Dilaudid (or hydromorphone) is a prescription narcotic commonly used to treat pain for recovery from surgeries and rehabilitation. The problem lies after the pain subsides and the dependency remains. It’s also one of the most abused prescription drugs today. If you have a prescription make sure you follow the guidelines in this article to protect against addiction.
Why Dilaudid Abuse is a Serious Issue
When you add a Dilaudid prescription to your already chaotic life, things become scary. Managing the stress of work, family, and daily life can cause plenty of issues you. Even with a strong trust-filled relationship at home, most people will have difficulty disclosing their opioid addiction.
Currently, there is an opioid epidemic among people in our country. If you are currently prescribed Dilaudid or any form of an opioid, please take the possibility of an addiction seriously.
Most drug users know they have a problem, but admitting is something very difficult for most. It’s essentially admitting you have a weakness, something most people have a hard time doing. I encourage you to be extra-watchful during the months during and after you start taking Dilaudid. There might be a problem if you or a loved one shows one or more of these issues:
- changes in behavior
- suddenly wants to isolated for no reason
- starts making lots of excuses
- overreacts to tough situations
- not recovering from an injury
- a sudden drop in performance at work
- a change in social circles
- a lethargic attitude to life
Dilaudid Abuse Methods
A patient may experience a Dilaudid withdrawal after a hospital stay.
Many patients after they’ve been exposed to opioids begin to crave the Dilaudid high. Addicted patients will always try to find the best way to take narcotics to get high. If they were exposed to an IV, they may try to find the best way to take Dilaudid besides an IV if it’s not available.
Taking pills is an easy way, but the best way to get high off of Dilaudid pills it to crush them up. Then you can cook them into a liquid to shoot an IV or ingest them through a method called plugging. The reason these methods work better is the bioavailability stays higher and provides a more intense high with less of the narcotic.
How long does it take to get addicted to IV Dilaudid? The answer is most likely instantaneous, due to the bioavailability being 100%. An IV is by far the most dangerous of all ways to abuse an opioid. There were “more side effects were observed after a hydromorphone IV, than after a rectal or peroral dose” according to The National Center for Biotechnology Information.
If your loved one has an addiction to opioid narcotics, they might look for ways to hide their addiction. Plugging is a popular alternative to pills or intravenous methods. If you Google “how to prepare Dilaudid for plugging” it’s scary the number of results you’ll find.
Essentially, how to plug Dilaudid involves crushing a pill form into powder, adding warm water, and inserting it into the rectum. Many users claim it immediately gives them a very warm and soothing feeling throughout the entire body. These sensations are very similar to an IV but less lethal.
Plugging Dilaudid bioavailability is estimated to be around 60 to 90%, which makes it more effective than snorting or ingesting.
If higher doses are not available, plugging 2mg of Dilaudid is the next best way to get high after an IV
The dangers of taking hydromorphone and other variations are well known. Many users will look for the best way to take Dilaudid 2mg or 4mg, and die in their sleep. Cause of death usually includes a severe sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and finally death.
Who Gets a Prescription?
When the pain is severe enough, a drug like Dilaudid becomes necessary to mitigate excruciating irritation. Addiction to pain medications like hydromorphone frequently occurs because of the power of the drug itself and an unknown and not diagnosable tendency towards addiction. It’s very important to let your doctor know of any family predispositions to addiction before the doctors make any prescriptions.
Many Dilaudid abusers do not fall into the stereotype of a drug user. This makes them particularly difficult to spot, which means they don’t “look or act like a drug-user” until they become addicted. Sometimes people fail to acknowledge the possibility of addiction because their loved one doesn’t fit into the stereotypes.
Many hydromorphone abusers are quite functional. They have good jobs and seem to have everything under control, and when a doctor prescribes a pill they don’t “bat an eye.”
Do you know about the risks of normal and prescribed usage of a narcotic such as Dilaudid or Morphine? Even a normal dosage, under a doctor’s supervision, of such potent prescriptions can lead to addiction.
