The use of Dilaudid in medical facilities and hospitals is becoming common place today. Dilaudid is the brand name for hydromorphone. It is a narcotic or opioid medication used to relieve moderate to severe pain. The drug functions in the brain by increasing the individual’s tolerance to pain. It is usually prescribed for patients who experience physical trauma resulting in residual pain as well as for post-surgery suffering.
The Federal Drug Administration has classified Dilaudid as a Schedule II Controlled Opiod Agonist because it has a high potential for abuse. Drugs with a Schedule II designation has positive medicinal properties but also the potential for dependency and addiction. As a central nervous system depressant, when Dilaudid is abused it has the potential to cause respiratory depression that can be fatal.
This drug is available and administered as a hydromorphone hydrochloride Liquid, as a suppository and as in the following tablet formulations:
- 2mg round orange tablets,
- 3mg round, pink tablets,
- 4mg round yellow tablets, and
- 8mg white three sided tablets.
Tablets are all imprinted with the number associated with the dosage on one side. Dilaudid is also administered to patients as an ampoule or sterile solution through an intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous method for those patients who are opioid tolerant. Tolerance determination is made based on a comprehensive assessment of the patient.
Effects of Dilaudid
This drug has been known to have adverse effects ranging from mild to severe even in patients that were tested for opioid tolerance. These include but are not limited to the following effects:
- Respiratory complications
- Mental and physical dependency
- Withdrawal symptoms triggered by sudden cessation of drug use
It is important that Dilaudid use is carefully monitored because the drug has the potential to slow down or stop the breathing process. This potentially fatal effect can occur if drug use is halted or if dosage is changed. Careful adherence to the dosage recommendation by your physician is critical to avoid this health risk. Patients who experience any of the following symptoms may have overdosed or is having a potentially life threatening reaction to the drug. Seek emergency medical attention or ask someone to help you if following drug use:
- You are having difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Your heart rhythm changes i.e., your heart beat becomes irregular, faster and/or fluttery.
- You begin wheezing or experience tightness in your chest.
- You are having seizures or convulsions.
- Feeling confused or disoriented
- Feeling very weak or extremely sleepy or tired.
- Feeling as if you are about to pass out or faint.
Prolonged use of two or more weeks of Dilaudid presents a major risk for individuals to develop a tolerance for the drug. The risk for abuse and addiction increases based on changes in tolerance levels. Most addictions to Dilaudid begin with legitimate use of the drug. Drug sharing is also a common way many people segue into abuse an addiction.
Addiction to Dilaudid has been increasing because it is one of the most popular drugs prescribed for pain in medical facilities in the United States. And, although the drug has many beneficial and legitimate uses it is also highly addictive. Due to exposure to the drug whether through a medical condition or introduction as a way to get high, many individuals have become addicted to Dilaudid. Studies show that approximately 99% of the illicit drug traffic for this drug comes from the ongoing demand for the drug by addicts. This illegal activity drives selling of the drug by former patients or the burglarization of pharmacies for Dilaudid and other prescription drugs.
Signs and Symptoms of Dilaudid Abuse
The spectrum of Dilaudid abuse can be wide and the variables are based on duration of use, amount being used, frequency of use and the overall mental and physical health of the individual at the time abuse commenced. The following are some typical physical and psychological signs that someone is addicted to or is abusing Dilaudid.
- Emotional alterations such as anxiety, depression, agitation, irritability and mood swings.
- Becoming physically ill with stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, breathing difficulties, etc.
- When drug is not used abusers could experience withdrawal effect such as muscle and bone pain, body cramping, insomnia, cold sweats, tremors and suicidal thoughts to name a few.
- Obsessive seeking of drugs can that result in illegal activities inclusive of forging prescriptions, doctor shopping, frequent emergency room visits with false symptoms, lying and stealing.
- Financial problems caused by irresponsible spending to purchase drugs.
- Being secretive about use and places where drugs are kept.
- Social isolation or changes in normal or regular interactions with family and friends.
- Needle track marks on legs and arms.
Dilaudid abuse and addiction treatment is available through our Drug Rehab Treatment Centers. Call us today at 877-855-3470and speak to one of our qualified addiction counselors who can help you find the right treatment program for you.