Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
32k Members
5082295 tn?1371254511

how long does it take to get off vicodone & how to?

I've been on & off hydrocodone for 2yrs (on more than off..starting bc of two knee surgerys in the past 2ys now can't stop completely) . I've never taken (regularly) more than 3 tens a day. I've been thru withdraws b4 but only made it a couple days bc the leg cramps were unbearable. (That's the worst besides anxiety) & being so fatigued. Plse if any1s been thru this I need help. I also take valium at night so that helps..but other than that idk what to do to get off these & really need to. Ive tapered off as much as I could but I'm gonna be out probably tomorrow. so any advice? More the withdraws & how to keep myself from taking them again..ever. thanks
91 Responses
4810126 tn?1503946335
Hey there psychdegree! Thanks for reaching out.

I couldn't agree more with both ariley13 & kyle505 -- They are covering two different angles of this. You must be prepared to do absolutely everything it takes to get & stay clean. That's simple fact. Nothing else will work. You have to really want it.

What ariley13 is referencing is opiate-induced Hyperalgesia: This might really help you to understand -- a Wiki link explaining it:


You can do this if you want to, my friend! We're pulling for you.

5347058 tn?1381192026
Hi and welcome! It is possible to get off of vicodin. I have 50 days off of them today. The withdrawls are the worst for the first 3-5 days. You are on a fairly low dose, so the withdrawl symptoms shouldn't last too long. Main thing you can do is stay hydrated. There is a link at the bottom of the page for the thomas recipe. It has all kinds of good vitamins and supplements that help lessen wds. Take hot baths with epsom salts. That will help you relax, help restless legs, and also help draw the toxins out. Be sure that you cut off your access to the pills. Whether it is a doctor or a dealer, you won't make it if you have access to them. Also, check into NA/AA, or counseling. Aftercare will help you to maintain your sobriety after the wds are over. Stay on this site for support and encouragement. We have all either been through it, or are currently going through it. We are here for you. You are not alone.
5082295 tn?1371254511
Thanks sooo much for the fast response! I never saw myself as an addict but I guess taking it w out a cript & wd's shows. I've been trying so hard for I'd say 4-5 months to just stop but once I do it seems like more comes around & I get them..saying every time..I'm going to use these to taper off & quit. After the 3rd time now doing it I think I don't have the power to do that w out taking them. I am in real pain..its not just for the high or to stop the wd feeling, having knee pain & bursitis which a month ago doc gave me 40 5's as a week supply (1-2 every for hrs) took it as it said. I never thought I'd b like this. B4 I took them regularly, I only took them on occasion when I had pain. Now its when the tinys pain starts etc. I hate I can't stop now.
5347058 tn?1381192026
A lot of us have legitimate pain. I have a crippled back and had a script for vicodin. I never bought them on the street or took more than my prescribed amount. I found I was dependent on them and they didn't really help anymore. I could feel the addiction starting to take hold. It is very hard to quit, but it can be done. I think you will be surprised how much better your pain is once off the meds. Our brains trick us into thinking we are in more pain than we actually are so we will take more pills. I was taking 6-8 10mg vicodin a day. I went cold turkey and did it in a semi truck! My bf is a truck driver and I am on the road with him. If I can do it, so can you!
5082295 tn?1371254511
Yeah I absolutely agree! The meds barely help & sometimes I realize when I stop then start takin them again I think my actual pain is worse but the w drawles are gone. I need to c a doc about this bursitis & c if they can treat it w pain management none narcotics tho..bc those obviously aren't helping or ill just need more. It's just not worth it..wish my nervous system thought so too!
1970885 tn?1435864028
You are the only one who can stop putting pills in your mouth. When you stop using, you get clean. There is no other way. Now, there are things that you can do to move you along the road to recovery, but you have to really want to stop. And being out of pills tomorrow isn't a great reason. Will you be getting a refill in the future - do you have access to meds?
5082295 tn?1371254511
I'm suppose to get a refill but almost to scared to get it bc I don't want to keep going like this..I'm trying to taper but that doesn't seem to completely stop. Plus I soon will not get refills unless the doc sees no other way..the pain is bad but by taking it like the other person said u need more & more & then it really stops working anyway
1970885 tn?1435864028
Tell your doc. IF you have legit pain issues then you may, in fact, need some sort of medication. However, if you're abusing it, then your doc needs to get involved. You can't self medicate; it will only push you into dependence on pills. Tell your doc.
Avatar universal
Hi psychdegree

Many of us on here are chronic pain sufferers and have found natural methods to control our pain.  We were "tricked" by the drugs and believed that they were the only way to reduce or eliminate the pain.   The longer we were on them the worse our brain became.

If you truly want to quit tell your doc.  But you have to really want to stop.
Have you had enough?

