Dilaudid is a trading name for something called hydromorphone, a semi-synthetic opioid that is used as a pain reliever for moderate to severe pain. Dilaudid is often prescribed for those who are suffering from the pains associated with cancer or other chronic illnesses where severe pain is experienced. Dilaudid is administered in the hospital as an injection by a nurse, but it can also be prescribed in pill form following surgery or when contending with severe pain.

What Are Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms?

Dilaudid can be highly addictive due to its effects on the brain. It acts much more quickly than something like morphine and should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. However, in the event of addiction, attempting to detox or quit the habit can lead to several symptoms coming from the brain’s withdrawal from the drug.

In general, Dilaudid withdrawal can be seen as similar to having the flu or going through heroin withdrawal. Some symptoms can be quite uncomfortable, but when undergoing a medical detox, doctors can prescribe medications that can help ease such symptoms. These are some of the more specific symptoms someone going through Dilaudid withdrawal may experience:

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Body cramps
  • Sweats
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Low blood pressure

In general, these symptoms will not all be experienced at the same time. Some may persist throughout the entire withdrawal process, but many will only be experienced at certain stages in the withdrawal timeline.

What Are the Stages in the Dilaudid Withdrawal Timeline?

The exact length of Dilaudid withdrawal depends on the patient and the extent of their addiction. Those who are more deeply addicted to Dilaudid can expect to experience more intense symptoms over a longer period of time.

Other factors that may affect the pace or intensity of symptoms include:

  • Dosage of the drug
  • How frequently the drug was taken
  • Length of time addicted to the drug
  • Overall health condition
  • Age
  • Weight
  • History of substance abuse
  • How supportive the environment is
  • Taper schedule
  • Dietary habits

Dilaudid withdrawal usually lasts from as short a time as three days to as long as two weeks to a month. Most patients that are going through Dilaudid withdrawal experience the full withdrawal in about a week.

Days 1-2

The first symptoms of withdrawal usually arrive within twelve hours of the body’s last intake of Dilaudid. These symptoms can be a runny nose, watery eyes, sweating, yawning, or more intense anxiety, muscle pain, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms may persist throughout the entirety of the withdrawal timeline. The craving for Dilaudid may be intense during this time, accompanied by bouts of anxiety or restlessness.

Days 3-5

During the next few days, patients undergoing Dilaudid withdrawal will experience the next set of symptoms in addition to several from the first group. These symptoms may include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, cold sweats, chills, diarrhea, and involuntary tremors. The desire for Dilaudid will likely be the most intense for the patient during this stage of withdrawal and close care should be observed during this time. The withdrawal symptoms during this stage may be lessened depending on the patient’s general health and the presence of other drugs in their body.

Days 6-7

Most patients will realize that the symptoms above will start to wear off by this point unless their addiction was more intense. If the withdrawal persists, a doctor’s assistance should be sought immediately for the extended period of withdrawal.

Sometimes, a patient may experience something called post-acute withdrawal (PAWS), which can cause lingering symptoms of depression, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and other disruptions in mood or health over the next few months. Once again, a doctor’s assistance should be sought if the patient feels that they are undergoing post-acute withdrawal.

Why Should I Detox?

Dilaudid addiction can be toxic for the body and the brain. By interfering with the brain’s normal processes, Dilaudid can cause the patient to become unhappy or depressed if they are not under the influence of the drug. In addition, Dilaudid can cause several chemicals in the brain to form improperly or in improper amounts. This can lead to severe physical and mental health complications if not treated soon.

However, detoxing via the “cold turkey” method is a dangerous idea, as Dilaudid withdrawal can cause severe complications that a doctor’s presence can help to alleviate or lessen.

Quitting cold turkey also runs the risk of shocking the body by suddenly removing a drug that it has grown to rely on. Instead, detox under the supervision of a doctor and medical detox is a much safer way to both beat Dilaudid addiction and ensure a patient’s safety during the process.

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

Detoxification and the withdrawal that comes with it is only the first step on the path back to health. A patient must then decide which kind of treatment to undergo, and each option has different benefits.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves the patient staying at a treatment center for the duration of a treatment plan. There, a patient will have constant access to medical personnel for both physical help and emotional support. Inpatient treatment allows the patient to have space of their own and does not allow opportunities for relapse. This is a great option for those without stable home lives or with peer groups who are risky.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows the patient to visit a treatment facility in the community regularly. While there, they will check in with their doctors and mental health professionals to make sure that they are on a path to sobriety. However, patients may be more likely to relapse if they are exposed to the presence of Dilaudid or other drugs, as their environment would not be as safe or strict as it would be in inpatient treatment. This is a good option for those who have a home or work life that does not allow an extended absence.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

An Intensive Outpatient Program or IOP is a more regimented and regular version of the above treatment plan. This involves more frequent visits and a strictly kept schedule. This is a good choice for those whose opportunities or potential for relapse is higher than other patients.

Start Your Journey To Recovery Today

Addiction is nothing to be ashamed of.  It is a disease and it is treatable.  Opioid addiction has been found to respond well to treatment by substance abuse professionals. Dilaudid withdrawal during detox is something that can be challenging for anyone, but it is the first step in a journey that is better for your health and future.

It is never too late to seek help and make it through addiction and withdrawal with the assistance of doctors and medical professionals. If you are struggling, contact us today to discuss the best treatment option for you as you start on the road to recovery.

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