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Hydrocodone Rehab

Around 3 million Americans currently battle opioid addiction, but many avoid treatment due to fear of withdrawal symptoms and lengthy recovery. However, recovery from hydrocodone addiction is easier than most think. Explore hydrocodone addiction rehab options and additional treatments for opioid addiction recovery.

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Overview of Hydrocodone Addiction Rehab and Treatment

An estimated 3 million Americans have or are currently battling an opioid addiction, which includes drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and codeine.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that many people are afraid to seek treatment because they are worried about the withdrawal symptoms and how long recovery will take.

Thankfully, recovery from hydrocodone is probably easier than most people expect. Learn more about hydrocodone addiction rehab options along with additional treatments that usually take place alongside opioid addiction recovery.

Hydrocodone Quick Facts

Hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid painkiller intended to treat severe pain. Hydrocodone is primarily intended for short-term use.

Typical patients who require the use of hydrocodone might include people recovering from surgery, dealing with a terminal illness (like cancer), or experiencing chronic pain issues.

Some common brand names of prescription opioids that contain hydrocodone are:

  • Lortab®
  • Vicodin®
  • Norco®
  • Hycodan®
  • Lorcet-HD® (hydrocodone + acetaminophen)
  • Vicoprofen® (hydrocodone + ibuprofen)

Like all opiates, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies hydrocodone as a Schedule II substance due to its likelihood of causing physical dependence and addiction—even for those taking hydrocodone as part of a pain treatment plan.

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Hydrocodone Addiction Rehab Options

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for hydrocodone addiction provide a variety of care levels to meet each patient’s individual needs. Patients can enter a general rehab program or elect to sign up for a program that specializes in opioid abuse and addiction.

Inpatient Hydrocodone Rehab

Inpatient hydrocodone rehab involves a live-in situation for anywhere from 30-90 days (on average). Also called residential treatment, inpatient rehab can include additional health monitoring if necessary.

During inpatient treatment, patients will receive various types of therapy (i.e., individual and group counseling) to help them deal with the underlying issues behind their addiction and develop better habits for the future.

If needed, onsite medical detox can be provided at the beginning of your stay. However, not all inpatient facilities offer medical detox, so it’s best to check ahead of time if you’ll be needing detox services and support.

Outpatient Hydrocodone Rehab

People have a general perception that all drug rehab centers require 30+ days of living there at the facility, but there are many outpatient treatment programs as well.

Outpatient rehab programs provide the same great therapies as inpatient programs but without the same level of time commitment.

There are two main types of outpatient rehab for hydrocodone treatment:

  • Partial Hospitalization Programs: PHPs provide more lengthy, in-depth services during the day but without requiring the patient to stay overnight. PHPs are considered a bridge between residential treatment and other types of outpatient care.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs: IOPs provide therapy and support for people with a minor addiction or those who have completed a more intensive rehab program.

Therapies Used for Hydrocodone Rehab

All drug rehab centers provide a variety of therapies to aid in the addiction recovery process. The following is just a sample of some of the different therapy types that are common in overall opioid addiction treatment.

If you are most interested in one specific type of therapy, it’s best to check before committing to a rehab center to ensure they offer that specific therapy.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is prevalent at most rehab centers as part of patients’ overall behavioral health treatment. Group therapy sessions provide recovering addicts with a peer support group and an opportunity to genuinely feel that they aren’t alone in their recovery journey.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” which involves working with a counselor to uncover negative habits and behaviors.

Through discussion and occasional outside homework, patients receiving CBT will learn how to replace those negative thought patterns with better habits and coping mechanisms.

Contingency Management (CM)

Contingency management (CM) is a therapy that provides patients with motivational incentives for meeting specific goals. Patients receiving CM therapy can earn rewards for positive outcomes, such as negative drug tests.

The types of positive incentives provided may increase in value over time, including special meals, day passes, movie tickets, and more.

Resistance Reduction

Some individuals may still be in denial about their drug addiction or may be unable to imagine that they can succeed at recovery. Resistance reduction therapy aims to help these individuals acknowledge and accept their current condition and the reality that they can get sober.

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Other Programs for Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment

The overall treatment timeline for hydrocodone addiction will vary by individual. Treatment length and intensity will depend on the person’s level of addiction, how long they experienced the addiction, and any additional health factors that could require additional medical intervention.

Here are some of the most common treatment types that occur alongside hydrocodone addiction rehab, beginning with hydrocodone detox.

Medical Detox

Medical detox provides recovering addicts with a monitored version of detoxification from hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone detoxification can be provided at inpatient treatment centers, so if this is the type of rehab center you or your loved one has selected, you will likely receive medical detox support at the beginning of your stay.

