedom. When you get addicted to it though, you will experience negative consequences. In this withdrawal process from Suboxone, you can expect to suffer from acute physiological and physical symptoms. The best treatment centers will make it their goal to work you through these painful withdrawal effects as safely and comfortably as humanly possible.

There are a number of symptoms for Suboxone withdrawal, but the most common ones are as follows:

Besides these physical symptoms, there are also psychological symptoms that include the following:

General Treatment for Quitting Suboxone

When you are ready to get started with treatment for stopping Suboxone you will usually go into a rehab center for from seven to 10 days of detox. Thanks to the most cutting-edged medicinal procedures and techniques administered in hospital facilities that are fully equipped, you can realize your goal of attaining a complete detox of Suboxone. Once you have finished this treatment, you face the prospect of a full recovery over the longer-term. Hopefully you can do this without relapsing. Relapse is still possible without ongoing counseling support and treatment of the underlying issues that led to the pain-killing addiction in the first place.

The risk of overdosing on Suboxone is real. It is unlikely that the dangers of slower breathing will be experienced like with the big three opioids morphine, heroin, or oxycodone. If you do achieve an overdose level of the Suboxone, this is usually because you are mixing a dangerous cocktail of powerful drugs with sedatives like benzodiazepines. These medications have a slowing effect on breathing.

Further Treatment Following Detox for Suboxone

After you have finished detoxing suboxone from your system, it is best to move forward by entering into a rehab facility. Detox alone is not enough to help you stay clean from the drug. Without the proper counseling and support, you will give in much easier when the temptation to use arises. Entering into a rehabilitation program is the best way to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge it takes to stand strong in sobriety for the rest of your life. While you may think that most rehabs typically only deal with addictions such as alcohol or common drugs, many do offer programs for suboxone. You should never think that your addiction isn’t worth getting help just because it’s not what most people are addicted to.

In rehab, you can expect to find a wonderful support system. You will acquire this support system through various counseling sessions, including both group and individual counseling sessions. In group counseling, you will gain the support of your fellow recovering addicts who understand and share in your struggles. In individual counseling, you will gain great wisdom from an expert in the field of addiction who is compassionate about helping you succeed in sobriety. Beyond that, most rehabs offer many recreational activities as well to keep you busy when you’re not in a counseling session.

Once you have completed a rehab program, which typically last anywhere between 30-90 days, you should continue to seek support. As you transition back into everyday life, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by all the stresses. Due to this fact, it might be a good idea to continue with some form of an extended program such as a sober living facility or halfway house. In this type of program, you can return to normal daily activities such as work or school and return to your sober living home at the end of the day. This is a good way to stay in close contact with your support system. You can continue to attend regular counseling sessions as you transition back into your daily routine, making the process much easier.

No matter what you do following your treatment, it’s important to keep in mind that you should never go about this battle alone. No matter how strong or capable you think you are, we all have our weak moments and need support to keep going.

There is a Stigma to Being Addicted to Suboxone

Perhaps the greatest hindrance to your quitting your dependence on (and abuse of) Suboxone is that you are afraid of the drug addict stigma that you will suffer for admitting that you have a problem. The good news is that the perception of society has changed gradually towards addiction. Society less frequently views these dependencies as moral failures nowadays.

Instead they are beginning to come up with a more real-world and compassionate approach to addiction. People are treating it more as a complicated disease that has to be properly addressed with proper modern medical treatment and care. This is why it is so important to eliminate these misconceptions and deal with the myths on addiction to Suboxone.

Admitting that you have a problem is the first (and often times the hardest) step. If you are ready to get assistance with quitting, we can help you. Call us today at 877-978-3125. Our highly trained and compassionate counselors are standing by to help you in your moment of need.

Suboxone is a combination medication used to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are painful and highly distressing. Symptoms include:

The acute phase can last for up to ten days to two weeks. Other symptoms, such as insomnia and weakness, can persist for as long as several months. Opioid withdrawal is very difficult to endure. It’s no wonder people who are addicted to opioids continue to use their drug of choice just to avoid it. Others, who would like to quit, aren’t willing to do so without some sort of medical assistance.

What Is Suboxone

Suboxone contains two medications. One is buprenorphine, which is a synthetic opioid. It helps to curb withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings by partially activating the same opioid receptors in the brain that heroin and other opioids do. It’s not a full opioid agonist, however. This means that its ability to activate opioid receptors is only partial. It has a ceiling effect. A ceiling effect means that buprenorphine will not work to ease withdrawal symptoms beyond a certain dose. Suboxone daily doses are generally around 16 milligrams. Some people feel fine on less. Doses beyond 32 milligrams are not recommended.

