How Long Does Hydrocodone & Vicodin Stay in Your System?

Hydrocodone & Vicodin Addiction
Addiction Recovery
Addiction Treatment

Vicodin (a.k.a. hydrocodone) is a pain relief prescription that's been constantly abused by people, whether for recreation or medical use. We at Transcend Recovery Community are here to find out more details on how it lasts in the body and how people can receive help if they are suffering from an ongoing addiction problem.

How Long Does Hydrocodone and Vicodin Last in the Body and by Type of Drug Tests?

There are many ways to detect hydrocodone on how long it may stay in the body, and one of them is through drug testing. Every drug test, while different when it comes to the duration length, may determine if Vicodin and hydrocodone stay in your system. It's worth noting that test results may sometimes yield false positives, that's why sometimes you may need another drug test just to ensure that the results are verified.

Hydrocodone and Vicodin in Urine Tests

Considering the half-life of the substance, you may find that urine tests may show a result from up to three days after the last dose.

Hydrocodone and Vicodin in Hair Follicle Tests

A hair follicle drug test may find traces of hydrocodone for up to 3 months and maybe some of the most reliable gauges when it comes to identifying "how long does hydrocodone stay in your system," compared to urine tests. You'll find that most American addiction centers or organizations use hair tests to determine that.

Hydrocodone and Vicodin in Saliva Tests

Saliva tests may have one of the shortest detection times as traces of the substance will only be there for 12 to 36 hours after the last dose.

Hydrocodone and Vicodin Detection in Blood Tests

Apart from saliva, urine test, or hair test, a blood test is a common option used by American addiction centers to determine the presence of drugs in the body (to test positive). However, it does not work for this type of substance.

What are Hydrocodone and Vicodin?

a bottle of Hydrocodone & Vicodin in white color on a wooden table

Known better as a prescription opioid medication for pain relief, the drug comes in many known brand names, one of them being Vicodin. Vicodin is a semi-synthetic opioid used to treat short-term pain. Currently, it is recognized as a schedule ii controlled substance by American addiction centers and drug agencies.

Hydrocodone is derived from poppy seeds. While the drug comes in two versions (the long-acting and short-acting), people use the shorter-acting variant for substance abuse. Each tablet may contain 300 mg of Acetaminophen with varying dosage levels of hydrocodone, namely 5 mg, 7.5 mg, and 10 mg.

While different drugs exhibit several half-lives, Hydrocodone has a half-life of about four hours. Always remember that the factors on "how long does hydrocodone stay in your system" varies from person to person.

Determining Factors on How Long They Stay in Your System

There are many determining factors one must consider, especially if someone has been suffering from drug addiction for a very long time. American addiction is influenced by many factors. And if you're undergoing rehabilitation, the elimination process might be affected by "how long does hydrocodone stay in your system."

In general, major factors at play may include someone's age and overall fitness, their body's metabolism, and the amount and frequency of drug use, resulting in one's addiction. Here are some of the points you have to take heed of, especially for people who are planning to "clean" their system.

Frequency and Amount of drug used - As a rule of thumb for drug addiction, the more frequent you use a drug, the longer it stays in your system. Regardless of whether each of our body systems varies, it will still yield the same result.

Overall fitness - If you're in a bad shape, such as being overweight with little to no exercise, expect the substance to cling to your fatty tissues making it harder to be removed from your system. People with slower metabolisms may also take a longer time to eliminate half of the substance in their bodies compared with healthier ones with faster metabolic processes.

Built - Genetics play a huge role when a person takes their rehabilitation in place. People born with poor organ function, especially in their kidneys and liver, will understandably excrete the contents hydrocodone has for a longer time.

Other drugs in your system are caused by addiction - people who are suffering from multiple addiction problems (alcoholism and drug abuse) may have a case of co-occuring disorders. If that's the case, you would have problems getting rid of the drug in your system, compared to other people who only take hydrocodone alone. A small dose may variably alter the results too.

So how do you rid yourself of hydrocodone? There is no quick fix for this problem. It's not just merely hydrating yourself more until it's flushed away by your system. You must have a conscious effort and commitment to stop your addiction before it worsens.