I know it’s scary to think about, but you should carefully monitor your behavior after treatment or surgery. It’s crucial to spot the addiction before it causes significant damage. The opioid epidemic is linked to the life expectancy reduction in the U.S. for the past 15 years.
Stopping a Dilaudid Addiction Before It Starts
Communication between you and your loved one is the best defense against a Dilaudid addiction. I’m not talking about the “Just say, No!” conversation.
Increasing communication will make it easier to spot Dilaudid addiction symptoms. You need to enhance your communication in general, about everything. We all have things we don’t want others to know, but just know the more open you are the more open they will be with you. Why would anyone open up about their addiction to hydromorphone when they don’t know you?
Sharing will make it more likely they will confide in you when the time comes to share about their addiction. Explaining before and during the recovery phase, that there’s nothing wrong with admitting you have a problem is paramount. Also, you need to assure them there isn’t any shame in showing weakness. They need to know even if they feel there is a problem, they will get the love and support needed to fully recover.
Knowledge of potential risks is another great way to prepare yourself for the possibility of an addiction forming. This article and Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) Abuse are two great sources of information to prepare yourself before you’re prescribed opioids.
Typical Prescriptions of Hydromorphone
If your doctor prescribes hydromorphone, it’s usually because the pain is more severe than normal after surgery. Morphine is usually the go-to prescription, but in some cases, Dilaudid becomes necessary because the pain continues. It tends to be the second or third option among doctors.
Dilaudid is a chemically more potent form of morphine and oxycodone. All of these are derivatives of opium. If you’ve been following the news since the year 1999 opioid death rates have risen steadily in the United States.
Deaths From Opioid, by Michal Kranz, is a great article to read if you feel you are addicted to Dilaudid or any other opioid.
Hydromorphone is the generic version of, Dilaudid and Exalgo. Morphine, also the generic version has many brand names associated with it: DepoDur, Duramorph PF, Infumorph, Kadian, Morphabond, MS Contin.
Side Effects of Hydromorphone vs Morphine vs Oxycodone
Opium has a long history of medical use, addiction, and abuse. Hydromorphone, morphine, and oxycodone narcotics come from opium, yet have different side effects. These drugs all can lead to dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, nausea, rashes, and chest pain. Here is a complete list of side effects of hydromorphone and morphine from Heathline.com.
Hydromorphone has fewer side effects than morphine, which is another reason why narcotics like Dilaudid and Exalgo are prescribed more often. It also affects the sleep cycle, creates lightheadedness, depression, and muscle, back, or joint pain. It’s ironic that muscle and joint pain is a common side effect for the very thing it is supposed to alleviate.
This is part of the addictive nature of the drug. The patient might believe that taking more Dilaudid will alleviate the pain when in reality it is the cause of it.
Morphine causes diarrhea, weakness, weight loss, confusion, small pupils, and difficulty urinating. Many patients also experienced heart rate changes and blue or purple skin. This is quite alarming if you haven’t seen it before.
It is nearly impossible to predict, with 100% certainty, whether or not a drug will have any adverse effects or lead to addiction. If these problems persist or worsen please contact your doctor immediately, and if you feel there is a chance you are becoming addicted to Dilaudid or any other kind of opioid please continue to monitor your behavior.
Oxycodone and Dilaudid are alike in almost every way. They both stimulate opioid receptors in the brain to reduce the tolerance of pain and cause sedation and drowsiness. Their side effects and dosage mirror each other; however, Oxycodone is used as a cough suppressant and a pain reliever, unlike Dilaudid and Morphine.
For more information on Oxycodone, please click the link.
How Quickly Can You Get Addicted to Dilaudid?
The drastic change happens in a matter of moments after taking Dilaudid. The patient goes from being in extreme pain to absolute bliss. This quick change or high makes it extremely addictive.
