Dilaudid Addiction and Abuse

How to recognize signs of Dilaudid addiction and abuse

Dilaudid addiction and abuse can devastate every aspect of a user’s life. Learning how to recognize the signs of Dilaudid abuse can help you or a loved one get the necessary help to overcome this addiction before it destroys your life, health, and relationships. Dilaudid is the trade name for hydromorphone, a highly potent opioid narcotic analgesic that is prescribed for treatment of severe pain, such as burns, post-surgical pain, non-operable cancer, and bone injuries. Commonly known as “hospital heroin,” Dilaudid has such a high potential for dependency and addiction that someone who has never abused drugs in the past can become addicted to it in as little as two weeks after they start taking the medication. Overcoming Dilaudid addiction and abuse is extremely difficult, but with the help of a qualified addiction rehab center, it is possible for users to reclaim their lives.

Why is Dilaudid so addictive?

Dilaudid is a Schedule II Controlled Opioid Agonist that is eight times stronger than morphine.  It produces a strong pain-relieving analgesic effect and a pleasurable euphoric high similar to that of heroin within 15 minutes of administration, and the effects can last as long as six hours. Users quickly become tolerant to the drug, requiring larger, more frequent doses to achieve the same effect. In just two weeks, users can become so physically dependent on Dilaudid that they experience withdrawal symptoms if they go for more than 12 to 24 hours between doses. Fear of withdrawal symptoms and desire for hydromorphone’s euphoric effects quickly creates a psychological addiction, leading to severe Dilaudid addiction and abuse in a very short amount of time.

Physical Signs of Dilaudid abuse

It is often difficult for someone to realize they have become addicted to Dilaudid, but there are certain signs of Dilaudid abuse that can offer warning of a possible addiction. If you are wondering if you or a loved one are addicted to hydromorphone, look for the following Dilaudid abuse signs:

  • Mood swings that range from euphoric highs to severe depression
  • Itching, scratching, and excessive sweating
  • Suddenly falling asleep, even in the middle of a conversation
  • Poor coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as severe stomach and muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, chills, diarrhea, and insomnia

Behavioral Symptoms of Dilaudid Addiction

Other hydromorphone addiction symptoms include behavioral and personality changes that may seem wildly out of character for an individual. These symptoms occur as the need for the drug becomes the focus of the user’s life, and may include:

  • Missing work or school
  • Stealing money, valuables, and drugs
  • Lying and breaking commitments
  • “Doctor shopping” to obtain Dilaudid prescriptions
  • Forging or stealing Dilaudid prescriptions

The Results of Dilaudid Addiction and Abuse

Individuals addicted to hydromorphone prioritize obtaining the drug over everything else in their lives. They become increasingly isolated as relationships with family and friends become strained, and many become separated or divorced. Dilaudid users experience financial ruin because of the high cost of obtaining the drug, compounded by their inability to hold down a job. Eventually, individuals addicted to Dilaudid turn to heroin as a more affordable alternative when prescriptions are unavailable.

Treatment for Dilaudid Addiction and Abuse

Addiction to hydromorphone can be very difficult to overcome. Entering a reputable addiction rehab treatment center will increase your chances for long-term recovery. Detoxifying from Dilaudid abuse can cause severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms, so it is best to undergo detox under medical supervision where physicians can administer medication and palliative treatments to manage your symptoms. Once you are through detox, you will participate in behavioral therapy, group therapy, and individual sessions with addiction specialists. This will help you gain the coping skills you need to avoid triggers and prevent relapses.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.