Hydrocodone is one of the most commonly prescribed opioids in the United States and is misused by millions of Americans each year. The painkiller is a Schedule II controlled substance that carries a high risk of abuse, addiction and dependence. 

When dependence develops, the body relies on hydrocodone to function normally. If you are dependent on hydrocodone and suddenly stop the drug, you may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts to being without the medication.

It can be hard to cope with hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms on your own. Fortunately, medical detox programs like the one found at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake in Colorado can help. These medically assisted detox services can keep you safe and comfortable throughout hydrocodone withdrawal, giving you the best chance of quitting the drug for good.

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Hydrocodone Withdrawal

Since you can become physically dependent on opioids like hydrocodone, your body needs to recalibrate if you suddenly stop the drug. Hydrocodone withdrawal occurs when your body starts adjusting to being without the drug. This process can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms to develop, which often makes withdrawal a difficult obstacle to overcome alone. 

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of other opioids, such as oxycodone or heroin. Some of the most common symptoms of withdrawal from hydrocodone include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Shakiness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Achiness
  • Watery eyes and runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline

The short-acting form of hydrocodone often comes as a combination product that includes acetaminophen, such as Norco. Meanwhile, the long-acting form of hydrocodone is available on its own in products like Hysingla ER and Zohydro ER. The timeline for hydrocodone withdrawal largely depends on whether you are taking the short- or long-acting form of the drug:

  • Short-acting hydrocodone: Symptoms can begin within 12 hours of the last dose. They peak within 24 to 48 hours and improve over the next three to five days.
  • Long-acting hydrocodone: Symptoms can begin within 30 hours of the last dose and can last as long as 10 days.

Some withdrawal symptoms can linger for several weeks or months. These include psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability and trouble sleeping.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?

Even after the effects of hydrocodone wear off, the drug can still be present in your system. How long hydrocodone can be found on a drug test depends on what is being tested:

  • Urine: Hydrocodone can be detected in the urine for one to three days.
  • Hair: Like many other drugs, hydrocodone can be detected in a 1.5-inch sample for up to 90 days.
  • Blood: Blood tests can identify hydrocodone for up to nine hours.
  • Saliva: A saliva test can find hydrocodone for up to two days.

It’s important to note that these are only general approximations, as many factors can influence how long hydrocodone stays detectable in your body. These include:

  • Your hydrocodone dose 
  • How often you take hydrocodone
  • Whether you take long- or short-acting hydrocodone
  • Your age 
  • Your body composition 
  • Your sex
  • The presence of any co-occurring health conditions 
  • Whether you take any other medications 
  • Whether you are well-hydrated
  • Your overall nutritional status 

Hydrocodone Detox Center in Colorado

Going to a medical detox facility is recommended when quitting an opioid like hydrocodone, especially if you have co-occurring mental or physical health problems. During detox, your body is cleansed of hydrocodone in a medical setting where you receive around-the-clock care from doctors and nurses. 

In medical detox, health care professionals are able to treat any difficult symptoms that arise, allowing you to have the most comfortable withdrawal possible. In some cases, medication-assisted therapy with methadone or buprenorphine may also be used to ease your withdrawal symptoms and help you avoid relapse. 

At full-service facilities like The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, you can immediately move into rehab treatment after successfully completing hydrocodone detox. Experts recommend at least 90 days of rehab to increase your chances of staying hydrocodone-free over the long term.

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is devoted to helping Colorado residents who struggle with addiction to opioids like hydrocodone. Our services are available for those living in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Denver and throughout the state. We also provide care to those traveling from other states, and we have several other facilities located throughout the nation.

Located near Colorado Springs, our 110-bed facility offers a beautiful, relaxing environment that fosters the healing process. We provide a full continuum of care, ranging from medical detox to long-term aftercare, that helps you maintain lifelong recovery.

During a stay at our facility, clients can also enjoy a wide variety of amenities, including:

  • A heated swimming pool
  • Two fully equipped gyms
  • Basketball court
  • Sand volleyball court
  • Squash court
  • Pickleball court
  • Yoga therapy
  • Drama therapy
  • Walking trails
  • Scenic mountain views

If you or someone you love is struggling with hydrocodone addiction, help is available at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake. Contact us today to learn more about opioid addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.

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Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

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Gryczynski, Jan; Schwartz, Robert P.; Mitchell, Shannon D.; et al. “Hair Drug Testing Results and Self-repor[…]isk Illicit Drug Use.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, May 17, 2014. Accessed February 3, 2022.

ARUP Laboratories. “Drug Plasma Half-Life and Urine Detection Window.” October 2021. Accessed February 3, 2022.

Cansford Laboratories. “Oral Fluid (Saliva) Testing.” Accessed February 3, 2022.

ARUP Laboratories. “Therapeutic Drug Monitoring.” June 2021. Accessed February 3, 2022.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Opioid Facts for Teens FAQs About Opioids.” July 2018. Accessed February 3, 2022.

Drug Enforcement Administration. “Hydrocodone.” October 2019. Accessed February 3, 2022.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Protracted Withdrawal.” July 2010. Accessed February 3, 2022.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.