Suboxone also contains naloxone, a drug used to treat opioid overdose. It’s widely known by its brand name, Narcan. It’s included at doses equal to one-quarter of the buprenorphine content. If you’re taking a 4 milligram dose of buprenorphine, then you’re getting 1 milligram of naloxone. The naloxone is included to discourage abuse of the buprenorphine if it’s injected. When taken orally as directed, the amount of naloxone won’t have much effect, if any. However, if it’s injected, it will block any euphoric effects from the buprenorphine. People tolerant to opioids, as heroin addicts are, rarely experience any euphoria from oral doses of Suboxone.

Suboxone Safety

Suboxone is generally safe for most people. It’s certainly safer than using heroin, particularly if it’s injected. Intravenous injection of heroin can lead to endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves than can easily kill. If the damage to the heart valves is severe enough, the person will die without open-heart surgery to replace them. This type of surgery, even if successful, often leaves the patient with permanent, disabling health problems, such as weakness and shortness of breath.

People using heroin, even if it’s not injected, are still at a high risk of overdose. This is because the heroin scene has changed in recent years. Much of the heroin sold is now cut with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid about 50 times stronger than heroin. Fentanyl has analogues, or chemical cousins, even stronger than that. These are sometimes used as cutting agents, too. It’s not hard to see how an unwitting heroin user could easily overdose and die from heroin cut with fentanyl.

The Suboxone Controversy

The use of Suboxone for the treatment of heroin addiction is controversial. It’s a synthetic drug. It’s not derived from opium like heroin is. Suboxone has only been in use as a treatment for opioid addiction since about 2002. Heroin has been around since at least the 1890’s. Much more is known about heroin than Suboxone. Suboxone has some peculiar side effects not generally seen with natural and semi-synthetic opioids:

There is no way to be sure what these peculiar side effects might mean for long-term Suboxone users.

Suboxone has other problems, too. It’s addictive. It generally produces a protracted, highly unpleasant withdrawal syndrome that lasts at least a month. This is because the drug has an extremely long half-life. A half-life is an expression of the time it takes for the body to metabolize, or break down, half of the dose of an ingested drug. Buprenorphine’s half-life is a whopping 24-42 hours. Because they stay in the body so much longer, long-acting drugs produce longer withdrawal timelines than short-acting ones.

Precipitated Withdrawal

Suboxone will cause a phenomenon known as precipitated withdrawal, or PW, if given too soon into the withdrawal process. It typically cannot safely be given any sooner than around 48 hours after the last dose of heroin without risking PW. Therefore, the heroin addict must be in full-blown withdrawal before they can obtain any relief. This is a definite drawback. Many heroin addicts simply aren’t going to suffer that long before getting relief. They are more likely to turn to methadone, which can be given at any time. At sufficient doses, methadone will stop withdrawal symptoms in their tracks within an hour or two at most. Methadone is also a synthetic opioid, but it’s full agonist, not a partial one.

The fact is, in contrast to methadone, Suboxone won’t work for everyone. People with very high opioid tolerance levels tend to be the ones not helped by buprenorphine. These people will need to use methadone to get relief. Both Suboxone and methadone can be used on either a temporary or permanent basis. Both can be used in decreasing doses over time to slowly detox from the heroin and then stop all drug use. Both can also be used as maintenance drugs. This means that a stable dose is taken daily to curb drug cravings and to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. This allows a motivated individual to work and attend to family responsibilities.

A Miracle Drug?

Suboxone has been hailed as a miracle drug by its proponents. That’s probably not completely true, but it has allowed countless people to stop heroin use and pursue normal lives. Anything, whether it’s Suboxone or methadone, or drug treatment or whatever, is better and safer than continuing to use heroin.

If you’re trying to get off of heroin or any other drug, we can help. We have trained counselors available 24 hours a day to speak to you and assist you in finding the help you need. Just call us anytime at 877-978-3125. We look forward to helping you change your life.

We know how tough heroin withdrawal is. We understand the pain and depression that occurs when you suddenly stop using your drug. We are here to help you through detox, which is the first stage on your road to recovery. We are experts at alleviating the worst of your withdrawal symptoms. Some clients may experience no symptoms at all. We don’t want you to suffer. We want you to succeed.

What is Heroin Withdrawal?

Heroin withdrawal symptoms will set in about 12-18 hours after your last dose. They include sweating, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, joint, bone and muscle pain, diarrhea, anxiety, chills and extreme weakness. The whole thing is miserable to endure, and there is really no reason to do so. Medications are available to suppress these symptoms until your body adjusts to the absence of heroin.

