Prescription pain medication addiction has quickly risen to the top of the nation’s list of drug dependency threats. Nearly all patients who consume these addictive medications—despite a lack of family history or inclination toward addiction—are still considered to be at risk of developing a dependency or addiction problem.
One of the most commonly abused of these drugs is called Dilaudid or Hydromorphone.
Hydromorphone, Hydrochloride, or Dilaudid (Hydromorphone Hydrochloride) is classified as a Schedule II controlled opioid agonist medication in the United States substance. This drug, amongst others like it scheduled II opiates (—including methadone, high-dosage oxycodone, morphine methadone and fentanyl) —have the highest potential for addiction and abuse of all legal drugs in the U.S. These kinds of drugs Powerful opiates also carry heavy risk of respiratory depression (severely decreased breathing rate), which can result in death if too much of the drug is ingested (overdose), or if a drug interaction/reaction takes place.
Facts About Dilaudid
As aA derivative of morphine, Dilaudid hydromorphone is usually prescribed to patients for its level of potency and effectiveness in treating moderate to severe pain (such as that which might occur after an accident/injury, or a surgery). Depending on the brand or product type, hydromorphone can be injected into the body but can also be taken orally in tablet for hydromorphone comes in tablet, suppository, and injectable preparations.
As with most opiate and opioid (synthetic opiate) drugs, physiological tolerance and dependency is generally what precipitates a Dilaudid addiction begins with the development of physiological tolerance to the substance. In the case of a patient who experiences chronic pain, he/she may notice that more and more (higher and higher doses)Tolerance is when increasingly large doses of the drug are required to achieve the same effect of the drug are required in order to eliminate pain.
Signs that indicate that someone is under the influence of Dilaudid include:
• Nodding out (periods of wakefulness and sleeping
• Small, constricted or pinpoint pupils
• Nausea or vomiting
• Dry Mouth
• Confusion or forgetfulness
• Increased or decreased hunger
Over time, the body grows to depend on the opioid drug for all measures of physical pain relief and good feelings. Consequently, the body’s natural “pain relief” hormones (endorphins) are no longer produced/secreted, hence the extreme discomfort which manifests in absence of the drug—also known as withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms may vary a little from person to person (largely depending on the specific patient circumstances) but generally
As is the case with most opioid drugs, Dilaudid’s side effects include gastrointestinal and digestive interruptions such as nausea, vomiting, constipation. Extreme weight loss may occur, as well as loss of appetite altogether. More serious side effects may include the aforementioned respiratory depression, mental cloudiness, physical weakness, dizziness/fainting, decreased heart rate and seizures or convulsions.
Most patients who are administered Dilaudid regularly over the period of several days or longer, experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. These can include:
• Profuse sweating
• Watery eyes
• Moderate to intense stomach or intestinal cramping
• Vomiting, diarrhea
• Severe headaches and/or migraines
• Mental instability (including rage, anxiety, hallucinations, moodiness)
• Back pain/join discomfort
• Extreme cravings for the drug (mental and physical)
Generally speaking, these withdrawal symptoms are seen to subside over the course of several days. Patients are urged to seek medical assistance. Dilaudid is a severe opioid drug, and self-supervised detox can be very dangerous.
Recent News About Dilaudid Addiction
According to the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), accidental overdoses on opioid drugs such as Dilaudid have been on the rise over the past decade.
In a recent case study by The Doctors Company of three accidental overdose patients between the ages of 25 and 29, all administered varying levels of Dilaudid. A 27-year-old male burn patient was found deceased in his home after being released from a hospital visit, during which he was administered Dilaudid. After an autopsy, it was presumed that a lethal mix of Dilaudid with alcohol and another prescription was deadly enough to take this man’s life.
Another patient, a 25-year-old female with a leg injury, was given 14.5 mg of Dilaudid over an 11-hour time frame and experienced apnea—suspension of breathing. This patient survived, but suffered significant brain injury.
In the case of an 89-year-old female patient (admitted to hospital with a hip fracture), two 0.5 mg doses of Dilaudid in 90 minutes were increased to 2 mg over the following four hours. Respiratory depression and death were the result, leading experts and doctors to believe that “lethal dosage amounts” are wholly relative to the patient in concern.
While many states and federal organizations push the importance of responsible opioid drug administration, patients continue to experience respiratory depression and morbidity upon ingesting these potentially lethal substances.
How to Help Someone Addicted to Dilaudid
Helping someone overcome their Dilaudid dependency/addiction takes a good deal of understanding and courage as well as the medical guidance of professionally trained addiction counselors. If a loved one or family member close to you is experiencing trouble, withdrawal symptoms or is wrongfully abusing their prescription, get help right away.
Understand that withdrawing from consistent use of a heavy opiate such as Dilaudid can be very unsafe or, at the very least, extremely uncomfortable. For someone who may be taking Dilaudid for relief from pain associated with an injury or surgery, be watchful of any of the above listed side effects. Further, Hydromorphone has been known to be extremely dangerous when mixed with other pills, street drugs or alcohol.
If you observe any signs of overdose (whether accidental or intentional) such as shallow breathing, convulsions, a weak pulse or loss of consciousness—get medical help immediately.
Dilaudid addiction and prescription abuse in general is successfully treated throughout the US. Pharmaceutical dependency presents a unique and specific set of underlying issues, temptations and treatment aspects which all require attention during the course of rehab.
Generally, prescription addictions such as Hydromorphone occur because of an injury or other physical pain issue has arisen. This issue must be taken into consideration—i.e. adopt alternative treatments or natural pain remedies if the chronic pain is still a problem.
Current Life Aspects
Addiction tends to overtake a substance abuser’s life in nearly every way, leaving family, friends and coworkers feeling betrayed or forgotten. Treatment must include a repair and rebuild of positive relationships, reconstructing burnt bridges and making amends where appropriate.
A life free of any and all substance dependencies—this is the true goal of drug treatment. This isn’t always easy, but developing new hobbies, establishing a positive support structure and setting future goals are all important components of treatment as they address the addict’s new, drug free future.
Creating a life free from Dilaudid addiction means taking the first step. If you know someone or are abusing the drug, seek help.