Norco Withdrawal

Rehabilitation specialists view Norco withdrawal as a normal, predictable consequence of taking Norco for a long time before then suddenly stopping. A doctor might diagnose you as physically dependent on Norco if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you miss a dose, take an inadequate dose or use a medication like naloxone that lowers the level of opioids in your body. Norco withdrawal presents itself a variety of overpowering physical symptoms that can last five or more days; psychological symptoms of MS Contin withdrawal may last much longer.


Your body adapted to the presence of Norco by adjusting its own chemical balance. Your system can become tolerant of Norco, which means it takes an ever-increasing amount of Norco to get high or relieve pain. With prolonged use, your body may become dependent on Norco; this means you must continue taking Norco in order for your body to feel normal. If the level of Norco drops rapidly, your body struggles to maintain its chemical balance. You feel this battle through withdrawal symptoms.

Doctors call this process "detoxification."


Norco contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, says that hydrocodone is associated with more drug abuse than any other opioid, legal or illegal. Hydrocodone is the most widely prescribed drug in the United States.

Addiction and physical dependence is a crisis in the United States. In fact, the White House calls prescription drug abuse, "the nation's fastest-growing drug problem." After marijuana, prescriptions such as Norco are the most abused drugs among young people in the United States. In 2010, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 7 million people in the United States were using psychotherapeutic drugs like Norco for non-medical reasons, which means they took it to get high or for a condition other than the one for which the doctor had intended.

Chronic abuse of certain prescription drugs, especially opioids such as Norco, can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal. Anyone can develop a Norco addiction or dependence after taking this drug for a long time. Physical dependence and Norco addiction are serious conditions, requiring the help of a qualified professional.

Withdrawal symptoms are painful and demoralizing, but usually not life threatening. The severity and duration of your withdrawal symptoms may depend on how long you have been using Norco and the doses you are accustomed to taking.

Abuse, Dependence and Norco Withdrawal

The hydrocodone in Norco is associated with abuse, physical dependence and addiction. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to the potential for abuse. The DEA has classified the hydrocodone in Norco as a Schedule II narcotic, which means it carries a high potential for abuse and mental or physical dependence.

To reduce this potential for abuse, the DEA prohibits refills on schedule II narcotics such as Norco. Many people try to overcome this by placing an emergency call or visit just as the physician is closing up the office and then refusing examination, testing or referral to another facility. Someone dependent on Norco may seem to lose her prescriptions frequently; she may even tamper with her written prescription to get more pills in each bottle. She may be reluctant to provide her prior medical records or contact information for her other caregivers. Many people with an untreated Norco addiction will go "doctor shopping" to get as many written prescriptions as they can.


When you stop taking Norco, you may experience physical flu-like symptoms. You may also battle psychological symptoms whose demoralizing affects can be just as overpowering as the physical symptoms of Norco withdrawal.

Physical Symptoms of Norco Withdrawal

Symptoms of Norco withdrawal typically last five or more days, with the worst symptoms occurring on or about the fourth day. You can relieve the physical symptoms of Norco withdrawal by taking medications, using a replacement drug that mimics morphine, or by taking another dose of Norco. The promise of relief from withdrawal symptoms causes many determine individuals to relapse back to Norco abuse.

Physical symptoms of Norco withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever, Runny Nose or Sneezing
  • Goose Bumps and Abnormal Skin Sensations
  • Hot Sweats and Cold Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Low Energy Level
  • Muscle Aches or Pains
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Rigid Muscles
  • Runny Nose
  • Shivering, Tremors
  • Teary Eyes
  • Yawning

Psychological Symptoms of Norco Withdrawal

Many people overlook or discount the psychological symptoms associated with Norco withdrawal. These psychological symptoms can leave you feeling unable or unworthy of recovery from your dependence on Norco. Left untreated or undertreated, these psychological symptoms increase your risk for returning to Norco abuse

Psychological symptoms of Norco withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Social isolation

Possible Complications

Without medications and proper monitoring, you may suffer complications from Norco withdrawal. Complications include vomiting and then breathing the stomach contents into the lungs, potentially resulting in fluid in the lungs and lung infections. Extreme vomiting and diarrhea may result in dehydration. Dehydration, left untreated, can cause electrolyte imbalances and other serious medical conditions.

The primary complication associated with Norco withdrawal is returning to hydrocodone abuse. You face a greater risk for overdose after you try to quit Norco because detox reduces your tolerance to hydrocodone. Even after feeling moderate withdrawal symptoms, you may overdose on a smaller dose of Norco than you are accustomed to taking.

Treatment Options

Addiction to substances such as Norco can cause "disability or premature death, especially when left untreated or treated inadequately," according to the American Society of Addictive Medicine. Without proper medical treatment, you might find yourself trapped in a dangerous cycle of recovery and relapse.

Your treatment for Norco addiction has two phases: detoxification and rehabilitation. Detoxification is the medical process of lowering Norco levels in your body. You can expect several days of intense withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to lower levels of Norco.

The rehabilitation phase focuses on restoring the neurological function disrupted by Norco addiction. This part of treatment includes behavior modification and counseling that teaches you how to live without Norco.


