Signs & Symptoms of Hydromorphone Abuse

Hydromorphone is a prescription medication used for the long-term treatment of moderate to severe pain which can’t be handled by other pain medications or non-pharmacologic alternatives.

Hydromorphone is an opioid pain medicine that can be obtained as a(n)

  • Oral liquid.
  • Immediate-release tablet.
  • Extended-release tablet.
  • Injectable solution.
  • Suppository.

Like other opioid pain medicines, hydromorphone functions to alter perceptions of pain from the user. It doesn’t treat the root cause of the pain; it only makes the pain more bearable for the user. When the material is consumed or injected orally, the pain relief will start between 15 and 30 minutes. The analgesic (painkilling) effects will last for around 5 hours, and the medication has a potency that’s several times larger than morphine .

While the opioid effects will be comparable, compounds containing hydromorphone are more potent than many other opioid-based medications, such as :

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab).
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet).

Hydromorphone Abuse

Though a priceless painkiller in hospital-based and other medical settings, as a potent opioid, hydromorphone is also desired street drug. Dilaudid, 1 brand name for the medication, is sought illicitly below the titles:

  • D.
  • Footballs.
  • Dust.
  • Juice.
  • Smack.
  • Dillies.

Abuse of prescription narcotics such as hydromorphone has increased to epidemic proportions in the USA. Consider that:

  • Pain relievers are the most abused drugs following marijuana and hashish.
  • In 2014, 4.3 million people in the U.S. admitted using painkillers non-medically.
  • In a 2011 poll, 1 million people admitted to abusing hydromorphone in their lifetime.

As prescribed medications, the opioid painkillers might appear to bring about the national landscape of drug abuse more inconspicuously compared to their commonly thought of street drug counterparts such as heroin. And though maybe slightly more insidious than something such as heroin, the development towards dependence is not as assured with these powerful opioid drugs–used under a prescription or otherwise. In actuality, many individuals with valid prescriptions might wind up abusing the drug sooner or later.

Hydromorphone abuse occurs in lots of ways, including:

  • Taking the medicine in ways other than prescribed (more frequently, in greater doses, or through other procedures of management like crushing and snorting it).
    Using medication that wasn’t prescribed for you.
  • Taking the material with the intention of getting high.
Regardless of the risks, lots of folks misuse hydromorphone for its intoxicating effects, which are like those of other opioids, including heroin.

People abusing hydromorphone will seek out the pleasurable effects generated during a high. The high will soon give way, however, to dangerous and possibly life-threatening effects, particularly as a person raises their dose to fight increasing tolerance. Increasing doses is extremely insecure, as  one big dose can be fatal .

Signs and Symptoms

Regardless of the risks, lots of folks abuse hydromorphone because of its intoxicating effects, which are like those of other opioids, such as  those which are generally labeled as more severe, such as heroin.

  • Intense pleasure.
    Physical comfort and decreased tension.
    Decreased stress and stress.
    Increased sleepiness.

These results arise through the biomolecular interaction between hydromorphone and specific structures throughout the brain and spinal cord called  opioid receptors . Once connected to the receptors, a decrease in pain perception is accomplished. Also, the activation of the opioid receptors triggers dopamine release, which imparts a rewarding or pleasing sense to the medication usage. Since dopamine is firmly tied to these feelings that are rewarding, users may continue to find hydromorphone in an effort to recreate these feelings. Side effects can include :

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Constipation.
  • Headache.
  • Insomnia.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Increased perspiration.
  • Hyperalgesia, or worsening pain.
  • Stress)
  • Depression.

These symptoms may be more severe and might require emergent attention:

  • Rash or hives.
  • Brand New and unexplained swelling.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Chest pain.
  • Intense nausea.
  • Fainting.
  • Seizures.

While many of the effects listed above may happen with normal hydromorphone usage, they are exaggerated in somebody abusing the substance. By way of instance, someone misusing hydromorphone might be too sedated to have a conversation or so anxious they can’t leave their dwelling.

Effects of Abuse

Some of the most crucial effects to be aware of about hydromorphone abuse manifest as tolerance, physiological dependence, withdrawal, and dependence  .

Tolerance is the requirement to take more of a drug over time as the body begins to adapt to the previously effective dose. As a result of this, the person will no longer receive the same feeling of pain relief or high as they originally did, so that they will require higher doses or increased frequencies to feel the consequences.

Dependence is another chance of long-term opioid use. As hydromorphone levels grow, the body becomes more used to its accessibility. The body starts to rely on the drug and need it simply to feel and act in the expected manner  . Without the medication (or with radically reduced doses), the body goes into withdrawal.

Symptoms of hydromorphone withdrawal include :

  • Restlessness.
  • Increased sensations of pain.
  • Inability to sleep.
  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Agitation.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Cold flashes.
  • Sweating.
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate.

Addiction is a product of standard abuse of hydromorphone as the person seeks out the material compulsively and without regard to what will happen because of this. Someone addicted to hydromorphone may :-

  • Lie to and control others for cash or the substance.
  • Struggle to carry out regular activities like going to school or work.
  • Have difficulties paying their bills/fulfilling monetary obligations.
  • Schedule many doctors’ appointments to get several prescriptions.
  • Isolate themselves or spend some time with new classes of people.

Finally, a enormous threat of hydromorphone abuse is the possibility for life threatening overdose.

How damaging is Hydromorphone?

Opioids such as hydromorphone can wreak havoc on an individual. Consider these statistics :-

  • Opioid pain medications caused 19,000 deaths  from the U.S. through 2014.
  • Among individuals age 15-24, men accounts for 75 percent of deaths from painkiller overdose.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2011, hydromorphone was associated with greater than 18,000 emergency department visits, a sharp increase from only over 12,000 in 2008 .