Dilaudid is an opioid narcotic medication. It can be anywhere between 5 and 10 times as potent as morphine. The drug is a brand name for the chemical hydromorphone, which is an analgesic medication that is only available legally through a valid prescription from a licensed medical professional.
Hydromorphone or Dilaudid is a pain relief medication that is typically prescribed for the management of severe pain, for the treatment of chronic pain, and for clients who have already developed to other opioid narcotic medications. According to Mayo Clinic, you should not use this drug to relieve pain symptoms in the short term.
The medication is available in rectal suppositories, injectable forms, oral solutions, and tablet form. According to the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - it is a schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act passed by the federal government.
This effectively means that the substance has some accepted and valid medical benefits. However, it also carries a high potential for abuse, diversion, dependence, and Dilaudid addiction.
As an opioid drug, it acts on the central nervous system - or the CNS - where it suppresses pain sensations and cough symptoms. It can also lower blood pressure, respiration levels, and heart rate. The medication can also enhance feelings of relaxation and calm. When abused, however, it will produce a pleasurable and euphoric high.
On the streets, this drug is known by a wide variety of names by people who are trying to avoid detection by law enforcement officials. Examples of these street names include but are not limited to D, juice, dillies, dust, smack, and footballs.
Dilaudid is also quite popular among recreational users. This is because of the ways in which the medication interacts with the opioid receptors of the brain and the central nervous system. This drug will disrupt the flow of the natural messengers of the brain, especially those that dispel stress and anxiety and signal pleasure.
As a full opioid agonist, Dilaudid will fill the opioid receptors completely. It will also mimic some of the normal functions of the brain - including but not limited to how these all natural chemicals will be reabsorbed by the brain.
As a result of this reaction, the drug will create a backlog along the chemical messengers of the brain, including dopamine (and its natural endorphins). Endorphins are charged with the responsibility of regulating emotions while dopamine is a chemical messenger of the brain that causes you to feel happy.
Ongoing Dilaudid use will cause this chemical to flood the brain as a result of its inability to be naturally reabsorbed or as a result of the artificial stimulation that causes it to be produced. This flooding can cause you to experience an unnatural increase in the sensations of euphoria and pleasure associated with dopamine. It is this high sensation that you will strive for. It will also cause you to continue abusing the drug.
The important thing to keep in mind is that Dilaudid is much more potent opioid than most of the others in the same classification. As a result, many people tend to seek it out when they are looking for the intense high that it produces.
But how would you typically abuse this drug? Essentially, you may swallow or chew the tablets. You may also crush them and snort the resulting powder. Alternatively, you may crush the tablets into a soft powder, mix it with a liquid, and inject the resulting solution directly into your bloodstream.
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Some of the effects that arise from abusing the drug include:
If you have a history of recreational drug use or a substance use disorder, you may have a high risk of abusing Dilaudid and developing addiction to it. However, there is also a risk that you may go down this path of substance abuse as a result of getting a valid prescription from your doctor to manage pain sensations.
In case you have been taking the drug regularly for any given period of time, you may develop tolerance to its effects. This will cause you to use it in higher doses or more frequently than you used to in the past. As you continue doing so, you may form physical dependence on Dilaudid.
According to the FDA - the Food and Drug Administration - this drug is like any other opioid in the sense that it can cause dependence. Over time, you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the medication or after it has left your bloodstream.
Withdrawal can cause you to suffer from various effects, including but not limited to restlessness, yawning, anxiety, chills, depression, irritability, nausea, weakness, abdominal cramps, joint pain, back pain, diarrhea, insomnia, hypertension, sweating, fever, fast heart rate, high respiration levels, a runny nose, and tearing.
These withdrawal symptoms will typically appear a couple of hours after your last dose of the drug. As a result of these symptoms, you may continue taking the drug even after your prescription has run out or when you no longer need it to help with pain relief.
Dilaudid is a pain relief medication that is stronger than morphine. As such, it comes with a severe potential for dependence, tolerance, abuse, and addiction. This potential is so high that you can become addicted to the drug even if you are following your prescription exactly as your doctor recommended.
