Hydrocodone Detox

Hydrocodone’s Evolution: From Helpful to Harmful

hydrocodone detox centers

Many different substances have proven to be quite problematic on a cultural and societal level. Of course, the first substances that we often think about might include alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. But these are just a few of the substances that have affected the lives of millions and millions of people.

Some of the substances to which many people have become addicted were actually created to help people rather than harm them, which is the case with pharmaceutical drug hydrocodone. But what is hydrocodone, exactly? Where does it come from and what are its effects? And how does someone overcome hydrocodone addiction?

Where Did it All Start?

Before diving into hydrocodone specifically, it’s important to go over the background of opiates in general, which begin with a substance called opium. As you may already be aware, opium is an extremely potent narcotic that comes from the seeds of the opium poppy.

According to historical records, our history with opium extends back thousands of years. The plant itself originates from the Mediterranean region, but it didn’t take long for opium use to spread to such places as Egypt, Syria, Greece, and numerous other nations in Eastern Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia areas.

From Surgery to Recreation

Initially, opium was mainly used during surgical procedures as well as for religious practices. However, it would eventually be used for recreational purposes, too. In fact, as opium became a more recreational substance, the drug was making its way into China, which is one of the places that has a very strong historical association with opium.

Upon making its way into China, opium quickly spawned an addiction problem among the Chinese, resulting in the many so-called opium dens that emerged throughout the country. As Chinese immigrants moved westward, opium was finally introduced to the Americas. On the cusp of the American Civil War, we had learned just how powerful and addictive this substance is, leading a number of researchers to search for safer or less addictive alternatives. This led to the discovery that opium’s effects are the work of two important alkaloids: codeine and morphine.

Thereafter, morphine usurped opium’s place as the primary opiate for use in surgical procedures. Soldiers who were wounded in battle were usually treated with morphine during the Civil War. However, experiments with these substances were ongoing and would soon lead to the development of heroin. Although they had been hoping to develop something similar to morphine with fewer risks, heroin proved to be even more powerful and addictive than morphine. As a result, chemical development continued, leading to the synthesis of such pharmaceuticals as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

The Birth of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone was first synthesized in Germany in 1920, but it wasn’t until more than twenty years later — 1943 — when it was officially approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. While oxycodone was created from thebaine — one of the less-used derivatives of opium — hydrocodone was created by adding hydrogen to codeine; however, hydrocodone appeared to lack the stomach discomfort and high risk of toxicity that characterized codeine. Through testing, it was found that hydrocodone was effective at three things: (1) alleviating pain, (2) alleviating a cough, and (3) producing feelings of euphoria.

Reduction Through Regulation

It was hoped that strong regulations surrounding the substance would mitigate its abuse, but it has, at times, been the most-prescribed painkiller as well as the most widely abused. Today, the trade name Vicodin is most closely associated with hydrocodone, but there have been several other brands to release versions of the drug.

In the past few years, there has been a purer form of hydrocodone called Zohydro to receive F.D.A. approval although surveys show that it’s not being prescribed very often. However, hydrocodone remains one of the most frequently prescribed painkillers with estimates from 2013 indicating at least 136 million annual prescriptions for the drug.

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What Exactly is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is part of a class of medications that are called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It relieves pain by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It is used to treat severe pain in people who can’t be treated with other medications. Hydrocodone is a derivative of codeine which comes from poppy seeds.

When a person takes hydrocodone, the brain experiences a surge of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. The cumulative effect is to essentially dampen a person’s ability to feel pain. However, the drug has been found to induce euphoria, which is why it’s often abused. 

As is the case with other opiates, abusing hydrocodone causes feelings of warmth and a tingling sensation throughout the body. The limbs often feel heavy and an individual often becomes quite drowsy and has difficulty staying awake. The drug can also cause things like respiratory depression when taken at high doses, which is a major contributor to overdoses.

