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The Dangers of Dilaudid

a person looks sad as they consider the dangers of dilaudid

Did you know that Dilaudid (hydromorphone) can be a very dangerous drug? It is highly addictive, and yet it’s a medication that’s prescribed frequently. When used according to a doctor’s instructions, it is relatively safe. However, the potential for abuse is extremely high with this drug. Perhaps you have experienced the Dilaudid high before. It’s possible that you are even abusing it or addicted to it. You may not even be aware that your misuse of this medication poses a problem. What are the dangers of Dilaudid, and is it possible for you to stop taking it safely?  

If you or a loved one struggles with prescription drug addiction, Northpoint Washington can help. We offer inpatient prescription addiction treatment at our center in Edmonds, WA. With a holistic approach and compassionate, evidence-based care, we are committed to helping our patients improve their lives. Call 888.450.2153 to get help now.  

What is the Dilaudid Drug

What Is Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is an opioid pain reliever. Drugs in this classification are sometimes referred to as narcotics. It is frequently used to treat moderate or severe pain. It may be given to patients who don’t get pain relief from other medications, like oxycodone or Vicodin. Most of the time, it works best when it is given through an IV. For this reason, it’s a drug that’s usually reserved for people who are in the hospital. It may be given after surgery or when other types of pain relief are needed. The many Names of Dilaudid

This drug goes by a few different names. It is also sold under the brands:

  • Exalgo
  • Exalgo ER
  • Hydrostat IR
  • Dilaudid-HP

Street names for Dilaudid include:

  • Hospital Heroin
  • M2s
  • Hydro
  • Dillies
  • Dust

Hydromorphone Comes with Warnings

Hydromorphone is a powerful drug, which is why it comes with a long list of warnings. For example:

  • Anyone who has a history of breathing problems should not take this medication.
  • This medication is not indicated for anyone with a history of stomach or intestinal blockages.
  • Hydromorphone should never be used long-term or in higher dosages.
  • Crushing, breaking, or opening an extended-release hydromorphone pill can result in an overdose.
  • Pregnant women should consult a doctor before taking this medication.
  • Women who are breastfeeding need to communicate this to their doctors. A different medication may need to be prescribed.

Alcohol should always be avoided while taking this drug. Dangerous interactions may result when consuming alcohol while on hydromorphone.

Opioids affect the central nervous system, which is why it’s so dangerous. Overdose is always a risk, and it can quickly turn fatal. It’s also possible to become addicted to hydromorphone even when taking it as prescribed. If you have ever had an addiction to alcohol or drugs in the past, it’s important for you to let your doctor know before beginning treatment with this drug.

What Is the Dilaudid High Like?

If you go by online forums like Bluelight, Reddit and Erowid, the high varies. There are so many factors that come into play when describing it. Namely, these include:

  • Your drug use history
  • Whether you’re using other drugs along with it
  • Your dosage (for example, 2mg vs. 4mg)
  • Your method of using this medication
  • Your tolerance level regarding opioid drugs

Some people claim that the high with this medication is mild and weak. Others state that it’s intensely euphoric and long-lasting. Most agree that simply swallowing pills doesn’t produce much of a high and turn to more dangerous methods.

Are You Abusing Dilaudid?

So many opiate addiction stories begin with stories of abuse. This is a medication that can be addictive even when used appropriately. This is why doctors don’t prescribe it as often as other opioids. You are abusing this drug if you’re taking it in any way that’s contradictory to your prescription; Dilaudid abuse could even be just taking more of the pills than you should. Many people find that they’re inadvertently abusing this medication simply because it stopped working as well as it once did. Of course, there are many others who choose to abuse this drug just for the high it can produce. If that’s you, please be cautioned. The addictive potential of this medicine is quite high, and addiction always begins with repeated abuse.

Common Hydromorphone Abuse Methods

There are a lot of different ways that hydromorphone can be misused. However, all of the following are extremely dangerous.

Snorting the Drug

Snorting is a very common method of misusing most opiate medications. It’s relatively easy to snort hydromorphone. You simply grind up the pills or crush them and then inhale them. This is also called insufflation. Some people may even dissolve the powder in water and inject it into the nose with a syringe. Snorting hydromorphone gets the medication into your bloodstream very quickly. The high is almost immediate.

The Dilaudid IV

Most struggling with addiction know that using a drug intravenously is much more effective than other abuse methods. The same is true for Dilaudid. Individuals will typically inject the medication into a vein. Most of the time, they obtain IV Dilaudid on the street. This means the purity of the drug is in question. Using this medication in this way will produce a rapid and lingering high. In fact, the onset of the high is as much as 10 times faster than snorting the pills.

Plugging Hydromorphone

Plugging hydromorphone has been said to increase the drug’s bioavailability. This means that more of it is readily absorbed into the body. It’s no surprise that this method has grown in popularity. Plugging involves inserting the medication anally. This can be done in a number of ways. Less of the drug needs to be used with this method, as you might expect. It may be even more dangerous than other abuse methods.

Everyone has their own opinion about the best way to take it to get high. People tend to find what works for them and stick with it for quite some time. No matter how you abuse it, this drug is still very dangerous. Please keep that in mind.

The Effects of Hydromorphone Abuse

This drug is extremely potent. It’s possible to experience its powerful, negative effects, even with short-term use. Abusing hydromorphone should always be avoided. Those who do misuse it are likely to experience:

  • Painful stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • The possibility of seizures
  • Rapid changes in their blood pressure levels
  • Itching all over the body
  • Bouts of anxiety
  • A loss of consciousness

Unfortunately, for many, the positive effects of using hydromorphone outweigh the risks. So many people will continue to use this medication even with these and other dangerous effects.

