It’s possible to smoke Dilaudid, but using the medication in this way is a form of drug abuse.
Dilaudid is the brand name for hydromorphone, a prescription opioid analgesic medication. The drug is used to treat chronic severe pain and comes in an extended-release tablet, a liquid solution (hydromorphone hydrochloride or Exalgo), or an injection.
Hydromorphone works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and changing how the body responds to pain.
Dilaudid is also classified as a schedule II controlled substance by the FDA and DEA. This means it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to physical dependence.
Dilaudid abuse includes using the drug in manners not prescribed, including snorting it. Snorting Dilaudid is more common than smoking it, but the drug can be smoked as well. These methods of drug use can lead to dangerous side effects including overdose.
While it’s not common, Dilaudid can be smoked by those looking to abuse it. The drug is likely crushed into a powder and then smoked. Smoking is the fastest way to get high on a substance but it comes with very serious side effects.
When any substance is inhaled, it enters the lungs and is then absorbed by the blood vessels and sent to the brain. Once it hits the brain, the high is felt in minutes.
Because the painkiller bypasses the digestive system and skips over the processes that make it safer to consume, smoking Dilaudid increases the risk of overdose. An overdose can come with many life-threatening effects.
These effects are similar when abusing other opioids/opiates like fentanyl and oxycodone.
Side Effects Of Smoking Dilaudid
Whether taking it as prescribed or smoking it, Dilaudid does come with a number of side effects ranging from mild to severe. But when smoked, the side effects can be much more intense.
The side effects of Dilaudid can include:
- fast heart rate
- loss of coordination
Drug Interactions With Dilaudid
Smoking Dilaudid while on other drugs or substances can also lead to very serious reactions.
If you get a prescription from your healthcare provider, they are likely to tell you about these risks, but if you’re getting the drug from another source, you may be unaware of what can be mixed with hydromorphone and what could be fatal.
Some substances that shouldn’t be mixed with Dilaudid include:
- mixed opioid agonist/antagonists such as butorphanol, nalbuphine, and pentazocine
- pain medications like naltrexone and samidorphan.
- opioid pain or cough relievers such as codeine and hydrocodone
- benzodiazepine drugs like alprazolam, lorazepam, diazepam, and zolpidem
- muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol and cyclobenzaprine
- antihistamines like cetirizine and diphenhydramine
Because smoking Dilaudid takes effect so quickly and knowing the dosage can be difficult, the risk of overdose may be increased.
Signs of a Dilaudid overdose can include:
- blue fingernails and lips
- slowed breathing/respiratory depression
- shallow breathing
- cold, clammy skin
- low body temperature
- flushing of the skin
- loss of consciousness
- low blood pressure
- pinpoint pupils
- weak pulse
If you or a loved one are prescribed Dilaudid, ask your doctor about having access to naloxone (Narcan). It can reverse the effects of an overdose immediately and give you more time to seek help.
Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms
If you continually abuse Dilaudid in high doses, you can build up a physical dependence on the drug. This means that if you stop taking the pain relief medication, your body will find it difficult to function properly.
It may produce several different withdrawal symptoms including:
- muscle pain
- drug cravings
- body cramps
- runny nose
- high blood pressure
Treatment For Opioid Addiction
For anyone struggling with Dilaudid abuse or any type of substance abuse, there are lots of treatment options available.
The most common detox treatment for a Dilaudid addiction is tapering. This involves taking the prescription painkiller in lower and lower doses over time with the help of a medical professional.
There is also medication-assisted treatment (MAT). With MAT, you are given prescription drugs designed to help with opioid addiction. For a Dilaudid addiction, this can include methadone or buprenorphine, which help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.
Northeast Addiction Treatment offers medication-assisted treatment along with outpatient services and specialized therapy. To learn more about the treatment services we provide, please call our helpline today.