Table of Contents

The Basics of Hydrocodone Rehabilitation

This guide was written to provide an overview of the hydrocodone rehabilitation process as well as to offer helpful resources for persons recovering from hydrocodone addiction.

The hydrocodone rehabilitation process often begins with an orientation to the treatment facility. During the orientation, the individual undergoes an assessment to determine if there are any specific medical or psychological needs that need to be addressed during treatment. Once this assessment is complete, the individual goes through the initial detoxification period, which is when hydrocodone is eliminated from the body.

After the detoxification period, the user receives a variety of services, including one-on-one counseling and group therapy. Counseling helps users develop better coping skills and correct negative thinking patterns, and group therapy can give individuals the support they need to stay sober.

Description of the Four Steps of the Rehab Process

For more information, read our guide to the rehab process.

What Makes Hydrocodone Rehabilitation Difficult?

Hydrocodone is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for addiction. According to the 2019 World Drug Report, the global supply of hydrocodone reached 25,000 kilograms in 2016. The widespread availability of hydrocodone makes it difficult for some users to abstain. Some physicians have also been prescribing hydrocodone instead of stronger opioids, making it easier for individuals to obtain this substance.

One of the reasons it’s so difficult to recover from hydrocodone addiction is because hydrocodone works directly on the reward center of the brain. This substance relieves pain and makes the user feel calmer and more relaxed. Some users even experience a sense of euphoria while taking hydrocodone, making it easier to cope with stress. Once a user starts to rely on hydrocodone for relaxation and stress relief, it’s difficult to stop using.

The Unique Struggle of Hydrocodone Addicts
  • attaches to opioid receptors in the brain, making the user feel more relaxed.
  • activates the reward center of the brain, which can cause hydrocodone cravings.
  • causes severe withdrawal symptoms, making it difficult to stop using.
  • helps some users cope with stress, causing them to rely on the substance to relax and stay calm.

Hydrocodone Rehabilitation Statistics

Lunesta Treatment Admissions by Gender

52.7% Male
47.3% Female

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that in 2015:

Demographics of Individuals Seeking Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction

According to a 2017 SAMHSA report that charts admissions to and discharges from publicly funded substance use treatment facilities, men are more likely to seek treatment for opioid abuse, which includes hydrocodone. The gender breakdown of treatment admissions for opioids was 52.7% male and 47.3% female. While hydrocodone addiction occurs in all age groups, the most common age group admitted to a treatment facility for opioid use was individuals aged 25 to 34, with 35 being the average age of all individuals from all age groups who are seeking rehabilitation.

Opioid Treatment Admissions Percentages by Age Group, 2017 (Opioids Other Than Heroin)
Age at the Time of Treatment Admission Percentage of Opioid Treatment Admissions
12-17 0.4%
18-24 10.4%
25-34 44.9%
35-44 25.4%
45-54 12.1%
55-64 5.9%
65+ 0.9%

Hydrocodone Detoxification and Withdrawal Process

Hydrocodone addiction recovery starts with an initial detoxification period in which hydrocodone is eliminated from the user’s body. This substance has a half-life of four to six hours, which means most users will eliminate half of the hydrocodone from their bodies within this timeframe. Elimination may take longer in some users, especially individuals who have chronic medical conditions and those who have used hydrocodone for a long time.

If withdrawal symptoms persist for more than two weeks, they’re classified as post-acute symptoms. Depending on the individual’s history of hydrocodone use, post-acute withdrawal symptoms may last for up to a year. How long it takes to complete the withdrawal process also depends on the individual’s health history.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Body Mind
Short-Term Symptoms Sweating
Excessive tearing
Runny nose
Difficulty sleeping
Excessive yawning
Muscle aches
Mood swings
Long-Term Symptoms Enlarged pupils
Abdominal pain/cramping
Mood swings

Hydrocodone withdrawal can cause serious heart problems

In some users, withdrawing from opioids like hydrocodone can cause a condition called stress cardiomyopathy. This condition puts extra stress on the heart, damaging the chamber responsible for pumping much of the oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. In individuals who develop stress cardiomyopathy, the risk of heart attack increases.

Withdrawing from hydrocodone increases the risk of seizures

When a user stops taking hydrocodone, its effects on the nervous system wear off, which can cause seizures and other problems with the brain or nerves. Individuals who have seizures while withdrawing from hydrocodone may sustain serious injuries.

