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Surviving Your First Detox; What to Expect

I still remember the first time I detoxed from opiates. Back then it was heroin that I was kicking, and I had no idea what I was in for. Though the symptoms are very similar, I must say that withdrawing from vicodin (hydrocodone) is far far worse than the heroin. I’m not sure, but I believe it has something to do with the way vicodin is synthesized that makes it much more painful when it comes time to detox. Vicodin is a semi-synthetic derivative of opium. It is essentially codeine with a hydrogen atom attached to it. Scientists believed that by hydrogenizing the codeine molecule, they could make it easier on the stomach. Well I guess they didn’t account for what happens when it begins to leave the body during withdrawal.

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms
The stomach pains are the least of your worries. A full list of symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Inability to sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes

The list goes on and on…

If you’re going through detox for the first time, all of these symptoms are going to be foreign to you, and one hell of a shock. But, you must understand that the pain of going through it will only last for a few days. They may feel like the longest days of your life, but preparation will help you to deal with what’s to come. I personally believe that every detox should be approached with a decent amount of planning and preparation. You can’t expect to just “kick” your habit anywhere and at anytime; especially if you’ve been using heavily. Knowing what to expect will definitely help in that planning phase.

The first thing you must know is that you cannot by any means just detox while your going through your daily routine in life. For me it has been next to impossible trying to coordinate my withdrawals and my life at the same time. You’re just not going to be able to do it…period. Even if you have a mild detox, you’re still not going to want to conversate with anyone, and you sure as hell won’t be able to concentrate on getting anything done. So make sure you set a few days or even a full week aside to “clean out.”

Withdrawing from opiates is a very taxing process, so make sure that your are 100% positive that you want to go through with it. Put everything in place to make it your first and last time that you ever have to do something like this, because trust me, you only want to face down this demon once in your life…that’s it!

If you believe that you have an addiction to the drug, and it’s going to be hard for you to stay away, then seek help in the form of a support group or whatever you feel will assist you in staying sober. If you don’t feel like you’re addicted, you still want to make sure that you have some sort of support system around. You’re body and mind have become accustomed to the drug, and they will play every trick in the book to get you to use again. It’s much like fasting, but you have to stay strong. After a few days the cravings will subside and you can move on with your life.

The physical symptoms will vary from mild to intense depending on the size of your habit. Unlike alcohol and benzodiazepines, opiate withdrawal is pretty safe, as in you don’t run the risk of dying just by going through it. There is much speculation, but from what I have read there have been no conclusive reports of deaths related directly to vicodin or other opiate withdrawal. Even so, if you’re a very heavy user, you should either try and taper your dose down to something a bit more bearable, or check yourself into a supervised detox program.

In my next post, I’ll offer methods that I’ve used in the past to ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms making the process as easy as possible.


1 Kitty Mom { 11.03.12 at 1:35 pm }

To Southern Mom – hehe….yeah I am known to use the most powerful word at times! This week at work I could have used it several times!

2 Southern mom { 11.05.12 at 9:55 am }

I love a strong woman that stands up for herself and in your case she also stands up for others. I am all for dropping the F bomb when it’s necessary.
Carry on strong lady, you make a difference every day!

3 Kitty Mom { 11.09.12 at 11:01 am }

Thanks SM – gotta be strong when you have so many family members to take care of and worry about – and people on here are my extended family…..but it is slow these days….people move on and this is not the most interactive place these days…..You are a strong lady also and stong women enjoy each others company!

4 Southern mom { 11.12.12 at 7:35 am }

My thoughts are, it’s a good thing that this iste isn’t busy because I am forever hopeful that more and more addicts are getting the help they need and kicking the drugs/alcohol etc. and moving on with their lives. Unfortunately the holidays are coming up, biggest stress time of the year and more people take drugs to get through the stress mess.
Here’s hoping that this year is a calm year and everyone handles their stress in a non-addictive way!

5 Kitty Mom { 11.13.12 at 3:36 pm }

Holidays are stressfull and I used drugs to get through many years of them. Glad that part of my life is over and if there is anyone out there needing a shoulder to cry on or a person to laugh with, email me @ kittymom001@gmail.com. It is a long tunnel sometimes, but there is light at the end. I hope God blesses each one of you and I pray for his healing hand on the addicts out there who want to get clean. Love to all…..Kitty

6 Southern mom { 11.14.12 at 2:14 pm }

AMEN Ms Kitty!

