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Symptoms and Side Effects

Warning Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Dilaudid Abuse

The generic name of Dilaudid is Hydromorphone. Its mechanism of action is similar to the other opiate drugs. However, unlike the other opiates, the commonly used route for its administration is intravenous. The drug is also taken orally and snorted by some people. People abusing Dilaudid can become easily addicted as is the case with other opioids. The addiction of Dilaudid is also very difficult to treat and the recovery time is longer. The drug binds to the receptors in CNS and the GI tract to reduce the sensation of pain and activate the neurotransmitters that generate the euphoric effects. The tolerance and addiction of the drug has been reported to be developed in three weeks. Once such conditions develop, an individual can’t stop the drug by himself without experiencing the intense withdrawal symptoms. The medical assistance in the form of rehabilitation centers is needed to cure the condition. An overdose on Dilaudid is also a common condition. It is a fatal condition which can develop irrespective of the tolerance or addiction. According to the NSDUH 2014, about 4 million Americans abused Dilaudid in a period of just 4 months..

Signs and Symptoms of Dilaudid Abuse

Dilaudid is a very potent opioid painkiller. The severity of the symptoms can vary depending upon the duration of abuse, tolerance level to the drug, and frequency of the drug abuse. The longer duration and larger doses will correspond to the more intense symptoms.

Physical Signs and Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Respiratory depression
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Heart attack
  • Circulatory collapse
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Stroke

Psychological signs and symptoms

  • Emotional troubles
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations

Mood disorder

  • Anxiety
  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Depression

Behavioral Signs and symptoms

  • Doctor Shipping
  • Forging Prescriptions
  • Frequent visits to ER with false somatic complaints.
  • Lying, cheating and stealing Dilaudid from the loved ones.
  • Hiding the drug at various places inside the home and cars.
  • Financial Problems
  • Reckless and risky behaviors
  • Stray needles
  • Social Isolation
  • Lack of interest in hobbies.
  • Legal problems
  • Wearing full sleeved clothes and long pants to hide the needle marks.

Side Effects of Dilaudid Abuse:

When Dilaudid is taken, high levels of dopamine are released in the brain which activate the reward center and generate the feelings of intense euphoria. A message is taken by the brain that this response is life sustaining and good. This message enforces the drug abuser to repeat, in order to gain the euphoric effects. People who are taking the drug for medicinal purposes will also get the euphoric feelings but their attention is diverted towards the fact that the drug has relieved the excruciating pain. Moreover, the medicinal doses are less that are safer and don’t yield many euphoric effects. Once the abuser starts taking the drug repetitively a tolerance develops and the higher doses will be injected for the better High. Some of the harmful side effects of Dilaudid abuse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Child Abuse
  • Incarceration
  • Respiratory infections
  • Blood-borne infections
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Circulatory collapse
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Death

Health Effects of Dilaudid: Short Term and Long Term

Dilaudid is abused for the pleasant and happy feelings produced by it. This effect stays for a short duration before the result of the drug starts to wear off. The abuser will then take the frequent doses to develop the same effects. Soon brain and body develop tolerance and a higher dose will be needed to produce the similar High. The drug is detrimental for all the organs of human body and all aspects of a human life. Some of the short terms and long-term effects of the drug include:

Short-term Effects of Dilaudid

  • Sedation
  • Euphoric feelings
  • Relaxed Sensation
  • Reduced Anxiety

Long-term Effects of Dilaudid

  • Infections (HIV/AIDS)
  • Needle marks on the arms and legs
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Social insulation
  • Depression
  • Impaired relationships
  • Legal problems
  • Injuries due to intoxication
  • Reckless behavior
  • Financial issues and poverty
  • Polysubstance abuse

Dilaudid Overdose:

One of the biggest risks associated with Dilaudid abuse is the Dilaudid Overdose. It mostly occurs when the drug is taken in combination with other CNS depressants like other opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. During the year 2014 in America, almost 14,000 people died from the drug overdose. Even if the person survives the overdose, the chances of permanent brain damage are still very high. It results due to anoxia as a result of respiratory depression from the overdose. Some other side effects of the Overdose include muscle damage and aspiration pneumonia. The following symptoms are produced due to the Dilaudid abuse.

Symptoms of Dilaudid Overdose

  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Cyanosis
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Hypotension
  • Nonreactive or Dilated pupils in case of brain injury
  • Bradycardia
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Respiratory depression
  • Stupor
  • Collapse

Dilaudid Overdose is an emergency condition which requires an immediate medical assistance. The health personnel will try to acquire the information regarding the last dose, amount and how long the person has been abusing the drug. If such information isn’t available, a rapid assessment of the patient’s condition will be done. An immediate stomach wash or whole bowel irrigation is done to eliminate the drug from the body. The supportive measures like the assistance of breathing and maintenance of proper Airways are done on priority basis. IV line is established for maintenance of fluids and electrolytes balance in the body. Medicines like Naloxone are given in order to reverse the harmful effects of the drug.