Dilaudid is a potent narcotic pain medicine in the opioid class. This synthetic drug is a derivative of morphine, but it is approximately 7.5 times stronger. The effects of Dilaudid occur as soon as 15 minutes and will remain for approximately 6 hours. Dilaudid produces a serious high for the legitimate and illicit drug user. Those who have substance abuse problems often develop a tolerance or dependence to this drug in as little as 2 weeks. Dilaudid addiction is extremely common, and often occurs when a person is prescribed the drug for pain but cannot stop the use.
Tolerance is when a person requires more and more of the drug for a desired effect, and cannot stop the drug without experiencing uncomfortable and painful withdrawal symptoms. A person with a Dilaudid addiction is at risk for overdose or death. Many individuals who use Dilaudid have suffered from a fatal overdose. A person who becomes addicted also engages in “doctor-shopping,” where he or she goes from doctor to doctor in attempts to obtain the drug. Also Dilaudid addiction leads to crime, as people will steal other’s medications, forge prescriptions, or buy it online illegally.
Dilaudid Addiction and Withdrawals
Dilaudid is available as tablets, oral solutions, injectable solutions, and rectal suppositories. It is a high-demand opiate for addicts, and is readily available on the illicit market. To make a quick buck, people who are legitimately prescribed Dilaudid will sell prescriptions. Also, like heroin, the Dilaudid is often dissolved and injected into the vein for a quick fix. This puts the user at risk for contracting hepatitis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and other blood-borne diseases.
Withdrawals occur when a person attempts to stop taking Dilaudid. The desire to use the drug is often fueled by the strong cravings and urges to avoid the painful and uncomfortable response of withdrawals. Withdrawal symptoms usually peak around 9 hours, but do not subside until 36 to 72 hours. However, people who have taken high doses of an opiate drug will have withdrawals that can last for up to two weeks. These symptoms include:
- Goose bumps
- Muscle pain
- Watery eyes
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heart rate
There are many dangerous side effects that occur with Dilaudid abuse and use. The adverse effects of this potent narcotic include
- Circulatory shutdown
- Respiratory depression
- Water retention
- Muscle spasms
- Extreme paranoia
- Loss of awareness
- Chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
Dilaudid overdose occurs when a person accidently takes too much of this drug. The risk of overdose is greater for those who use the substance along with other drugs and/or alcohol. This drug is a central nervous system depressant, and contributes to irregular breathing, limp muscles, cold clammy skin, slow pulse rate, low blood pressure, irregular heart rate, drowsiness, and cardiac arrest.
Unintentional deaths related to Dilaudid are on the rise. The prescription drug market is a $10 billion dollar per year industry, and there is lots of money to be made from numerous vulnerable people who don’t recognize how destructive drug abuse is. Once a person is in the cycle of addiction, treatment for Dilaudid addiction must occur at an inpatient rehab center, where the individual can receive detoxification (detox) and counseling.