5082295 tn?1371254511
hey guys! Thanks so much for the replies! I am prescribed these but every month I run out a little more sooner each time bc as most of us know, our bodies continue to need more of this awful mess. But Im on them temporarily so I wont have anymore. At all. & b4 when I ran out like I said I went thru the w/d symptoms & that really scares me. Also I "know" I will be in pain so its like a catch 22 kind of. I believe after this (bc this doc is treating only my hip not all the other issues) I am going to some type of specialist (don't know who deals with pains all over so may be just my general doc, whos a registered pharmacist too) & see what he thinks. He's been my doc for years & even goes to our family's church & spoke at my uncles funeral. He has never prescribe me anything for pain & tries not to. So I think I can trust his opinion. But I don't know how long it will take to get in & I also don't know when these w/d will happen. As this doc said I need to tapper, which Ive done my best in the past 2 weeks (slipping every now & then) but he said regardless bc I have been on them this long I will have w/d symptoms. But I also don't think he realizes I have b4 when I ran out & they weren't just minor (tho thank goodness I had no throwing up or didn't have to go to the bathroom at all..but everything else was a mess) I don't know all this is scary esp trying to tell anyone I know bc I don't want them thinking Im a druggy. I have my B.S in psychology, and I don't drink or anything & for someone to know this would be very upsetting to me. So I don't know if I am in denial or that Im not addicted or I am, but have a cript, or what. Bc theres no way I could think of my self as an addict, walking around looking for my next fix and not be in a depressive state. Just need some positive feed back bc Im really not hiding this (from you) but I know somethings gotta give I cannot be on these forever. Thanks again for ALL your help!
Don't feel bad.  I'm a Christian and I go to church and was prescribed hydrocodone when I started having severe back problems.  Went to the back surgeon and he did and MRI and told me I needed back surgery.  That was 3 years ago because of heart issues that kept me from having the surgery.  So now 3 years later I'm still on pain meds, but 3 days ago I went cold turkey.  I feel horrible, I mean absolutely horrible but I'm determined to be off these.  I even gave the rest of the pain meds to my sister and told her to take care of them and destroy them so I wouldn't be tempted.  I did not ask to be dependent on any pain meds it just happened and I am like you!  I feel awful and don't want anyone to know but this is something I will have to get over.  I've started making a journal of everyday and what I'm going through trying to get off, hoping I may be able to help others with this problem that they too didn't ask for.  I pray you'll not feel bad but realize this pain medication is given too freely and people aren't aware just how badly it can effect you.  Same thing for this medication they are giving for depression.  It is worse getting off that more than the pain meds.  My mind has gone blank and I cannot think of it but just don't feel bad.  It is happening to many, many people.  I would say there are many people in your church that have had or they are going through the same thing.
1416133 tn?1351126817
We need to remove the SHAME associated with being an "addict"!!  Enough already.. it happens to the best of us and all we can do is (hopefully) realize the problem and do what we need to do to fix it.

And don't get me wrong, that takes a lot of work.  But the LAST thing you need to be thinking about is what "others" will think of you.  All that matters, right now, is that you find a way to become well, whatever that takes.  It's not an easy road, but one worth traveling if we get a good plan in place and commit ourselves to a better life.

Hang in there - where are you now in your taper?  And when do you plan to quit for good?  This forum can be a huge support for you right about now, so welcome.  I'm glad you found your way back to this place.  :)  (and I promise, you will be too!)
5082295 tn?1371254511
Im now down to between 3-3 1/2 of 5mgs a day. This can be kind of confusing of how I was suppose to take them to explain what the starting amount was. So ok...I was prescribed 5mg hydrocodone, its said I could take 1-2 every 6 hours. Which meant I could take either just 3 5mg every 6 hours or 6 5mg a day. I ended up doing both not 6 every day but normally around 4-5 was my average of the 5's. (equaling 6 pills which made it 10mgs) So I've cut it in half, never taking 6 pills a day (15mg I think it'd equal too) But like I said it seems if I get lower than 3 (bc ive tried doing like one in the morning, half at lunch half when I got off work) the w/d's still happen. & I know I use to say the same to ppl..addiction is a disease one that needs to be treated in a healthy way not a shameful way. But for some reason I cant see myself as that person Ive talk to who was/has been an addict. So where do I go from here? B4 I was in pain I did enjoy taking them every now & then but could always stop. But now bc of the pain ive been in I thought this was what I need now, I need my God and if not for Him I'd just be taking what ever I could get my hands on..but seems like I still don't know what to do right now at this moment. If the pills r in front of me, esp if I am in pain I will take them. :( just at a loss
Have an Answer?
Top Addiction Answerers
495284 tn?1333897642
City of Dominatrix, MN
Avatar universal
phoenix, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.