In this article, I’m going to teach you how to get off Vicodin at home. I used to be severely addicted to Vicodin while I worked as a cook at a fast-paced restaurant in New York. The Vicodin gave me unlimited energy and enthusiasm at work. Since I didn’t have a Vicodin prescription, I had to buy Vicodin from a drug dealer. There were times where either I didn’t have money to buy Vicodin, or my dealer had run out.
During these situations I had to get off Vicodin at home.
After going through several home-based Vicodin withdrawals, I started to learn what worked and what didn’t. Eventually I got clean and went on to become a Substance Abuse Counselor at an Opiate Treatment Program (OTP), where I helped many individuals recover from Vicodin addiction.
Over the past year I’ve made it my life’s purpose and mission to research and write about all of the most powerful and effective strategies for getting off Vicodin and other opioid drugs.
This natural at-home detox plan for coming off Vicodin is gentle, safe, inexpensive and POWERFUL.
If you follow these simple steps exactly as I’ve outlined, you should be well on your way to getting off Vicodin with ease…
Table of Contents
- 1 Step 1: Start Tapering Off Vicodin
- 2 Step 2: Start Exercising
- 3 Step 3: Start Eating a High Amino Acid Diet
- 4 Step 4: Purchase an Opiate Withdrawal Supplement
- 5 Step 5: Take Time Off
- 6 Step 6: Make a Vicodin Withdrawal Shopping List
- 7 Step 7: Complete your Vicodin Withdrawal at Home
- 8 Step 8: Stay Clean!
Step 1: Start Tapering Off Vicodin
Coming off Vicodin “cold-turkey” is a huge system shock to your body. After using Vicodin daily for a period of time, your body becomes physiologically dependent on Vicodin. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are “addicted” (though you might be), it just means that your body now requires Vicodin every day to prevent you from going into Vicodin withdrawal.
The abrupt cessation of Vicodin after a tolerance and dependence have been established leads to a variety of horrific physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the most common Vicodin withdrawal symptoms are:
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Gastrointestinal (GI) distress
- Hot and cold flashes
- Sore and aching muscles and limbs
Note: The most effective natural strategy for preventing these withdrawal symptoms is to start tapering off Vicodin. Tapering refers to systematically reducing your Vicodin dosage over a set period of time. The single most important thing you can do to decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms is to taper off Vicodin. This approach is preferred to a “cold-turkey” withdrawal. Tapering off Vicodin enables your body to gently ease off the medication over a span of weeks or months.
Now, let’s go over a few Tapering 101 basics:
- Slow tapers are easier on your body than fast tapers (the slower you go, the less withdrawal symptoms you experience).
- Everyone is biochemically unique (what works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone).
- Take only as much Vicodin as is necessary to prevent you from going into withdrawal (you’re not trying to get high or feel good, only to keep from getting sick).
- It takes serious discipline to adhere to a tapering protocol (giving your pills to someone you can trust and having them only give you the dosage on your taper schedule is highly recommended).
- “The lower you go, the slower you go” (it might be easy to taper quickly from 100 mg to 30 mg of Vicodin, however, it’s better to slow it down towards the end of the taper because it will be less of a shock to your body).
Note: Since everyone reading this article is going to have varying levels of addiction severity and their own unique biochemical makeup, there is no way I can outline a “one size fits all” Vicodin taper plan. However, I will provide you with some detailed examples so you can get a good understanding of how to implement a Vicodin taper plan into your own life.
Example #1: Joel the Musician
Joel is a guitarist that started taking Vicodin after he injured his back picking up an extremely heavy guitar amp with bad form. His doctor prescribed him to take 5 mg Vicodin pills, 4 times per day. Joel found that the Vicodin gave him more than just pain relief. The medication also gave him energy, confidence, happiness, and the feeling that he could do anything he wanted in the world.
Joel also felt like the Vicodin made him a more creative songwriter. He quickly started taking more Vicodin than was prescribed, and within three months Joel was purchasing illegal Vicodin off the street, and taking an average dosage of 100 mg per day.
