Although Dilaudid comes with a prescription, its chemical makeup can cause people to become addicted. 

If Dilaudid addiction occurs, it is necessary to start the withdrawal process as a means to detox your body of the medication. Here we explain more about what to expect during Dilaudid withdrawal and detox. 

What Causes Dilaudid Withdrawal?

Dilaudid withdrawal occurs when this drug is suddenly removed from your system. Withdrawal is a sign that your body has adjusted itself to compensate for the presence of a regular supply of Dilaudid in your daily life. 

While you are taking Dilaudid, the body makes these adjustments as a way to maintain stable internal conditions. Maintaining this stability, called homeostasis, requires the body to fine-tune various processes. These adjustments accommodate the psychological and physical effects of Dilaudid. 

As well as blocking pain, opioids cause the pleasure centers of the brain to release large amounts of dopamine. The dopamine, which is usually the chemical response for reward, sends a rush of pleasure throughout the body.

The release of dopamine makes opioids like Dilaudid highly addictive. In fact, it’s possible for a patient taking Dilaudid to become dependent on the drug in just two to three weeks. 

But, if you stop taking Dilaudid without decreasing consumption over time, this cuts the drug’s effects on your reward system. With this, activity in your brain’s reward system drops. This in turn causes negative psychological effects, as well as a range of cognitive and physical symptoms.  

Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from Dilaudid produces a range of physical and psychological symptoms. Common physical Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Sweats
  • Shaking
  • Muscle pain 
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches
  • Body cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Low blood pressure

Common psychological Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Intense drug cravings
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings

Duration of Dilaudid Withdrawal

The physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms of Dilaudid can be extremely intense. But, the severity and duration of these symptoms can depend on how the individual used Dilaudid before commencing the withdrawal process. 

Dilaudid Withdrawal Timeline

Dilaudid is a fast-acting pain medication, taking effect in as little as 15 minutes. For those abusing Dilaudid, withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as the drug is out of the body. This can be as fast as six hours after the last dose. 

Some people don’t begin to experience withdrawal symptoms until a couple of days after stopping Dilaudid. In contrast, others may experience restlessness and anxiety mere hours after their last dose. 

In most cases, the physical symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal often peak by the second day of detox. Some people may notice a reduction in symptoms after three or four days. But, others will experience continued symptoms for one or two weeks. 

Dilaudid withdrawal time and the severity of withdrawal symptoms can depend several factors. These include how long the person used Dilaudid, how much they used to take and how often. 

It stands to reason that a greater level of Dilaudid abuse will lead to more severe symptoms and a longer withdrawal period. Those who also took other drugs in addition to Dilaudid may also experience an extended withdrawal timeline. 

Detoxing from Dilaudid on Your Own

Attempting to detox from Dilaudid on your own is not recommended. This is because Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms can to lead to dangerous complications. 

Symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance. An electrolyte imbalance causes misdirected cell signals within the body. This can lead to involuntary muscle contractions, seizures and loss of consciousness. Severe dehydration can also cause your heart rate to slow down to dangerous levels. 

But, one of the biggest concerns with attempting to detox from Dilaudid alone is the risk of relapse. The symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal can be so unpleasant that the individual resumes Dilaudid use. Or, they may start to take a similar substance in order to stop these withdrawal symptoms. 

Medical Detox for Dilaudid 

A medical detox for Dilaudid ensures that you will undergo constant monitoring throughout the withdrawal process. This minimizes the risk for complications, ensures that you will be more comfortable, and also reduces the risk of relapse. 

How Medical Detox Works and What to Expect

A medical detox addresses both sides of the withdrawal process in combination. First, it treats the physical and psychological symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal. And second, it also helps you to reduce your body’s level of dependence on the drug. 

This combined treatment ensures that you feel as comfortable as possible while you go through the Dilaudid withdrawal process. And, it also helps you to establish a greater level of control over your cravings. 

Medical staff will be on hand to check your vital signs and ensure you remain hydrated throughout the whole withdrawal process. If necessary, they will give you IV fluids and administer appropriate medications when necessary. 

That said, you will still experience pain, discomfort and various psychological symptoms. This process is necessary for your body becomes accustomed to functioning without Dilaudid. But, with medications to reduce symptoms and maintenance drugs for your cravings, a successful detox is much more likely.

Medications Available for Dilaudid

Medications are often used during opioid withdrawal treatment. These include medications to treat specific withdrawal symptoms, such as aches and pains. Maintenance medications such as methadone and buprenorphine to help you with cravings.

Those undergoing Dilaudid withdrawal will often take Clonidine. This is a blood pressure medication, and is also known by its brand name, Catapres. Clonidine helps to reduce Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms such as cramping and muscle aches. 

Doctors may also prescribe medications for nausea or diarrhea. These medications reduce discomfort as well as the risk of potential complications. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may also help with the psychological symptoms of withdrawal. 

The maintenance medication buprenorphine acts on the same brain receptors that Dilaudid does. Although it is an opioid medication, buprenorphine doesn’t induce euphoria. And, as a mild opioid, it doesn’t cause a strong ‘high’ like other opiates. 

It is possible to abuse buprenorphine. But, it is often used for Dilaudid withdrawal in combination with naloxone, as in the brand medication Suboxone. The presence of naloxone reduces the potential for abuse.

Seeking Treatment for Dilaudid Withdrawal

An addiction to Dilaudid will affect each person differently. This is why a course of action for withdrawal treatment and recovery should be just as individualized.

The Dilaudid withdrawal process can be difficult and painful. But, with the support of a medical detox program, you too can overcome Dilaudid addiction.