Dilaudid Withdrawal & Detox Symptoms, Timeline & Facilities

by | Jul 17, 2019 | Dilaudid | 0 comments


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Dilaudid Dependence


Dilaudid is an opioid – and opioids are also referred to as narcotics. Dilaudid is supposed to only be available by prescription for the treatment of severe pain. The generic, active ingredient in this brand-name drug is hydromorphone.

As with other narcotics, hydromorphone affects the central nervous system of the user and changes the sending of pain signals and the emotional response to pain.

Opioids like Dilaudid have high addiction potential. They also lead to tolerance and physical dependence relatively quickly. Even when Dilaudid is used exactly as prescribed by a doctor, a person can become dependent on it.

Drug dependence means that a user’s body and brain have become used to the presence of Dilaudid with repeated exposure. The brain has a difficult time functioning normally without Dilaudid once dependence has formed.

If someone is dependent on Dilaudid and they try to stop using it without tapering down their dosage, they will likely have symptoms of withdrawal. Opioid dependence is often a sign of addiction, but it doesn’t have to be. A person can be dependent on Dilaudid without being addicted. However, the opposite is rarely true. If someone is addicted to Dilaudid, they are likely also dependent on it.

Symptoms of Dilaudid Withdrawal

If someone is dependent on Dilaudid or any opioid and they do stop using it, withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. Opioid withdrawal symptoms and their severity depend on a number of factors including individual body chemistry, genetics, how much of the drug was being used, and how long someone had been using it.

Symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal include:

  • Pain in the muscles and bones
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Cramps
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Changes in blood pressure

Withdrawal Timeline for Dilaudid

How long withdrawal symptoms might last with a drug like Dilaudid again depends on the specific situation. If someone takes an extended-release opioid, withdrawal symptoms are likely going to last longer. Also, if someone takes higher doses of Dilaudid or other opioids, it’s also going to extend the duration of the withdrawal timeline.

During the first few hours after the last dose of Dilaudid is used, a person might start to experience some mild symptoms, such as anxiety or restlessness.

One to two days after someone stops taking Dilaudid they may start to experience more severe withdrawal symptoms, such as chills, sweating, nausea and aches and pains. The peak symptoms of withdrawal usually occur around the third day after the last dose is taken, and they may start to subside after day four.

For some people, there can be ongoing or lingering withdrawal symptoms such as sleep disturbances like insomnia, anxiety, depression, and irritability.

Dilaudid Withdrawal Medications

There are certain medications that can be used to help ease the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. However, some of these are controversial because they can lead to dependence.

Clonidine is a prescription drug that’s very commonly used to treat symptoms of not only opioid withdrawal but withdrawal from other substances as well. Clonidine can treat a wide variety of withdrawal symptoms that are both physical and psychological.

Buprenorphine is a mild opioid drug that is often used in combination with naloxone. Naloxone helps reduce the risk of an overdose.

There is also methadone, which is the most controversial opioid drug because many people become dependent on it and use it for years.

Sometimes over-the-counter medications can also be used to treat the symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal.

Dilaudid Medical Detox


A medical detox program is something that many people complete before beginning addiction treatment.

During a medical detox, a patient checks into a facility and they stay there as they go through the opioid withdrawal and detox process. There is constant medical care and supervision.

When necessary, patients can be prescribed medications to help them cope with their withdrawal symptoms, and complications can be prevented.

The Risks of At-Home Withdrawal

Some people try to avoid going to a medical detox and instead opt to detox from opioids at home and on their own. This is problematic in many ways. First, while opioid withdrawal isn’t usually deadly, it can be. It’s important to receive medical monitoring to avoid severe withdrawal effects.

Beyond that, when someone tries to go through the opioid detox process at home, they’re less likely to be successful and more likely to relapse. This is harmful from an addiction treatment standpoint, but it can also lead to death.

One of the main reasons people suffer fatal opioid overdoses is because after abstaining from these drugs for a period of time, they relapse. When they relapse they use the dose they were using previously, but their body can no longer handle that dose, leading to an overdose and potentially death.

It can be healthier and more successful for someone to have the support that’s available during a medical detox, and the person is more likely to then go into addiction treatment and less likely to relapse. If someone has certain health conditions, such as a history of heart problems, they can be at an even greater risk of complications developing if they try to detox on their own without medical care.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

One approach to treating addiction sometimes utilized is called medication-assisted treatment or MAT. MAT is a treatment approach integrating the use of certain medications as well as rehab or therapy. Medication-assisted treatment can be effective, but it’s not without possible downsides.

Two drugs that are approved as MAT options for opioid addiction and dependence are methadone and buprenorphine. Both methadone and buprenorphine are themselves mild opioids. They affect the same receptors in the brain as Dilaudid, but they aren’t as potent.

These drugs can help someone avoid opioid withdrawal symptoms and eliminate drug cravings so they can seek treatment. The problem with drugs like buprenorphine and especially methadone is that these drugs can lead to their own dependence problems.

