Belonging to the opioid family, Dilaudid is a semi-synthetic pain reliever often prescribed to patients. Derived from morphine, it works by targeting pathways of the central nervous system altering a user’s perception of pain. Classified as a Schedule II substance by the DEA, this drug comes with a high risk of addiction and abuse. As the body adjusts to new feelings of pleasure, habit-forming becomes a major issue. Through habit-forming, the brain expects to be fed a certain amount of Dilaudid, causing it to develop a dependence.
Signs of Dilaudid Use
A dependence to Dilaudid can show itself in many ways. While each person can react differently to Dilaudid, there are certain physical and emotional signals that can be used to help identify family members and loved ones that are abusing it. Most signs of Dilaudid use are physical and range in severity depending on length and intensity of abuse.
Immediate physical effects of Dilaudid use are:
- Loss of coordination
- Digestive issues
- Slow breathing
- Mood swings
As a person continues using Dilaudid, they run the risk of developing a dependence. A dependence is normally viewed as the tipping point that signals when a person has a major problem.
Dilaudid Withdrawals and Symptoms
When a person experiences uncontrollable cravings for Dilaudid, it is very likely that they have developed a dependence. Because the brain now associates Dilaudid with feelings of pleasure, the body instinctively feels that it cannot function without it. If a user attempts to stop using Dilaudid, they may encounter a wide range of withdrawal symptoms. Through these symptoms, a user’s brain becomes a ticking time bomb and the results can range from mild to severe.
Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous. Some symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Intense drug cravings
- Body cramps
- Elevated blood pressure
For those suffering from chronic Dilaudid abuse, withdrawal symptoms may be more severe. While many people believe that they can handle the toll of withdrawals on their own, reaching out to a professional is important. Some severe symptoms to watch out for are: insomnia, fever, compulsive scratching and anxiety.
Street Names for Dilaudid
Because Dilaudid is a prescription opioid, the selling and trading of it is considered illegal. However, due to its wide availability and popularity on the street, sellers and users have come up with a plethora of street names. Street names act as aliases to disguise the true identity of drugs and also allows people to use without directly acknowledging it. The following are some of the common names for Dilaudid:
- Smack D
- Big D
- Super 8
- Hospital heroin
- White triangles
Treatment for Dilaudid Addiction
As a person falls deeper into their addiction, treatment of some kind is needed. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the first step in recovery is acceptance and recognition of an addiction. While concerned family members may want to force the addict in their family to get help, making a person do something they are not interested in doing will only turn out disappointing. The addict has to want to stop their addiction in order for them to successfully recover.
With any kind of addiction, an intervention may be needed in order to help the person understand the effect that Dilaudid is having not only on themselves, but the family as well. Even a small breakthrough at an intervention can show the addict that they need to get help.
Once the addict acknowledges that they have a problem and wants to get help, the next step should be getting them enrolled in a treatment facility to begin their detox.
Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms are similar to Heroin withdrawal so, they can be dangerous and should be monitored by medical professionals. Once detox is completed, the addict should then continue treatment either through inpatient or outpatient.
Inpatient therapy is heavily recommended to those that suffer from chronic Dilaudid use. An individual that personally suffers from or has a family history of mental illness is also a great candidate for inpatient therapy.
The perfect candidates for outpatient therapy are those who use Dilaudid recreationally and have started noticing its effects on their quality of life. Through outpatient therapy, a user is able to continue living at home and performing their everyday activities, such as going to work. While a patient does have ample freedom, those enrolled in outpatient therapy must be in frequent contact with health care professionals.
As a patient’s physical dependence to Dilaudid subsides, it is also important for users to go through behavioral therapy treatments. The type of therapy and treatment used greatly depends on physical and mental health history, the specific treatment center and the individual treatment plan.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most commonly used forms of therapy. It works by helping patients understand their own thought process. One thing that cognitive behavioral therapy stresses is the importance of a patient taking time to understand human psychology. Through this understanding, users not only identify catalysts for their addiction, but also get a big picture overview of drug abuse.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can also evaluate a patient’s beliefs and attitude. With the guidance of a professional, a patient is better able to understand how they process information and the world around them. Through these sessions, the addict can begin to understand and change their behavior from the inside out.
Group therapy is another common form of treatment. These types of group sessions can be modeled after the 12-step framework. Through group therapy, patients are encouraged to speak in a safe space. Without feeling judged, users can discuss their hopes and fears while gaining support from others in their program. A major concept of group therapy is accountability. When a user realizes that they have a group of people cheering for their recovery, it makes them want to succeed even more.
Just like any other opioid, Dilaudid has the potential for addiction and dependence. Many people suffer from addiction in silence due to shame. With so many treatment programs out there, it is important for addicts to get the help they need in order to lead a healthy life. Through treatment programs and support groups, those who suffer from addiction can break the bonds that tie them to their addiction, and start leading a healthy and happy life.