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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.

An Overview of Dilaudid

Dilaudidl-Rehab-Detox-Recovery-OverdoseDilaudid is a schedule II controlled substance, intended to be prescribed to treat only severe pain. Dilaudid is a brand-name drug, and the active ingredient is the opioid narcotic hydromorphone. Dilaudid has a black box warning that comes with it regarding its potential for addiction and dependence. Whether someone is using it as prescribed or using it recreationally, it may lead to the need for professional Dilaudid rehab.

The following are some things to know about how Dilaudid works and why it’s addictive:

  • Dilaudid binds to opioid receptors and changes how users sense and respond to pain.
  • As with other opioid narcotics, Dilaudid is a central nervous system depressant.
  • Some people can become dependent on Dilaudid after using it for only a week or two, and tolerance develops quickly.
  • When someone becomes addicted to a prescription drug like Dilaudid, it becomes more likely that they will then begin using heroin.
  • When someone is addicted to Dilaudid, treatment is available, but it needs to be intensive and thorough enough to deal with the power of opioid addiction.

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Side Effects of Dilaudid

Whether someone is using Dilaudid as prescribed, or abusing it recreationally, it can have certain side effects. Side effects of Dilaudid are similar to the effects of other opioids. These effects can include:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushing or redness of the skin
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Sweating
  • Itchiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • A headache
  • Strange dreams
  • Sleep problems
  • Dry mouth

There are also serious and sometimes very severe side effects of Dilaudid. These may include:

  • Shallow, weak or slow breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Slow heart rate or pulse
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Pounding heart or fluttering heart
  • Wheezing
  • Severe weakness
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Changes in mood or mental state
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Urinary retention
  • Overdose

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Dilaudid Abuse

When someone is prescribed a drug like Dilaudid, it is possible for them to move into an area that would be defined as substance abuse without even noticing it at first. That’s one of the big problems with opioids. They can so quickly become drugs of abuse, and before someone notices the red flags in either themselves or a loved one, an addiction has developed.

Dilaudid abuse isn’t the same as addiction, however. Abuse of a prescription drug is a situation where it’s being used in any way outside of how it’s prescribed or intended.

For example, if someone is using opioids without a prescription, or continuing to use them for longer than their doctor has prescribed, that is regarded as drug abuse. Opioid abuse can include altering the drug in any way, such as crushing it to snort it. Using Dilaudid or other opioids only for the pleasant effects is considered abuse, as is taking larger doses than prescribed.

While abusing Dilaudid doesn’t mean someone is addicted, abuse very often leads to opioid addiction.

Dilaudid Addiction

Dilaudid-Rehab-New-Life-Detox-DirectionThe longer someone uses or abuses Dilaudid, the more likely they are to become addicted. Addiction to opioids or any other substance is a diagnosable medical and psychological disorder. There are certain criteria used to diagnose whether or not an addiction exists, and also the severity of the addiction.

When someone is addicted to a substance, the use of that substance is no longer under their control. Addiction changes the functionality of the brain, and the use of certain substances becomes compulsive.

Any person who uses opioids is at risk of becoming addicted. There are also certain factors that can increase the likelihood that someone will develop an opioid addiction. These can include a personal or family history of substance abuse, and or having a mental health condition.

Some of the potential signs of a Dilaudid addiction include:

  • Continuing to use Dilaudid despite negative consequences in one’s life
  • Using Dilaudid even when there are adverse health outcomes associated with that use
  • Dilaudid is a top priority
  • Putting oneself in dangerous situations either while on Dilaudid, or to get more
  • Feeling like you want to stop using Dilaudid but being unable to
  • Having at least one serious failed attempt to stop using Dilaudid

To diagnose Dilaudid addiction, a person can go to their primary health care provider, a mental health care provider, or an addiction counselor or specialist.

Dilaudid Dependence

Physical dependence is a separate condition from substance abuse and addiction, but all three concepts are related to one another.

Someone can be dependent on Dilaudid without being addicted. Dilaudid dependence is a situation where the brain and body of the user have become so used to the presence of Dilaudid, that it’s needed for “normal” functionality.

If someone dependent on Dilaudid tries to lower their dose, or they stop using it suddenly, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Dilaudid and opioid withdrawal can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • General discomfort

Dilaudid dependence can be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Most opioid rehab programs will include a medical detox as the first step of treatment. Detox on its own isn’t a treatment for addiction, however.

Even if a person uses Dilaudid exactly as prescribed and for no longer than prescribed, they may become dependent on it. In these cases, a medical provider will usually recommend the patient gradually reduce, or taper down their dose of Dilaudid over time, rather than stopping suddenly.

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Dilaudid Rehab Options

Dilaudid-Rehab-Recovery-Stages-Detox-FreedomThere are many different rehab options available for someone who is addicted to Dilaudid.

There are inpatient programs which are the highest level of care aside from a medical detox. During inpatient Dilaudid rehab, patients must stay in the treatment facility overnight for a certain period of time. Inpatient rehab is the best option for someone with a severe addiction or someone with co-occurring mental health disorders.

There are also partial hospitalization programs, outpatient rehab, and 12-step groups.

Some of the determining factors that play a role in the type of Dilaudid program a person participates in can include how long they’ve used the drug, the size of the dose they take, and whether there are complicating factors.

If you would like to learn more about Dilaudid rehab and addiction treatment, contact Amethyst Recovery.

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