Hydromorphone Addiction Treatment 2018-05-22T16:06:27+00:00



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Hydromorphone, which is marketed under the trade name ‘Dilaudid,’ is a legal opioid prescribed for the relief of severe pain. It other prescription opiates, Hydromorphone has both an instant release (IR) and extended release (ER) formula. The IR formula is typically used in hospital settings after injuries or surgery, especially in joint replacement surgeries.

Dangers of Hydromorphone Abuse

Hydromorphone is a legal drug that is only available with a prescription, which means that anyone obtaining it outside of a valid medical context has committed an illegal act. Some ways of obtaining the drug illegally include forging prescriptions, stealing from pharmacies or medical facilities, having unscrupulous pharmacists or doctors dispense the drug without justifiable cause, or purchasing them illegally from a drug dealer.

Many hydromorphone abusers prefer to administer the drug via an intravenous injection in its most potent form, which makes it more likely for them to develop tolerance and addiction for the drug. The prolonged abuse of hydromorphone can affect the health of the user, causing:

  • Seizures
  • Hepatitis
  • Endocarditis
  • Vomiting
  • Infections, such as Hepatitis B, C or HIV transmitted through the injection

Hydromorphone Tolerance

The prolonged abuse of hydromorphone is likely to result in addiction. When you take hydromorphone, the drug substitutes its powerful effects for the production of endorphins in the brain. At first, this is a useful effect, but the brain adapts fast to the new substance in its system, causing it to produce more endorphins. Consequently, hydromorphone users have to keep increasing the drug dosage to manage the body’s natural adjustments.

Tolerance for hydromorphone develops very quickly for its users, and for them to keep reaching the same level of high, they’re forced to take more of it or use other ways to get the drug into their systems. The result is physical and psychological dependencies, whereby the user exhibits physical symptoms when the effectiveness of the usual hydromorphone dose is no longer as effective, and panic or anxiety set in over where and how to get the next dose.

Signs of Hydromorphone Addiction

People who become addicted to hydromorphone tend to engage in destructive behaviour, such as going to the ‘black market’ to find the drug or lying to medical professionals to get replacement prescriptions. Also, the abuse of one drug makes it more likely for the individual to abuse other drugs, like alcohol, in an effort to prolong or increase the high.

As the addiction becomes more severe, the person loses control over his/her life, and is unable to meet obligations at home, work, or even socially. The individual also shows signs of abuse, like:

  • Dopiness, sleepiness, and dilated pupils
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Slowed breathing

Treatment options

To recover from the overwhelming and devastating symptoms of addiction, the individual must complete a rehabilitation program that combines detox and psychological counselling in order to minimise cravings and helps to restore personal values and integrity. Achieving complete sobriety is a gradual process, and the professional team at Canadian Addiction Rehab is ready to stay with you every step of the way.