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ABOUT US is a not-for-profit resource for the community, connecting people to addiction treatment and education resources. You can find information on addiction and treatment as well as detailed information on treatment centers nationwide. Our main goal is to provide a comprehensive resource for individuals who are seeking treatment regardless of their situation.

Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) Addiction

Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) is one of the most powerful drugs available in the market today. For this reason, doctors often prescribe it for the relief of pain that other opioids have been unable to manage. However, you also need to realize that this drug comes with a high abuse and addiction potential if you abuse it.

A combination drug that contains both hydrochloride and Hydromorphone, Dilaudid works in the same way as morphine and heroin. However, it tends to be more potent, and this is why its use is highly controlled.

About Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

Dilaudid is a prescription opioid medication that is typically prescribed for pain relief. It is available as an injectable solution, a rectal suppository, a tablet, and a liquid - but all these forms of the drug are quite potent.

Doctors often prescribe the medication for the relief of moderate to severe pain. This pain could be as a result of a surgical procedure, cancer, broken bones, or any other condition that causes chronic pain.

It is like any other opioid in the sense that it works by blocking the signals of physical pain that are sent to the brain. By so doing, it will decrease the intensity and effects of pain, as well as improve your emotional response to any pain that you may be feeling.

Some of the conditions that Dilaudid is used to manage include:

  • Cancer pain
  • Chest pain
  • Chronic back pain
  • Hospice care
  • Nerve pain
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stomach pain

Other Names for Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

People refer to Dilaudid by a wide variety of street names to avoid detection by law enforcement and other authorities. These street names include:

  • Big D
  • D
  • Dillies
  • D's
  • Dust
  • Footballs
  • Juice
  • M-80s
  • Peaches
  • Smack

Signs and Symptoms of Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) Addiction

It might be difficult for you to realize that you may have developed physical and psychological dependence on Dilaudid. This is because your addiction might have developed after a doctor prescribed this medication to you.

In case you are concerned that you might have developed this substance use disorder, you should look out for the common symptoms of hydrocodone or Dilaudid addiction:

  • Agitation
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Developing hepatitis, HIV, and other blood borne illnesses after sharing needles with other Dilaudid users
  • Development of tolerance
  • Difficulty maintaining your professional and personal commitments
  • Difficulty staying alert and awake
  • Doctor shopping so that you can receive multiple prescriptions for the drug
  • Euphoric highs
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Financial problems.
  • Forging prescriptions for the medication
  • Hallucinations
  • Incarceration.
  • Injury from using the drug in hazardous situations (such as while operating heavy machinery or driving)
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Isolating yourself from friends and family
  • Itching
  • Legal issues linked to Dilaudid use
  • Lying to family and friends about your drug use
  • Momentary lapses in your consciousness
  • Mood swings
  • Nodding off
  • Noticeable breathing problems
  • Personality changes
  • Poor coordination
  • Poverty due to ongoing drug abuse
  • Problems with your interpersonal relationships.
  • Scratching
  • Seizures
  • Significant lifestyle changes
  • Social isolation
  • Spending large amounts of money and time on acquiring and using Dilaudid
  • Stealing Dilaudid from medicine cabinets and pharmacies
  • Stomach pain
  • Taking laxatives to aid with the constipation that arises as a side effect of Dilaudid use
  • Withdrawal symptoms appearing when you stop using the drug

Short and Long-Term Effects of Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) Abuse

When you take this drug, it will be processed by your body and used to block any pain signals that your brain might be sending. Like any other opioid, it is metabolized inside the liver. After that, it is broken down into Hydromorphone-3-glucuronide.

Some of the other effects that arise when you use and abuse Dilaudid include:

  • Agitation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Brain damage
  • Breathing problems
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Damage to the nasal passage cartilage
  • Decreased flow of blood to the brain (or hypoxia)
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive weakness
  • Facial damage
  • Flushing
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Hives
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Impotence
  • Increased risk of drug dependence and addiction
  • Infertility
  • Itchiness
  • Joint pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Paranoia
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Psychosis
  • Rash
  • Sedation
  • Seizures
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Stomach cramps
  • Stopped breathing (particularly if you are asthmatic)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble urinating
  • Vomiting

Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) Overdose

According to the CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - 44 people die in the United States every single day as a result of abusing prescription opioid pain relief medications.

When you take a powerful narcotic like Dilaudid, it can slow down several essential bodily functions. These include blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and breathing. When this happens, you could suffer from an opioid overdose that could be accompanied by the following effects:

  • Blue fingernails and lips
  • Cold and/or clammy skin
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Failing to waking up
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Flaccid skeletal musculature
  • Hypotension
  • Lack of muscle tone
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle twitches
  • Nodding out
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Seizures
  • Shallow, troubled, and slow breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Stomach spasms
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Weak pulse

Most of these overdose symptoms might turn out to be potentially life-threatening. In case you experience them, it is essential that you seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible. You can do this by calling your local poisons control center or 911.

Any time you take this drug in excess, you could suffer an overdose. However, your overdose risk will depend on the route of administration of the medication. Injecting, smoking, or snorting Dilaudid will send the drug in its entirety across the blood-brain barrier. As a result, these modes of use could increase your risk of a drug overdose. This is because they could result in apnea, cardiac arrest, and collapse of the circulatory system.

Taking Dilaudid with other addictive substances like alcohol could also increase your risk of a drug overdose. In fact, mixing this opioid pain relief medication with alcohol and benzodiazepines could increase your risk of suffering serious negative interactions.

This is because benzos are tranquilizers and sedatives. They also work to suppress the CNS, or the central nervous system. This is also the case with Dilaudid and alcohol. Therefore, taking these drugs in combination could lower all these essential life functions and lead to disastrous outcomes.

You may also overdose on this drug if you have already gone through detox and reduced your tolerance to the medication before suffering a relapse. Going back to the drug after your body has completely purged it could turn out to be dangerous.

This is because you may start abusing Dilaudid at the same dose that you were used to. Since you had already detoxed from the drug, your tolerance would have been reduced. As a result, going back to the same dose could increase your risk of a drug overdose.

Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) Withdrawal Symptoms

If you are already dependent on Dilaudid and you suddenly stop taking it, you could suffer some of the typical withdrawal symptoms associated with other opioids. Examples of these withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Body cramping
  • Bone pain
  • Cold sweats
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Drug cravings
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Shaking
  • Shivering
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Watering eyes

It is recommended that you only try to stop abusing Dilaudid after you have checked into a medically supervised drug detox program. This way, you will be able to receive the round the clock care needed to ensure that you do not suffer too much from your Dilaudid withdrawal.

The Best Options for Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) Addiction Treatment

In case you are addicted to Dilaudid, you need to enroll into a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. This way, you will be provided with a wide variety of services designed to help you overcome your growing opioid use disorder. These services include but are not limited to:

  • Addiction education
  • Aftercare programming
  • Couples counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Medically supervised detox
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Participation in 12 step support group meetings
  • Residential treatment

The time you spend in a professional addiction treatment and recovery program could help you overcome your Dilaudid use, abuse, tolerance, dependence, and drug use disorder until you achieve a state of full sobriety.


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