Dilaudid Addiction | Effects, Signs, & Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with Dilaudid addiction, a professional addiction treatment program can help you achieve long-term recovery.

Dilaudid Addiction | Effects, Signs, & Treatment

Dilaudid, the brand name for hydromorphone, is an opioid analgesic (pain reliever) used for short-term treatment of severe pain. Hydromorphone is also the active ingredient in the prescription medication Exalgo.

Dilaudid is abused for its euphoric and pain-relieving effects.

However, long-term drug abuse can lead to dependence and a substance use disorder (SUD), also known as addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, a professional addiction treatment program can help you achieve long-term recovery.

Effects Of Dilaudid Abuse

Dilaudid is a strong opiate pain medication used for severe or chronic pain and is only used after trying other methods of pain relief. Although it is made from morphine, Dilaudid is up to 8 times stronger and causes more severe sedative effects.

Similar opioid painkillers include:

  • hydrocodone
  • oxycodone
  • morphine
  • oxymorphone

When you take Dilaudid, it enters the central nervous system and activates opioid receptors. Along with pain relief, the drug releases a flood of dopamine in the brain, which can reinforce continued drug use.

Dilaudid may also cause unwanted side effects, especially when you first start taking it or increase the dose.

Side-effects of Dilaudid may include:

  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • decreased blood pressure
  • lightheadedness
  • dry mouth
  • headache

Learn more about the Side Effects Of Dilaudid

Dilaudid Overdose

If you take too much Dilaudid or mix it with other opioids, benzodiazepines, or alcohol, it increases the risk of overdose. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription opioid drugs were involved in more than 14,000 deaths in 2019.

An opioid overdose, also known as respiratory depression, is a life-threatening condition that can cause the following symptoms:

  • clammy skin
  • low blood pressure
  • slow heart rate
  • trouble breathing
  • severe sedation

Seek medical attention immediately if you recognize signs of overdose. If you have Narcan (naloxone) available, administer it while you wait for emergency help to arrive.

Learn more about Dilaudid Overdose Symptoms

Signs Of Dilaudid Addiction

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Dilaudid is a schedule II controlled substance with a high risk of abuse. Taking Dilaudid long-term increases the risk of becoming dependent and addicted.

Dilaudid and other opioids are associated with euphoria and relaxing effects, which can lead to substance abuse. Taking your prescription in any way other than how it is prescribed increases the chance of becoming addicted.

Although addiction affects everyone differently, there are some common behaviors and physical signs of addiction. Knowing the warning signs can help you determine if it’s time to reach out for help.

Signs of Dilaudid addiction may include:

  • taking Dilaudid more frequently/higher doses than prescribed
  • obtaining multiple prescriptions for Dilaudid (“doctor shopping”)
  • crushing, snorting, or injecting Dilaudid
  • unable to stop taking Dilaudid on your own
  • dilaudid use is interfering with work or school
  • isolating from loved ones
  • prioritizing drug use over other interests

Dilaudid Dependence & Withdrawal

Using Dilaudid for a long period of time can lead to physical dependence, which is likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it.

Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • intense cravings
  • runny nose
  • chills
  • sweating
  • yawning
  • irritability
  • diarrhea
  • teary eyes
  • anxiety
  • difficulty sleeping

Opioid withdrawal is not life-threatening but symptoms can be severe and are best managed in a medical detox program. A detox program provides 24/7 supervision and medication to lessen severe symptoms and prevent dangerous health problems.

Read more about Dilaudid Withdrawal

Dilaudid Addiction Treatment 

Following a detox program, you may choose to continue with long-term treatment, depending on your needs. Addiction treatment programs offer a wide range of services that treat addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Your individualized treatment plan may include:

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab, also known as residential treatment, involves around-the-clock care and a structured daily schedule. You will live at the treatment center and participate in therapeutic groups and healthy activities.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab gives you the flexibility of living at home and traveling to the treatment center. Depending on your needs, you will have a weekly schedule of treatment sessions that may involve group therapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, and counseling.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT programs involve the use of FDA-approved medications along with therapy to maintain long-term recovery. Medications like methadone and buprenorphine can help to reduce cravings, drug abuse, and withdrawal symptoms.

At Northeast Addictions Treatment Center, we offer a variety of outpatient treatment programs tailored to treat opioid addiction, including MAT.

We offer several comprehensive treatment services that can help you better understand your addiction and how to manage daily life in recovery.

To learn more about our opioid addiction treatment programs, please reach out to a treatment specialist today.


Is Dilaudid A Controlled Substance?

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is a schedule II controlled substance. As an opioid, this means Dialuadid has a high potential for addiction abuse.

Learn more about Dilaudid Drug Classification & Schedule

How Long Does Dilaudid Stay In Your System?

Depending on the type of Dilaudid used, the drug can last up to 3 days in your system. Although most of the drug may be eliminated within 3 days, the body processes Dilaudid into metabolites that may be detected on drug tests for up to 90 days.

To learn more, read How Long Does Dilaudid Stay In Your System?

Can You Buy Dilaudid On The Street?

Yes. Many drug dealers sell Dilaudid on the street using nicknames like “dust,” “juice,” and “smack.” The drug’s average street price ranges between $5 and $100 per tablet, though the exact price depends on factors like dosage and location.

People who buy Dilaudid on the street face an extremely high risk of overdose and addiction.

Learn more about Dilaudid Street Prices

Can You Smoke Dilaudid?

Smoking Dilaudid is possible, but it’s not recommended as it is a form of drug abuse. Smoking the drug can increase the risk of an overdose or other adverse side effects.

Learn more about the side effects and dangers of Smoking Dilaudid

Can You Snort Dilaudid?

Dilaudid (hydromorphone) can be crushed and snorted, causing the drug to quickly enter the bloodstream and lead to a strong and immediate sedative and euphoric effect.

Learn more about Snorting Dilaudid

What Is A Hydromorphone High Like?

A hydromorphone high can result in sensations such as sedation, numbness, drowsiness, and dry mouth. Abusing hydromorphone to get high can also cause serious side effects such as hypotension, withdrawal syndrome, and opioid addiction.

Learn more about a Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) High

Can You Breastfeed On Dilaudid?

You can breastfeed while on Dilaudid. Although very low concentrations of the opioid make it into breast milk, adverse side effects on the baby are unlikely. However, drowsiness and trouble breathing can be signs that the infant has ingested too much of the drug.

Learn more about Dilaudid Use & Breastfeeding

Is Dilaudid Rectal Use Safe?

Hydromorphone can be professionally compounded in a variety of different forms, including rectal suppositories.

However, the brand name medication Dilaudid is intended for oral use only. Taking Dilaudid oral solutions or tablets in any other way increases the risk of severe adverse effects, including rectal injury, overdose, dependence, and addiction.

Learn more about Plugging Dilaudid

What Does Dilaudid Look Like?

Brand-name Dilaudid (hydromorphone) comes in liquid or tablet form. The liquid is clear and may have a yellowish color. It’s slightly thick. The tablets look different depending on their strength (how many milligrams of hydromorphone they contain).

Generic formulations of hydromorphone look different as well, as does the extended-release form (branded as Exalgo).

Learn more about Hydromorphone Identification

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

©2023 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

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