If I had to come up with a Vicodin taper plan for Joel, it might look like this:
- Week 1: Take 80 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 2: Take 60 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 3: Take 50 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 4: Take 40 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 5: Take 30 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 6: Take 20 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 7: Take 15 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 8: Take 10 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 9: Take 5 mg of Vicodin per day
- Week 10: Come off Vicodin completely
Example #2: Roberto the Baseball Player
Roberto started playing Major League Baseball when he was 24 years old. After 15 years of playing the “catcher” position, he retired to spend more time with his wife and kids. At that point he began to have issues with his right knee. He finally had knee surgery, and his doctor placed him on 30 mg of Vicodin per day. Two weeks after the surgery, Roberto was in a car crash and severely injured his neck and back. His doctor upped the Vicodin dosage to 60 mg per day.
After taking 60 mg of Vicodin every day for six months, the doctor told Roberto he was taking him off the medication because his injuries were healed. The first day Roberto went without pills he didn’t know why he felt so bad. He had a runny nose, teary eyes, and he had anxiety, fatigue and stomach discomfort all day long. Roberto called a friend, and they told him he was going through Vicodin withdrawal.
If I had to come up with a Vicodin taper plan for Roberto, it might look like this:
- Days 1-10: Take 50 mg of Vicodin per day
- Days 11-20: Take 40 mg of Vicodin per day
- Days 21-30: Take 30 mg of Vicodin per day
- Days 31-40: Take 20 mg of Vicodin per day
- Days 41-50: Take 15 mg of Vicodin per day
- Days 51-60: Take 10 mg of Vicodin per day
- Days 61-80: Take 5 mg of Vicodin per day
- Day 81: Come off Vicodin completely
Note: If you don’t have the time, money, access to Vicodin or discipline, you might have to come off Vicodin cold-turkey. If you can’t taper off Vicodin, don’t worry…you can still get off Vicodin without severe withdrawal symptoms. I’m going to provide you with some great tips for getting off Vicodin cold-turkey (including medications) towards the end of the article.
Step 2: Start Exercising
All drugs mimic different neurotransmitters in the brain, and opiates specifically mimic endorphins, our natural painkillers (natural morphine). After taking Vicodin for a period of time, the brain gets used to this artificially-induced, massive supply of endorphins. Getting off Vicodin can be difficult because even though you’re creating less drug-induced endorphins, your body doesn’t supply you with the rest. This can lead to a massive endorphin deficiency, which makes you more susceptible to physical and emotional pain.
When people ask me how to get off Vicodin at home, I always encourage them to exercise as part of their overall taper wellness plan. Swimming, jogging, walking, weight training, yoga and other forms of exercise can help your body produce endorphins within minutes.
Exercise can help you get off Vicodin at home because it:
- Improves mood
- Boosts endorphins (natural painkillers)
- Improves sleep
- Reduces pain (both physical and emotional)
- Promotes well-being
- Reverses anxiety
- Reverses depression
- Increases energy
- Improves physique
- Boosts confidence
Step 3: Start Eating a High Amino Acid Diet
When people ask me how to get off Vicodin at home, I always tell them about the endorphin-boosting and mood-enhancing effects of protein. Protein is made up of amino acids. These amino acids are directly responsible for healthy production of neurotransmitters. Eating a diet rich in high-quality protein foods can help you produce endorphins and other mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain.
While you’re getting off Vicodin at home, it can be very beneficial to consume at least 20-30 grams of protein three times per day. I’ve been clean from Vicodin and all other opiates for over three years now, and I still eat plenty of quality proteins on a daily basis.
The following nutritional guidelines can help get off Vicodin at home:
- Eat plenty of turkey, chicken, fish, beef, cottage cheese and other quality proteins (free-range, organic and wild-caught are best).
- Drink plenty of water (half your body weight in ounces per day).
- Consume lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and healthy fats.
- Eliminate or decrease sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates.
- Eliminate or decrease caffeine and alcohol.
- Focus mostly on organic whole foods.
