How Do I Know If Someone Is On Dilaudid?
When someone is prescribed Dilaudid, it’s important that they use it exactly as prescribed by their doctor because it can lead to severe problems when it’s taken in larger amounts or outside of the parameters it’s specified for including slowed or stopped breathing.
When someone is prescribed Dilaudid, they should be warned that it is habit forming and the use of this drug does carry the risk of abuse or dependency, even when it’s taken as directed.
Even when someone is taking Dilaudid because they’re prescribed to it, there may be side effects. Some of these side effects can include:
- Flushing of the skin
- Dry mouth
These side effects may be more apparent when someone first starts taking Dilaudid, and they may subside with continued use of the drug. The drug also comes along with other more serious warnings including the risk of mental or mood changes including agitation or confusion, severe abdominal pain, problems urinating, and signs of adrenal malfunction including weight loss and loss of appetite.
Hydromorphone or Dilaudid may be prescribed in several different forms. These include as a liquid, tablet, suppository, or a solution that’s injectable. When people are abusing Dilaudid, they may also inject it, or crush the pills and snort them for a faster-acting, more powerful effect.
People often abuse this prescription opioid because it can lead to a euphoric high that’s similar to what someone experience with a drug like heroin. It also acts as a sedative and relaxes the person taking it.
If you’re wondering if someone is on Dilaudid, or what the signs of Dilaudid abuse are, you’re not alone. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were around one million people in the U.S. in 2011 that reported using this drug for non-medical purposes at least one time during their life. It’s also a drug that’s prescribed very commonly, so it’s widely available. For example, according to the DEA, there were nearly four million prescriptions dispensed for hydromorphone in 2012.
Some of the most common reasons people are prescribed Dilaudid is to help with the management of pain related to cancer and serious injuries. When someone takes Dilaudid, it usually starts working within around 15 minutes, and it can relieve pain for up to six hours. Small doses are typically prescribed, usually 2 mg or 4 mg, and the pills are either round or triangular. It’s also available in liquid form, and in a hospital or clinical setting, it may be given intravenously.
Some of the general signs someone is on Dilaudid include:
- Mood swings which can range to shows of euphoria, to depressive or irritable states
- Breathing problems
- Itching or scratching
- Coordination problems
- Nodding off or trouble staying awake or alert, particularly at strange times
- Sweating excessively
- Pinpoint pupils
- Dry mouth
- Hoarseness of the voice
When someone is using Dilaudid, they may also experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the drug or take a smaller dose. The symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal can include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and pains, chills, loss of appetite, insomnia, diarrhea and sweating.
- Forging prescriptions for Dilaudid or visiting many doctors to receive multiple prescriptions
- Stealing from family or friends
- Spending a lot of money when purchasing Dilaudid illegally
- Lying or becoming defensive about the use of Dilaudid
- Isolation from friends and family
- A decline in performance at school or work
- Problems keeping commitments including personally and professionally
- Being obsessed with getting the next dose of Dilaudid
- Buying Dilaudid online or illegally on the street
It’s important for people to note that with Dilaudid and many similar prescription painkillers, it doesn’t necessarily have to take a long time for tolerance to develop. Individuals who use Dilaudid, even if they follow their prescription, may find that they become tolerant to the drug just two or three doses after starting to use it.
Another problem that comes with someone being on Dilaudid and abusing the drug is that it may lead them to use other opioids, such as heroin. Prescription opioids can become a gateway drug for heroin because heroin tends to be cheaper and easier to get, while having similar effects.
If you suspect someone close to you is on Dilaudid, it’s important to speak with a medical professional or an addiction specialist, because there is a high likelihood of overdose and other serious health problems that come with the misuse of this prescription opioid.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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