As your body eliminates the hydrocodone from your system, you may begin to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Cravings for hydrocodone
  • Muscle aches

Some people find themselves returning to hydrocodone abuse to stop the withdrawal sensations from continuing. Medical detox, however, provides an alternative and safe option to quitting “cold turkey.”

Hydrocodone detox under medical supervision may also include medication-assisted treatment or prescribed medication to help alleviate some of the withdrawal discomforts and help you remain sober.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

While in most cases, withdrawal from hydrocodone isn’t dangerous, the side effects can still be very uncomfortable.

Your doctor or healthcare provider may prescribe specific prescription drugs to help you during the detox process and even later on throughout your hydrocodone addiction treatment process. 

Here are the most common prescription medications used to help individuals battling opioid use disorder:

Methadone

Methadone is used in the treatment of opioid use disorder due to how it impacts the opioid receptors in your brain. Methadone blocks the euphoric effects one might get from abusing hydrocodone.

Doctors may prescribe methadone during the detox process to aid in decreasing withdrawal symptoms, and it can be part of a person’s maintenance treatment as well.

Methadone must be administered at a registered distribution clinic, and patients receiving this treatment assistance will need to travel to a methadone clinic after they finish rehab.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is widely considered the ideal medication for treating opioid use disorders, including hydrocodone addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

There are different versions of buprenorphine medications available to help individuals through withdrawals and recovery. Suboxone®, for example, is a type of extended-release buprenorphine prescription.

Unlike methadone, buprenorphine is available for patients to self-administer. In rehab programs, buprenorphine will normally be administered by staff.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone is a type of medication treatment that works by blocking any effects of opioids altogether, making relapse much less appealing.

Naltrexone can also be administered via daily pill or as a monthly shot, making it a reasonably low-maintenance option for recovering hydrocodone addicts.

12-Step Programs for Hydrocodone Recovery

Twelve-step programs can be very helpful in providing a structured, clear path through the recovery process. Programs such as Narcotics Anonymous can be held at rehab centers, but patients can continue to attend local NA meetings once rehab is completed.

Sober Living Programs

Sober houses offer a residential opportunity for recovering addicts to live in a community of like-minded individuals with similar goals. A sober house will be specifically alcohol and drug-free to support everyone’s goal of avoiding relapse.

Some sober houses provide limited supervision by a counselor, while other sober living facilities do not have any supervision.

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Find the Right Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment for You

Finding the right treatment facility to treat an addiction to hydrocodone can feel overwhelming, especially if you aren’t ready to speak with a doctor or healthcare provider yet.

However, the SAMHSA program locator can show you exactly what types of treatment options exist in your area so you can get a sense of what’s available to you.

You can also call SAMHSA for free at 1-800-662-4357 (HELP) to get confidential referrals and additional information about treatment programs nearby.

FAQs About Hydrocodone Addiction Rehab

How long does hydrocodone addiction treatment last?

An overall timeline for hydrocodone addiction treatment might look as follows:

  • Detox: Usually lasts between 3-7 days
  • Rehab program(s) (NOTE: Some individuals may go through more than one rehab program, if needed, to help them gradually work through their substance use disorder at various levels.
    • Inpatient: Between 30-90 days
    • Partial Hospitalization (outpatient): 3-4 weeks
    • Intensive Outpatient: 90 days
  • Aftercare: Aftercare and maintenance can last anywhere from a month to years, depending on the individual’s needs and if they choose to participate in volunteer-type programs to help others overcome substance use disorder.

Is hydrocodone the same thing as oxycodone?

Not really. Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both prescription opioids often used to treat severe pain on a short-term basis.

However, oxycodone is more potent than hydrocodone, which may also make oxycodone more likely to be abused (due to having stronger effects than hydrocodone). However, it is very common for an addict to abuse both drugs since they have similar effects.

Is someone in rehab for hydrocodone addiction at risk for overdose?

Yes, an individual in rehab for hydrocodone addiction may still be at risk for overdose—and in some cases, potentially more so than regular users.

After quitting hydrocodone drug use, their body begins to adjust to a “new normal.” However, people addicted to hydrocodone often experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Without the right support and treatment, some decide to return to abusing hydrocodone to stop the withdrawals. Unfortunately, their bodies have often gotten used to having less hydrocodone in their system, making their “regular dose” suddenly a lethal dose.

Hydrocodone is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Like all opioids, hydrocodone overdose can include severe side effects such as:

  • intense drowsiness or unconsciousness
  • drastically low blood pressure
  • slowed or stopped breathing

Some doctors will prescribe recovering hydrocodone addicts or their loved ones with Naloxone (NARCAN) to have on hand just in case.

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AddictionHelp.com and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

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