Dilaudid Abuse Facts
Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is an opioid pain medication used for control of moderate to severe pain. It is usually taken in pill or capsule form, but in hospitals patients may receive it intravenously. It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the US and is considered highly addictive.
Education is critical
Because Dilaudid is addictive, great strides are taken to educate patients on the proper use of the medicine, but it is still an easy target for abuse because patients either do not follow instructions, or they lose track of how much drug they are taking and how often they are taking it. Any use of Dilaudid which is not exactly as prescribed is considered abuse, intentional or otherwise.
Dilaudid abuse facts include a wide variety of reasons for abuse
Dilaudid is abused for a variety of reasons. The patient may not think the medicine is working and decides to take more. The patient may also decide to take the medicine more often than prescribed. As a result of this abuse, the prescription may run out early and the patient tries to get it refilled.
If that effort is not successful, the patient may go “doctor shopping” and try to find another physician to write a script. The patient’s original need might have been to control pain, but they might experience a euphoric, all is well, relaxed feeling when they take Dilaudid. It is an opiate and many patients experience a “rush” or “high” when they take the drug. They remember that feeling and they want to replicate it.
Brain develops tolerance
Those abusing Dilaudid for recreational purposes are putting themselves on a slippery slope, as over time, the brain builds tolerance to the drug, meaning that more and more drug is needed to achieve the same effect.
Dilaudid pills may be crushed and snorted, like cocaine, to achieve a more intense rush, but this is clearly abuse and not in keeping with any proper medical practice.
Abuse often leads to addiction
The abuse of Dilaudid leads to addiction. In some circles, there is no significant different between abuse and addiction, for sake of illustration once the abuse starts, without a positive intervention, addiction will most likely follow.
The user may develop a psychological dependence on Dilaudid, wanting to repeat the euphoria and the rush, craving the feeling. They may also develop a physical dependence, meaning that their brain “thinks” it needs the drug to function.
Again, more and more of the drug is needed as time goes on. The physical dependence contributes to withdrawal when the user doesn’t get their dose of Dilaudid.
Must seek treatment, doctors a good start
If you suspect a friend or family member is abusing Dilaudid, try to encourage them to seek treatment. This is easier said than done, because those abusing the drug will not likely believe they have any problem.
They will claim “I can handle it,” when in fact they are in trouble. Abusers will fixate on getting a supply of the drug, so anything that interrupts that, or any action that might prevent them from using, will not be received with enthusiasm.
Overdose is VERY common
As the Dilaudid abuse turns into addiction the risk of overdose increases. Opiates like Dilaudid can seriously impact cardiovascular function. Moreover, respiration becomes a concern, especially those instances when a person mixes the Dilaudid with alcohol and crashes on the couch.
Others may say it’s best to let the person sleep it off, when in fact they are jeopardy of respiratory arrest. Rather than leaving them alone, a responsible person will call 911.
May need to detoxification
The tolerance the body will build to Dilaudid presents another problem up the line. If a person stops using for a while, maybe after seeking treatment and going through medical detoxification, they are at risk of overdose if they resume using.
The body was used to receiving “X” milligrams of the drug after building the tolerance, but now the system has been cleansed and maybe the brain no longer thinks it needs Dilaudid to function. If the person takes the same amount, that could lead to overdose, even fatal overdose. Similar scenarios apply to other opiate addicts.
Dilaudid is expensive, a sad part of Dilaudid abuse facts
Here’s another issue to think about. Dilaudid is expensive. If a user goes looking for another legal source for Dilaudid, but either can’t find it or afford it, they may turn to a street drug to get their results. That’s how many people move to heroin. What started as a pain reliever for a knee injury winds up being an addiction to heroin.
Do just put the excess in your bathroom
Lastly there is an unintended consequence of using Dilaudid, even legally and under strict instructions from a physician. If the patient does not use up the entire prescription and merely puts the bottle in the medicine cabinet, someone else might get a hold of it. That is how millions of teenagers get drugs.
Worse yet, some people will go out on the street and sell their unused Dilaudid, clearly an illegal act and one that feeds a vast, international criminal enterprise. It may seem innocent to the person selling, but it is a criminal act.
CAN'T just quit on their own a sad part of Dilaudid abuse facts
Once a Dilaudid abuser develops a dependence on the drug, the likelihood of them just quitting is remote. People don’t just quit, at least not every day. The best course of action is for that person to get into treatment and receive proper medical and professional care.
There is no substitute. The treatment will likely begin with a medical detoxification, to rid the body of the substance, followed by an individually planned treatment regimen and a personally designed recovery program. Again, the distance from abuse to addiction is not that great and people get into trouble easily.
Nobody wants to be an abuser or an addict, but sometimes things happen. Something inside their brain is triggered and the cycle of addiction begins. Others may be able to take Dilaudid, even for recreation, and never become addicted. That seems unfair, but it’s a fact of life and part of Dilaudid abuse facts.
Help is available and can work if you work it
The upside is people who abuse
Dilaudid can get help, effective help, and rebuild their lives. The
key is getting them headed in the right direction. Dilaudid abuse facts should be considered as part of any good treatment.