Dilaudid Addiction: Abuse Signs, Effects & Treatment

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Dilaudid Addiction and Treatment Guide

Hydromorphone, sold under the brand name Dilaudid, is a prescription painkiller with plenty of valid therapeutic uses. Unfortunately, Dilaudid abuse has destroyed countless lives over the years. Dilaudid abuse plays a big role in the ongoing opioid crisis. Professionals in Dilaudid addiction treatment provide important services for the health of their communities.

Dilaudid is one of the stronger synthetic opioids available today. When abused, Dilaudid acts upon the user in a way that is similar to the effects of heroin. If one uses Dilaudid regularly, it doesn’t take very long for habituation and addiction to manifest.Dilaudid Addiction Treatment

Dilaudid Addiction Treatment

Dilaudid is psychologically and physically addictive. This means that once addicted, people who cease use can become physically ill. While typically not life threatening, these withdrawal symptoms can be intensely uncomfortable. This is one reason why it is very difficult to stop a regular Dilaudid habit without professional help.

As with other opioids, it doesn’t take long for Dilaudid users to develop a tolerance for the medication. This process ensures that one will have to use more and more of the drug to achieve the same results. Unfortunately, many people have become addicted to Dilaudid through no real fault of their own. Many first get exposed to Dilaudid when recovering from physical injury. Even if you take your Dilaudid exactly as prescribed, it is possible to develop a physical dependency.

Key Signs of Addiction

In medical literature, physical dependency does not necessarily equal having an addiction. This is a fine point often misunderstood by laypersons. Addiction is when you are unable to curb use in the face of physical, social, and legal problems.

Addicted users may become obsessed with taking their next pills. They also tend to spend unreasonable time, money, or effort securing pills. Family responsibilities, school, and work activities tend to suffer. Users tend towards social isolation so they can use without fear of judgment or interruption. As addiction takes hold, the user might start stealing medicine or turning in forged prescriptions. They might changing the ways that they act with friends and family members, often treating others poorly as they stress about getting more drugs.

Like others with prescription drug problems, Dilaudid abusers sometimes order medicine from shady online repositories. It’s not unusual for users to engage in “prescription shopping,” which is visiting multiple doctors with trumped-up claims of chronic pain. In many cases, users resort to criminal behavior to raise money to buy Dilaudid from the street. It’s not unusual for Dilaudid abuse to escalate into the abuse of even more dangerous drugs. The signs of fentanyl addiction mirror those of Dilaudid addiction.

How Dilaudid Acts Upon Your Body

When you take Dilaudid, it triggers your brain to release an appreciable amount of dopamine, your body’s main reward chemical. As your body becomes used to Dilaudid, your brain will gradually produce less dopamine on its own. Fortunately, cessation of use can gradually allow your system to regain more normal functioning.

Dilaudid is available as a pill or in liquid form. When consumed orally, Dilaudid will take effect in an hour at the most. As a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, Dilaudid reduces one’s heartbeat and breathing. This contributes to the relatively high risk of overdose when abusing this drug. After all, your CNS can only slow down so much before it stops entirely.

Quite a few users mix Dilaudid with other CNS depressants like alcohol and fentanyl. Most opioid users engage in binge drinking. When you mix CNS depressants, your risk of overdose goes up dramatically. In turn, overdosing can lead to respiratory distress, seizures, falling into a coma, or death.

It is very common for heroin abusers to start their drug careers with Dilaudid and other prescription painkillers. Unfortunately, purity and adulteration issues make heroin abuse a common vector for overdose. Dangerous in itself, Dilaudid abuse is a major player in the broader problem of drug addiction.

Hope Can Be Yours Through Rehabilitation Services

No matter how long you’ve been struggling with Dilaudid, there are ways to move forward into sobriety. Even people who have struggled with painkiller addiction for decades can turn their lives around through rehab. Modern rehab clinics provide clients with many effective tools for overcoming drug addiction.

Most people find it difficult, if not impossible, to get sober on their own. At rehab, you can find the medical and social resources you need to transform your future. If you think of medical facilities as sterile, unfriendly places, rehab may prove to be a surprise. Reportedly, the atmosphere in rehab tends to be friendly and welcoming. Although their personalities and opinions may differ, rehab staff and clients typically stand united in their commitment to building better lives.

Since 1999, more than 750,000 Americans have died from opioid and opiate overdose. However, very many people have overcome opioid addiction within that timeframe. If you are willing to take the first step, addiction treatment could prove the key to achieving new levels of confidence and self-esteem.

