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Dilaudid Abuse Symptoms & Signs

Dilaudid abuse symptoms range from physical signs like constipation and dizziness to behavioral changes, such as poor work performance and social isolation. The dangers include respiratory depression, overdose, and addiction, impacting all life aspects.

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Signs and symptoms of Dilaudid abuse include constipation, urinary retention, nausea, vomiting, fluctuating blood pressure, and lack of coordination. 

As abuse continues, signs include poor performance at work or school, an increasing need to find and take the drug, combining Dilaudid with other substances of abuse, and social isolation. Eventually, Dilaudid abuse will cause negative effects in virtually every area of life.

What Are the Most Common Signs & Symptoms of Dilaudid Abuse?

The most common signs and symptoms related to the abuse of hydromorphone (Dilaudid) include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Agitation
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Rapid breathing or slowed breathing
  • Moodiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory problems
  • Poor judgment
  • Euphoria 
  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Strong cravings for the drug
  • Inability to reduce Dilaudid use

What Are the Dangers of Dilaudid Abuse?

Abuse of any opioid, such as Dilaudid, comes with many risks. These are some of the dangers associated with hydromorphone abuse:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Extreme drowsiness, making users prone to accidents and injuries
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Agitation, which can lead to violence
  • Mental cloudiness, including poor decision-making abilities
  • Restlessness
  • Overdose, which can be fatal
  • Coma
  • Addiction

Many of these effects make it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a job or life responsibilities. Once addiction takes hold, people often experience significant harm in their career, schooling, relationships, and to their overall health.

How to Recognize a Dilaudid Addiction

If someone abuses Dilaudid regularly, it’s likely that addiction will quickly form. Physical dependence on hydromorphone develops within a couple weeks of consistent use. 

Signs of a Dilaudid addiction include the following:

  • Increased focus on getting and using Dilaudid
  • Visiting multiple doctors in an attempt to get many prescriptions for Dilaudid or other opioids
  • Buying opioids on the street
  • Failing to maintain everyday obligations
  • Needing increasingly larger doses of Dilaudid to gain “relief”
  • Neglecting friends and family in lieu of getting high
  • Using Dilaudid or other opioids in unsafe situations, such as before driving
  • Combining Dilaudid with other substances, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines

The Risk of Overdose

With Dilaudid abuse and addiction, overdose is always a possibility, and this can be fatal. Opioids like hydromorphone can depress breathing to such a degree, that it can stop altogether. 

In 2020, 44 people in the U.S. died from prescription opioid overdoses every day. Prescription opioids like Dilaudid were involved in almost a quarter of all overdose deaths.

Naloxone (Narcan) can reverse opioid overdose if it is administered in time. If you or someone you know abuses Dilaudid or any other opioid, always have naloxone on hand. If an overdose is suspected, call 911 and administer naloxone immediately.

Hope in Recovery

There is no cure for Dilaudid abuse, as addiction is a chronic condition. But every day, people achieve and maintain recovery. This enables them to leave opioid abuse in their past and build a happy and productive life in recovery. 

Dilaudid is a potent drug, and it’s not easy to quit using it. But with the right help, you can get on the path to a better future.

Updated December 18, 2023
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