You might be one of the many Americans who is prescribed an opioid if you battle with pain that cannot be treated via other methods. Patients with especially severe pain may receive a prescription for Dilaudid (hydromorphone) to get necessary relief and feel comfortable.
Dilaudid is a strong opioid that is risky even when used as prescribed. Per MedlinePlus, this medication can be habit-forming and should be taken exactly as prescribed. Taking more of it could result in misuse and eventually, addiction. Reducing your dosage without talking to your doctor may result in symptoms of withdrawal.
Opioids are incredibly addictive. If you begin misusing Dilaudid, it’s likely that addiction will quickly follow.
The Mayo Clinic explains that Dilaudid is sold as extended-release capsules or tablets. In addition, Dilaudid can be administered via intravenous (IV) injection, intramuscular injection, or into a patient’s rectum if they cannot receive injections.
This medication is meant for people who are in serious pain. As such, if you have recently had surgery, a dental procedure, or you require medication for short-term symptoms, you will be prescribed something weaker than Dilaudid.
Patients will often be prescribed a low dose that may be increased after three to four days of taking the medication. Dilaudid can be up to eight times stronger than morphine and is listed as a Schedule II drug.
Despite the many pain-relieving benefits it offers, Dilaudid is dangerous because it is easy to misuse or abuse.
Users can also expect the following potential side effects when starting the medication:
The above side effects are uncomfortable but not serious. You should consult with your doctor immediately or get help if you feel these side effects:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) warns that prescription painkiller misuse is a widespread problem that has been on the rise. In the United States, misuse of prescription painkillers such as Dilaudid increased fivefold between 1999 and 2016.
This has resulted in increasing numbers of emergency room visits, overdoses, and fatalities related to opioids. Dilaudid abuse is something public health and addiction experts are monitoring.
On July 2013, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reported that Dilaudid and other forms of hydromorphone could cause tolerance and are used in unlawful manners. People may get the drug via:
There are clear signs that you are misusing Dilaudid. These include:
Misusing prescription painkillers can facilitate addiction. As reported by NIDA, addiction must be treated as a chronic health condition. People become addicted to medication for different reasons, such as:
People who misuse drugs do not develop an addiction overnight. Instead, they may choose to experiment the first few times. If nonmedical use of opioids like Dilaudid continues, users lose their ability to control cravings.
You can become addicted to Dilaudid because it affects your central nervous system (CNS). Research on drugs and the brain shows that opioids change how you experience rewards. Dilaudid makes you feel relaxed, which provides an incentive for you to seek it out and continue using it so you can continue to feel good.
Dilaudid can trigger overdose in people that may be fatal.
Like alcohol, opioids sedate people and can result in serious accidents should a person choose to drive or operate machinery while under its influence. This may result in death or serious injuries.
The CDC cautions that women are more vulnerable to Dilaudid overdose than others. Its September 2018 findings on women and prescription painkiller overdose state the following:
Older patients are also more vulnerable to the effects of Dilaudid.
Thanks to increased understanding of how opioid addiction works, organizations like NIDA have come up with guidelines for the best ways to deal with misuse of opioids.
Common methods to treat addiction to prescription painkillers include:
With consistency and support from family and friends, people who are misusing or addicted to Dilaudid can successfully recover.
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(January 2019) Hydromorphone. MedlinePlus. Retrieved April 2019 from from from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682013.html
(July 2013) Hydromorphone. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration: Office of Diversion Control Retrieved April 2019 from from from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/hydromorphone.pdf
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