Dilaudid Abuse and Addiction

Dilaudid Abuse and Addiction

Dilaudid belongs to a class of drugs called opioid narcotics. The addictive potential of Dilaudid is fairly high. People abusing it can rapidly develop the tolerance, which then requires a higher dose of the drug to acquire the similar euphoric effects. The tolerance can easily develop within two or three weeks of drug abuse. People who have developed the Dilaudid dependence experience a set of symptoms when the effect of the drug starts wearing off. This phenomenon is called the withdrawal effect. Most of the people who have become addicted to the Dilaudid start to ‘doctor shop’ for the new prescriptions. They begin to visit different doctors with the complaints of chronic pain in order to get the prescriptions of Dilaudid. The addiction is difficult to treat unless properly supervised. The rehabilitation centers are needed for the proper recovery process.

What is Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is a semi-synthetic opioid ‘hydromorphone’. It is one of the derivatives of morphine which is frequently prescribed for the pain management. It is a potent painkiller, which is prescribed when the other painkillers fail to cure the pain. Most often it is given for the postoperative pain and pain of other serious diseases like cancers and burns. Dilaudid carries a strong addictive potential therefore, even the medical prescriptions are strictly monitored. The person can easily develop the tolerance to the drug. For these reasons, it is classified as the Schedule II drug.  Some of the Dilaudid pills are round in shape and others are triangular. It is also available in the form of syrups. In the hospital settings for severe pain management, the drug is given in the IV form. The brands of Hydromorphone include ‘Exalgo’ ‘Dilaudid-hp’ and ‘Palladone’. The street names, which are given to the drug include

  • Big D
  • Peaches
  • Dillies
  • M-80’s

How does Dilaudid work?

Dilaudid binds to the opioid receptors present in the brain. It alters the transmission of messages from the brain towards the body and vice versa to decrease the pain sensations. The drug also acts on the receptors of reward centers in the brain that leads to an increase in a number of several neurotransmitters like dopamine. These neurotransmitters then bring the feelings of intense happiness and calmness. The drug is prescribed for the medical purposes due to its high potency. The onset of the drug starts in fifteen minutes and the effect continues for about six hours. The various formulations in which Dilaudid is available include:

  • Oral liquid
  • Tablets
  • Injectable liquid

What are the uses of Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is a very potent painkiller. It is prescribed by the doctors for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. An extended-release formulation of the medicine is used for the treatment of severe pain. The drug isn’t given for the relief of milder pain or the pain which can be effectively relieved by the non-narcotic analgesics. It is only given to the resistant cases of other opioid painkillers. The severe pain could be of burns, cancers and surgical pain.

What are the dosage amounts for Dilaudid?

The Dilaudid tablets are prescribed in the low doses. Typically 2 mg and 4 mg tablets are given for the relief of moderate pain. Dilaudid injections come as clear colorless aqueous solutions. The injections can be given subcutaneously, intramuscularly or intravenously. Each one ml of the syringe contains 0.5, 1, 2, or 4mg of the hydromorphone hydrochloride. The exact dosage of IV solutions is adjusted according to an individual need and condition.

Is Dilaudid addictive?

Dilaudid has a very high addictive potential. The addiction can develop within a short duration when the improper doses, other than the ones prescribed by the doctor are consumed. More than one million teenagers in America have reported the use of Dilaudid at least once. According to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), the abuse and addiction risk is very high for the people who are using it for the recreational purposes but the medically prescribed uses of the drug also carry the risks of developing abuse and addiction. Though, the risks remain higher for those using it for the recreational or the euphoric effects of the drug. Tolerance to the drug develops shortly and the person has to take the higher doses of the drug to produce the same euphoric effects. Over the time, the person will become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Not taking the drug can produce serious withdrawal symptoms. Such condition needs a proper medical treatment in the rehabilitation centers.

Common Dilaudid drug combinations:

People who take Dilaudid for recreational purposes often combine it with other potent drugs to achieve a better High. Alcohol and Benzodiazepines are the two most common drugs used in combination with Dilaudid. All of these three drugs act to depress the central nervous system. The combination amplifies the euphoric effects but can be very dangerous as all 3 of them can depress the respiratory and the heart rate. It can lead to a condition of fatal overdose. As the body has the mechanism of developing the tolerance to a drug, so the addict begins combining many more drugs to attain the better effects. He often starts abusing much harder drugs like ‘heroin’ which is far more easily accessible. An intense medical care is the only treatment option for such addicts.

Statistics on Dilaudid abuse:

Prescription painkillers are the widely abused drugs in America. It is an alarming situation since addiction causes serious damage to physical and mental health and it can even cause death.

  • In 2008, there were over 14,800 accidental death cases due to the abuse of Dilaudid and other opioid painkillers.
  • 65% of the World’s Dilaudid was consumed in America only in the year 2010.
  • In the year 2006, about 6,700 emergency room visits involved Dilaudid.

If a loved one is addicted to Dilaudid, it should not be shrugged off considering that the abuse of prescription medications is not associated with significant harmful effects. In fact, addiction, no matter the substance, is always harmful. Get them the help they need without any further delay.