Hydrocodone’s Half-life

If you have been prescribed hydrocodone, you might wonder how long the drug lasts in your body and how long it might show up on a drug screening. Measuring the half-life of a drug is one way to find out how long a drug lasts in your body. The half-life is the amount of time it takes to eliminate half the drug from your body.

Hydrocodone has an average half-life of 3.8 hours in an average healthy adult male. However, everyone metabolizes drugs differently, so the half-life will vary somewhat from person to person. 

It takes several half-lives to completely eliminate a drug. Generally speaking, hydrocodone will clear the blood within one day. According to the American Addiction Center, it can still be discovered in the saliva, urine, or hair for much longer. 

How long?

Possible Side Effects of Hydrocodone

You should stop using hydrocodone and call your doctor immediately if you have these serious side effects:

Serious side effects appear to be more likely in older adults and people who are malnourished or in a weakened condition. Long-term use of opioid medications may have an effect on fertility in men or women. Whether the effect is permanent is not yet known.

Common side effects:

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms

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When a person takes hydrocodone frequently, he or she becomes quite likely to experience withdrawal symptoms during times when he or she is not using hydrocodone. Many of the withdrawal symptoms associated with hydrocodone apply to most other opiates, too. For instance, individuals experiencing hydrocodone withdrawals often experience:

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Overcoming Hydrocodone Addiction

It can be quite disconcerting to suffer from an addiction to hydrocodone. But there are plenty of resources available to help. In most cases, recovery from hydrocodone addiction begins with:

Detoxification

This is an initial period to address the physical aspects of addiction so that the individual in question isn’t experiencing withdrawal symptoms when he or she begins actual treatment. 

Symptoms of withdrawal can be classified and mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe. Mild symptoms can be treated with Tylenol, aspirin, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Over the counter medications can help with diarrhea and nausea. Intense withdrawal symptoms may need hospitalization and other medications. Clonidine is a prescription medication that can reduce the intensity of symptoms by 50-75%. It is used mainly in an inpatient setting.

Treatment Phase

This phase consists of individual psychotherapy, group therapy, relapse prevention education, and other important components. The goal is to help the individual achieve lasting sobriety by meeting his or her unique recovery needs. Depending on the severity of the addiction and how long the patient has been dependent, there are options for a treatment program such as these:

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Residential: During residential treatment, you will live at the treatment facility. This is a safe, secure environment that ensures that you won’t be exposed to the situations, environments, and people that used to trigger your need to use the drug. You will spend your days in therapy sessions with your therapist or in group sessions with other patients.

Outpatient and Intensive outpatient treatment: If you are in outpatient treatment, you will still live at home but you’ll still be spending a considerable amount of time at the treatment facility, where you will attend your group and individual therapy sessions. The difference between Intensive outpatient treatment and outpatient treatment is the length of time spent in treatment each week.  Outpatient treatment is sometimes used as a step-down from a residential program or for people who have completed a program and subsequently relapsed.

Continuing care: Also called aftercare, this is an immensely important part of continuing your abstinence after treatment. This might consist of a sober living residence or continuing therapy, or a peer support group. Or all of them. This is one of the best things you can do to prevent relapse.

Time to Make a Difference; Let Us Help You!

Finding the right help for yourself or a loved one can be an overwhelming and stressful process. We can remove those stresses by helping you find the right rehabilitation facility. We can help you comfortably through detox and into a treatment program that will be right for you. Our staff is made up of experienced and caring people. We use evidence-based treatment to address your needs. You don’t have to do it alone. Contact us here to talk to someone and get yourself on the road to recovery.

Time to Make a Difference

Finding the right help for yourself or a loved one can be an overwhelming and stressful process. We can remove those stresses by helping you find the right rehabilitation facility. Call us now to start the road to recovery.

877-978-3125

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.

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    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • 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.
    1/16/2020
  • 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!!

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    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • 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.
    11/13/2019
  • 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.
    11/06/2019

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