Abuse of heroin causes changes to occur in the brain. Eventually these changes cause the brain to be unable to function normally unless heroin is present on the brain’s opioid receptors. The brain’s endorphin system has also become deranged. Endorphins are natural brain chemicals that suppress pain, relieve depression and cause feelings of pleasure and reward. When exogenous, or outside, opioids are taken for a period of time, the brain stops producing its own endorphins. It takes time for the body to begin to produce them again. The brain also grows extra opioid receptors. These extra receptors are abnormal. The presence of the extra receptors and the low levels of endorphins probably contribute to much of the misery of withdrawal. The body will fix itself. But it takes time.

Medications can help by treating your symptoms as they occur. Suboxone is one medication that we use a lot. It contains buprenorphine, a synthetic opioid. Buprenorphine attaches to the same brain receptors as heroin does, but it doesn’t activate them in the same way. Its effect is only partial. However, for many heroin addicts, it’s enough to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. You will not feel much, if any, euphoria while taking Suboxone. You will just feel relief. We will gradually reduce your buprenorphine dose, from high to low, over a period of time. We do it slowly. This gives your body time to adjust. This method of slowly reducing a drug’s dosage over time is known as tapering. It’s highly effective for most people.

If you still experience significant withdrawal symptoms after your Suboxone taper is finished, we can extend the time a bit. Our goal is to get you drug-free, but not everyone is the same. Some clients may need a little longer. That’s okay. It’s not a race to see how fast you can become drug-free.

Some clients may not get enough relief from Suboxone alone. Medications such as muscle relaxants, anti-depressants and benzodiazepines can help. We are careful with benzodiazepines because they are addictive, but we understand that some very anxious clients, or those with severe insomnia, may require a low-dose, short-term, course of these calming medications.

When Detox Doesn’t Work

The goal of detox is to get the client off of all addictive drugs completely. It’s the ideal outcome, but does it work for everyone? No. It doesn’t. Not all heroin addicts will be able to live drug-free for any length of time. Heroin causes profound changes to occur in the brain. Some of these changes may lead to persistent drug cravings in some individuals, even in the absence of withdrawal symptoms. Some people, especially those who abused heroin in high doses for long period of time, simply don’t feel normal without an opioid in their systems. Even high-quality residential drug treatment may not help these people. The problem is physical.

Drug cravings that won’t go away set a clean former addict up for almost certain failure. Living with powerful cravings will nearly always lead to eventual relapse. A person can only take it for so long before giving in. For these people, there is Suboxone and methadone maintenance.

Both Suboxone and methadone are used for detox purposes. Gradually decreasing doses are given over a certain period of time. This allows the body to adjust to the absence of an opioid. If done properly, it almost always greatly reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms. But Suboxone and methadone can also be given on a daily basis as maintenance medications. Both are highly preferable to heroin use.

However, both Suboxone and methadone are addictive. Both are long-acting and will produce withdrawal symptoms, if suddenly stopped, that are far worse than those of heroin. Symptoms drag on for at least a month for Suboxone and even longer for methadone. A person who has become dependent upon either one must either continue to take the drugs or face a highly unpleasant withdrawal syndrome. Both drugs can and should be tapered before stopping them, but they tend to still cause some uncomfortable degree of withdrawal to occur.

But then again, a person using heroin risks death every time they use it. It could be contaminated with dangerous bacteria and toxins. It’s probably been cut with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times the strength of heroin. In the United States, there is no such thing as pharmaceutical heroin. All heroin sold there is produced in illegal, makeshift labs with little regard for safety and purity. When you buy heroin, there is no way to be sure what you’re getting. Certainly maintenance on Suboxone or methadone is preferable to death.

The controversy rages on. Opponents of opioid drug maintenance say that it makes no sense to trade one addiction for another, but that’s not exactly true. At least Suboxone and methadone maintenance are medically supervised and safe. Proponents of Suboxone hail it as a life-saving medication. They are partly right, but then again, Suboxone is so new, there is no way to know what its long-term effects might be. It seems that there is no easy answer.

If you’re struggling with a substance abuse problem, we would love to help guide you to the right treatment option for you. We are here 24 hours a day at 877-978-3125. Just call us. A friendly, trained counselor will listen to you and then advise you as to the best options available to you.

