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Understanding Dilaudid And Its Effects
Dilaudid is an Opioid Painkiller that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The generic name of this drug is Hydromorphone, and it is in a class of drugs called Opioid Analgesics. Analgesics work by acting on the peripheral and central nervous systems and relieving pain. Dilaudid is sometimes used when other medications have proved unable to treat a person’s pain. This medication is similar to Morphine, and can be administered by injection in the hospital, or by swallowing a tablet at home. A doctor’s prescription is necessary to obtain either of these drugs and using it in any other way than prescribed is considered abuse. Some people crush and either chew, snort, or smoke the pill to feel the euphoric effects of Dilaudid more intensely and quickly.
Effects Of Dilaudid
When used properly, Dilaudid should effectively relieve pain within 15 minutes, reaching its peak effects in 30 minutes to an hour. It works for a few hours before its effects start to lessen, although it does remain in the body for 2 to 3 days. Like other medications, Dilaudid should be taken at the first sign of pain, not waiting until the pain has worsened. The effects of Dilaudid may lessen over time if it is taken for an extended period of time, as a result of increased tolerance. You should not increase your dosage without talking to your doctor. Taking this medication with alcohol can increase the risk of dangerous side effects. Some side effects of Dilaudid include:
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Dry Mouth
- Blurred or double vision
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People taking Dilaudid can develop serotonin syndrome, where there is too much serotonin in the body, leading to extreme nerve cell activity and other dangerous symptoms. Some signs to look out for include fever, shivering, sweating, twitching, agitation, hallucinations, stomach problems, loss of coordination, and muscle stiffness. Medical attention should be sought right away if any of these signs occur. Some people have an allergic reaction to Dilaudid that is signaled by hives, swelling of the throat, lips, or tongue, or difficulty breathing. Dangerous side effects of Dilaudid that should receive medical attention include:
- Loss of interest in sex
- Infertility/missed menstrual periods
- Weakness and severe drowsiness
- Shallow breathing
- Breathing that stops at night
- Low cortisol levels
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Some people take Dilaudid in other ways than prescribed to feel the drowsy and euphoric effects. Using Opioids to get high leads to feelings of happiness and relaxation, but it is easy to unintentionally overdose, especially if Dilaudid is combined with other drugs or alcohol. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Dilaudid is a schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and dependence. In 2008 there were 12,142 emergency department visits associated with Dilaudid. That number increased to 18,224 in 2011. The main sources of illicit Dilaudid acquisition is robberies of pharmacies and nursing homes, forged prescriptions, armed robberies, and “doctor-shoppers.” Doctor shopping is when someone visits multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions.
The most common illicit dose of Dilaudid is a 4mg tablet. Depending on location, the price for one of these tablets ranges from $5 to $100. Street names for Dilaudid include Dust, Dillies, Smack, Juice, D, and Footballs. An overdose from Dilaudid is apparent with severe respiratory depression, coma, paralysis, cold, clammy skin, reduction in blood pressure and heart rate, constricted pupils, and death. Naloxone, the medication designed to reverse an Opioid overdose, can be administered in the event of a Dilaudid overdose.
Abusing Dilaudid can quickly lead to an addiction, but even using Dilaudid as prescribed can cause physical dependence. It is not recommended to suddenly discontinue the use of Dilaudid. Doing so may lead to withdrawal symptoms. Some early signs of withdrawal from Opioids include anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose and eyes, and insomnia. These symptoms usually start around 12 hours after last use. Later withdrawal signs include nausea and vomiting, goosebumps, dilated pupils, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Getting Help For Dilaudid Abuse
While withdrawal symptoms are not fatal, they can be extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable. Seeking out a medically supervised detox at a drug rehab facility is the safest option, as staff can provide medications and medical care to ease some of the symptoms. After detoxing, it is important to continue treatment to learn how to function without relying on the effects of Dilaudid. Developing an Opioid addiction is not a sign of weakness: about 2.1 million Americans have Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Overcoming an addiction is a challenge, but guidance from treatment provider can provide you with the tools you need to succeed. Call a treatment provider today to learn more about your options.
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