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How to End a Dilaudid Addiction

Dilaudid (the trade name for the compound hydromorphone hydrochloride) is an extremely potent synthetic opioid narcotic painkiller. In fact, it is considered about 600 to 900 percent stronger than morphine. In many cases, the narcotic is used as a morphine alternative. When first taken, the drug can provide pain relief in as little as 15 minutes and will last upwards of six hours. Dilaudid is considered a Schedule II narcotic. It is often used to treat moderate to severe pain for people who have soft tissue injuries, bone injuries, cancer pain, pain from burns, or other extremely painful conditions.

Because it attaches to the GI tract, central nervous system and the brain, it can provide an overwhelming amount of euphoric feelings for the user. This helps dull the pain that someone is struggling with at the time. One of the primary reasons that someone who was originally prescribed Dilaudid for a legitimate condition may develop an addiction to Dilaudid is because of the associated feelings of euphoria. Even someone who has no history of opiate dependence could develop a tolerance for and dependence on Dilaudid in as little as three weeks of continued use.

Understanding Dilaudid Addiction

As previously mentioned, the body can quickly adapt to the intake of Dilaudid. Because the body starts to develop a tolerance, it means that in order to experience the same pleasurable effects, the user will need to take more and more of the same drug. A previous dose that might have been enough to provide euphoric sensations now is barely enough to avoid the withdrawals from Dilaudid.

Dilaudid Addiction

One of the first Dilaudid addiction signs is a dependence upon the drug, meaning that the body is unable to function without taking more of the same medication. This is a physical dependence where the body relies on an external factor (in this case the drug) to provide a chemical in the body. Because taking Dilaudid only provides relief for five to six hours, those struggling with dependence will need to ingest the drug several times throughout the day. It is also possible for the user to become psychologically dependent on the drug. This means that the Dilaudid drug abuse continues because the user believes that the drug is needed for them to be able to function. Even though this is not physically the case, the mental aspect drives them to use again. Becoming psychologically dependent on a drug may lead to withdrawal symptoms of Dilaudidand panic that would not otherwise be present if the user is unable to take a dose.

Dangers of Intravenous Use

Another reason that it is important to help someone detox from Dilaudid as quickly as possible is because most of the people who abuse Dilaudid do so intravenously. The tablet form of Dilaudid is not as effective in producing the sought after euphoric effects. Unfortunately, the intravenous injection of Dilaudid leads to a number of significant risks. These include infections at the injection site, bloodborne infections and vein collapse. Most people who abuse Dilaudid are going to attempt to extend the pleasurable sensations by mixing the drug with other downers such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. This can lead to serious respiratory depression and may prove to be fatal.

The Dangers of an Overdose

As previously mentioned, the drug is an opiate painkiller in the same line as hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine. Because it is still in the opiate class, many of the signs and symptoms of abuse are the same as we see with other opiates. Because of the drug’s potency, a fatal overdose is a sad reality in even moderate doses. When someone increases the dosage of the drug, the first steps are often feelings of nausea and restlessness. After that, they may experience abnormal breathing and a total loss of consciousness. Because Dilaudid works on the central nervous system, it is important to understand that anyone abusing Dilaudid (even casually) means that they are constantly at risk of an overdose). This is the reason that it is important to seek out Dilaudid treatment as quickly as possible. Oftentimes the difference between the euphoric sensations that people are after and a fatal overdose can be quite small.

Some of the symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak pulse
  • Spasms of the stomach and/or intestinal tract
  • Bluish colored fingernails and lips
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Cardiac arrest
  • >Circulatory collapse
  • Hypertension
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Skeletal muscle flaccidity
  • Coma
  • Stupor
  • Respiratory depression

If you notice any of these symptoms in someone that has displayed Dilaudid addiction symptoms before or whom you believe may have experienced an overdose, it is vitally important that you call emergency services instantly.

The Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawal

When someone actively abuses the drug, he or she risks experiencing withdrawal symptoms from Dilaudid. This is true even after a few weeks of continued drug abuse. One of the primary benefits of Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms treatment is the fact that experienced staff members are present to help guide someone through the discomfort. Oftentimes these Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms resemble flu-like symptoms, including pains, muscle aches, nausea and fatigue.

The withdrawal from Dilaudid can start as early as a few hours after the last use of the drug. Generally speaking, Dilaudid withdrawal is going to last between three and seven days. The quantity of the drug taken and the length of abuse will often determine the severity of the symptoms. Another reason that it is important to seek out Dilaudid withdrawal treatment is that dehydration poses a significant risk during withdrawal. Without proper medical care and a qualified Dilaudid detox, dehydration may lead to convulsions and seizures.

A few of the different withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Impaired judgment
  • Cravings
  • Goose bumps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dehydration
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold flashes
  • Involuntary leg movements
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle pain

Detox and Treatment

If you or someone that you care about has issues with Dilaudid addiction, the first step is to seek treatment. At a Dilaudid addiction treatment center, patients learn more than how to detox from Dilaudid, they are helped throughout the withdrawal process with specific medications.

In order to prevent relapse, there are medical professionals present to monitor the detoxification process. Dilaudid withdrawal treatment is just one part of the process though. It is also important that the user have a chance to determine why use began in the first place and what can be done to avoid a relapse in the future. If you believe that someone you care about is exhibiting Dilaudid addiction signs, make sure that you do not delay the call and get them the necessary help through Dilaudid withdrawal. Remember that without long-term, inpatient rehab, the majority of people that abuse Dilaudid will eventually relapse into their old behavior.