Step 4: Purchase an Opiate Withdrawal Supplement
Opiate Withdrawal Supplements are specifically designed to help people get off Vicodin and other opiates. They contain a synergistic blend of herbs, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that have been shown to be effective at reducing symptoms due to getting off Vicodin and other opioid drugs. If you taper, exercise, eat a high amino acid diet and take a high-quality Opiate Withdrawal Supplement, these mega-strategies combined may help you get off Vicodin at home with ease.
The best time to start taking the Opiate Withdrawal Supplement is right when you reach your personal “threshold” on the Vicodin taper schedule. The threshold is the point at which you start to feel symptoms. For some people, this will be around 30 mg, others will feel fine until they reach 20 mg or lower.
Note: If you are going to skip the Vicodin taper and do a cold-turkey withdrawal, you’ll want to start taking your Opiate Withdrawal Supplement at least seven days before you come off Vicodin completely. You’ll want to continue taking it for at least three weeks after you come off Vicodin.
If you can afford it, I also highly recommend taking this awesome supplement, because the benefits are just too good to pass up.
Step 5: Take Time Off
If you really want to know how to get off Vicodin at home, I encourage you to take time off from ALL responsibilities. When planning your detox from Vicodin, try your absolute best to get a week off work, taking care of kids, school, or whatever responsibilities you have. At the bare minimum, make sure you schedule 3-4 days of “alone time” for getting off Vicodin at home.
I understand this is not always possible. Just do your best to eliminate as much as you can from your day to day life. The less you have to do…the better. The methods I teach you in this article will eliminate the most severe withdrawal symptoms, so it’s possible to continue with your day-to-day life while getting off Vicodin at home (if you’ve tapered), but I don’t recommend it. A relaxing, stress-free and quiet environment will help you adjust to coming off Vicodin.
Step 6: Make a Vicodin Withdrawal Shopping List
Before I knew how to get off Vicodin at home like a pro, I made the mistake of being unprepared. The difference between a severe Vicodin withdrawal and a mild one is “planning”. A few days before you get off Vicodin at home, you’ll need to go shopping for some Vicodin withdrawal remedies.
The following list of items can help to reduce symptoms while you’re getting off Vicodin at home:
- Water – Maintains hydration
- Gatorade – Replenishes electrolytes
- Peppermint tea – Eases nausea
- Ginger ale – Relieves stomach pain
- Imodium AD – Stops diarrhea and stomach cramping
- Advil – Relieves pain
- Icy Hot – Soothes aching and restless limbs
- Dark chocolate – Produces endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals
- Heating pad – Eases pain
- Epsom salt – Add to hot baths to relax nervous system
- Whey protein powder – Supplies amino acids that improve mood
- Apple juice – Use as base for protein shakes
- Bananas – Contain potassium to help relieve RLS
- Berries and other fruit – Quick energy
- Healthy food to cook – Proteins, veggies, healthy fats, and carbs
- Saltine crackers – Easy to digest for quick energy
- Blindfold – Helps you sleep
Step 7: Complete your Vicodin Withdrawal at Home
Now that you’ve tapered, started taking your Opiate Withdrawal Supplement, got time off from responsibilities and gone shopping, you’re finally ready to get off Vicodin at home. Typically, the first day of Vicodin withdrawal is the easiest, the second day gets harder, and days three and four are the worst.
However, that being said, if you’ve done a good job tapering and are taking your Opiate Withdrawal Supplement, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Regardless of whether you’ve taken these steps or not, the following schedule should help you get off Vicodin at home easier:
- 7:00 am: Wake up and take your Opiate Withdrawal Supplement
- 7:30 am: Go for a walk, jog or swim. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are your natural painkillers. This natural morphine eases Vicodin withdrawal symptoms quickly and effectively. I know the last thing you probably feel like doing during withdrawal is exercising, but let me tell you, it’s the absolute best natural remedy there is.
- 8:00 am: Drink a glass of water or Gatorade. Eat breakfast. Have something like a fruit smoothie with whey protein powder or a breakfast sandwich. Eat a big piece of dark chocolate.
- 9:00 am: Take a long, hot bath with two cups of Epsom salt. Taking a hot bath during opiate withdrawal soothes aching muscles and limbs, relieves anxiety and promotes relaxation. Adding Epsom salt helps you calm the nervous system even more, while also stimulating the production of ATP and serotonin, improving the absorption of nutrients, and flushing toxins.
