Dilaudid Addiction and Abuse
Dilaudid is an Opioid analgesic drug that is primarily used to treat moderate to severe pain. The drug is primarily made up of Hydromorphone and Hydrochloride and can be prescribed in pill form after an injury to help cope with the pain. Injections are also administered to diminish pain, usually by nurses, and should not be attempted on your own. Dilaudid is a highly addictive drug and should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor.
In pill form, Dilaudid should be taken whole and should not be broken up or chewed. Crushing or chewing Dilaudid may cause too much of the drug to release at once and is considered a form of abuse. Depending on how much of the drug is taken, an over-release of Dilaudid can cause a potentially fatal overdose.
The medication is an agonist, meaning it activates opioid receptors in the brain to the fullest extent, resulting in the most extreme effects of opioids. This also means that it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. As it produces pleasurable feelings with each dose, temptation to abuse the drug trails behind. Meanwhile, the user may build up a tolerance in as little as a few weeks as use of the drug continues, potentially leading to an addiction. Because of this, doctors strictly recommend to only take the amount prescribed and for a short period of time.
If you are concerned about increasing your dosage of Dilaudid, it is always recommended to consult with your physician first. You don’t want to get addicted to the drug, but you still need something to treat your pain. Doctors can also prescribe other pain medication to replace Dilaudid if you start to feel a dependence. It is as important to watch your dosage and follow your treatment plan as it is to get help for the pain you are experiencing.
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Dilaudid Side Effects
Side effects of the drug are different from withdrawal effects because side effects are naturally occurring symptoms that occur due to how the body processes a medication. While taking Dilaudid within the recommended dosage, you may still experience the following common side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Strange dreams
- Stomach pain
- Flushing of skin
- Sleep problems
- Nausea and vomiting
Additionally, Dilaudid users may experience less common, but more dangerous side effects. If any of these present themselves, immediate medical attention should be sought.
- Trouble breathing
- Slow heart rate
- Cold, clammy skin
- Pounding heart rate
- Severe weakness or drowsiness
- Mood changes
- Difficulty urinating
- Fluttering in chest
- Severe abdominal pain
- Respiratory depression or failure
Just like with any other drug, not everybody experiences these side effects. If any symptoms persist, contact your doctor.
Because Dilaudid is very addictive, you might be influenced to suddenly stop your medication in an attempt to reverse or prevent an addiction. This is not recommended without the supervision of a doctor. After even a short amount of time on Dilaudid, your brain gets used to the effects of the drug and adjusts to the reaction it produces within your body. In fact, the body can develop a tolerance and physical dependence to Dilaudid in less than 2 weeks. Once you stop taking the drug, your brain will need time to function normally again, thus producing negative side effects in the meantime known as withdrawal. Side effects of withdrawing from Dilaudid include:
- Body aches
- Fast heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Runny nose
- Instability or agitation
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Body cramps
- Intense drug cravings
- Elevated blood pressure
- Muscle and bone pain
- Body cramps
- Tearful eyes
- Muscle fatigue
Tapering, or gradually lowering the dosage, helps with the negative symptoms that come with Dilaudid withdrawal. Other medicines can also be prescribed to help soothe these side effects.
A common effect of taking opioids like Dilaudid is respiratory depression. If left untreated, this condition can worsen, with the possibility of respiratory arrest or death. Respiratory depression develops as a result of slow and improper breathing, a major side effect of Dilaudid.
If you do not provide your lungs with the right amount of oxygen, your tissues and organs will not be able to work properly. If you have trouble breathing, talk to your doctor about performing respiratory function tests. The key is to catch it early before it progresses into a more dangerous state. Oxygen therapy can be initiated to help with oxygen flow while you are still taking Dilaudid. If a user of Dilaudid (or any other opioid) is experiencing visible respiratory depression, they will likely need an opioid antagonist like naloxone.
Taking too much Dilaudid can cause intense respiratory depression, which in turn can result in respiratory arrest, where you stop breathing altogether.
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Finding Treatment for Dilaudid Addiction
While drugs like Morphine are more well-known than Dilaudid, they are not as strong. Getting a prescription for Dilaudid, especially when the patient is unaware of its potency, can lead to an even higher chance of abuse. You might not be counseled about its addictive features, therefore becoming comfortable with taking more pills for your pain. It’s probably not your fault an addiction may have developed, but you have the ability to fully recover.
Depending on the severity of dependence, inpatient or outpatient programs can benefit anyone struggling with a Dilaudid addiction. Many recover centers offer Dilaudid detox to help their patients get started with being sober. Get the pain out of your life for good, and contact a treatment specialist today for free advice.
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