Dilaudid – About, Uses, and Abuse

Dilauded - Hydrophorphone

Dilaudid is an opioid pain medication that was initially approved by the FDA in 1984. Like many other opioid drugs, Dilaudid has contributed to a large number of drug overdose deaths in recent years. However, those who need help safely recovering from Dilaudid abuse and dependence can successfully do so with drug detox and behavioral therapy at a drug rehab center.

Here’s an overview of Dilaudid, its effects, statistics about its use, as well as information regarding how receiving addiction treatment can help people safely overcome opioid abuse and dependence.

What Is Dilaudid, and What Is It Used for?

Dilaudid is a narcotic pain reliever used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Dilaudid is the brand name for hydromorphone, which is also sold under the brand names Exalgo and Palladone. Hydromorphone is a highly potent opioid categorized as a Schedule II substance on the Controlled Substances Act alongside other potent opioids including oxycodone and fentanyl.

According to the DEA, Dilaudid is between two and eight times more potent than morphine, and produces greater sedative effects at a shorter duration. This drug is available in the form of a tablet, oral liquid, injectable solution, and rectal suppository. MedlinePlus reports that Dilaudid may be taken once every two to six hours based on the formulation being used, or once per day by patients using the extended-release formulation.

What Are the Effects of Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is an opioid medication that reduces pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system that control the sensation of pain. In addition to reducing pain, Dilaudid may produce euphoria, relaxation, sedation, constipation, and cough suppression.

Those who use too much Dilaudid face the risk of an overdose, which is characterized by symptoms including severe respiratory depression, reduced heart rate, and loss of consciousness. Those who abruptly stop using Dilaudid without gradually tapering off the drug may experience withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. People who use Dilaudid and seek drug detox can often experience a more comfortable withdrawal on behalf of medications that reduce or eliminate opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Information About Dilaudid Abuse

Dilaudid is a highly potent opioid that can quickly lead to dependence and addiction in anyone who uses this drug, even for a short period. Here are recent statistics about Dilaudid abuse, as noted by the Deapartment of Justice.

  • In 2012, there were a total of 3.9 million prescriptions for hydromorphone dispensed in the U.S.
  • When sold on the streets illicitly, each 4 mg tablet of Dilaudid ranges in cost between $5 and $100.
  • In 2011, results from a national survey showed that 1 million people in the U.S. aged 12 years and older had used Dilaudid for non-medical reasons.
  • Visits to US emergency department rooms related to hydromorphone increased by 287% from 2005 to 2011, reports SAMHSA.

Treatments for Dilaudid Dependence and Addiction

Dilaudid dependence and addiction can be safely and effectively treated using drug detox and behavioral therapy at a drug rehab center.

Addiction treatment for Dilaudid usually begins with drug detox, which helps people safely withdraw from Dilaudid while facing a reduced risk of complications. Drug detox usually involves the use of medications like buprenorphine that relieve withdrawal symptoms, and takes place in a quiet, relaxing inpatient setting.

After drug detox, patients transition into a residential drug rehab program to receive evidence-based behavioral therapies for addiction. Behavioral therapy helps patients change negative attitudes and beliefs surrounding drug use so they can thrive and achieve long-term recovery following their rehab programs.

Dana Point Rehab Campus offers drug and alcohol detox, and a wide range of drug and alcohol rehab programs that are customized for each patient. Contact us today at 949.569.7517 to learn more about our luxury amenities and addiction treatment programs that can help you or a loved one experience a safe, long-term recovery from Dilaudid addiction.