If a speedy recovery from their injury is not an option or if the patient faces lingering pain, the likelihood of dependency grows with every day the patient uses the drug. Take extra care when a doctor prescribes this medication long-term.
Today, the opioid epidemic is at the forefront of popular culture. Many former musicians, movie stars, and athletes are coming out, one way or another, with their stories to bring awareness to the issue.
Breaking Opioid News
There are many high-profile cases of opioid abuse, but Tiger Woods‘ story is by far the most known. We all know about his sexual habits before the incident with his ex-wife. He was not a ‘saint’ by any means, but he is a prime example how an unexpected person becomes addicted to opioids through legal means.
In May of 2017, Tiger Woods was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Jupiter, Florida. This was an unfortunate misstep in his career after a very difficult divorce. An article by ESPN.com, regarding Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest, outlines the toxicology report made possible by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Tiger has had a number of surgeries on his back and knees during his career as a professional golfer, and it isn’t a surprise to me that he developed an addiction after such prolonged usage. His back is especially problematic due to the high amount of twisting and turning to hit the ball long distances. After a while, many golfers experienced back pain and require surgery to continue to play.
In order for Tiger to get back to playing strength, he subjected himself to a variety of therapies and medications to help his rehabilitation. Given the drugs present in his system on the night of his arrest, it’s apparent he developed a dependency on painkillers over time. Rather than take the necessary steps to deal with his addiction, he decided to ‘take care’ of things on his own, which no doubt led to his relapse and his arrest.
What Does Withdrawal Timeline Look Like?
How long does it take to get addicted to Dilaudid? Unfortunately, the potency is so strong some patients experience a withdrawal after short use. One time can be all it takes!
The strength of the drug can contribute to a Dilaudid withdrawal after surgery. Prolonged abuse sometimes causes a brutal withdrawal.
Within the first 8 hours, a former user could experience anxiety, sweating, fever, cravings, and restlessness. During the peak of the withdrawal, which can last up to 48 hours, extreme flu-like symptoms may occur. Muscle spasms, headaches, sweating, and insomnia are all very common with heavy opioid users.
During this 48 hour period, the possibility of relapse is at its highest. After this period, the symptoms will start to lessen, but many of the same issues will still be apparent. The scars of that withdrawal may leave deep psychological wounds that need therapy beyond the physical. These kinds of issues can last for months even years in some cases.
A Diluadid detox is sometimes necessary even after a short hospital stay. How to wean off of narcotics is something that depends entirely on you. Using the opioid tapering guidelines and the help of your physician or rehab clinic you can safely detox with less withdrawal.
There are Dilaudid withdrawal remedies but nothing works better than opioid tapering. If you plan on entering a clinic for hydromorphone rehab, please consult the CDC’s pocket guide for the proper opioid tapering guidelines. These guidelines are there for your protection.
On-Going Support for Addiction
It’s my intention to bring awareness to parents of teens that have prescriptions for Dilaudid and other opioids. This epidemic is a growing problem in the U.S. and not going away without a fight.
Being able to cope with a Dilaudid addiction is usually not a solo venture. The emotional swings and physical pains make ‘kicking’ very challenging even for mentally tough individuals. This becomes especially tough when these drugs are readily available.
The need of on-going support for a former user is necessary for a successful recovery. Psychiatric help is a step in the right direction, but nothing has proven to be more effective than developing strong on-going relationships. One of the most common thoughts that goes through a former user’s mind is the feeling of being alone. When you find a person or better yet a group of people that have ‘been there’ and gone beyond addiction it makes it more likely that you can do it too.
Breaking a Dilaudid dependence may make you feel as if you wouldn’t know what to do outside of what you do already. The problem of addiction is it forces you into a routine of medicating yourself. The drug’s dependency takes away the need to search for a better life, and the user become identified with that lifestyle. Luckily, you don’t have to feel that way if you seek help.
For more information about opioids and opioid replacement therapies please click the link.