You may someday be tempted to try self-detoxification, sometimes called "going cold turkey." During self-detoxification, you will experience the full brunt of withdrawal symptoms and face an increased risk for suffering complications associated with Norco withdrawal, including aspiration and dehydration.

The goal of self-detoxification is to make it through five or more days, with the worst symptoms occurring on or about the fourth day. Many people take another dose of Norco just to ease the discomfort.

Some people create homemade remedies including medicines to reduce individual withdrawal symptoms. One such concoction is The Thomas Recipe, which includes valium or some other benzodiazepine to calm the nerves and help you sleep. Imodium eases your diarrhea while mineral supplements and hot baths relieve your muscle aches.

On or about the fourth day, you will awaken with an overpowering lack of energy and intense malaise that makes it difficult to move around. You can take L-Tyrosine with B6 for a burst of energy.

While the Thomas Recipe addresses some of your Norco withdrawal symptoms, you still face a high risk for complications such as aspiration, dehydration and relapse. Returning to Norco addiction after even a short attempt at detoxification may result in life threatening overdose.


Norco addiction may result in a toxic overdose that can cause death. If you think you or someone you know has taken too much Norco, seek emergency assistance immediately by going to the emergency room or calling an ambulance. If you need immediate help, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Symptoms of Norco overdose include:

  • Breathing that Stops
  • Cold, Clammy Skin
  • Confusion
  • Extreme Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Pinpoint Pupils
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Weak Pulse

Norco overdose can be fatal - you or your loved one needs immediate medical care. In the emergency department, doctors administer naloxone and other medications to reduce Norco to safe levels. Nurses establish an airway to help you breathe and monitor your vital signs. Nurses may empty your stomach or administer charcoal to absorb excess Norco. If necessary, nurses and doctors perform CPR or other life-saving measures.

If you are in otherwise good physical condition, you may benefit from Drug Replacement Therapy, or DRT. The idea behind DRT is to replace illegal drugs with medications such as methadone, Suboxone or buprenorphine. DRT medications act similarly to opioids, so you will not feel withdrawal symptoms, but DRT drugs do not get you high. This allows you put off the detoxification stage while you begin counseling sessions to learn how to live without Norco.

At some point, however, you will have to wean yourself from the replacement drug by taking smaller doses at increasingly larger intervals.

Many advocates of DRT support this form of therapy because it allowed them to work and live at home while they engaged in treatment. Opponents of DRT say it is merely trading one addiction for another.

Many people have trouble quitting the replacement drug. Harvard Medical School says that 25 percent of methadone DRT patients eventually quit using drugs altogether, another 25 percent continues to take the replacement drug and 50 percent go on and off methadone.

DRT is just one kind of Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT. Medications reduce the overpowering symptoms of withdrawal, helping you tolerate the process long enough to successfully detoxify your body from Norco.

Rehabilitation professionals say that MAT is an important and effective treatment approach because it:

  • Improves Survival Rates
  • Increase Retention in Treatment
  • Decreases Illicit Opioid Use
  • Decreases The Risk for Hepatitis and HIV
  • Decreases Criminal Activities
  • Increases Employment
  • Improves Birth Outcomes for Pregnant Women Battling Addiction

Standard MAT involves a hospital stay. During inpatient care, doctors administer naloxone and other medications to reduce Norco levels along with drugs for the withdrawal symptoms. While standard inpatient MAT relieves the strength and duration of symptoms somewhat, you still struggle with lengthy, uncomfortable and demoralizing battle that acts as a psychological barrier to recovery. Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of treatment for dependence on Norco; you will still need rehabilitation to address the behaviors associated with hydrocodone abuse.

Rapid detox is the most humane form of detoxification available today. Rapid detox quickly puts you in a prime position to deal with your dependence on Norco. During rapid detox, board certified anesthesiologists administer the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs alongside sedatives and anesthesia, so you doze in a peaceful "twilight sleep" instead of throwing up and not sleeping for days on end. When you awaken from rapid detox, you will have no memory of the grueling detoxification process. Instead of a few days, you are ready for meaningful behavior modification in a few hours.


Because your dependence on Norco is a medical condition that affects every aspect of your life, it is essential that you participate in behavior modification. Without behavior modification, you are likely to return to Norco abuse.

Dependence and Norco withdrawal is a complex condition that affects every aspects of your life. Each person experiences Norco addiction differently, therefore no single treatment is appropriate for everyone. There is a variety of approaches, so you should seek out a treatment plan that best fits your needs. Treatment needs to be readily available to encourage maximum participation. Remaining in treatment for an adequate amount of time is critical to prevent relapse.

Effective treatment addresses your multiple needs, not just your Norco withdrawal symptoms. If you are like many others, you may suffer other mental disorders, legal trouble, social problems or relationship issues that compound your dependence on Norco, increasing your risk for relapse.

Your rehabilitation specialists will assess you for conditions such as HIV/ AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. Therapeutic programs should include counseling to help you identify and change behaviors that increase your risk for getting or spreading infectious diseases.

Rehabilitation therapists typically suggest individual counseling, group therapy and other behavioral modification programs to alleviate dependence on Norco. Rehabilitation professionals will monitor your treatment course and progress to make sure treatment meets your complex needs. Relapse is common and professional monitoring reduces the risk for return to Norco abuse.