Dilaudid is a highly potent narcotic pain reliever. It is synthetic, meaning that it is man-made and not naturally derived, like some other pain medications. It also happens to be one of the most powerful medications available – because it is so intensely habit-forming, many medical professionals will only prescribe Dilaudid for short-term use to treat moderate or severe pain. When taken other than as prescribed (in some cases, even when taken exactly as prescribed), those who are using this medication can develop tolerance in as little as two or three weeks. Once a tolerance begins to develop (meaning more of the chemical substance will be needed for the same results to be produced), physical dependence is likely not far behind.
What is Dilaudid prescribed for? The medication is the brand name for the drug hydromorphone, which is an opioid analgesic. Opioid analgesic medications work by blocking certain receptors within the brain – receptors that typically process physical pain. The central nervous system communicates with the brain, altering it when the physical body is in distress. When these receptors are blocked, the individual can no longer feel pain, making it an extremely effective pain reliever. However, as previously mentioned, Dilaudid has an exceptionally high propensity for abuse. This is why the medication will never be used long-term.
Dilaudid Abuse: Signs and Symptoms
If medical professionals prescribe Dilaudid for the treatment of a pain-related issue, they will generally instruct that the medication be taken orally with food. However, Dilaudid can also be taken in a liquid form. The dose that an individual takes will depend on his or her specific medical condition and how he or she reacts to the medication.
For example, someone who experiences extreme nausea upon taking the first dose might be instructed to take a lower dose to avoid that uncomfortable side effect. The medical professional who prescribes the medication will advise his or her patient to never take more than is recommended and never take the medication more times than is recommended in 24 hours. Doing so can quickly lead to physical and psychological dependence.
If you believe that you may be developing a Dilaudid dependence, there are several signs to look for. Be aware and consult your doctor immediately if:
- You begin eagerly anticipating the next dose, and taking the next dose sooner than you were recommended to take it
- Running out of a prescription sooner than intended and trying desperately to get the prescription filled, either by the same doctor or another doctor
- Beginning to lose the motivation needed to complete basic day-to-day obligations, like showing up to work or school, taking care of your hygiene, or keeping up with the cleanliness of your living space
- Searching the medicine cabinets, of friends, family members, and acquaintances for Dilaudid prescriptions
- Building up a physical tolerance and taking more of the prescription to feel the same “high”
- Attempting to purchase the medication illegally
- Engaging in illegal activities to obtain more Dilaudid, such as forging the signature of medical professionals or stealing the medication from others
Dilaudid Addiction Recovery at Garden State Treatment Center
At Garden State Treatment Center, we have extensive experience treating individuals who have been struggling with Dilaudid addiction – and addictive disorders related to opioid analgesics of all kinds. Many people mistakenly believe that if a medication is prescribed by a medical professional it has little to no potential for abuse, and it cannot possibly be harmful. This could not be farther from the truth.
Drugs like Dilaudid are exceptionally harmful – in a wide variety of ways – when taken other than as prescribed. If you have been taking Dilaudid for a pain-related disorder and you believe that you may be beginning to develop a physical dependency, simply give us a call today. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and point you in the right direction.