How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?

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How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System

Hydrocodone is a highly addictive opioid. It is an active ingredient in several prescription painkillers, including Vicodin. Doctors may prescribe hydrocodone for patients with moderate to severe pain.

Like other opioids, hydrocodone binds to receptors in the brain in areas related to pain control. It affects the central nervous system (CNS) and interferes with pain signals reaching the brain.

People who misuse hydrocodone may become physically dependent on it. People with hydrocodone require comprehensive treatment. Treatment for hydrocodone addiction typically starts with a medically-supported detox program.

But how long does hydrocodone stay in your system once you’ve stopped taking it? This article will explore how long drug tests can detect hydrocodone. You will also learn what to expect during hydrocodone detox.

Contact the team at Archstone Behavioral Health now to learn about our treatment programs. Our intake specialists can answer your questions, verify insurance, and set up an intake assessment as quickly as possible.

How Long Do the Effects of Hydrocodone Last?

Typically, doctors advise people to take a dose of hydrocodone every four to six hours. This ensures people will stay on top of their pain and maintain a constant level of comfort.

The pain-relieving effects of hydrocodone wear off before the medication is out of your system. Measuring the half-life of a drug is one reliable way to determine how long a drug’s effects will last. The half-life of a drug is the amount of time it takes for your body to eliminate half of it.

The average half-life of hydrocodone is 3.8 hours. Metabolism, gender, and other factors can affect how long it takes to eliminate drugs. The actual time it takes to eliminate hydrocodone can vary from person to person.

However, medical professionals advise that it can take up to 24 hours for your body to fully clear all hydrocodone from your system. Drug tests may be able to detect it in the body for much longer.

How Long Can Drug Tests Detect Hydrocodone?

Drug testing can detect the presence of hydrocodone in different parts of the body. Here is an overview of how long drug testing can detect hydrocodone.

Urine testing

Urine testing can detect hydrocodone for up to four days after your last dose. Urine testing is the most common form of drug screening in medical settings and workplace testing.

Saliva testing

Saliva testing may be able to detect hydrocodone for 12 to 36 hours after your last dose.

Hair testing

Hair testing may be able to detect hydrocodone for up to 90 days after you take your last dose.

What Factors Affect How Long Hydrocodone Stays in Your System?

Many factors can affect how long the effects of hydrocodone last and how quickly your body eliminates it. One of the most basic factors is the type of hydrocodone you are taking.

Short-acting hydrocodone’s effects typically last for a shorter period. Long-acting hydrocodone releases a smaller amount of the drug into your system over a longer period.

Other factors that can influence how long hydrocodone stays in your system include:

  • Weight and body composition
  • Liver function
  • The dose of opioid drugs you take
  • Other medications you take
  • How long you’ve been taking hydrocodone
  • Metabolism
  • If you drink alcohol
  • Your general physical health

Drinking alcohol while taking hydrocodone can increase the amount of time your body requires to eliminate it. It also increases the risk of a life-threatening overdose.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Withdrawal Last?

Hydrocodone is an opioid. Opioid drugs can cause euphoria and relaxation. They are highly addictive.

People may misuse hydrocodone because of its pleasurable effects. Hydrocodone abuse includes:

  • Using a larger dose than prescribed
  • Taking it differently than prescribed, such as crushing and snorting pills
  • Taking it more often than prescribed
  • Using it for longer than your doctor told you to
  • Taking hydrocodone without a prescription

People who misuse hydrocodone may become physically dependent on it. When people with hydrocodone dependence suddenly stop taking it, they may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. These include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Chills and goosebumps
  • Headache
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive sweating
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Intense cravings for opioids

These symptoms can be so uncomfortable that people may relapse before their bodies can fully detoxify.

People with hydrocodone addiction require comprehensive treatment, beginning with a medical detox program. A medically-supported detox may include:

  • Medications to reduce cravings and other withdrawal symptoms
  • Emotional support
  • A secure environment
  • Round-the-clock access to treatment and support
  • Holistic care, including nutrition support, exercise, mindfulness, and more

A detox program provides the supervision, treatment, and support people need to have a safe, complete detoxification from hydrocodone.

Find Treatment Now

If you or someone you love struggles with hydrocodone abuse or addiction, effective treatment is available at Archstone Behavioral Health. Contact our intake specialists now to learn about our comprehensive detox and treatment programs.