How to Ease Withdrawals While Getting Off of Hydrocodone From Home
Hydrocodone, like other opioid medications in its category, is one of the most addictive drugs on the market today. In 2010, more than 12 million people reported abusing a prescription painkiller like Hydrocodone, which illustrates the magnitude of the problem in the country (Case-Lo, 2014). Addiction to Hydrocodone may lead to loss of function and productivity, and disintegration of social and economic life for the addicted individual. Even harder for addicts is the fact that the information available for getting off an opiate is that of extreme withdrawal symptoms or expensive rehabilitation clinics that simply put you off.
While it is true that tapering or getting off Hydrocodone addiction is tough and may have some extreme withdrawal symptoms, the symptoms are quite often manageable. Additionally, you can comfortably taper from the comfort of your home with a few items that you probably have at home. A successful taper with the least effect of withdrawal symptoms is the sum of mental, physical, and emotional preparation.
What You Should Know Before Tapering Hydrocodone
Withdrawal symptoms are normally brutal because the body is trying to revert to a natural process. Addiction is usually initiated when a drug like Hydrocodone occupies receptors sites on nerve endings in the brain where endorphins normally attach to suppress pain and make you happier. With time, your body stops producing natural endorphins and becomes solely dependent on the synthetic “feel-good” opiate chemicals. When you skip your daily dose of Hydrocodone, your body begins responding to a deficiency in this chemical and begins showing withdrawal symptoms until it can begin producing its own endorphins.
Therefore, before beginning the process, it is important to manage your expectations and to be mentally prepared if nothing else. Mental preparation will give you the willpower to push through the withdrawal symptoms no matter how nasty they get during the process.
Cold Turkey Vs Tapering
Once you decide to get off your daily dose of Hydrocodone, one of the options you have is stopping the dosage abruptly, otherwise known as going cold turkey. Going cold turkey can help you get off Hydrocodone in as little as a few days, but gives the worst form of withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, people who go cold turkey have a much higher chance of relapsing later. A taper is slower but offers a more comfortable withdrawal period and increases your chances of staying away from Hydrocodone in future. With a taper, you will reduce the effect of most withdrawal symptoms that are associated with opiate withdrawal like vomiting, chills, fatigue, and the like.
How to Beat Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with a Hydrocodone Taper
Withdrawal symptoms vary from one individual to another and depend on factors such as individual biochemistry, duration of use, and dosage. Most people will start experiencing the first withdrawal symptoms within 12-24 hours after the last dose. The first symptoms typically include restlessness, runny nose, teary eyes, excessive sweating, muscle aches and pains, anxiety and irritability, lack of sleep, and excessive yawning. As you approach the 72-hour mark, symptoms increase in number and severity to include abdominal cramps, rapid heartbeat, dilated pupils, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Further down the line, you may experience behavioral and emotional symptoms.
As awful as they may sound, these symptoms are manageable from the confines of your home with everyday supplies that can be bought from the store.
The most important consideration when getting off Hydrocodone at home is to keep hydrated. Vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea lead to acute dehydration, which, when untreated, can lead to serious health complications (Heller, 2013). Therefore, always remember to load up on gallons of liquids that should include energy drinks such as Gatorade, electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte, or sugar-containing liquids such as orange juice.
Once the cold chills and excessive sweating begin, you can try taking short walks around the neighborhood or taking showers to warm yourself up. You should also remember to wear loosely fitting clothes that can easily be taken off.
The changes taking place in your body will most likely cause you to lose sleep and you will often find yourself watching late-night TV shows more than you would want to. As a remedy, try sleeping anytime you feel sleepy even if it is during the day. You can also take some antihistamine to help with insomnia and anxiety issues.
Stomach pains and aches will be one of the first withdrawal symptoms that you will notice after you start the weaning process. Medicine such as Imodium AD can help you manage diarrhea while Pepto Bismol will lessen stomach cramps and nausea (Heller, 2013). You should also try to observe proper dietary habits during this period. Try bland foods such as yogurt, rice, or chicken broth that can be tolerated by the digestive system. Add some chicken, fruits, and vegetables as you continue with your tapering schedule to provide some much-needed protein, vitamins and, minerals. Additionally, and most importantly, drink a lot of fluids.
General body and muscle aches and cramps will be common during this period. As a remedy, try taking a hot bath with Epsom salts for improved effects against the pain. For extreme pain at specific locations on your body, use a heating pad to ease the pain. If you must take something for the pain, Acetaminophen is your best option.
At some point during your taper, your mind will become your greatest enemy. Agitation, depression, anxiety, and irritability will become more common as you reduce your Hydrocodone dose. Keep yourself busy by playing video games, watching movies and TV, surfing the internet, taking up a new hobby, walking, performing meditation practices like yoga, and everything else that will keep your mind from wandering. Get a close friend or family member to stay with you during the withdrawal period for emotional support.
Using CalmSupport for your Hydrocodone Detoxification
Withdrawal aids are a valuable addition to your Hydrocodone detoxification plan. CalmSupport, one of the leading withdrawal aids on the market currently, offers essential vitamins in their active forms, for easier digestion and faster absorption in the body. Additionally, CalmSupport contains organic herbs which may help at reducing the effects of withdrawal symptoms.
Many people have a hard time consuming foods with nutrients. It is hard for some people to even eat simple foods like a banana at times during the withdrawal. This is one of the reasons why CalmSupport is such an important tool. Taking CalmSupport may help provide your body key nutrients and vitamins to help bring your body back to it's natural healthy state.
It is important to note that there is no substitute for a comprehensive in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation program. We understand that packing up and leaving your family, job, and other responsibilities is not an option for everyone but rehabilitation should always be the first choice. Getting off Hydrocodone at home is an achievable feat. You save money and cultivate a sense of pride and discipline when you get clean through your efforts at home. Involve yourself with local support groups, grow a strong foundation for your recovery and mend relationships with family and friends to ensure that you live a long, healthy, opioid-free life.