Hydrocodone withdrawal increases the risk for sudden death

Some users experience uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea while withdrawing from hydrocodone. If these individuals do not replace lost fluids by drinking plenty of water or other beverages, they can develop life-threatening dehydration, putting them at risk for sudden death.

Hydrocodone Detoxification Medications

To ease the symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal, some users take supportive medications. This makes the withdrawal process safer and more comfortable, and it also improves the chances that a user will stay sober. Anti-diarrheal medications and metoclopramide may be used to treat digestive symptoms like diarrhea and nausea. Medications may also be prescribed to help an individual sleep or relieve stomach pain.


For more information about withdrawal, read our guide on Hydrocodone Addiction.

Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved several medications to help individuals recover from hydrocodone addiction. These medications — buprenorphine and methadone — work in different ways, but they can both help an individual avoid relapse. Buprenorphine helps reduce cravings in users with a hydrocodone addiction that can be labeled moderate or severe. Methadone also reduces cravings, and it can help ease withdrawal symptoms, making it a good option for some users. Despite the benefits of methadone, it shouldn’t be used by people with liver damage, respiratory problems, or alcohol use disorder.

Behavioral therapies can be used to complement supportive medications, reducing the risk of relapse. These therapies can help individuals overcome negative thought patterns, improve their coping skills, and learn how to relieve stress without turning to substance use.

Rehabilitation Settings

Within either an inpatient or outpatient setting, treatments such as detoxification services, behavioral therapies, and medication-assisted treatments are offered for varying lengths of time.

Inpatient treatment involves living full time (including overnight) at a treatment facility for a set period of time. Outpatient treatment involves scheduled appointments at a facility in which you are free to come and go. Within each category, there are several distinctions.

Lunesta Treatment Programs
Setting Type of Treatment Description Duration Time Commitment
Inpatient Short-Term Residential Intensive treatment, sometimes in a hospital setting. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 14-30 days Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:
Long-Term Residential Intensive treatment in a non-hospital setting, most often a therapeutic community with other patients. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 3-12 months Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:
Partial Hospitalization Intensive treatment in a hospital setting. Patients do not stay overnight. Considered inpatient due to the hospital setting. Extensive services are provided and require a near full-time commitment every week. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 14-30 days Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:
Outpatient Intensive Day Treatment Extensive services of an inpatient program but patients return home each day following treatment. After completion, patients often transition to less intensive counseling. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 3-4 months Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:


Counseling Both individual counseling and group counseling focus on short-term behavioral goals to develop coping strategies. Therapies offered are moderate. Medication-assisted treatment is not available. As long as desired Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:
Support Groups Self-help groups center on maintaining abstinence after another form of treatment. Typically meet one day a week for 1-2 hours. As long as desired Hours Per Day:
Days Per Week:

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapy for substance addiction seeks to identify and manage addictive behaviors that lead to use and prevent relapse. Behavioral therapy is based on the concept that all behavior is learned, and thus, unhealthy behavior can be changed through learning coping skills and increasing awareness of negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to substance abuse.

Behavioral Therapies for Lunesta Addiction
Type of Therapy

12-Step Facilitation Therapy


Further reading:


Twelve-step facilitation therapy is used to improve compliance with 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous. This type of therapy emphasizes the importance of accepting that addiction is a lifelong disease.

Individuals enrolled in 12-step therapy may receive one-on-one counseling from a treatment professional, or they may engage in group therapy using the 12-step facilitation principles.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)


Further reading:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps hydrocodone users improve their coping skills and identify triggers that lead them to engage in substance use.

CBT is also effective for helping users replace negative thought patterns with healthy behaviors.

How to Find Help

Finding a Rehabilitation Center for Lunesta Addiction

It’s important for individuals interested in getting help for their Lunesta addiction to find a rehabilitation center that is familiar with treating Lunesta addiction and offers comfortable, safe detoxification methods. Having medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and psychiatrists, nearby within the facility helps ensure complications from withdrawal and detoxification can be addressed immediately and that each patient’s physical, emotional, and behavioral needs are sufficiently attended to.

When searching for a rehabilitation facility, look for those that offer behavioral therapy and several types of additional support. Lunesta misuse often occurs from chronic insomnia, so addressing sleep issues along with addiction treatment can help minimize the chances of relapse and help ensure a lasting recovery period.

Our Directory

Our directory of rehab programs includes a comprehensive list of available treatment centers and programs as provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In the directory, you will find tools to filter the programs by setting, price, and location.