What to Know About Dilaudid Addiction and Treatment
Dilaudid is a powerful prescription painkiller. When users develop a tolerance to the drug, they often start taking more and more and develop a dependency. The best way to end this cycle of addiction is to get proper addiction treatment. Read on to learn more about this drug and where you can turn if you or a loved one needs help with opioid addiction.
What Is Dilaudid?
Dilaudid is a semi-synthetic opioid for pain relief that is also known as hydromorphone. The drug was first synthesized in Germany in the early 20th century and first marketed in the United States in the 1920s.
Dilaudid is used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It can be used before or after surgery, as well as during labor and childbirth. It’s also prescribed to manage cancer-related pain, chronic back pain, and other medical conditions that might require long-term use.
How Does Dilaudid/Hydromorphone Work?
Dilaudid affects the central nervous system, which is how it works to relieve pain all over the body. It does this by activating opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. In particular, the drug acts on the mu opioid receptors, which play a big part in controlling our perception of pain.
Due to the effects of Dilaudid on mu opioid receptors, you will experience a warm, euphoric feeling when using this drug. It can also slow breathing and heart rate, so people using Dilaudid must take their dosage orally as directed to avoid any negative side effects. In addition, it has a long half-life, so it builds up in your system over time, requiring that you take more of the drug to achieve the same results.
How Common Is Dilaudid Abuse?
When taken as prescribed, Dilaudid is very safe when used responsibly. However, when abused, it can become extremely dangerous and addictive. According to recent statistics, approximately 2 million people in the U.S. misuse opioid prescription medications and/or heroin.
The danger of addiction to opioid pain medication is high, and it becomes even higher when drug abusers combine Dilaudid with other drugs such as alcohol. This combination increases the risk of serious injury or death, but people who use Dilaudid for recreational purposes often mix it with alcohol anyway because they believe it will reduce negative side effects such as nausea and drowsiness.
The problem with Dilaudid often starts when people try to get rid of their pain but need more and more to feel the same effects. It also happens when people misuse the drug, such as by crushing up the tablet and injecting it into their veins, which is extremely dangerous.
People who take Dilaudid for recreational purposes do so because of its ability to make them feel euphoric and carefree. Since the drug is very powerful, it can cause respiratory depression, which can be fatal. Additionally, if someone has ingested too much Dilaudid, their lips will become extremely dry, and breathing will become difficult if not impossible.
What Are the signs of Dilaudid Abuse?
Dilaudid is commonly abused by taking it orally, placing it in the cheek, and letting it dissolve slowly. Others crush up the tablet into a powder and then snort it or inject it. Several signs can indicate that you have become addicted to Dilaudid. These include:
- Having a hard time cutting back on the amount you’re using
- Spending a lot of time using Dilaudid, thinking about how to get more, and recovering from its effects
- Using Dilaudid even though it’s causing problems in your life
- Failing to meet your responsibilities at home, work, or school
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches and pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, insomnia, runny nose, and yawning
- Developing a tolerance and needing more to get high
- Neglecting personal hygiene and grooming habits
Side Effects of Dilaudid Abuse
People who are dependent on Dilaudid may experience short-term side effects. The most common include:
- Excessive nausea
In addition, Dilaudid can cause much worse long-term side effects. For instance, Dilaudid abusers may be at risk for:
- Collapsed veins because of repeated injections in the same area over time
- Organ damage due to dangerous methods of getting high
- Heart failure and heart attack
- Liver damage and liver disease
- Lung disease and pneumonia due to smoking opiates too quickly
Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms
People who have been abusing Dilaudid over a long period will experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop. The withdrawal symptoms from this medication might include:
- Muscle aches and pain
- Insomnia or restlessness
- Fever, chills, or sweating
Dilaudid Withdrawal Timeline
While it can vary depending on a person’s physiology and level of addiction, the withdrawal symptoms from Dilaudid typically follow a similar timeline. Users can expect to experience the following:
- 6 hours: Early symptoms like nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and insomnia.
- 10 to 12 hours: Runny nose and watery eyes along with goosebumps and night sweats
- 14 to 16 hours: Restlessness and muscle aches and pain
- 1 to 2 days: A peak in the abovementioned symptoms
- 3 to 4 days: Lingering nausea and body aches that gradually diminish
Following the initial withdrawal period, people may experience depression that can last for several weeks or more. Some experts say that most addicts will stay in this stage for up to a month before they start feeling better.
Dilaudid Withdrawal Detox Treatment
The best treatment is to stop the abuse of Dilaudid before you experience withdrawal symptoms. If your doctor tells you that you need to detox, they may prescribe phenobarbital for seizures and clonidine for high blood pressure. These medications are sometimes used for withdrawing people from opioids like Dilaudid. Other than these two medications, your doctor may also prescribe other prescription drugs for anxiety or depression.
There are several ways to detox from Dilaudid, but medical detox is always advised. Medical detox is beneficial because it can help you feel more comfortable as your body rids itself of the drug. It will also ensure that you have medical personnel nearby in case of dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
What Happens in Medical Detox?
In medical detox, there will be doctors and nurses available to monitor everything about your health, including your vital signs such as blood pressure and pulse. In addition, you will be prescribed medications that can help you feel better when you’re in the early stages of withdrawal.
For instance, if you’re vomiting, you’ll get anti-nausea medication. If you have muscle aches, the doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication. The goal of medical detox is to make sure that your withdrawal is as safe and easy to handle as possible.
Going to Rehab for Dilaudid Addiction
After detoxing, it’s time to seek counseling for drug addiction. If you’re addicted to Dilaudid, it is very likely that you have a co-occurring mental health condition such as depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. This is because people often use drugs to self-medicate.
In rehab, your counselor will help you address any underlying mental health conditions so that you can live a healthier, happier life. If necessary, you will be prescribed medications to treat these conditions, which can help you avoid relapse following treatment.
In addition to counseling, rehab provides a social network where you can interact with other people who have issues similar to yours and who are also recovering from substance use disorder. This gives you a chance to build a community of friends who can help you stay sober in the future. Through support groups, you’ll learn how to deal with triggers that may lead you to use again.
Rehab is your best option when it comes to overcoming an addiction. It’s essential for anyone who has abused Dilaudid on a long-term basis because they will most likely have weakened their body, making it harder for them to stop taking the drug.
Continued-Care Options for Dilaudid Addiction Treatment
One of the best ways to ensure a lifelong recovery from addiction is to follow up your initial care with continued-care options. These programs provide a step-down option from residential treatment or inpatient rehab so that you can remain sober while living at home. Continued care allows you to stay on track after leaving a structured environment. By continuing to receive support, you’ll be more likely to find long-term sobriety.
You can choose to enroll in an outpatient program where you can continue the work you started in inpatient treatment. You’ll learn how to identify triggers that could lead you back into the cycle of addiction. You’ll also learn to deal with triggers through individual counseling and group sessions where you can express yourself freely and safely.
In addition to outpatient treatment, you can participate in community support groups for those recovering from substance use disorder. In these groups, you’ll be assigned a sponsor who can help you with your recovery process. Your sponsor will provide guidance, accountability, and support to make sure that you continue on the right path after treatment.
Through aftercare programs, you may also be able to access other services such as sober living and employment if needed. This can make it easier for you to start fresh after successfully fighting drug addiction.
If you need help with a Dilaudid addiction, Granite Recovery Centers is here for you. We offer the best care in the industry to make sure that your recovery is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. With our personalized approach, comprehensive therapy programs, and quality medical staff available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we can take on your entire rehabilitation process. Call us today for more information about how we can help!