Once you have been abusing the drug for a period of time, you will develop tolerance. This means that you will have to take it in higher doses or more frequently than you used to before you can experience its pleasurable effects.
Over time, tolerance will be replaced by dependence. Once you are dependent on Dilaudid, you will not be able to go for any long duration of time without using it. If you also try to cut it out completely, you will develop withdrawal symptoms - which could be so painful and uncomfortable that you will eventually have to get the drug in one way or the other to alleviate them.
When you reach the point where you experience withdrawal symptoms as a result of not using this drug, you could be said to have developed Dilaudid addiction or an opioid use disorder. This will be accompanied by the following signs and symptoms of addiction:
The important thing to keep in mind is that abusing this drug can quickly give rise to the development of a substance use disorder or Dilaudid addiction. However, it does not necessarily mean that you are addicted just because you have been using this medication for recreational purposes. Addiction will only be apparent once you develop behaviors, habits, and signs that your life is spinning out of control as a result of the drug.
As mentioned above, the first step on the road to addiction will occur when you develop a tolerance to the drug. Once tolerance has taken root, you will need to take Dilaudid in higher doses or more regularly than usual before you can experience the effects that arose the first time you used the drug.
The other red flags that you are becoming increasingly addicted to Dilaudid include having obsessive urges, cravings, and thoughts about using the drug. To relieve the desired pleasurable effects from the medication, you will soon find that you are focused on getting your hands on it - at almost any cost.
Further, you will find that you are spending a great deal of your time, money, energy, and other resources looking for and getting the drug. You will expend all these valuable resources on stealing, engaging in doctor shopping, or even looking online for people who distribute the medication.
Over time, your relationships with friends, family, loved ones, colleagues, and even acquaintances will become increasingly strained. This will be as a result of the amount of energy and time that you are devoting to your growing drug habit.
Eventually, you will find that something that initially started out as the legitimate treatment of a condition using a prescription or out of sheer curiosity has escalated to a level where you cannot control your drug seeking and using behaviors. While dealing with Dilaudid addiction, you will also obsess over the medication as well as start putting your drug habit over and above any other responsibilities or pleasurable activities that you might otherwise have had.
Dilaudid addiction is a serious condition. As a result, you should not try to overcome it on your own. During the first few days after you have stopped using the drug or have been trying to increasingly reduce its use, you will experience intense cravings for it. You will also start going through withdrawal.
Without professional and medical supervision, the withdrawal symptoms that arise during this period will often cause you to suffer a relapse. In a controlled addiction treatment setting - such as a medically managed or supervised detoxification program - the physicians present will monitor your detox process. They may also be able to help you manage the withdrawal symptoms that you experience.
In many situations, the medically supervised detoxification process for Dilaudid addiction will typically involve a tapering schedule. This means that the doctors will gradually reduce the dose of the drug that you take. By incrementally cutting down on the doses that you use, you may be able to go through the withdrawal process much easier. It could also limit any painful symptoms that may arise.
In the medically supervised detox setting, you may also be switched to Buprenorphine (Suboxone or Subutex) or even any other similar drug. This process is known as medication management and it might prove to be more effective at helping you taper down from your opioid use disorder as well as curb your withdrawal symptoms.
In case you have been abusing this drug over the long term, you may be able to quit cold turkey. However, it is recommended that you do so after enrolling in a medically supervised detox program so that you have the help of a doctor close by in case of any troubling withdrawal symptoms.
During detox, you will also undergo thorough evaluation and assessment. The goal would be to check if there are any other areas that are concerning or linked to your substance use disorder - such as mental health issues and other addictions. The goal of these assessments will be to identify all potential co-occurring medical and mental health issues that also need to be dealt with during your addiction treatment process.
Dilaudid addiction treatment programs will often help you heal in your spirit, mind, and body. Therapy is one of the important courses of treatment that will be provided. This is because counseling can help you uncover, explore, and understand the underlying causes of your substance abuse and addiction. In the process, you will also be able to learn how to change your behaviors and habits while also overcoming your risk of relapse.