What is Dilaudid?
Dilaudid is the brand name of the generic drug hydromorphone. It is a Schedule II controlled substance and a narcotic painkiller that is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain . Dilaudid comes in tablet form, oral solutions, injectable forms, and rectal suppositories. Moreover, these drugs can cause physical dependence.
This means that a person relies on the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Over time, more of the drug is needed for the same effect. This is called drug tolerance. When the person stops taking the drugs, the body needs time to recover. This causes withdrawal symptoms and can cause dangerous complications, such as vomiting. Dilaudid detox from an inpatient drug rehab can prevent these outcomes and provide immediate care if complications arise.
According to the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) , Dilaudid has been reported as being abused by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product. These practices pose a significant risk to the abuser that could result in overdose or death. In addition, it may be expected to have additive effects when used in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression.
Dilaudid is a strong prescription pain drugs that contains an opioid (narcotic) that is used to manage pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic, when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them. It belongs to a class of drugs called opioid analgesic or opioid pain medicine that can put you at risk for overdose and death. Even if you take your dose correctly as prescribed, you are at risk for Dilaudid addiction, abuse, and misuse that can lead to death.
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Why is Dilaudid so Addictive?
Dilaudid is an opioid pain medication that is eight times stronger than morphine. It produces a strong pain-relieving analgesic effect and a pleasurable euphoric high similar to that of heroin within 15 minutes of administration, and the effects can last as long as six hours. Users quickly become tolerant to the drug, requiring larger, more frequent doses to achieve the same effect.
In just two weeks, users can become so physically dependent on Dilaudid that they experience withdrawal symptoms if they go for more than 12 to 24 hours between doses. Fear of withdrawal symptoms and desire for hydromorphone’s euphoric effects quickly creates a psychological addiction, leading to severe Dilaudid addiction and abuse in a very short amount of time. Professional Dilaudid addiction detox may be required for people experiencing withdrawal discomforts.
Why is this Medication Prescribed?
Like other opioid medications, Dilaudid is primarily used for pain relief. Opioids work by physically blocking the pain signals that reach the brain by decreasing the intensity of pain and improving the patient’s emotional response to it. Because the source of the pain can vary depending on each patient’s circumstances, Dilaudid may be prescribed to some people and not to others.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that physicians use a three-step ladder for managing pain with opioids like Dilaudid. First, non-opioid, over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are used to control the patient’s discomfort. If these drugs prove ineffective, mild opioids like codeine are prescribed. If this still does not do enough to relieve the patient’s pain, potent opioids like oxycodone and Dilaudid are prescribed.
Dilaudid may be prescribed to patients recovering from cancer, major surgeries, or conditions that involve chronic pain. Before taking Dilaudid, it’s important that you talk to your doctor about your medical history to accurately evaluate if Dilaudid is safe for you.
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Effects of Dilaudid Addiction
As an opiate painkiller, Dilaudid effects will likely include euphoria, drowsiness, constipation, difficulty urinating, nausea, vomiting, and suppressed ability to breathe. If a person continues to abuse Dilaudid, the further effects of this drug are likely to include addiction, depression, guilt, track marks up and down the arms and legs, intense cravings for the drug, and a dread of the withdrawal sickness that will result from not having the drug to abuse.
Dilaudid is a strong painkiller of the opiate class. Each formulation of drugs in this class—oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl, methadone, and others—has slight differences from the others. Some are stronger than others, some will last longer and others will take effect more quickly. Dilaudid is a strong painkiller that is often used after surgery. When a person wants to abuse it, he (or she) will not get the desired high if he ingests or snorts it. Dilaudid only creates the desired euphoric effect if it is injected intravenously. This characteristic means that many abusers inject the drug after crushing and dissolving the pills.
Physical Signs of Dilaudid Addiction
It is often difficult for someone to realize they have become addicted to Dilaudid, but there are certain signs of Dilaudid abuse that can offer a warning of a possible addiction to the drug. If you are wondering if you or a loved one are addicted to hydromorphone, look for the following Dilaudid abuse signs:
- Mood swings that range from euphoric highs to severe depression
- Itching, scratching, and excessive sweating
- Suddenly falling asleep, even in the middle of a conversation
- Poor coordination
- Slurred speech
- Breathing difficulties
- Withdrawal symptoms such as severe stomach and muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, chills, diarrhea, and insomnia
Behavioral Symptoms of Dilaudid Addiction
Other hydromorphone addiction symptoms include behavioral and personality changes that may seem wildly out of character for an individual. These symptoms occur as the need for the drug becomes the focus of the user’s life, and may include:
- Missing work or school
- Stealing money, valuables, and drugs
- Lying and breaking commitments
- “Doctor shopping” to obtain Dilaudid prescriptions
- Forging or stealing Dilaudid prescriptions
Dilaudid Side Effects
Using Dilaudid, even on a short-term basis, can result in many side effects. The most common side effects of hydromorphone include:
- Impaired coordination
- Urinary retention
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Appetite loss
- Incrementally heightened sensitivity to pain
- Excessive sweating
- Changes in blood pressure
- Slowed breathing rate
- Heart rate changes
- Dry mouth
- Constricted pupils
- Stomach pain
Using Dilaudid on a long-term basis can result in many serious physical and psychological health problems, as well as social and legal problems in one’s life. Some of the many recognized long-term effects of abusing Dilaudid include:
- Infections and diseases from needle sharing (HIV, hepatitis, etc.)
