There are many opiate painkillers, including morphine, methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Dilaudid's generic name is hydromorphone and it is another painkiller in the opiate class so the signs and symptoms of use are the same as other opiates. But unlike other opiates, the preferred way to abuse it is with intravenous injection. When abused orally or when snorted, the drug is not as effective as other opiates. But it will addict a person just as effectively as other opiates and when that person is addicted, it will be just as difficult to recover from Dilaudid addiction as from addiction to any other opiate.
If you are trying to determine if a person is abusing Dilaudid, here are the signs and symptoms you should look for. An opiate abuser will normally be drowsy and may also be lightheaded or dizzy and may faint. He may have difficulty urinating. You may see him buying or taking laxatives and complaining about constipation. Stomach pain is common, as is nausea and vomiting.
Opiates suppress breathing, so a person high on Dilaudid may have trouble breathing. If he is asleep, he may be breathing slowly and very lightly or he may manifest sleep apnea.
How Dilaudid and other opiates kill is by slowing down the breathing so much that the person suffocates. If other drugs like benzodiazepines or alcohol are mixed with these opiates, death becomes even more likely. All these drugs suppress breathing.
Because Dilaudid works best when it is injected, track marks on arms or legs are another sign of abuse. Dilaudid also creates circulatory suppression and can cause cardiac arrest.
When a person feels that he (or she) needs opiates as much as he needs food, water or air, he will do whatever he needs to do to acquire them. A couple of times through cold turkey withdrawal will go a long ways toward convincing someone that a criminal act to get drugs is justified. An addicted person will usually be willing to tell any lie needed to get more Dilaudid pills or injectable liquid.
But this dishonesty creates a chain reaction through a person's life. He'll also be willing to lie to his spouse, family, probation officer, law enforcement, pharmacist, friends - anyone. This is the beginning of the loss of personal integrity that is common to nearly all addiction.
It might be possible to go to a short-term drug rehab and get clean but if there is no repair of self respect and personal integrity, it may not be possible to maintain this sobriety.
Similarly, if one does not know how to deal with past drug-using associates or what do do when a drug dealer shows up, it becomes likely that one may lose the battle. If one night, there's a serious setback or loss, an unprepared person may seek refuge in the old familiar euphoria where nothing bothers him any more.
It is necessary to be proofed against these battles if one is to remain sober. This is the way the long-term drug rehab program at Narconon works. Step by step, one's susceptibility to drug use is dismantled. And since it is the addicted person himself (or herself) who does the work, he learns how to deal with these issues as he goes through the program.
Opiate addiction can create severe sickness and other symptoms during withdrawal. The signs of withdrawal will start showing up within six to 12 hours, depending on which opiate was being abused. With Dilaudid, withdrawal may start in as little as six hours. Sweating and anxiety may be the first signs. A person's nose will start running. These first symptoms will be followed by muscle and bone pain and cramps. With care, nutritional support and plenty of one-on-one work with Narconon staff, a person going through this withdrawal process as part of the Narconon drug rehab can find this withdrawal experience much more tolerable than usual.
It has been found that generous nutritional supplementation can ease some of the cramps and sickness. B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium all help a body process this initial detoxification. The result is more comfort for the person in withdrawal. Supportive exercises that help a person remain objective and oriented in one's new, safe surroundings also help make withdrawal tolerable.
From that positive beginning, a person then begins the rehabilitation process. On the Narconon drug rehab program, this is going to involve learning simple but effective communication skills, doing a deep detoxification that has been shown to help alleviate or possibly even eliminate cravings, and then learning the life skills that will be needed to steer down a sober path.
The life skills training will include knowing what to do about one's old drug-using friends and how to pick those associates who will enable one to stay sober; how one loses personal integrity and the way to regain it again; how to overcome setbacks so that an escape to drug abuse no longer looks irresistible and much more.
But this brief description just scratches the surface of this long-term program. Call the international offices of Narconon to find out more about it. Learn why this could be the last rehab program your loved one will ever need. Call 1-800-775-8750 today.
See also Effects of Dilaudid Use