How Addiction to This Drug Occurs

How Addiction Occurs

The longer you use any opiate medication, the more likely you are to become addicted to it. This is because drugs cause significant changes in a person’s brain chemistry. When you use this medicine, you immediately experience increased dopamine and serotonin levels. These and other chemicals are responsible for your feelings of happiness. When these levels are high, you feel content and secure. When Dilaudid is abused, the levels of these chemicals automatically increase. With time, the brain gets used to this. Without the medication, you don’t feel happy anymore, or you just don’t feel like yourself. This is one indicator that an addiction has started.

Am I Addicted to Dilaudid?

Maybe you’ve been taking this drug for quite some time. However, you’re not sure if you have formed an addiction to it or not. You’d be surprised how common this is. It’s very typical for people to be unaware of their addictions. Fortunately, you can find out in a few different ways. You may need to talk with someone to determine if you have an addiction. It can be beneficial to discuss your situation with someone in the addiction treatment field. Most drug rehabs offer free phone assessments for this purpose.

Dilaudid Addiction Symptoms

Dilaudid Addiction Symptoms

If you know what to look for, it may be quite easy to determine if you’re addicted to Dilaudid. For example, you may be addicted to this drug if you:

  • Have legal problems related to using this drug
  • Are having relationship problems because of your drug use
  • Are having health complications as a result
  • Are not able to hold down or get a job
  • Having financial issues due to spending so much money on your medication.

If you’re still unsure, you could also take an opiate addiction quiz. It’s important for you to learn what your relationship with this drug really is. If you’re addicted, you need to get help to quit.

How Long Does it Take to Get Addicted to Dilaudid?

It’s difficult to say how long it may take to become addicted to Dilaudid. This timeframe may vary from person to person. Someone with a history of addiction is likely to get addicted much faster. If you’re abusing Dilaudid for any period of time, you’re at risk for addiction. It could happen within a few weeks, or it could take several months. However, every use of this drug puts you one step closer to becoming addicted to it.

Dangerous Side Effects You Should Consider

Dangerous Side Effects You Should Consider

Hydromorphone has several dangerous side effects associated with it. Anyone who is misusing it should be aware of them. They include:

  • Bloody, tarry, or black stools (indicates intestinal bleeding)
  • Severe changes in behavior
  • The risk of convulsions
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling dizzy, or fainting
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Thoughts of suicide

When you have a hydromorphone addiction, you are putting yourself at great risk. It may be a prescribed drug, but it is not safe by any means.

The Risk of Overdose

Just like with any opioid medication, abusing Dilaudid also brings on the risk of overdose. Overdose can occur quickly, especially if you relapse after a period of abstinence. If you buy opioids off the street, there’s also the chance it’s cut with other substances, like fentanyl, to increase its potency.

Knowing the symptoms of overdose could save someone’s life. Opioid overdose might look like:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Blue nails, lips, or skin

If someone’s experiencing an opioid overdose, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. The emergency medication naloxone (Narcan) can reverse the effects of an overdose and save lives. If you have Narcan, administer it but still call 911. Additional doses or other lifesaving interventions may still be needed. If you don’t have Narcan, call 911 immediately and follow their instructions for providing emergency care. Withdrawal Symptoms you might experience

Quitting Dilaudid and the Withdrawal Timeline

You may be someone who has been using hydromorphone for pain but didn’t know you were addicted. Or, perhaps, you’ve been using it recreationally. Either way, you want to stop. You need to know what you can expect with withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms you might experience include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A fever and sweating
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Irritability
  • Muscle spasms
  • Depression that may lead to suicidal thoughts
  • Problems with your memory

Your symptoms should begin about 4–8 hours after your last dose of the medication. You should experience a peak of symptoms within 12–48 hours. After you reach the peak, your symptoms should begin to improve. However, you could still have periods of time when they’re severe. By the seventh day, most of your symptoms should be much better. Some may linger, and you may feel more tired than you normally do.

Does Everyone Go Withdrawal?

It’s possible to have Dilaudid withdrawal after surgery, with minimal exposure to this medication. In fact, withdrawal after short-term use is actually quite common. That means that anyone who has been abusing it willingly will almost definitely experience symptoms.

Dilaudid Withdrawal Remedies

If you do some research, you’ll find plenty of information on opioid withdrawal remedies. There are a lot of ideas you can use to stop this medication at home. However, please be very cautious. This is a powerful drug, and attempting a cold turkey quit is never recommended. It’s best for you to be on an appropriate opioid tapering schedule. This will allow you to wean yourself off the drug in a professional setting. It will reduce your risk of an opioid overdose, which could be fatal.

The Best Way to Quit Hydromorphone

Taking your hydromorphone quit into your own hands can be dangerous. You want to quit as safely as possible, and you want your results to be long-lasting. Get the help of a Dilaudid rehab if you want to have the best chance of a successful and safe recovery.

Northpoint Washington’s drug rehab in Edmonds, WA, offers detox and rehab services that can help you stop using hydromorphone safely. We have years of experience with addiction treatment programs, which include medical care for opioid withdrawal symptoms. You’ll get the support you need while you go through this challenging time.

Reach Out to Northpoint Washington Today to Get Help Quitting Dilaudid

Are you addicted to hydromorphone? Is someone you love struggling with an addiction to it? If so, please know that we’re here to assist you throughout your journey toward recovery. Our team of professionals understands how difficult quitting Dilaudid is, but they also know how necessary it is.

Call 888.450.2153 or contact us online to get started now.

Full Infographic:

the Dangers of Dilaudid