What Is Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is an opiate pain killer in Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. Dilaudid is the brand or trade name for hydromorphone, a powerful opioid painkiller. It is a semi-synthetic derivative of morphine and has similar pain-relieving effects, and also a similar potential for abuse and misuse. However, Dilaudid is about eight times more potent than morphine. Often, patients that are allergic to morphine can take Dilaudid with no problem, but there is still a high risk for allergic reaction.

Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) has a high psychological and physiological potential for abuse and addiction and explains why it is placed in Schedule II. It has proven medical use and when taken as prescribed is effective in treating chronic pain. Dilaudid is one of many opioid painkillers that are prescribed for chronic pain, and all have a strong potential for addiction.

How Does Dilaudid Work?

Dilaudid or Hydromorphone works like other opioid painkillers by binding to opioid pain receptors in the brain and central nervous system to change the way the brain perceives pain. It also blocks reabsorption of dopamine causing higher levels to be present, producing a euphoric feeling or the pleasure and feeling of being high. As a person continues to take Dilaudid the body becomes more dependent and tolerance develops. Eventually, the person’s body produces less dopamine and the need for Dilaudid grows.

How Is Dilaudid Taken Or Used?

Commercially, Dilaudid is available in 2mg., and 4 mg. tablets and as an oral liquid. It is given intravenously in hospitals and is also available in extended-release tablet forms. 

Hydromorphone is also available in other Brand names like Palladone, Exalgo, and Dilaudid-hp. The dose is usually given orally every 3-6 hours and the extended-release forms are given every 8-12 hours. Pain relief begins within thirty minutes and lasts about four or six hours. 

Because it has a high potential for abuse and the euphoric effect wears off fast, patients tend to double up or take more frequently.

Side Effects Of Dilaudid Include:

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Anxiety

If any of the above side effects become intense or do not go away, then contact your physician. Because of euphoria, many patients ignore severe side effects. This can also lead to poor health. Some of these side effects are also seen in signs and symptoms of addiction but are more exaggerated.

What Types Of People Abuse Dilaudid?

Anyone with a history or family history of substance abuse, especially due to opioids has a strong probability of Dilaudid addiction. Patients that are prescribed Dilaudid or other opioids also may abuse Dilaudid. Because of the euphoric effect patients tend to take it more often. As the body becomes more dependent, and the person starts manifesting drug-seeking behavior, then the person has become addicted. Tolerance develops fairly quickly with Dilaudid, so anyone who takes it short term may also develop withdrawal symptoms if they quit taking it. Dilaudid does not have as big of a problem as other opioids among teenagers and young adults. Nevertheless, friends and family are other sources of Dilaudid. The internet is also a source since it is not regulated.

As patients become dependent and tolerance develops then other behaviors indicative of abuse and misuse develop. Patients with legitimate medical needs are the number one group who develop addictions, but there are still those who obtain it from family members and friends.

Signs And Symptoms of Dilaudid Abuse

  • Mood swings, ranging from euphoria to depressive lows
  • Constipation
  • Breathing problems
  • Nodding off or problems with consciousness
  • Itching or scratching
  • Poor coordination
  • Development of tolerance
  • Nausea and /or vomiting
  • Dizziness

Lifestyle changes:

  • Doctor and/or pharmacy shopping
  • Faking or forging prescriptions
  • Other drug-seeking behavior
  • Lying about abuse and misuse
  • Theft of Dilaudid from family, friends, or even healthcare facilities
  • Social isolation
  • Financial problems
  • Missed work/school commitments
  • Legal issues
  • Health and mental health problems

Withdrawal Symptoms Or Other Effects of Dilaudid Abuse:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Constipation, but diarrhea on upon withdrawal
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Rash
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Seizures

Signs and Symptoms Of Overdose:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Unconsciousness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Bluish colored lips
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Cool clammy skin
  • Hypotension or low blood pressure
  • Muscle twitching
  • Stomach cramps

Dilaudid Addiction Statistics

The United States consumes sixty-five percent of the world’s Dilaudid supply. In 2008 there were nearly 15,000 deaths due to opiates like Dilaudid. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted a study in 2011 where it was discovered that one million Americans, aged 12 and overused hydromorphone at least once, non-medically, in their lifetime. While there are over 3 million prescriptions for Dilaudid and other forms of hydromorphone written annually, Dilaudid has become a real problem on the streets. It is estimated to have a street value between $5 and $100. The demand varies from place to place and population group.

