Dilaudid is a fast-acting pain medication member of the opioid family, and there can be severe consequences when using it. It goes by the chemical name hydromorphone and is five times stronger than heroin. Like many other opioids, Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms can be severe and sometimes life-threatening.
Dilaudid, or hydromorphone, crosses the blood-brain barrier much faster than any other opioid. This leads to an intense “rush” for users, while also shortening the duration of their high. Because of this, hydromorphone addicts will use more pills. This is just one of many Dilaudid side effects, and part of the reasons the withdrawal symptoms are short-lived but intense.
What is Dilaudid?
Dilaudid is a brand name for hydromorphone, a schedule II controlled substance for moderate to chronic pain. It triggers the release of excessive amounts of dopamine, leading to pleasurable feelings and activating the brain’s reward system. Long-term use or misuse of prescription opioids can lead to physical dependence.
People can ingest it either orally, intranasally, or intravenously, making it a drug with a high risk of misuse and addiction. Regardless of how people use it, its effects last between four to six hours.
Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms
Dilaudid is most often used for postoperative pain because it has a quick onset of action and a rather short half-life. Thus, it works quickly and does not remain in the system very long. When an individual begins to experience the onset of withdrawal symptoms, the easiest way for them to control the symptoms is to take more of the drug. Thus, increasing their chance of overdose.
Withdrawal from Dilaudid is similar to other opioid withdrawal symptoms and may include:
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Muscle & Bone Pain
Severe side effects of Dilaudid include:
- Decreased Respiration
- Decreased Heartbeat
- Chest Tightness
Dilaudid Withdrawal Timeline
Because of the drug’s relatively brief half-life, individuals struggling with Dilaudid dependence experience their first withdrawal symptoms rather quickly.
After the last dose, most people will experience mild nausea, restlessness, irritability, anxiety, fever, sweating, and cravings for the drug. While these withdrawal symptoms might be slight, they’re quite dangerous as people might try to go back to using the drug and sometimes choose higher doses, which can lead to overdose.
By the end of the first day, withdrawal symptoms reach their peak. The primary symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, profuse sweating, fever, chills, headaches, muscle spasms, aches and pains, insomnia, decreased appetite, anxiety, depression, and severe cravings. Struggling with their withdrawal symptoms, many will also be confused, depressed, and suicidal.
By this time, symptoms are less severe, and patients are more focused on their withdrawal process. However, they may still have issues with nausea, anxiety, irritability, appetite loss, depression, and cravings.
Within the first week, most withdrawal symptoms will dissipate. However, psychological signs such as anxiety, depression, apathy, just feeling down, and having occasional cravings, are likely to be present.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms
Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) can continue even after six months of someone’s last dose. These come and go as waves and might require medical attention to control. The most common symptoms include:
- Intense and persistent anxiety
- Difficulty performing complex tasks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of sex drive
Dilaudid Withdrawal Treatment Plan
The first step to help someone struggling with Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms is to follow a detox protocol. Quitting cold-turkey and by themselves can be life-threatening. Doing so in a medical facility with medical advice can help monitor and control symptoms like high blood pressure, seizures, and suicidal behavior.
Dilaudid detox often involved tapering down from the drug. In this case, a physician will manage the reduction of the dose or prescribe a lesser potent benzo. The goal here is to determine the severity of addiction rather than the drug, to understand the treatment plan fully.
Sometimes patients enter medication-assisted programs to help their withdrawal process and reduce their symptoms. However, these are on a case-by-case basis and depend on a myriad of factors.
Dilaudid Addiction Treatment Options
Dilaudid addiction does not have to be a death sentence; in many cases, people can seek treatment and find sobriety. However, because of the severe consequences of withdrawal symptoms, having the right support system is critical to prevent deadly outcomes.
Most people starting their Dilaudid addiction treatment are recommended a detox program paired with a partial hospitalization program (PHP) that eases withdrawal symptoms and provides patients with a secure and supervised environment to begin their recovery. Many treatment facilities can help structure the right treatment plan. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our addiction recovery programs include:
Inpatient Programs: These offer a temptation-free environment that’s designed to help people in recovery. In this case, people check into a living drug rehab facility, and they attend meetings and therapy sessions while remaining in a supervised environment.
Outpatient Programs: For those with mild Dilaudid addiction, an outpatient rehab program might be an option. In this case, they have a more flexible program that allows them to maintain their daily schedule and responsibilities like attending school, work, or caring for their family.
Medication-Assisted Programs: While rare, long-time Dilaudid addicts might experience the worse withdrawal symptoms. To prevent these symptoms from harming them physically and psychologically, a physician might recommend specific prescription medications to help through the withdrawal process under a medically supervised program.
Individual Therapy: Beyond the detox process, it’s paramount to tackle the addiction. Through individual therapy, people can understand what drives addictive behavior and see if there’s an underlying cause of their addiction.
Group Therapy: Building a strong and sober support team is a critical element of addiction recovery. By attending group meetings or 12-step programs, individuals can continue their sober life and continue to learn relapse prevention techniques, even months after detox.
Aftercare Programs: Addiction isn’t one thing people can shove under the rug. The remnants of addiction often stay with them for the rest of their life. To help users find happiness and purpose in their lives, aftercare programs offer relapse prevention classes, life skills, and other essential tools for a successful life after treatment.
Seek Substance Abuse Treatment
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, ask for help immediately. Please, call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.
Our addiction center offers unique and personalized treatment plans because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’ll make it.