An estimated 130 or more people in the United States die each day after they’ve overdosed on opioids. It’s a national crisis that affects all Americans either indirectly or directly. Prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids are responsible for this situation that is affecting public health and economic welfare. Drugs, such as Dilaudid, contribute to 78.5 billion dollars each year in financial burden, which includes the cost of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. Opioids have caused such problems that a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler School of Business states that the opioid epidemic has pulled eligible workers out of the labor pool.
The lack of qualified workers have pushed employers to figure out alternatives, and one such method has been turning to automation, which could impact communities forever. A move of this magnitude could affect those who have never touched a drug in their life in the city where they grew up in.
Opioid abuse hurts a firm’s growth in the United States profoundly affected by the crisis. Twenty-five states have enacted legislation limiting the number of opioids that can be prescribed. It is one such move to counteract opioid abuse, but the problem is individuals who are already addicted will move to heroin if they cannot get their fix.
Drugs such as Dilaudid are prescribed for acute pain after an accident, and there are many stories of how injury leads to opioid addiction. Many injured workers turn to painkillers for relief, and nearly 30 percent may still be taking them three months after their injury, which increases the odds of addiction. The increased likelihood of persistent opioid use among strain and sprain injuries is concerning.
What is Dilaudid?
Dilaudid, otherwise known as hydromorphone, is a highly addictive opioid pain medication often used in medical settings to treat chronic or severe pain. However, over many years, Dilaudid has made its way into the streets, causing an influx of people to abuse the fast-acting opioid.
Dilaudid is known for its intense euphoric side effects, especially when used intravenously. Like all opioids, the effects of Dilaudid use consist of intense feelings of pleasure, euphoria, contentment, and overall bliss. However, the grips of addiction will lead you to experience tolerance, dependence, and Dilaudid withdrawal—once the drug has built up in your body over time.
Tolerance and dependence arise due to the influx of dopamine caused by excessive Dilaudid use. The brain gets flooded with “feel-good” chemicals every time you use the drug—meaning it will not produce dopamine or serotonin on its own. This eventually causes an entire change in the brain chemistry, which unfolds when you are undergoing Dilaudid withdrawal or don’t have the drug in your system.
What Are the Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms?
Dilaudid, like other opioids, produces the same immediate effects once administered. Dilaudid withdrawal will also bring on symptoms similar to other opioids. It is also highly addictive, causing several individuals who are using the drug to become tolerant and dependent on the drug. If you have been using this substance for a long time and decide to quit, the inevitable Dilaudid withdrawal will kick in.
Dilaudid withdrawal can be intense depending on the individual, how much you are using, how long you have been using, and if you are using other drugs in conjunction with it.
The symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal include:
- Cold sweats
- Joint and muscle pain
- Excessive yawning
- Watery eyes
- Restless leg syndrome
- Mood swings
- Intense emotional instability
- Pupil dilation
- Sweating and gooseflesh skin
- A runny nose and other flu-like symptoms
Dilaudid withdrawal is not known to cause life-threatening consequences. However, using it can increase your risk of experiencing an overdose or other health complications due to the effects of the drugs on your body.
Also, using Dilaudid in conjunction with other substances, such as benzodiazepines, can increase your chances other experiencing a seizure or other severe consequences either during active addiction or withdrawal.
What Are the Stages of Dilaudid Withdrawal?
Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms are easy to detect and feel coming on, especially if you have been using for a long time, and are familiar with your body’s reaction to the sudden lack of the substance. Initially, the symptoms will be less severe, depending on how much you use.
Dilaudid withdrawals also tend to last a shorter as opposed to its other opioid counterparts. Dilaudid has a shorter half-life than most other opioids and prescription pain medications. However, during the Dilaudid withdrawal timeline, the symptoms can be just as intense as the withdrawal symptoms experienced with other drugs in the same classification.
