Signs and Symptoms of Dilaudid Abuse
Dilaudid abuse or addiction has a lot of physical symptoms that include painful withdrawal and dependence, as with most opioid-based drugs.
Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is an opioid narcotic medication that is used to treat severe pain. It is said to be 5-10 times more powerful than morphine. Dilaudid is also sometimes used to treat chronic pain and in those that have become tolerant to other opioid drugs. Hydromorphone is not intended for short-term pain relief.
Dilaudid is a full opioid agonist, which means that it completely fills the opioid receptors in the brain. Dilaudid binds to these receptors and produces a sense of calm, relaxation, and euphoria. It is a short-acting opioid with an onset of 10-15 minutes, which makes the drug more desirable to users.
What is Dilaudid Addiction?
Opioid addiction has become a national crisis; we are experiencing an opioid epidemic. Mental health disorders are bad and people are left untreated. Since opioids bind to the receptors in the brain to block pain and make you feel good, the individual finds that the opioid they are taking also takes away their depression and anxiety. The person starts taking the prescribed opioid for an illness or injury and then will continue taking it to “self-medicate” or treat their depression. This may continue and before they know it they have developed a dependence to the drug. Once someone has developed a dependence, addiction can easily follow.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency:
Hydromorphone, similar to other schedule II opioids, has a high abuse and dependence potential and produces tolerance. Prior to the current popularity of hydrocodone and oxycodone among drug abusers, low dose (2 and 4 mg) immediate release hydromorphone formulations (i.e., Dilaudid®) were the leading opioid products for abuse and diversion. Street names for Dilaudid® are Dust, Juice, Dillies, Smack, D, and Footballs. Abuse of hydromorphone is mainly among rural and suburban populations. For 2017 and 2018, any past year use of hydromorphone products continued to decrease with 1.9 million and 1.8 million persons, respectively, aged 12 years or older, as well as, among individuals within the same age group that misused hydrocodone products in the past year (i.e., 244,000 persons in 2017 vs. 229,000 in 2018). (DEA)
Where Does Dilaudid Abuse Lead Us?
Dilaudid abuse or addiction has both behavioral and physical warning signs. Let’s take a look at some of the behavioral warning signs that Dilaudid addiction has taken a hold of you or a loved one.
- “Doctor shopping” or visiting multiple doctors to try to obtain a prescription
- Sudden dramatic mood swings
- Dishonesty and secrecy
- Avoiding social situations or isolating
- Issues with work, family, or friends
- Legal problems
- Inability to meet commitments
- Changes in habits or routines
- Financial problems
- Using more medication than prescribed or running out of medication quickly
What Are the Signs of Dilaudid Addiction?
Dilaudid abuse or addiction also has a lot of physical symptoms. Here are some of the warning signs to look for if you suspect your loved one may be abusing opioids.
- Sedation, drowsiness, or lack of energy
- Nodding off
- Very small pupils
- Lack of coordination
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slowed breathing
- Itching or constant scratching
- “Track marks” or scars and bruises on the arms, hands, or other parts of the body from IV use (using needles).
Dilaudid, like all other opioids, is dangerous. Often prescription opioid abuse eventually leads to the individual switching to heroin. In fact, it has been found that 3 out of 4 current heroin users state that their addiction to heroin started with prescription opioids. Heroin is cheaper and is more easily attained, so people start using it to prevent going through withdrawal.
What Are Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms?
Once a person has become addicted to Dilaudid, they have to have the drug in their bloodstream, or they will immediately experience withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms that come with a Dilaudid addiction are so debilitating, that often an individual that has become addicted will continue to use out of fear. Most are terrified of what they will experience if they don’t have the drug, so they will go to any lengths to get it. Some of the common symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tremors and shaking
- Insomnia, restlessness, or sleeplessness
- Runny nose and excessive tearing
- Fatigue, lack of energy and yawning
- Anxiety and irritability
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle, bone and joint pain
- Leg cramps
Opioid addiction is a long-lasting and chronic disease. Long-term opioid addiction can lead to a number of health issues both physical and psychological. The body’s vital organs can be damaged and individuals may also have trouble concentrating, and experience anxiety, and depression. Recovery is possible and these days there are a lot of different options and treatments for opioid addiction. The sooner a person gets help, once they are aware of their addiction and can admit it, the better off they will be.
Treatment for Dilaudid Addiction and Opioid Abuse
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Absolute Awakenings follows an evidence-based approach to treating substance abuse disorders. We are committed to providing long-term recovery for those struggling with addiction. Recovery is not a one size fits all approach, so every person that walks through our doors is provided with a unique and individualized experience. Our recovery specialists are waiting to assist you so please call us today for more information.