Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Addiction and Abuse

Hydromorphone hydrochloride is a narcotic pain reliever prescribed for alleviating long-term moderate to severe chronic pain. It is classified as an opioid analgesic and it alters how the body responds to pain signals, reducing a person’s awareness to pain.

Hydromorphone hydrochloride can be prescribed as an oral liquid, extended-release tablet, immediate-release tablet, and intramuscular injection.

Hydromorphone hydrochloride has a much greater risk for psychological addiction and misuse, and per milligram it is nearly five times as strong as other opioids like morphine. The narcotic is popular for illicit use because it is often compared to heroin as far as potency goes. Recognizable street names for hydromorphone hydrochloride include “dust”, “juice”, and “smack”.

Hydromorphone hydrochloride is meant to be administered when severe flares of pain are present, while other forms like the extend-release version are created for pain management. Hydromorphone hydrochloride takes 20 to 30 minutes to take effect and, depending on the strength, can last up to 6 hours. Tablet forms of the opioid are not meant to be crushed or snorted. When ingesting hydromorphone hydrochloride as an oral liquid, carefully measure out the amount before taking it. People have accidentally overdosed on hydromorphone hydrochloride when in liquid form due to confusions made during measuring.

Drinking alcohol with hydromorphone hydrochloride is dangerous as it can lead to fatal respiratory depression.

Potential side effects of hydromorphone hydrochloride may include constipation, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, or sweating.

After regular use of hydromorphone hydrochloride, a person may become physically dependent on the drug. However, this does not indicate psychological addiction. When someone becomes dependent on opioids like hydromorphone hydrochloride, it means their body is used to having the medication present and relies on it to help alleviate pain. Addiction to hydromorphone hydrochloride occurs if a person begins to experience strong cravings for the drug and takes it in ways that are not normally administered to produce a much stronger feeling.

If a person becomes psychologically reliant upon hydromorphone hydrochloride, they will show signs indicating that they are struggling with addiction, such as:

    • Taking the opioid specifically for its euphoric feeling, even when pain is not a problem.
    • Showing little or no interest in other aspects of life, like work, school, and socializing with loved ones.
    • Powerful cravings.
    • Constantly seeking or mentioning hydromorphone hydrochloride.
    • Withdrawal symptoms that occur when treatment is stopped.


Developing a tolerance for hydromorphone hydrochloride is possible even if someone takes it in the recommended dosage. It is important to never exceed or increase a dosage without medical approval to reduce the potential for substance misuse and addiction.

If a person is in recovery from hydromorphone hydrochloride use disorder, it is important for them to detox under medical supervision to avoid recurrence of use and help manage withdrawal symptoms. Attempting to cleanse your body from this drug without medical help is not only dangerous but also comes with a higher chance of returning to regular substance use.

If you believe that you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to hydromorphone hydrochloride, the road to recovery is possible at The Recovery Village. Our medical staff is there to make sure that all patients are monitored 24/7 and to provide support. To learn more, call our 24/7 toll-free hotline at 855-548-9825 or visit us online at www.TheRecoveryVillage.com.

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