Dilaudid is a fast-acting opioid; therefore, withdrawal symptoms will appear sooner than other drugs that might not act as quickly. Although the severity of withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person, the beginning stages of withdrawal will occur within the first three to six hours. In the early stages of withdrawal, you might experience symptoms such as:
- Teary eyes
- A runny nose
These symptoms may be easily overlooked at first as just basic cold or flu-like symptoms. However, these seemingly innocuous, mild symptoms are the harbingers of the more intense withdrawal symptoms to come.
As the last dose gets further away, the more intense the Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms will be. The symptoms will worsen and peak within 36 – 72 hours. During this period, the symptoms will be at their most intolerable levels and can cause many addicts to return to the drug to alleviate the pain and discomfort they’re experiencing throughout the Dilaudid withdrawal process. The physical withdrawal symptoms that begin to arise will consist of:
- Excessive sweating
- Cold sweats
- Clammy skin
- Heightened blood pressure
- Muscle and joint pain
- Intense cravings
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramping
- Restless leg syndrome
As you progress into day 4 and 5, the physical symptoms should begin to subside. As you get closer to a week off of Dilaudid, the physical symptoms should all but disappear. However, you’re not out of the woods just yet.
Since Dilaudid is an extremely addictive drug, you might feel intense cravings throughout the withdrawal process, and the symptoms themselves will be highly unpleasant. Dilaudid also affects your emotional and mental state due to the effects it has on the brain.
Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) refers to a set of impairments that can persist for weeks or months after stopping a substance of abuse. PAWS is marked by symptoms similar to those found in anxiety and mood disorders and can cause mood swings, insomnia, or increased levels of anxiety without any outside stimulus.
PAWS is common after abstaining from alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines. It is estimated that 90 percent of opioid users will experience PAWS to some degree. Researchers are still studying the reasoning behind why it occurs, but it is widely agreed upon that physical changes to the brain that occur during substance abuse are responsible for the recurring symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of PAWS include:
- Difficulty learning, problem-solving, or recalling memories
- Anxiety or panic
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
- Difficulty maintaining social relationships
- Apathetic or pessimistic
- Increased sensitivity to stress
For someone that may be at high risk to develop PAWS, treatment is highly recommended to avoid relapsing. The symptoms can be intense and cause someone to start using drugs to cope. PAWS is often difficult to deal with, especially after detox, which is why we encourage completing the continuum of care.
Why Should I Detox?
Dilaudid addiction and withdrawal can be unpleasant and onerous to overcome alone. Although it is possible, the success rates for those who detox on their own are typically much lower than those who choose to seek medical attention.
“The detoxification process consists of physical and psychological discomfort, which can easily be treated by using a number of medications designed specifically for withdrawal symptoms. Attending a detox facility will not only help you feel comfortable during the process, but it will also help prevent any life-threatening consequences from occurring. ”
Detox programs are the beginning stages of your journey to recovery, which is why it is imperative to attend and continue with your recommended individual treatment plan. Quitting drugs as harsh and addictive as Dilaudid can be possible under the care and supervision of professional medical staff who are dedicated to guiding you through the process as comfortably as possible.
What is the Next Treatment Step?
Since addiction affects you psychologically as well as physically, after detox, it is necessary to continue addiction treatment with a long-term program. Inpatient or residential facilities are typically the next steps after you complete detox. The benefits of attending a program immediately after detox are endless. The amount of strength you gain in a 90-day program is highly beneficial, especially in early recovery.
Attending an inpatient or residential program provides you with the tools and coping mechanisms you need to succeed in maintaining sobriety. In this type of program, you will have unlimited access to professional staff and medical professionals assisting you with what you need to achieve your goals.
Also, you will be designated a specific treatment plan and the ability to participate in beneficial groups such as:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- 12 step program
- Relapse prevention education
- Addiction education
- Peer support
- Family therapy
Attempting to stay clean on your own can be challenging, especially if you are not involved with any type of program that can guide you to recovery.
After attending an inpatient program, the next step will be to finish the program with an outpatient treatment program. Outpatient programs typically last six weeks, and you are required to attend one to three group sessions per week. The benefits of outpatient programs are for you to learn how to adjust to living life without the use of drugs or alcohol. Also, you will agree to random drug screenings and be provided with the therapeutic values of inpatient, only less intense.