Behavioral Therapy

Regardless of the specific type of addiction treatment facility a person chooses for Dilaudid, it’s likely going to utilize some form of behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy is a very broad term used to describe the different forms of therapy to treat mental health disorders, including addiction.

The goal of behavioral therapy is to help patients identify their unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors and ultimately change them. The idea with forms of behavioral therapy is that harmful behaviors are learned, and as a result can be changed. One of the most common forms of behavioral therapy used at addiction facilities is cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Along with medication and behavioral therapies, sometimes a rehab facility might use holistic treatment approaches. This can include a variety of different treatment approaches that deal with the whole person, including their mental and physical health.

Types of Dilaudid Detox Facilities

All addiction treatment facilities are unique from one another in their amenities, their treatment approach, and the details of what the day-to-day might look like for patients. However, there are some general types of addiction treatment facility categories to consider.

Private Rehabs

Private rehab facilities are the types of treatment centers people most commonly attend when they’re struggling with an addiction to a drug like Dilaudid. Private rehab is paid for by patients, although in many cases insurance will cover some or all of the costs. Private rehab can include inpatient treatment, outpatient programs, day treatment, and other options.

A private rehab tends to be accessible, and people can often start treatment relatively quickly. Private rehab centers can vary from simple, straightforward centers, all the way up to luxury rehabs where amenities are abundant.

Non-Profit Rehab Facilities

An alternative to a private rehab facility is a non-profit treatment center.

Non-profit rehabs tend to have the same level of care as what you would find at a private rehab. However, the costs are lower. Some non-profit rehabs may not charge patients at all, while others might operate on an income-based sliding scale.

While the lower cost can be an advantage of attending a non-profit rehab facility, spots are often very limited for these treatment centers. It can be difficult to get into a non-profit rehab facility, and there are often long waiting lists for this type of treatment facility.

Government-Funded Treatment


There are government-funded rehab programs available, most of which are operated by state governments.

A government-funded rehab program might be the right fit for a person who doesn’t have insurance, or who has limited insurance coverage. Most government-funded treatment centers do provide detox, as well as treatment and other supportive services.

Frequently, government-funded rehab centers are included as part of other programs such as criminal justice programs.

The requirements to go to a government-funded Dilaudid treatment center can vary depending on the state, but often people have to show that they are a resident of the particular state where they’re seeking treatment.

Other Dilaudid Treatment Facilities

Private, non-profit and government-funded rehab are all very broad categories. There are some more specific facility classifications as well.

Luxury Rehab

Often when we hear about celebrities and high-profile people going for addiction treatment, they will go to a luxury rehab.

The definition of a luxury rehab might vary from person-to-person, but these treatment facilities can cost tens of thousands of dollars a month. A luxury rehab can often seem more like a resort than a treatment facility.

While a luxury rehab might be comfortable and pleasant, attending one of these high-end rehabs doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get better quality treatment than you might elsewhere.

Long-Term Facilities

Treating addiction, especially to potent opioids like Dilaudid, can be a long-term process. For people with severe addictions or co-occurring mental health disorders, a long-term rehab facility may be the right treatment option.

Long-term rehab may last for anywhere from 120 to 180 days, or even longer in some cases.

There are intensive and structured treatments that take place at a long-term facility, and the goal isn’t just to address the addiction. It’s to help the person be able to live a normal, productive and thriving life once they leave treatment.

How to Select a Treatment Facility


Because of the large number of addiction treatment facilities in the U.S., it can be difficult to know which one might be right for you or your loved one. The following are some things to consider and keep in mind:

  • What are the specific needs of the person who will be going to a treatment facility? Are there mental or physical health concerns that will need to be addressed and treated along with addiction?
  • What’s the severity of the addiction? Not every addiction treatment program is going to work well for someone with a severe and long-term Dilaudid addiction.
  • Does the person going to treatment have adequate insurance that will cover some or all of the costs? If not, how will treatment costs be covered?
  • Where is the facility located? Is it out-of-state? This can work well for some people so they can focus on addiction treatment, but it might not necessarily work for everyone.
  • Is the person who needs help going to be resistant to going to a treatment facility? Will an intervention be necessary?

All are important considerations, as are many others. If you would like to further explore treatment options for opioid addiction and in particular, Dilaudid addiction, contact Amethyst Recovery.

Treating Dilaudid Addiction


Medical detox is an important and often necessary first step for someone who wants to receive treatment for a Dilaudid addiction. However, it’s essential to understand that detox isn’t a treatment for addiction on its own. Addiction treatment is a multi-step process, and going through medical detox is just one step of that process.

For the best outcomes, people addicted to Dilaudid can look for an addiction treatment center that includes a medical detox as part of a larger treatment plan. This is better than a standalone detox center for many people because once they complete detox, they can move directly into the treatment program. This makes it more likely they will actually go into treatment, and there isn’t the chaos that can come with having to change facilities after completing detox.

If you want to learn more about Dilaudid dependence, withdrawal, and medical detox options, contact Amethyst Recovery.


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