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Hydromorphone Abuse & Addiction | Effects, Withdrawal, & Treatment Options

bottle full of Hydromorphone Dilaudid Opioid Medication

Hydromorphone is the generic form of the brand name pain medication Dilaudid. It’s used to treat moderate to severe pain. Hydromorphone is often given to individuals who need continuous pain medication but cannot use other types of pain relievers. 

Available as a tablet, liquid, rectal suppository, or extended-release tablet, hydromorphone must be taken as recommended by medical professionals. 

If you or a loved one use hydrocodone in ways other than directed, you increase the risk of opioid addiction. 

What Is Hydromorphone?

As an opiate analgesic, hydromorphone is a narcotic pain reliever. It’s available only with the guidance of a medical professional. 

In terms of hydromorphone vs morphine, hydromorphone is up to eight times more powerful than morphine. However, it offers a shorter duration than morphine as well as more sedating quality. 

Because hydromorphone is a fast-acting medication, it’s used for people experiencing severe pain. This includes individuals who are fighting cancer, have experienced traumatic injuries, or have had a significant burn injury.

Dilaudid may also be dissolved in a liquid solution and injected, which could suggest abuse or addiction. 

Hydromorphone has several common street names, including:

  • Footballs
  • Smack
  • D
  • Juice
  • Dust
  • Dillies 

Effects Of Hydromorphone Addiction

One crucial sign of addiction is taking drugs despite adverse effects on your life. Other signs of hydromorphone addiction include having an almost-singular focus on attaining more of the drug, and taking it even when it has not been prescribed. 

The effects of hydromorphone addiction may include:

  • urine retention
  • blood pressure changes
  • constipation
  • changes in heartbeat
  • dizziness
  • constricted pupils
  • rash
  • impaired coordination
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • respiratory depression

Learn more about Hydromorphone Side Effects

Hydromorphone Overdose Signs

Your risk of hydromorphone overdose is increased when you take the drug without the guidance of a physician or without following a doctor’s instructions. 

The following signs of a hydromorphone overdose require immediate attention, first aid, and emergency care: 

  • drowsiness
  • reduced heart rate
  • lack of muscle tone
  • stupor or coma
  • reduced blood pressure
  • skin that is cold and clammy
  • severe respiratory depression

Hydromorphone Withdrawal Symptoms & Detox

Detox programs are available to assist people who experience withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly stop using hydromorphone. 

Because hydromorphone is a highly addictive opioid, the following withdrawal symptoms may occur: 

  • irritability
  • weakness
  • backaches
  • restlessness
  • fast heartbeat
  • joint pain
  • insomnia
  • sweating
  • large pupils
  • teary eyes
  • stomach cramps
  • anxiety
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • appetite loss
  • chills

Learn more about Hydromorphone Withdrawal

Hydromorphone Addiction Treatment Options

Hydromorphone addiction treatment options may feature a wide-range of services. It’s important to know that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan that works for everyone.

Instead, high-quality treatment centers specifically tailor a treatment plan to match your individual needs. 

Some aspects of an individualized treatment plan may include a combination of: 

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines therapy and medications that have been approved by the FDA to help address opioid addiction. These medications help lower cravings and dependence, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and support your recovery efforts.

Residential/Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient or residential treatment is the most comprehensive form of drug rehab available. It provides you with access to medical and clinical staff 24/7. You’ll attend group therapy sessions with peers, participate in holistic activities like yoga, and receive mental health care.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is a flexible option that allows you to still work, go to school, and care for your family while going through rehab. These rehab programs vary in intensity, from partial hospitalization programs to intensive outpatient programs.

Support Groups

Support groups are an important factor for your long-term recovery. Whether the support groups are sponsored by a treatment center or offered by the community, 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous can help you build relationships and support one another. 

For information on how Ark Behavioral Health treats opioid use disorder, including hydromorphone addiction, please connect with us today.

Hydromorphone FAQ

What Is The Brand Name For Hydromorphone?

Dilaudid is the brand name for hydromorphone, an opiate analgesic used to relieve severe pain.

Can You Inject Dilaudid?

Dilaudid comes in several forms, including ampules intended for injection into the body.

While Dilaudid serves an important medical role, any intravenous use of opioid medications involves significant risk and can lead to the rapid development of physical tolerance and dependence.

Learn more about Dilaudid Injection

Can You Snort Hydromorphone?

Some hydromorphone products, including brand name Dilaudid, are more appealing to snort than others. Snorting Dilaudid is a form of substance abuse and can be dangerous to your health.

Learn more about Snorting Dilaudid

How Long Does Dilaudid Stay In Your System?

Because of hydromorphone’s short half-life of between two and four hours, Dilaudid is generally eliminated from the body quickly. The general detection periods for Dilaudid in drug tests are:

  • Blood: less than two days
  • Saliva: less than four days
  • Urine: two to four days
  • Hair: 90 days

Read How Long Does Dilaudid Stay In Your System to learn more

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

DEA Drug Facts - Hydromorphone
Department of Justice: Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Fact Sheet - Hydromorphone
MedlinePlus - Hydromorphone

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