Vicodin Detox

Vicodin abuse is a very real problem that effects millions of people every day. In 2013, approximately 124 million people were given Vicodin prescriptions in the United States. When an individual takes Vicodin, particles of the drug circulate within the bloodstream. The drug then attaches to receptors and triggers chemical responses. Over time, the user’s body adapts and even changes. When an individual stops Vicodin use, the body goes into withdrawal.

Some of the following side effects are common.

  • Agitation
  • Aching muscles
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Stomach pains
  • Nausea

While the user can endure these symptoms, detoxification programs can ease the process. These programs allow people to receive the help they’ll need to move past the detoxification stage without feeling terrible.

Intake and Planning

Addicted woman talking to intake counselorResearch states that most people can go through detoxification process within 12 to 30 hours when addicted to opiates like Vicodin.1 Because of this time-frame, many detoxification programs last only a few days. When detox is over, the individual is ready to move on to the next phase of treatment.

In order to determine the best type of treatment, patients are asked to provide details about the drugs they take. It’s important for people to be completely honest during this interview, even if the questions seem intrusive or embarrassing. These answers allow medical professionals to create a treatment program that helps the person stay comfortable.

When the screening is complete, medical professionals give the individual a plan that outlines how long treatment will take and what medications may be provided during treatment. Patients share their concerns and have the opportunity to ask any questions.

Medications Provided

BuprenorphineDoctors can prescribe medications that help to suppress cravings for Vicodin. Buprenorphine can reduce the pain and discomfort that often occurs during withdrawal. This drug mimics the action of Vicodin, but does not give the user feelings of euphoria.

An older medication, methadone, is sometimes used to help people who have more advanced cases of Vicodin addiction. Methadone works by changing how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It lessens the painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs.2

Buprenorphine is a weaker drug with a low threshold of effectiveness. People with advanced cases of addiction—and high levels of damage as a result—may not benefit from this gentler drug.They may need the help that methadone provides.3

Aftercare Services

Most consulting physicians start their patients on what they believe is an appropriate dose of medication, given the amount of drugs the person is accustomed to taking and the amount of discomfort the person feels when the program begins. Then, the person is monitored closely for any signs of discomfort.

A person who begins to sweat or develop tearing eyes might need higher a dose of medication. Consulting medical staff might also look for signs of sedation and sleepiness.These signs can indicate that a medication is too strong.

Some people are able to taper their medication use by taking higher doses near the beginning of the process and then moving to smaller doses as the process moves forward. Others develop symptoms of withdrawal when they’re asked to taper off their medications, and may need to take these medications for longer periods of time.

When a patient can produce urine samples that are free of traces of Vicodin and demonstrate the ability to think clearly, detox is complete. The next stage of healing can begin.

Moving Forward

It’s important to note that detoxification programs are not considered a cure or an appropriate treatment for drug addiction. People who leave their detoxification programs without receiving any other form of help often go right back to drug use. You need to learn specific skills in order to deflect your temptation to use. For this reason, most detoxification facilities encourage addicts to enter a rehab program as soon as the detox process is complete.

Michael’s House has a proven record of success in helping people recover from Vicodin addiction. We fully understand the physical and mental challenges of Vicodin addiction. We provide you with the highest quality care to keep you as comfortable as possible during the treatment process. If you have any questions about how the detox process works—or any questions about the drug treatment process—please call us today. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.


1 Volkow, Nora D. “America’s Addiction To Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.” NIDA. 14 May 2014. Web. Accessed 8 June 2017.

2 Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.” MedlinePlus. Accessed 9 June 2017.

3 “Methadone.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  28 Sept., 2015. Web. Accessed 7 June 2017.

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