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Is Dilaudid an Opioid?

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Drug addiction that arises from prescription drug use is common. Often, substance abuse disorder occurs when someone is prescribed a drug necessary to their recovery. They become dependent on that drug because it helps them feel better. No one wants to live with pain, and opioids can help relieve that pain that has become too much a part of their daily lives.

Dilaudid is one drug that is often used for pain relief. Also known as hydromorphone, Dilaudid is an opioid. People who take the drug are at risk of developing an addiction, which we can treat at BAART Programs. Understanding the risks of taking Dilaudid is critical before you agree to start taking a prescription. Like any medication, it’s also important to use it exactly as prescribed.

What Is Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is a Schedule II controlled substance and an opioid analgesic. It affects the brain, changing its response to pain by releasing dopamine that makes the body feel good. In some cases, the drug can spark rare side effects, including:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Constipation.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dry mouth.

The side effects may decrease the longer you take Dilaudid. The more you take, the less dopamine your brain will produce, meaning you will need to take additional doses of the drug to achieve the same feeling of relaxation and lack of pain. It takes about 30 minutes to feel the drug’s impact, and its effects generally wear off after four to six hours.

Suddenly stopping the use of Dilaudid can result in withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor will give you a plan to gradually step down doses of the drug when your pain levels are under control.

When Is Dilaudid Used?

Dilaudid is used to treat severe pain, including the effects of cancer or serious burns. It’s often prescribed after patients have received prescriptions for other, less-potent painkillers that proved ineffective. Dilaudid is stronger even than morphine, so it can be effective where other drugs have not offered relief.

Doctors may even prescribe Dilaudid HP, a high-potency version of Dilaudid, for patients with incredibly high pain levels. Patients must demonstrate an ability to withstand opioids before taking Dilaudid HP.

Because Dilaudid has a high incidence of substance abuse, doctors only prescribe it when they see no other alternative. For the same reason, they often prescribe low doses.

Your doctor will warn you about drug interactions when you take Dilaudid. You shouldn’t combine it with alcohol, as the combination of these two depressants can lead to a life-threatening slowdown in heart rate and breathing.

Seeking Assistance for Dilaudid Addiction

As with any drug, you incur risks when you take Dilaudid, and one is the risk of developing an addiction. If you become dependent on this opioid, help is available. BAART Programs has locations across the country to treat substance use disorders, including Dilaudid addiction.

Find a location near you and read our blog to learn more about BAART Programs. We offer substance use disorder programs tailored to your circumstances and unique needs. Get in touch with us today.

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