7 momof3 { 11.16.12 at 9:21 pm }

I am a mom of 3. Have been fighting the opiate demons for years. I was taking 10-15 10mg hydros for 2 years and then got into the oxys 30, 15s, i went off cold turkey a few months ago and went 29 days but the gloomy no feeling feeling got to me and I started again until now. I am going to stop again, I mean I am done. However, I feel more vulnerable now than ever. I do not know if i will ever beat this. i just want to be a mom again.

8 Metoo { 11.27.12 at 12:20 am }

Yes, AMEN!!! Hi, ladies! I haven’t been to this sight in SOOOOO long! Southern Mom, how are you doing???? I haven’t heard from you in so long! Are you on Facebook yet?? Drop me a line if you wish—one email addy I don’t even check anymore-don’t write on that one!

Thank goodness for kicking that stuff. For everyone out there who is trying to kick it, YOU CAN DO IT!!! Miss Kitty is awesome-she is here for YOU. I need to make more of an effort too, because I know how much it means when others reach out to help.

Keep posting, and don’t stop believing!!!

9 Southern mom { 11.28.12 at 12:13 pm }

Hey Metoo, and hello again Ms Kitty, the holidays are dropping the bombs once again. Taking each day as it comes, chosing to fight only the battles that matter and keeping my faith that God loves us all and will be there for all of us, always!
I pray for eveyone on these sites, I have walked in your shoes and I have had many lessons learned. I will remain true to myself and do what I was put on this earth to do and God is by my side!
God bless you all and the holidays are for laughter and happiness!

10 Juanita { 12.18.12 at 6:17 am }

It’s been 24 hours since my last Norco. Was taking 10 before noon, then 3 after lunch. I’m stopping because I have to. I am a single mother of two , with a great job and family. I’ve been drinking lots of water. Taking benadryl to help me sleep. I just can’t get out of bed because I’m so cold. I cry, then stop. My head hurts so dam much. But I will not take another pill. I can’t believe something I loved so much turned on me. This website has really helped. I’m glad that I am not alone. I will beat this! Please pray for me?

11 jeff { 02.13.13 at 4:20 pm }

simple fix people. 5 days in detox. there treat you with suboxone. no side affects at all even after you leave.

12 Art { 06.09.13 at 6:26 am }

I heard that you’ll just have to withdrawal from suboxone now too. I’m about to go into the state run detox this week (it’s affordable) and was hoping someone could tell me how to prepare for that. Taper now? Take Supplements of any kind? Exercise? …in order to make it easier or less painful. Also, what do they give you there other than other drugs? Vitamin Supplements? Thanks in advance!

13 Frank { 06.18.13 at 6:54 am }

I’ve been taking percocet/vicodin for 3 years. Now, I’m unable to get them any longer. I tried to quit a few times before, but always failed. The worse part of withdrawal for me is where I can’t sit still. I have to almost be constantly moving. Picture someone just pacing throughout the house and they can’t stop. It’s brutal!
Has anyone gone through this?

14 Hadenough { 08.31.13 at 6:05 pm }

Frank, I know exactly what your going through. I just ran out of loratabs today and I’m sure I will be pacing the floor tonight. I have a nerve condition that makes my feet hurt to the point where I go for 2-3 days without sleep. I hate the fact that I have taken this crap for all these years but seems the only way I can sleep. I haven’t gotten anything from them in years except they knock the edge off thepain enough to sleep but when I have them, I eat em like M&Ms. The worst part for me besides the pain is the watering eyes and diarrhea. I’m just hoping the worst is over before I go back to work Tuesday! Good luck.

15 Kitty Mom { 09.02.13 at 8:33 pm }

Dear Hadenough. I feel for you. I wish there was a pain medication that worked as good as Vicodin that did not leave a person in such a state of craving and misery. Withdrawals are the worst and the fact that most of us still have the pain and anxiety that we had before starting the evil beast – well, that just doubles the agony. I was very lucky that I survived the addiction. It was not easy to stop and I did it out of necessity – cause I exhausted by supply and suppliers and was close to being caught for double dipping big time with multiple doctor sources and multiple presciptions. I have will be clean for three years come September 8th. If you wish to discuss, please email me at kittymom001@gmail.com.
I would be glad to discuss. The Thomas Recipe saved me!
Love and best of luck

16 Metoo { 09.06.13 at 4:46 pm }

Way to go, Miss Kitty!!!! Looks like we made it! 🙂

17 Kitty Mom { 09.08.13 at 5:48 am }

Thank you Miss Metoo – looks like we did! Thanks to you I made it three years….it was such a Blessing to have met you at the very time I did. Love you girl!

