The opioid crisis is affecting people all over America. Not just teenagers and adults, but even babies are being born addicted to the drug. In some counties, it is as many as one in five babies that are being born and are already addicted to some type of opioid.

While there are several different types of opioids out there, Dilaudid is one of the most severe and dangerous ones to become addicted to.

Last year, opioids like Dilaudid were responsible for 70,000 deaths. That is approximately one death every eight minutes in the USA alone.

If you are worried that you or someone you love is addicted to the drug, and you would like some basic information about the drug and its effects, scroll down for more information on this powerful medication. 

What Is Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is a serious drug with serious consequences. It is 5-7 times stronger than morphine. Not only can the drug cause permanent brain damage, strokes, and seizures, but it can kill you. 

Definition:

Dilaudid is a painkiller that is used for moderate to severe pain. It’s the brand name for hydromorphone hydrochloride.

In essence, Dilaudid is hydrogenated morphine. It’s a white crystalline powder that’s soluble in water. 

Like many opioids, Dilaudid is very addictive. The IV form is rarely administered outside of a hospital setting.

How Is It Taken? 

Dilaudid can be taken as an injection or in pill form. As a pill, patients take 2 mg, 4 mg, or 8 mg tablets. 

As an injection, it’s usually reserved for patients who have a tolerance for opioids. Yet, they still need an analgesic for severe pain management. 

Who Takes It?

This is a medication often prescribed to adults in the West after receiving major surgery of some kind. It’s also given to cancer patients.   

A Brief History of Dilaudid

Hydromorphone was patented in 1922, Germany. It was then sold under the name Dilaudid starting in 1926.

While it has been around for almost a century, it did not become very popular in the USA until the mid-90s. By 1998, Americans were consuming approximately four tons of it a year.

By 2006, prescriptions were up 300%, and by 2013, Americans were consuming almost double of what they were just a decade prior. 

Currently, there are over 60 prescriptions of it filled annually for it for every 100 American citizens.

And this is not just a problem here in the states. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates almost 15 million people are addicted to it internationally.

The problem is is that Dilaudid is one of the easiest prescriptions to become addicted to because it has a “high” similar to heroin.

While recent numbers are not accessible, as of 2014, approximately 1% of America’s population was classified as addicted to Dilaudid. With opiate addictions increasing annually in the United States, it is likely that this number is even higher now.

And unlike drugs like crack or marijuana, the opioid epidemic is not one that is affected by age, race, class, and the other factors that researchers usually look at to pinpoint determining risk factors.

For example, approximately one in ten teenagers are currently abusing an opioid prescription. 

Dilaudid Effects on the Body

As a strong prescription drug, Dilaudid has several effects on the body. These include but are not limited to:

  • Having severe mood swings
  • Suffering from paranoia
  • Often confused
  • Losing or gaining a lot of weight
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

Effects on the Mind and Body

The symptoms to the mind and body on Dilaudid can vary from person to person. But here are some things you may see in someone who is becoming addicted, or who already is:

  • Depression
  • Easily aggravated with normal tasks
  • Constricted pupils
  • Drowsiness
  • Slower heartbeat
  • Small tasks are hard to complete
  • Suffering from poor hygiene
  • Feeling the need to steal or constantly ask for money
  • Losing or gaining a lot of weight
  • Wanting to sell pricey things, so you have money for drugs
  • Secretive behavior
  • Wanting to spend all of their money quickly

You may also look for the following effects on the mind and body if the person is withdrawing from it. These may not be as common in adults, or other people with consistent cash flow, but when people cannot obtain their addiction, you may observe some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Watery eyes
  • Sweating
  • Frequent yawning
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Involuntary tremors
  • Extreme stomach pains 
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom

Long-Term and Short-Term Health Effects

The following are the short-term and long-term effects Dilaudid has on your body. As you’ll notice, several of these are things that a person could just suffer from in general (they have a cold or the flu). However, look out for these effects happening in a repetitive nature:

Short-Term Health Effects

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Light-headedness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Flushing
  • Dry mouth

Long-Term Health Effects

  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Harder for your body to fight infection
  • Social isolation

Using Dilaudid with Other Drugs

Using any opioid with another drug can have serious consequences. If you take another medication, make sure you disclose that to the doctor, surgeon, or hospital staff. If you weren’t given Dilaudid in the hospital but are during your post-surgery follow-up, tell your doctor about all the medications you’re taking. 

What Are Common Drugs Used with Dilaudid?

Because Dilaudid is a pain-killer and in the opioid family, your doctor may begin to lower your intake of it and begin giving you something less addictive and not as strong.

Recreationally, people often mix it with alcohol. They will also mix it with other members of the opioid family, which, in many cases, can cause life-altering health ramifications. 

Dilaudid is not supposed to be mixed with over the counter painkillers, so when people mix it with alcohol, Codeine, Vicodin, Hycodan, MS Contin, Kadian, Oxycontin, Percoset, Duragesic, Fentanyl, and other Hydromorphone (like Dilaudid), they can cause their bodies to go into heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure, have a stroke, or have a seizure.

And, as noted before, at least every eight minutes in America, mixing these medications, or often times just taking them alone: causes at least one person’s death. 

What to Do When You or a Loved One Is Showing Signs of Dilaudid Abuse

If you’re addicted to Dilaudid, you’re not alone. If you have a child or parent who is addicted to Dilaudid, you are not alone. And if you have a friend or coworker who is addicted to Dilaudid, you are not alone.

One in two Americans have a family member or know someone who is an addict. That statistic may not be comforting, but what it does mean is that there is a lot of help and resources out there for people who want it.

You do not have to fight your drug addiction by yourself. If you or someone you know needs help, please help them.

You could just end up saving a life.

Do you and the people you love want someone you know to go to for help, but you do not know how to intervene? Click here for more assistance.