- 10:00 am: Put on some extremely comfortable clothes, lay down on the couch and watch either a comedy or an inspirational movie. This will take your mind off the withdrawal and get you in a positive mindset.
- 12:00 pm: Eat lunch. Try to eat something with fish, turkey, beef or chicken if you can stomach it. The amino acids in the protein will help bolster mood-enhancing chemicals in your brain. A sample lunch would be grilled chicken, rice, and steamed veggies. Eat a big piece of dark chocolate.
- 1:00 pm: Watch another movie (comedy or inspirational).
- 3:00 pm: Take a long and hot regular bath.
- 4:00 pm: Drink a big glass of water. Eat a snack if you’re hungry.
- 4:30 pm: Watch an inspirational movie.
- 6:30 pm: Go for a long walk, jog or swim.
- 7:30 pm: Drink a glass of Gatorade and take a hot bath. Drink a glass of water after your bath.
- 8:30 pm: Eat dinner. Some good examples are fish tacos or a turkey burger. Eat a big piece of dark chocolate. 30 minutes after dinner drink a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea.
- 9:00 pm: Turn off all the lights in the house. Light some candles and listen to relaxing music. You want to avoid bright lights, the TV, computer, and any other electrical devices after 9 pm. This is when your brain starts producing melatonin to help you fall asleep. Staring at the computer or other lights tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, and this interferes with the production of sleep-inducing melatonin.
- 9:30 pm: Start writing in a journal. Write about all of the things you are going to do with your life once you complete your Vicodin withdrawal.
- 10:00 pm: Start reading a self-help book by candlelight and go to bed as soon as you get sleepy. Make sure to get to bed before 12:00 am. Also make sure the room you sleep in is cool, quiet and dark. If you don’t get good sleep then don’t worry, lack of sleep won’t kill you.
- 10:30 pm: Before bed on an empty stomach, take your Opiate Withdrawal Supplement.
Note: This is just a sample of what a day of a planned Vicodin withdrawal at home could look like. You can switch it up and adjust things as you see fit. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day. Avoid alcohol, coffee and energy drinks at all costs!!!
* If the food I mentioned doesn’t sound good then don’t worry…simply eat what sounds good to your body. If you have any diarrhea take Imodium AD. If you have aching muscles and limbs take Advil and rub Icy Hot on the problem areas.
* Don’t Google anything about Vicodin withdrawal! Stay out of the forums! Most of the people on forums aren’t professionals and give horrible advice. I’ve cringed after reading several of the things people on these sites have recommended. Sometimes there is good information, but usually, this is not the case.
Medications for Getting Off Vicodin at Home
If you haven’t been able to taper and are coming off Vicodin “cold-turkey”, the strategies I’ve provided you with will still help considerably. However, that being said, if you are coming off a severe Vicodin addiction, you may wish to consider using medications to ease withdrawal symptoms.
The following medications can be used to ease Vicodin withdrawal symptoms:
- Clonidine – A blood pressure medication that can reduce anxiety, slow heart rate and improve sleep.
- Benzodiazepines – Anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, Librium etc.
- Gabapentin – A medication for nerve pain that relieves Vicodin withdrawal symptoms.
- Tramadol – A synthetic, mild painkiller that binds to opioid receptors and ameliorates withdrawal syndrome.
Step 8: Stay Clean!
Now that you know how to get off Vicodin at home, I hope you’ll use this plan to change your life. Getting off Vicodin is actually the easy part. 90% of people getting off Vicodin relapse within the first 90 days of being clean. Don’t be one of them! Continue to take your Opiate Withdrawal Supplement, exercise and eat healthily.
Keep writing in your journal and reading self-help books to feed your mind and improve your psychology.
Most people getting off Vicodin complain of the following symptoms that seem to linger for the next few months after quitting narcotics:
- Inability to feel pleasure
What this refers to is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).
I’ve created an in-depth “How-To” article that will teach you how to feel amazing after you get off Vicodin:
How to Get Off Vicodin at Home Questions
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