For over 75 years doctors have used a prescription opiate called hydromorphone, also known by the brand name Dilaudid, to ease moderate to severe pain. Prescription opiates can be immensely helpful for those who are in pain but they shouldn’t be taken without the user fully understanding the risks.
Doctor-prescribed narcotics are on the rise and being used illicitly all over the nation. The National Institutes of Health highlighted the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2006 in which an estimated 4.7 million Americans were thought to use a prescription opiate at least one month prior to the survey date. While the addiction or dependence rate may be lower than that, it doesn’t mean that prescription drugs aren’t a problem. In 2008, over 12,000 emergency department visits were noted due to prescription opiates. That’s a huge increase from 3,385 visits four years prior.
What Does Dilaudid Do?
Prescription opiates like Dilaudid and OxyContin are derived from morphine. Down the line, these are all related to heroin, a highly addictive illicit drug. These drugs help to relieve pain and give the user a euphoric feeling as a side effect of the morphine. Other side effects can include a variety of sensations.
- Blurred or double vision
- Nausea or vomiting
According to Drugs.com, a resource guide for prescription drugs, there are a number of serious side effects associated with Dilaudid as well:
- Trouble breathing (weak or shallow breath)
- Pounding in the chest
- Seizures or convulsions
- Chest tightness
Aside from these more immediate physical symptoms, any prescription opiate carries with it the risk of addiction or dependence. Even when used directly, a person can still develop a tolerance for the drug. Unfortunately, many users are not fully aware of the consequences of this dependence and will go to their doctor for more pills or higher doses.
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Signs of Dilaudid Abuse or Addiction
When a person becomes dependent on Dilaudid, the body feels as if the drug is necessary to keep going. This can develop into psychological dependence, as well, especially if the person has been on a range of narcotic drugs over a longer period of time. The original symptoms of pain that were the reason for taking the prescription in the first place can be exacerbated if Dilaudid use is stopped abruptly. For that reason, it is important that the doses are progressively smaller and fewer; the body and brain need time to adjust. Abrupt discontinuation can result in a number of side effects and consequences for the user.
If you suspect that a friend or loved one may be addicted to Dilaudid or any other prescription opiate, call us here at Alta Mira today. We can provide the much needed help he or she needs to get sober. If you aren’t sure, take a look at these abuse and addiction signs:
- Craving for the drug
- Using more of the drug than necessary
- Using the drug in ways not prescribed by the doctor (e.g., crushing up and snorting a pill)
- Disinterest or neglect of family, friends or work
- Forging prescriptions
- Going to multiple doctors to obtain a prescription
- Stealing prescription meds from friends or family
It’s not too late to get help. Opiate addiction is one of the most complex and difficult addictions to face but you don’t have to do it alone. There is nothing to be ashamed of in asking for help or admitting you have a problem. Sometimes the pain feels like too much to bear. You don’t have to rely on opiates or other drugs to get you through that pain. We can help you free yourself from addiction and find ways to manage your pain, stress, and whatever else you’re going through. It is possible to live a pain- and addiction-free life. Let us help show you how.