Signs of Dilaudid Abuse
As a painkiller stronger than morphine, Dilaudid has a serious potential for abuse and addiction. Some people following their prescription may even become addicted.
As someone develops a tolerance to the drug, they require more frequent and increased doses to achieve the desired “high.
Some signs of Dilaudid abuse include:
- Constricted pupils
- Loss of alertness
- Muscle spasms
- Slowed breathing
- Mood swings
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Dangers of Dilaudid
Dilaudid is dangerous because tolerance ramps up quickly, leading many users to escalate their doses. Taking larger doses can cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. When Dilaudid is combined with alcohol or other drugs there is a high risk of overdose. Combined, alcohol and Dilaudid can cause an extreme reduction in respiratory function.
Serious complications of Dilaudid abuse can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Collapsed veins
- Stomach pain
- Heart attack
- Trouble breathing
Dilaudid users who inject the drug are at a heightened risk of receiving and transmitting HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Dilaudid abuse can also impact other parts of a user’s life, leading to problems such as:
- Financial devastation due to the high price of Dilaudid
- Divorce caused by prioritizing drug use over marriage
- Incarceration due to theft or forging prescriptions
- Moving on to stronger, cheaper drugs like heroin
Recognizing a Dilaudid Addiction
Dilaudid abuse can quickly lead to an addiction. But just because someone is using the drug recreationally, it doesn’t mean they are addicted. There are certain signs and behaviors that indicate when an addiction has taken hold.
Developing a tolerance to Dilaudid is often the first step for people on a trajectory toward addiction. People with a tolerance need higher doses to feel the same effects as the first time they took the drug.
In order to relive the desired “rush” from Dilaudid, many users become focused on getting the drug at all costs. Some people spend a great deal of time doctor shopping, stealing the drug or searching online for distributors.
Relationships with family and friends may become strained due to the time and energy the user is devoting to their habit.
Something that started out of curiosity or even through a legitimate prescription may escalate to the point where users cannot control their drug-taking behaviors. People addicted to Dilaudid often obsess over the drug and tend to put their drug use before everything else.
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Intervention and Next Steps
Some people addicted to Dilaudid don’t realize they have a problem. They often think they are in control, especially if they are following a prescription.
Friends and family may feel frustrated by their loved one’s Dilaudid addiction. Staging an intervention is one way family members can take control of the situation.
In an intervention, family and friends make it clear they will no longer enable the addiction, but they also offer their love and support for the addict’s treatment and recovery.
An interventionist can help guide an effective conversation with the addicted person. Skilled interventionists do pre-intervention research and interviews with the family. This helps identify any enabling behaviors that can get in the way of the intervention.
A successful intervention culminates with the user agreeing to seek treatment. Immediate admission to a drug treatment facility typically follows a successful intervention.
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Withdrawal from Dilaudid and Treatment
Because an addiction to Dilaudid is so serious, users shouldn’t detox on their own. Cravings and withdrawal are intense during detox. Without professional supervision, withdrawal often leads to relapse. Physicians can monitor the detox process and help the addicted person manage their withdrawal symptoms.
The detox process for Dilaudid may involve a gradual reduction in the user’s dose. Incrementally cutting down doses helps ease users through the withdrawal phase, limiting painful symptoms.
If the user has not been taking Dilaudid for a long period, they may be able to quit “cold turkey,” but should only do so under a doctor’s care.
Therapy is also part of treatment for an addiction to Dilaudid. Counseling helps users pinpoint the underlying causes of their addiction, helping them change their habits and behaviors. Get help finding a treatment center near you that offers treatment for Dilaudid addiction.
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