18 JOE { 09.08.13 at 5:15 pm }

Hey I have been trying to log onto the link you sent, no such luck. With that being said…It is such a thrill to see you KITTY, METOO, and those who are new..

I found this page back in May of 2009, I was in rough shape , and I let everybody know..

Surprisingly enough, others felt much the same..

I have been free from opiates since I got here…THAT IS JUST SO UNREAL, IT IS WELL REAL…







19 Metoo { 09.09.13 at 6:29 am }

We’ve got Barry Manilow and Buddy Holly on the page too!! Rock on us!!! 🙂
Kitty-I tried to get on this page yesterday, but alas, I could not. So first thing this morning, I am here to congratulate you! And me, and Joe, and so many others who have made it through…and there are more to come-I wish we all had a site that would be easier to get to. If anyone sets something up, let me know!!!!
Love and blessings to everyone!!

20 Jenny { 09.27.13 at 1:45 pm }

Well, here I am back after more than 18 months. All of you were my lifeline when I was recuperating from a broken leg and needing to finally get off a 3+ yr addition to norcos. I was on leave from work, confined to home, unable to walk, drive or do much else for myself and you all helped me so much, and here I am not learning the lessons of the past and back worse than where I began. This time instead of quitting because of immobility issues and my supply drying up, I’m doing it out of choice as stupid as that sounds. My habit is out of control, I’m terrified my liver will be dead in a matter of a few years if I keep on with what I’ve been doing. I hope you all will find the patience to invest in posting to an addict who couldn’t learn enough the first time. And last time I felt so great! I kicked with the help of kratom, and the months I had of being clean felt the best I had in years, looked the best I had in years, no puffy face, circles under the eyes. Getting on my knees tonight, using up my last of my supply of what has ballooned into 60 tabs of 10/325 per day. I know, I’ve been afraid to go to my MD for reglar checkups for fear of what my liver function tests would reveal. God and you all, please help me that this is the last.

21 Kitty Mom { 11.13.13 at 5:13 pm }

OMG Jenny – I am so sorry that I have not been around and now find you in such dire straights on Sept 27 and it is now October 13. I hope and pray that you are OK and stop back here again and are OK. You know that it is possible to overcome this because you have done it before. I hope that is the case. Please Please Please let me know if you are OK. Email me – kittymom001@gmail.com. I have been there honey and I know exactly what you are going through….the pain, the guilt, the fear. I pray you are all right.

22 jenny { 11.16.13 at 7:59 pm }

Bless you, bless you Kitty! I wimped out on that detox, suprisingly less than for lack of will than for not being able to take sick time off from a new job. My usage is so high this time that kratom did not touch it. My goal is to do so over Thanksgiving long weekend where I’ll have 5 days of misery all to myself. Seriously though this time around I am scared.

23 Metoo { 11.19.13 at 9:20 am }

Hang in there, Jenny…and remember that kratom WILL catch you at some point on your way down. Give it another go-kratom can be fickle…try, try again!

24 jenny { 11.19.13 at 11:39 am }

Metoo, can you give me the names of some good vendors? I had used kratom king, but they are now blocked by my home computers (sure as hell not going to order from work). Arena has premium bali only in the leaf form. Lookng for premium bali in powder that i can mix into apple sauce, etc. The capsules couldn’t get down w/out barfing out green all over my bathroom…sorry for the visual. I was able to get my hands on some detox meds like ativan and clonidine. Stupidly I had thought that planning a detox over a 3 day wkend last month would be sufficient, when by day 2 I was in the worst agony. Kitty, okay if I mail you questions? Thank you all, God bless you all.

25 jenny { 11.30.13 at 11:51 am }

Keep trying to post on “About” but not letting me through. Well took my last yellow pill almost 49 hours ago. I was able to get ahold of some clonidine and lorazepam and that is helping with sleep and the cold/hot sweats somewhat. Still with the aches and restless legs and diarhhea. Not comfortable by any means, but I think it helps stave off the cravings, which was what sent me back out last month when i tried doing cold turkey and couldn’t even make it 30 hours I was so mserable. I hate the hours seeem to go by so slowly but am trying to visualize my body getting healthy again, my children not having a mom who will be chronically sick or even dead in a few more years because of constant doping. I don’t expect anyone out here on
t giving weekend, but if anyone could should out words of wisdom would be like a lifetime to me.

