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Article Summary


Dilaudid is a prescription pain killer which is derived from morphine, so it is in a category of prescription drugs known as semi-synthetic opioids. Dilaudid is extremely, extremely, powerful so it is only used in the most serious cases of pain such as after a major surgery. Even though Dilaudid is derived from morphine, the effects of the drug are said to be eight times greater than morphine itself. While use of Dilaudid has proven very beneficial for individuals in need of relief from severe pain under legitimate circumstances, the risks of abuse and dependence are extremely high for both legitimate users and individuals who abuse opiates and prescription opioids recreationally to get high. Dilaudid is in very high demand on the illicit drug market because it can create a high comparable to heroin and is a suitable substitute.

There are many instances of individuals who were at one point prescribed Dilaudid for legitimate pain turning to abuse of the drug. This can happen very easily when one considers that the drug is short-acting, meaning the effects are powerful but only last a few hours. So someone who was prescribed the drug for pain would have to administer Dilaudid frequently to experience relief. And much like any other opiate drug, if Dilaudid is not administered frequently once an individual has become dependent to it, the individual will begin going through opiate withdrawal. Dilaudid withdrawal comes with exactly the same symptoms and scenarios as heroin withdrawal, so the individual would experience overwhelming craving to use Dilaudid and if they didn't their body would respond with punishing physical symptoms.

Dilaudid Abuse

Much like a heroin junkie, individuals who are prescribed Dilaudid and aren't aware of these risks can find themselves doing many things that any other drug addict would do to get more including doctor shopping, insurance fraud, etc. This happens with many prescription drugs because physicians don't take the time to warn their patients of these risks. This then leaves it to the discretion of the user, who often doesn't understand the risks involved. The risk of abuse by legitimate users is of course more likely to occur if the individual is currently involved in substance abuse or has a past history of substance abuse. Again, physicians may not take the time to inquire about this and may wrongly prescribe Dilaudid to someone who really should be prescribed a non-narcotic pain reliever to avoid abuse of the drug.

For opiate addicts and individuals who wish to use Dilaudid recreationally without a prescription, the drug is widely available from legitimate prescription holders who sell the drug for money or right alongside illicit street drugs such as heroin. One Dilaudid pill can go for as much as $100, so this is a very expensive habit to keep up with. The drug is available as a tablet, suppository or in liquid form, so there are a number of ways to administer the drug. Much like any other drug of abuse, individuals who abuse Dilaudid may crush tablets and snort the powder, or inject the drug which will produce an intense opiate high almost immediately.

Risks Of Dilaudid Use

There are many risks involved when abusing Dilaudid or any other prescription drug. First and foremost, individuals who are not yet tolerant to opiates may take a dose of Dilaudid which could be too much for their bodies to handle resulting in an overdose. For someone who is tolerant to a high level of opiates in their system this wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but for someone who isn't a couple of Dilaudid pills could cause serious side effects or even death. The risk of overdose is over course more likely when administered in such a way that puts Dilaudid straight into the blood stream, such as intravenous injection. Because Dilaudid is a central nervous system depressant, most individuals who die of a Dilaudid overdose simply stop breathing because of respiratory depression. This is a common outcome among all opiate users, including individuals who overdose on heroin.

The risks associated with overdose and serious side effects, even for legitimate users, are significantly more likely if the individual is mixing Dilaudid with other prescription drugs, illicit street drugs, or alcohol. This is of course more likely among illicit users, who often mix a number of drugs and alcohol at any given time to get high. Because Dilaudid is a depressant and can slow breathing, alcohol in particular is a common killer because it too is a depressant. If someone is overdosing on Dilaudid, they can expect to experience slowed breathing and pulse rate, bluish skin, limp extremities, low blood pressure and seizures and the individual may fall into unconsciousness or coma and may eventually die if emergency medical attention isn't summoned immediately. There is an antidote for a Dilaudid overdose which can be administered to reverse these effects, but again the individual would have to be in a position to summons this help or be in the company of someone who will. Since this is sometimes not the case, many individuals lose their lives because of Dilaudid and other prescription pain killer overdose.

Dilaudid Abuse Treatment

Individuals who become involved in Dilaudid abuse either because they are legitimate prescription holders or use the drug illicitly can receive treatment so that they can avoid any serious consequences. No, they don't have to wait until they have hit rock bottom to do so. Anyone at any point can reach out for treatment, which will typically involve a long-term inpatient or residential stay in a drug rehab facility which treats opiate addiction and/or prescription pain killer addiction. There is no shame in seeking out this help, there are millions of individuals who are currently abusing prescription pain killers such as Dilaudid and who are in the same boat. There is only pain and disappointment in store for those who are in denial and don't seek treatment, as is often the case. So if you know of someone who is abusing Dilaudid seek the help and advice of a professional treatment counselor who can help get them into treatment today.

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