How to Stop Taking Vicodin
Vicodin is a dangerous drug that should be taken seriously if a person has developed dependence or addiction. For longtime users of the drug, expectations should be set for the emergence of withdrawal symptoms. Vicodin withdrawal symptoms can last a long time. Learn what to expect and how to stop taking Vicodin.
Can I Just Stop?
A person may stop taking Vicodin at any time and if the individual wants to get better, it is best to follow the doctor’s advice to always seek medical advice prior to quitting Vicodin. Other factors may complicate the process and an individual should never just stop taking the drug without first seeking advice and help. An extended period of time using Vicodin will result in dependence on hydrocodone, the opioid analgesic in Vicodin. Opioids like hydrocodone produce strong withdrawal side effects, making it harder to quit Vicodin.
The dangerous side effects of quitting may include:
- Erratic moods
- Extreme depression
Suicide is another known risk of quitting Vicodin suddenly due to the change in the brain’s chemistry that takes place when using Vicodin.
What Happens When You Decide to Get Off Vicodin?
If a person has taken Vicodin for a while, the individual must be careful not to stop suddenly. Without Vicodin, the body has a hard time functioning normally. The person will become physically dependent on hydrocodone, the main ingredient in Vicodin. When stopping Vicodin, a period of withdrawal can occur but as the drug is stopped the body will slowly get back to normal and is no longer necessary to keep Vicodin in the body to function. Withdrawal can happen as early as four hours post the last dose so support is critical during this period of time.
How to Quit Taking Vicodin
A person may quit taking Vicodin many ways including:
- Suddenly: stopping without the help of a doctor. Opioids create strong reactions and impulses in the body. Stopping suddenly can result in extreme depression. People who stop this way may risk suicide.
- Cold Turkey: it is recommended a person be seen by a doctor of the facility to aid in the process but going cold turkey is different for every person and some succeed. Vicodin withdrawal is seldom fatal but there are higher risks to it helps to have some tapering done to gradually reduce dosage for safety and comfort.
The safest way to stop taking Vicodin is with the help of a doctor to taper medication gradually. This will require monitoring in a hospital or facility if withdrawal is severe. High abuse potential of opioids may necessitate the need for additional help in quitting.
If you know a young person addicted to Vicodin or other substances, call us to find out how we can help you seek support and treatment options best suited to your loved one.