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid prescription drug used for the treatment of pain and cough. It’s known by many different brand names. Three of the more well-known ones are Vicodin, Norco and Lortab. It’s mostly combined with other non-narcotic ingredients like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These ingredients are used to both enhance the pain-killing effect and to discourage abuse of the hydrocodone. When hydrocodone is used for cough, it’s combined with another non-narcotic agent as well, usually some type of antihistamine. Hydrocodone is an excellent antitussive, or cough suppressant.

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Hydrocodone is a relatively weak opioid when compared to other stronger ones. However, it can and does produce withdrawal symptoms of the morphine-class type in those individuals who have become dependent upon it. Withdrawal symptoms include:

Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms tend to be shorter in duration and less intense than those produced by stronger opioids such as oxycodone and hydromorphone. However, this is widely variable. Everyone is different. It’s possible for someone to feel nearly normal after a week to 10 days. Others may have some level of withdrawal symptoms for up to a month. In general, though, most of the worst symptoms will be greatly improved after a week or so. It’s common for insomnia and fatigue to continue for several weeks or more.

Some people manage to withdraw from hydrocodone at home. This is best accomplished by a gradual tapering of the dose over time before stopping the drug completely. However, this isn’t recommended. Hydrocodone withdrawal may not be as bad as withdrawal from stronger opioids, but it’s still pretty bad. You may not be able to tolerate the symptoms and then resume drug use just to get relief. If you’re addicted as well as physically dependent on hydrocodone, you will find it near impossible to stop on your own. Changes in the brain, together with your emotional dependence, will conspire against you to create a temptation that very few people can resist.

Physical dependence upon an opioid isn’t the same as an addiction to one. All regular users of opioids will become physically dependent over time, but not all who are physically dependent are also addicted. Addiction is defined as the use of a drug for non-medical purposes that continues even when the negative consequences are obvious.
Most people who take opioids under medical supervision and who do not deviate from their dosage schedule do not become addicted.

If you think you may be addicted to hydrocodone, it’s not hard to confirm it. Just try to stop. If you can manage to abstain for about 12 to 18 hours, the first withdrawal symptoms will appear. If you find you cannot stop taking hydrocodone for more than a day or two, if that, then you are addicted. A non-addict can stop and stay stopped.

Hydrocodone and Your Liver

What does hydrocodone have to do with your liver? Well, in itself, it doesn’t. Hydrocodone causes no known direct damage to this organ. However, since so many of this drug’s products contain acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol, users of this drug need to know about the potential for severe and fatal liver damage.

Acetaminophen is very toxic to the liver when taken in high doses. Recommended dosage limits are not to exceed 1000 milligrams in a single dose and 4000 milligrams over a 24-hour period. If you don’t believe that, just look at a package or bottle. You will see a special warning about liver damage. Many over-the-counter products containing acetaminophen even highlight this ingredient in neon yellow.

Acetaminophen Overdose

When you consider that the average tablet of a hydrocodone combination pain reliever contains 10 milligrams of narcotic and 325 milligrams of acetaminophen, it’s not hard to see how someone trying to get a high dose of narcotic would also have to consume dangerously high amounts of acetaminophen as well. Some dosage forms are as low as 5 milligrams of hydrocodone. These still contain 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per tablet.

If you have liver disease, or if you drink alcohol regularly, you are at even higher risk. It’s likely your personal safe dosage limits are lower than those listed above.

Acute liver failure from acetaminophen overdose is a leading cause of hospitalizations in the US. If caught early enough, acetaminophen poisoning can be treated with a drug known as Mucomyst (acetylcysteine). Mucomyst helps restore a critical liver chemical, glutathione, that was depleted by the ingestion of too much acetaminophen. Protect your liver by never exceeding recommended acetaminophen dosage limits.

Seek Hydrocodone Addiction Help

If you would like to stop hydrocodone, especially if you have tried and failed in the past, you should seek help. Withdrawal from this drug in an inpatient rehab or detox facility is nothing like doing it on your own. You will receive medications that will greatly reduce your discomfort. You should not be vomiting, in pain or unable to sleep all night. You should be able to sit comfortably and eat and drink normally. Restless leg symptoms aren’t acceptable. If you’re not getting sufficient relief, speak up. Your medications can be and should be adjusted. Make sure you tell staff members how you feel. It’s their job to make sure you’re not excessively uncomfortable. Medications commonly used include:

How to Get Detox For Hydrocodone

You can call us 24 hours a day. We are here to help assist you with any kind of substance abuse issue that you may have. Just call 877-978-3125. You can speak confidentially with a trained counselor who will be able to tell you what your best options are. Your new life is just a phone call away.

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Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B Avatar
    Travis B.
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.

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