26 jenny { 12.01.13 at 6:34 pm }

80 hours and counting. Forcing myself to do normal stuff. Attended church with my family this morning and made it thru just barely. DH drove me home to bed to continue recuperating from this “flu” and took the kids out. Able to ate something light. Changed the sheets for upteenth time in 3 days and collapsed on top when i was done. Tomorrow its back to work, come hell or high water. Tried not to doze too take the clonidine today so I wouldn’t doze as last night was totally sleepless night. Planning on taking 1/2 dose right before bed. Mantra continues I’m doing this for me. Before I lose my career. Before I lose my family. Before I lose my life. God please watch over me and guide me to do all the right things in the plan you have for me.

27 Metoo { 12.12.13 at 12:44 am }

Jenny!!! How are you doing??? I hope you check back-I hardly ever get to this site anymore…..
Praying for you tonight!!,

28 Jenny { 12.13.13 at 3:13 pm }

Thank you, meetoo! 15 days and counting and have enormous support from Kittymom as well. Have been fairly miserable, I think due to my high usage (60#/day, YES, that would be 600mg hydro and 18,000mgs of tylenol). But today I really feel like I’ve turned a corner. My appetite is returning, sleep unfortunately is not. No sweats since yesterday, digestive system slowly returning to normal. Energy and daytime fatigue is constant. For anyone out there struggling or contemplating, do it now! Kitty keeps telling me each day of misery is one more day closer to normal (sleeping again, for example!). These pills are the DEVIL. They hook you in and requires a very strong will, but anyone can do it with the right level of commitment. I just hope this is it for me, no relapse or backsliding. Thank you for your prayers, Meetoo, I think they’re helping because today is the best day I’ve felt in a long, long time w/out being high. And the guilt of using and hiding and spending and copping is gone. Serenity for today.

29 Kitty Mom { 01.11.14 at 3:24 pm }

Jen and everyone else embarking of this train ride to the other side. It is a lonesome hard journey but guess what – you will get to yur destination and there will be birds chirping and blue skys and you will be a new you. Don’t confuse it with who you are today. It will be different. Meet you on the other side….you can email me at kittymom001@gmail.com – I would love to hear from you!

30 Metoo { 01.13.14 at 9:30 am }

Keep up the great work, Jenny!!! I am proud of you!

Prayers go out to everyone reading this who are caught in the grasp of this addiction!

31 Southernmom { 04.21.14 at 9:14 am }

Hello group, Kitty, Metoo, nice to see that you both are still out there sharing your experiences and offering help!
Life has been a journey and it is so much better sober!
Good luck to everyone that comes here, this is a great first step to making a better life. My God grace you all with his amazing love, and endless blessings!

32 Southernmom { 05.02.14 at 8:24 am }

I find it really interesting about those who post on this site. After years of coming here for help, that I recieved in multitude, no one has checked in on those that have come here for your help and guidance.
Was it something I said???…

33 Kitty Mom { 05.18.14 at 5:52 pm }

Hi Southernmom – I rarely come her anymore and came here on a whim just now to see if there was any activity….which there rarely is. I am truly sorry if I missed what was said, glad you posted, and probably should check back more often to see if the occasional new poster or an old favorite just happenned to stop by here and post. By the way, I finally saw your e-mail and wrote back. Hope everything is OK with you and glad to here you are sober. It is amazing, isn’t it? Love all the people I met on here and seems they have all moved on. Would love to see them all here again and chat! Love u all – you know who I mean! Love

34 Metoo { 07.29.14 at 12:17 am }

HEY!!!! Southernmom!!! I just stopped in on a whim tonight too!!!! So glad to see you here!!!!! Where have you been??? Do you still have the same email address???? Mine has changed, as has my last name…:). Drop a line-let’s get back in touch!!!!

35 Metoo { 07.29.14 at 12:28 am }

I can’t seem to get to the “about” page, so I am HOPING someone will send me an email and get me up to speed om the happenings!!!!!!!

I love you all, my friends, and think of you often. Everyone who has played a part in my renewed life holds a special place in my heart…

And for those undertaking the challenge of being FREE, keep going—-it’s worth it!! You CAN do this!!!

36 Southernmom { 07.29.14 at 12:15 pm }

Hey Metoo! Still same e-mail…NEW LAST NAME??? Let’s get in touch, looking forward to hering from you!

37 Metoo { 07.30.14 at 11:03 pm }

Did you get my email????

38 Southernmom { 08.15.14 at 8:56 am }

Metoo; NO I didn’t can you try again, I’ve had a problem with my computer

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