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Written by Amethyst Recovery

Amethyst Recovery is a foremost authority on addiction and a trusted online source of substance abuse information. Their expert team of addiction professionals provide well researched content for people in the grip of addiction. All posts are fact checked and sourced.

Dilaudid Dependence

Dilaudid-Residential-Detox-Recovery-SignDilaudid 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.

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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

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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

Dilaudid-Residential-Detox-Recovery-SunflowerA 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.

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Treating Dilaudid Addiction

Dilaudid-Residential-Rehab-ClinicMedical 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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