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Hydrocodone Rehab & Addiction Treatment

Written by Abby Doty

& Medically Reviewed by Benjamin Caleb Williams, RN

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Last Updated - 09/13/2023

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Updated 09/13/2023

Hydrocodone rehab is an addiction treatment that provides the tools and resources for those working to overcome a hydrocodone addiction. Hydrocodone rehab helps you stop using this opioid, provides long-term strategies for maintaining your abstinence and effectively manages your pain and other needs.

What Is Hydrocodone Rehab?

Hydrocodone rehab is a specialized addiction treatment program specifically for those addicted to hydrocodone. It offers several different resources for helping someone quit hydrocodone and provides them with the chance to develop relationships with others struggling with the same thing. This type of rehab provides tools like one-on-one therapy, group therapy and medication-assisted treatment to help people stop using hydrocodone for good.

Understanding Hydrocodone Addiction

Hydrocodone addiction develops because using it causes the release of chemicals in the brain that create pleasure. Each time you use hydrocodone, it reinforces the behavior, making you more likely to use it again. This positive feedback cycle is what creates addiction.

Signs of Hydrocodone Dependence

While addiction and dependence go hand-in-hand, they are two different things. Dependence occurs when the brain adjusts to the continuous presence of hydrocodone, making it necessary for hydrocodone to be present for it to function normally. Dependence is what causes withdrawal symptoms to occur when you stop using hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone Rehab Options

There are different types of hydrocodone addiction treatment options and levels of care depending on the needs of the individual. When choosing the type of treatment, the decision should be based on what will offer the individual the best opportunity for success in recovery. All other considerations, including job and family responsibilities, should be secondary. If an individual is not successful in recovery, all of those responsibilities will be in jeopardy.

Hydrocodone Detox and Withdrawal

To recover from hydrocodone addiction, people must start by ridding the brain and body of the drug. This process is known as detoxification, or detox. As the body clears the drug and its toxic metabolites, the brain is forced to readjust to the new conditions, leading to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

For many individuals, their fear of withdrawal symptoms is a major barrier to recovery. By participating in a medical detox program, people can reduce the discomfort of the process. Medically assisted detox involves using medical support to avert or reduce withdrawal symptoms and prevent the shock of detox on the brain and body.

Inpatient Hydrocodone Rehab

Inpatient drug rehab involves staying at a rehab facility during the entire treatment, with 24-hour support. Inpatient therapy is more intense than most other forms of rehab. It may be a good option for those who have tried to quit hydrocodone before or who have a more severe addiction.

Inpatient rehab has benefits that improve the transformative effects necessary for recovery, including:

  • Removal from the people, places and things associated with substance use and potential triggers
  • Removal from any toxic relationships or environments
  • Allowing for a more intensive, committed treatment regimen
  • Providing a social environment or a “culture of recovery”
  • Ensuring that participants have some solid recovery time before they are discharged
  • Inpatient treatment may be followed by a less intense “step-down” program, such as partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient therapy (IOP)

Partial Hospitalization for Hydrocodone Addiction

While the term “partial hospitalization” sounds extreme, it is actually less intense than inpatient rehab. A partial hospitalization program is halfway between inpatient and outpatient treatment, requiring the person being treated to stay during the day for treatment programs but allowing them to return home at night. This gives patients more freedom after hours than if they were in an inpatient program.

Partial hospitalization is good for those who want more intensive treatment but also don’t want to have to commit to staying at a treatment facility continuously. This type of program is appropriate for people who have a high likelihood of success and the ability to be more self-directed. The presence of a strong support system is also an important factor for success with a partial hospitalization program.

Outpatient Hydrocodone Rehab

Outpatient drug rehab involves living at home or in a sober living house and attending treatment activities during the day. Unlike partial hospitalization, the person undergoing rehab does not need to spend their entire day in rehab activities and can do what they want with any free time during the day. The intensity of the daytime treatment will depend on individual needs and the programs available at the outpatient facility.

Most people with a severe addiction will likely have better outcomes with a residential or inpatient program. However, outpatient rehab may be appropriate if:

  • The person’s physician is aware of the drug use and agrees with the outpatient treatment
  • The individual has already detoxed from the drug and is free of withdrawal effects
  • The drug use was mild or of short duration
  • The person has a safe, drug-free place to stay away from drug dealers and others who use substances
  • The person is strongly motivated to stop using
  • There is no co-occurring substance use or mental health disorder
  • There is a good support system in place
  • The person does not live alone
  • The cost of inpatient rehab is too high, making outpatient treatment a more viable option for some

Effective Treatments for Hydrocodone Addiction

The best treatments for hydrocodone addiction will depend on the needs of the individual. Treatment can involve counseling-type therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy or medication-assisted treatments. If the person recovering from hydrocodone addiction also has a mental health disorder, dual diagnosis treatment can be necessary.

