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Signs of Abuse

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Man at doctor for Dilaudid abuseHydromorphone, often sold under the brand name Dilaudid, is a highly potent and highly addictive opiate painkiller.
It is prescribed to patients who are struggling with intense pain, usually after an acute issue like surgery or accidental injury, but in some cases, it may be prescribed for long-term treatment of chronic pain.

Unfortunately, like all painkillers, it takes a relatively short amount of time to develop a tolerance to Dilaudid. Often, patients must regularly increase their dose in order to continue to experience pain-relieving effects. When psychological dependence co-occurs with physical dependence and the person begins craving the pills or abusing the drug, addiction can develop.

One of the best ways to know whether or not someone is living with an addiction to a Dilaudid prescription is to identify the signs of abuse. The earlier you recognize the problem, the sooner you will be able to connect your loved one to the treatment needed to heal.

Signs of Dilaudid Abuse

Patients should take Dilaudid exactly in the amount prescribed by swallowing the pills whole with a glass of water as directed by their physician. Any use of the pills outside of this is considered Dilaudid abuse, including:

  • Crushing pills before swallowing, snorting, or injecting them
  • Taking the drug for any reason without a prescription
  • Taking Dilaudid in combination with other substances, including alcohol or other prescription painkillers or sedatives
  • Filling a single Dilaudid prescription at multiple pharmacies
  • Acquiring multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors for treatment of the same issue
  • Frequently asking for an emergency script due to having lost or mismanaged their prescription
  • Any use of the Dilaudid for the express purpose of getting high

Dilaudid Abuse vs. Addiction

Chronic abuse of Dilaudid can quickly add up to an addiction, both of which are different from physical dependence. These are each defined as:

  • Dependence: Dependence upon Dilaudid can and does happen to almost everyone who takes the drug for any period of time. Physical dependence is defined as a tolerance upon the pills that requires an increasing dose in order for the patient to continue to find relief from pain. This is not a problem that requires treatment, but if it makes the person taking the pills feel uncomfortable, he need only speak to his doctor about the issue and begin a slow and measured weaning process off the medication.
  • Abuse: Dilaudid abuse is signified by any of the behaviors listed above and occurs when someone uses the drug to get high rather than to manage pain. Chronic abuse of Dilaudid can lead to addiction, and therefore, if the person is unable to stop using the drug alone – or to stop abusing the pills – treatment is recommended.

Treatment for Dilaudid Abuse

If abuse of Dilaudid of any kind is a problem for you or your loved one, treatment is the right choice. Letting us help connect you with detox, therapeutic intervention, and assistance to stop all use of drugs immediately – and safely – can help to arrest the problem before it spirals into addiction or causes a life-threatening accident or overdose. Contact us at Michael’s House today to learn more about the options available in drug abuse and addiction treatment.