The Sensitive Issue of Dual Diagnosis

The modern rehabilitation facility provides each client with a tailored, individualized treatment plan. These plans are designed to meet the needs of dual-diagnosis cases. Dual diagnosis is when one’s addiction disorder co-exists with other physical and psychiatric diagnoses.

According to the medical literature, a large proportion of addiction sufferers have mental health issues. Indeed, many people start abusing substances to dull the pain of deeper problems. Of course, such self-medication usually only exacerbates the underlying condition.

Common co-morbidities include bipolar disorder, PTSD, and general anxiety disorder. To meet the needs of clients with dual diagnoses, rehabs work with psychiatrists and other medical professionals. There is no single medication that can cure Dilaudid addiction. Nevertheless, appropriate psychiatric medication can make addiction recovery easier and more certain.

Human beings are social creatures. Though addiction usually leads to self-isolation, it is common for people to first develop substance abuse habits in a social setting. By the same token, socialization is an important part of beating addiction. Rehab provides a safe setting where people can unlearn old ways of thinking.

For people who start abusing substances in adolescence, the idea of socializing while sober might seem alienating or strange. In rehab, clients learn or relearn how to relate to the world while without substances. In a supervised clinical environment, clients learn how to build and maintain supportive, sober friendships.

The bulk of rehab consists of group classes and one-on-one sessions with highly trained addiction counselors. Almost without fail, treatment facility staff members are courteous, professional, and caring. By and large, these professionals are genuinely committed to helping their patients thrive.

Rehab clinics usually incorporate 12-step meetings into their treatment regimen. Popularized by Bill Wilson, the 12-step program is a Christian-influenced addiction recovery program made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous.

It’s uncertain how the 12-step methodology stacks up against other ways of getting sober. However, there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence supporting the value of the 12-step program, and some studies have found it to be just as or more effective than other treatment options. Countless thousands of people have used this program to achieve sobriety. Introducing clients to 12-step meetings is an important part of the rehabilitation toolkit.

Seeing and Overcoming Personal Triggers

Perhaps the most important part of rehab is learning to identify and avoid triggers. In Dilaudid addiction recovery, a trigger is a stimulus that immediately inspires you to crave your substance of choice. A trigger could be a physical location, a smell, a feeling, or even the sight of another person. Once you’ve identified the triggers driving your Dilaudid addiction, cessation of use becomes a genuine possibility. Avoiding triggers offers a better alternative to simply trying to overcome cravings with raw willpower. If that was a reliable strategy, it’s doubtful that people would need to seek out addiction recovery services in the first place.

Avoiding triggers may require finding new friends, new living arrangements, or even a new job. If you’re truly ready to put Dilaudid behind you, you’ll make any changes necessary to eliminate triggers from your life. Of course, a current trigger might not remain a trigger forever. The longer you maintain sobriety, the more triggers will “wither on the vine.” For example, it’s common for people in recovery to avoid bars and liquor stores. After years of sobriety, however, one may find that the act of stepping into a bar is no longer triggering. Whatever your substance of choice, identifying triggers is an important step toward building sober time.

When working to overcome a Dilaudid problem, the length of one’s rehab stay can vary greatly. Although it is common for rehab to last for a few weeks, there is no one length that can meet every client’s needs. Working together with rehab staff, clients carefully determine when it is safe to move back into the broader world. Before discharging clients, rehab staff members provide clients with comprehensive aftercare plans. Inpatient rehab is not intended to be the end-all and be-all of addiction treatment. Instead, this is the first step in a process that can take years.

Some researchers now question the old-fashioned maxim that addiction is incurable. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that addiction recovery is a process that can take quite some time. After leaving rehab, you’ll want to continue actively pursuing recovery in a variety of ways. Your aftercare plan may include 12-step meetings, counseling, and outpatient rehabilitation classes.

In the world of finance, investors repeat the phrase that “past results are not a guarantee of future performance.” This is also true if you’ve tried and failed to get sober in the past. Whatever your personal history, quitting your opioid habit is eminently possible. The only way to guarantee you won’t get sober is to pre-emptively give up on sobriety. As long as one maintains positivity and keeps moving forward, sobriety is always achievable.

Solving a Society-Wide Problem One Person at a Time

Opioid addiction is a national problem with society-wide effects. Experts estimate that opioid and opiate addiction costs the United States more than $480 million per year. Though this is quite an expense, the human cost of addiction is the worst cost of all. After all, addiction does not only affect the person with the substance problem. Family members, friends, and co-workers are all affected by the consequences of addiction. Fortunately, it is easier than ever to seek treatment for addiction. Instead of offering judgment and condemnation, society increasingly treats addiction sufferers with true compassion. To get help for you or a loved one, reach out to a treatment center today.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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