Teenagers are still a major group that uses Dilaudid for nonmedical uses. But, it is not abused or sought after at the higher levels that hydrocodone and oxycodone are. As with other population groups they often obtained Dilaudid pills from parents or friends. It affects every aspect of life and with teens, they often begin asking for money to buy Dilaudid or even stealing to get what they need.

Often Dilaudid tablets are injected by dissolving them in solution. Some of the names that Dilaudid is given on the street are D, Dillies, Dust, Footballs, and smack. Like other opiates, Dilaudid is dangerous when not taken under a physician’s supervision. The age group that seems to be most prone to develop abuse of Dilaudid is the young adults aged 18-25. As with other opiates, recreational use is common and because of the fast onset, it is highly desirable.

Since addiction to hydromorphone can develop fairly quickly many patients attempt to withdraw and have a difficult time. Thus, as time goes on their bodies and eventually their minds become dependent upon the presence of Dilaudid in the body. If you have attempted withdrawal on your own and cannot get freedom then it is time to seek help at Transformations Treatment Center. Also, if you know someone who has become dependent upon Dilaudid and cannot break free or you see the signs and symptoms listed above present then they need help and when you call Transformation Treatment Center you can be assured that your call is private and confidential.

Preventing Dilaudid Addiction

The best way to prevent abuse and misuse of Dilaudid is to follow your prescriber’s directions fully. Also, report any unusual effects or if you feel that you are losing control and cannot quit taking Dilaudid then contact your prescriber immediately. Parents keep your meds. in a safe and hidden place where children cannot access them. You and your friends or family should be educated and made aware of the dangers of opiate abuse like that from hydromorphone. Finally, watch for behavioral changes and any of the effects listed above that might give you a clue that someone has a problem or addiction to Dilaudid.

Treatment Options

The initial treatment for Dilaudid abuse, misuse, and addiction is drug withdrawal and detox. It is important to get past any withdrawal symptoms before entering into a rehab program. The detox aspect will bring vitamins, and a healthy diet, among other things. Those who abuse Dilaudid and other opiates often have poor health and need to get their bodies restored to optimum health. Along with detox comes the withdrawal phase.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

This is not just drug withdrawal but also long term treatment. Drugs like Buprenorphine and methadone bind to the same receptors that Dilaudid and other opiates bind to, but at a lower rate, and do not produce the addictive effects that the other opiates do. They also help with drug cravings. Every patient must be assessed individually to determine the best course of treatment available. Adding a medication like buprenorphine is not always the case, but is often warranted, especially for patients who have been addicted for long periods of time and on high doses. After buprenorphine has dealt with withdrawal a drug known as naltrexone may be added. It is an opiate receptor antagonist that helps deal with drug cravings and if the patient relapses can prevent many of the symptoms normally found with addicts.

Other Treatment Options

Transformations Treatment Center offers a holistic approach to drug addiction rehab and recovery. This involves treating every aspect of the patient, including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and sociological factors. Every patient’s needs are different and Transformations will tailor a specific program of therapy and counseling geared toward each patient’s needs. We have inpatient and outpatient options as well as long term treatment programs. Our goal is your success.

Recovery And Prognosis

A heart patient needs to follow the doctor’s advice and take their medicine and exercise properly and eat healthy in order to have and maintain a healthy heart. Likewise, an addict needs to follow the treatment plan as it has been given to them.

By finishing the treatment programs and following up with any outpatient requirements you are ensuring your road to living drug-free. You will succeed and not fail. It is up to you. We can administer the treatment and therapy, but you have to want to remain drug-free and sober. That is our goal: your road to recovery and freedom from addiction with a life full of promise and hope.

You will never know what we can do and what we have to offer unless you contact us for more information. You can also check out our blogs for more information.

References

Help.org

https://www.help.org/dilaudid-addiction/

DEA.gov

https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/hydromorphone

MedlinePlus

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682013.html

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