Methadone or Buprenorphine Treatment

Treatment using methadone or buprenorphine is often helpful for those recovering from addiction to an opioid like hydrocodone. Both of these medications can help decrease cravings for hydrocodone and make it easier to avoid relapse. While methadone and buprenorphine can both help reduce cravings for hydrocodone, they can also be addictive. These medications are best used as part of a transition to complete abstinence, not as a long-term alternative to hydrocodone. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Hydrocodone Addiction

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly effective form of therapy that explores the underlying subconscious thoughts that influence behaviors, helping to bring them under conscious control. By better controlling these thoughts, those with a hydrocodone addiction will be better able to control their behaviors, helping them avoid relapse and continue their abstinence.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction

There is a close relationship between addiction and mental health problems. Addiction can increase the risk of mental health problems or make existing mental health problems worse. Mental health problems increase the risk of addiction. Because both conditions can make the other worse, it is important to treat addiction and mental health problems simultaneously. This is often referred to as dual diagnosis treatment or co-occurring disorders treatment and requires a specialized treatment approach.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Hydrocodone Rehab

Hydrocodone rehab will have its difficulties; however, well-designed rehab programs will support you through these challenges. Rehab is specifically designed to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The strategies and techniques you learn will help you recognize and cope with triggers, ultimately lessening the chance of relapse.

Overcoming Agitation During Rehab

For people addicted to hydrocodone, using the drug can be a means of coping with stress or difficulties. A good rehab program will help you recognize how your use of hydrocodone is actually a way of avoiding confronting difficulty in life and will help you learn new, healthier ways of coping.

Overcoming Hydrocodone Overdose Symptoms

Overdose is particularly dangerous when it involves opioids like hydrocodone. If someone overdoses on hydrocodone, it will cause them to become less aware of what is happening, eventually leading to complete loss of consciousness followed by the cessation of breathing. A person cannot overcome hydrocodone overdose symptoms by themselves. If you are with someone who is overdosing on hydrocodone or another opioid, you should immediately give them naloxone (Narcan) if it is available and call 911, providing first aid until help arrives.

Aftercare for Hydrocodone Rehab

After you have completed hydrocodone rehab, you will likely benefit from aftercare. This can involve getting ongoing support from your family, friends and others in recovery. Organizations like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are specifically designed to provide supportive aftercare that can help you carry on the benefits of successfully completing rehab.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is hydrocodone rehab right for you?

Only your doctor can definitively tell you if hydrocodone rehab is right for you. However, it is very likely ideal for you if you are struggling to stop using hydrocodone or find that you are continuing to use it despite the negative effects it has on your life. Hydrocodone rehab can help you achieve lasting sobriety and equip you with the resources that you need to succeed.

How can I tell if I or someone I know has a problem with hydrocodone?

Technically, it takes a doctor to definitively diagnose an opioid problem. There are clear indicators, however, that you or someone you know has a problem with hydrocodone. If someone is using hydrocodone other than how it was prescribed or is using hydrocodone they obtained without a prescription, it is a strong indicator of a problem. Additionally, if you or someone you know wants to stop using hydrocodone and can’t or is using it despite its negative effects, it indicates that a problem has likely developed.

What are the benefits of seeking professional help for hydrocodone addiction?

There are many tried and tested ways of improving your success when trying to overcome a hydrocodone addiction. Addiction professionals are equipped with the latest tools and knowledge necessary for you to achieve the results you want. Additionally, they also can help treat unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and make the entire process more comfortable. Ultimately, seeking professional help is the quickest, most comfortable and most effective way to quit hydrocodone for good.

View Sources

MedlinePlus. “Hydrocodone.” May 15, 2023. Accessed June 28, 2023.

Prater, Christopher D.; Zylstra, Robert G.; & Miller, Karl E. “Successful Pain Management for the Recovering Addicted Patient.” Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2002. Accessed June 28, 2023.

Drug Enforcement Administration. “Hydrocodone.” October 2019. Accessed June 28, 2023.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction.” November 2016. Accessed June 28, 2023.

MedlinePlus. “Dual Diagnosis.” October 2, 2019. Accessed June 28, 2023.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Drug Overdose.” June 6, 2023. Accessed June 28, 2023.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Methadone.” June 20, 2023. Accessed June 28, 2023.

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