Opiates stay in your system differently with half-life playing a huge factor. Always remember that it takes at least four to six hours after the last dose. However, traces of the hydrocodone may be found lasting for months on end, given that it is a strong opioid drug.

What Happens When You Stop Taking Them?

As with any addictive substances, such as Oxycontin (Oxycodone), our bodies can experience many withdrawal symptoms the moment we stop taking hydrocodone or Vicodin. As this is a potent opioid drug, forming dependence will sure take a toll on our system which will affect how we respond to post-drug use.

The withdrawal symptoms may start as very subtle but can elevate to strong, uncomfortable, and even excruciating physical manifestations that may affect someone's overall mental health. To better understand what those are, we have listed down the most common withdrawal symptoms that one might encounter should they cease taking hydrocodone.

Mental health manifestations - due to severe pain and discomfort brought about by these recurring effects, people's mental health may be severely affected.

  • anxiety
  • agitation

Digestive system symptoms - it's not unusual for people suffering from symptoms brought about by ceased substance abuse to have gastrointestinal issues, especially when seeking treatment. They may include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain

Other physical symptoms - people withdrawing from hydrocodone or Vicodin may experience flu-like symptoms such as:

  • joint and muscle pain
  • nausea
  • runny nose
  • fever
  • dilated pupils
  • high blood pressure (caused by pain)

People who are suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms must inform their healthcare professionals to better adjust their medication management program. Additionally, drug withdrawal, especially for severe versions of hydrocodone addiction, must not be done abruptly so as not to overwhelm the system, especially if the body is used to a high dose of the drug.

About Prescription Drugs Misuse and Addiction Treatment

While drugs like hydrocodone or morphine are commonly prescribed to manage chronic pain, addiction becomes rampant, as these habit-forming drugs alter the mental state of someone using them.

Here are the common reasons why people succumb to addiction or form a strong dependence on these drugs.

Trauma - people who have undergone a sad and dark past may fall prey to PTSD and other trauma-related issues. Sadly, some people resort to drug addiction as their only way of escape.

Family history - it is a known fact that a history of addiction in the family will have an impact on people. 46% of people in an American addiction survey have reported that they dealt with substance abuse in their family.

Stress and external pressures - Not everyone can deal with stress and high-pressure situations successfully. People cope with these problems from their careers, school, or relationships by sometimes resorting to things like hydrocodone addiction. One dose of this drug may be the gateway to an addiction problem that may haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Instant gratification/recreation - for some people, one dose may be their ticket to achieving the ultimate high. Maybe it was boredom that triggered them, or perhaps it was just their general curiosity about getting satisfaction by using drugs.

You can avail treatment for your addiction via treatment centers that are set up to rehabilitate people who have lost their way from addiction and bounce back healthier than ever. Here are the common treatment options you might get if you want to recover:

  • Individualized Intensive Program (IIP) - This three-phase program lasts for a good 90 days and is aimed to help the individual to get better faster through one-on-one sessions and individual mentoring on top of supportive living
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy - Individuals undergo rigid behavioral therapy sessions aligned to help them correct their bad habits and adopt a more positive and forward-looking mindset.
  • Counseling - Having someone such as a mental health mentor while on a recovery home allows for someone to talk about their innermost feelings regarding their addiction in a safe space, helping them to come to terms better with their situation.

How To Get Help from Hydrocodone and Vicodin Drug Abuse?

There are plenty of ways to seek guidance and receive help from people, but it must first be initiated by you or the person involved. There must be a commitment from the individual to long-term sobriety and rehabilitation on a sober living community.

They must wholeheartedly and willingly accept the recovery program. Otherwise, they may just relapse like others before them. If you or someone you know is interested in receiving addiction treatment, don't hesitate to reach out and contact Transcend Recovery Community's recovery counselors right away.

Transcend Recovery Community

Transcend Recovery Community family of sober living homes provides a safe place for those undergoing mental health and addiction treatment to live with like-minded peers. Our community-based approach to sober living (similarly to a halfway house) facilitates an open and welcoming environment, where members, staff and team can provide support and encouragement on the path to a sober and healthy life. Transcend's Los Angeles sober living homes are located in some of the most iconic areas of the city, filled with luxurious and upscale amenities, providing plenty to do for those in our transitional housing community.

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