- Track marks on arms and/or legs
- Frequent mood swings
- Social isolation
- Impaired relationships
- Increased legal problems
- Reckless behavior
- Possibility of injury while intoxicated (e.g., driving under the influence)
- Poverty or financial problems due to drug use
- Eventual transition to other drugs like heroin
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Signs and Symptoms of Dilaudid Addiction
Using Dilaudid for any period of time can be habit-forming and dangerous, especially if it is taken with other drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, painkillers like Dilaudid are the most abused drugs in the United States after marijuana and hashish. Also, because it is easily accessible, it has become a popular drug for recreational use.
It can sometimes be difficult for an individual to realize he or she has become dependent on this drug. As a result, addiction may develop after being prescribed the medication by a doctor. Also, if you are concerned that you or a loved one may be addicted to Dilaudid, look for the following common signs and symptoms of Dilaudid addiction:
- Mood swings, ranging from euphoric highs to depressive and irritable lows
- Noticeable breathing problems
- Excessive sweating
- Taking laxatives to help with constipation (a common opioid side effect)
- Poor coordination
- Nodding off (momentary lapses in consciousness; difficulty staying awake and alert)
- Development of tolerance (needing more of the drug to achieve the same effect)
- Withdrawal symptoms that appear when use is stopped (nausea & vomiting, stomach cramps, muscle aches, sweating,cold chills, appetite loss, diarrhea, insomnia, etc.)
Many people addicted to this drug may “doctor shop” for new prescriptions, visiting several doctors with complaints of chronic pain.
Personality and Lifestyle Changes Indicative of Dilaudid Addiction
- Becoming obsessed with the next dose
- Spending excessive amounts of money on the drug
- Failing to keep up with responsibilities such as school and work
- Needing larger doses of Dilaudid to feel the high
- Neglecting friends and family in favor of drug use
- Stealing from medicine cabinets
- Forging prescriptions for Dilaudid
- Buying Dilaudid online or off the street
Dilaudid Addiction Withdrawal
It is a rare person who can abuse an opioid as strong as Dilaudid and not get addicted. For most people, continued use will make it difficult to quit when they want to. Getting clean and sober means they have to get through the typical opiate withdrawal symptoms which can mean some days of pain, sickness, and misery.
Specifically, withdrawal effects from Dilaudid will include:
- Muscle pain
- Body cramps
- Tremors, shaking and restlessness
- Severe cold sweats
- “Dysphoria”—defined as a feeling of depression, anxiety, and unease
The usual list of effects of opiate withdrawal will also include a runny nose, goosebumps, and yawning but these rather harmless symptoms tend to minimize the severe sickness that typically occurs when a person is trying to get off drugs “cold turkey.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, it can be possible to detect withdrawal symptoms after just a week of Dilaudid administration. Physical dependence is likely to be significant after several weeks of administration. Some drug users report that they go through withdrawal from Dilaudid use after just a few days or a week of use at home or in the hospital.
But what also happens is that a person in this situation gets sick with withdrawal symptoms but just thinks they came down with the flu after leaving the hospital. They recover and never realize they went through an opiate withdrawal after their medical care.
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Dilaudid Addiction Treatment
It is important to us to be transparent about the topic of detox. It will not be an easy process. A person will likely experience many different side effects from their drug use. These side effects may be emotional, physical, or mental. Someone in withdrawal will likely experience many uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts about life during the process of detox. Unfortunately for those with dependency, detox is an unavoidable first step to recovery
Please, do not try to detox on your own. The Dilaudid detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. Getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment.
Dilaudid Detox Medications
Using it with Naloxone can lower the risk of someone developing a dependence. This happens as Buprenorphine alleviates the pain and discomfort caused by withdrawal. Naloxone blocks the euphoria that Opioids can bring if the patient were to relapse.
Methadone is one of the most common treatment medications for people suffering from opioid withdrawal.
Naltrexone functions in the body as an Opioid-agonist. If you were to use it while Dilaudid was still in their system, you could experience severe symptoms of withdrawal. Naltrexone is only prescribed after the individual has been off Opioids for at least 7 to 10 days.
Clonidine is a non-opioid used to relieve anxiety, agitation, cramping, and tension. It also helps regulate blood pressure and pulse while reducing cravings.
Another detox method some doctors provide involves a rapid anesthesia process. The addicted person is first given medication to relax. Then a doctor puts them under general anesthesia and injects the patient with a drug that blocks the effects of Dilaudid. The providers of this method claim it speeds up the withdrawal process and there are fewer withdrawal symptoms after.
Many rehabilitation programs keep up with the scientific understanding of co-occurring disorders and offer dual-diagnosis treatment for mood disorders alongside therapy for addiction. Treatment plans vary for each individual. For occasional substance misuse, occasional counseling may be enough to help a person recover. For more serious cases, time at a rehabilitation facility may be the best option. The only way to truly determine the correct treatment plan for each person is to see a qualified treatment professional.
If someone is struggling with Dilaudid Addiction because of its intense and often dangerous Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms, that person needs to consider inpatient Dilaudid detox. We Level Up NJ addiction specialists are standing by to help.
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