Hydromorphone is a potent opioid that can lead to dependence, addiction, and overdose. People who struggle with hydromorphone abuse may become depressed and withdrawn, or have sudden financial troubles.
6 Signs Someone Is Abusing Hydromorphone
Hydromorphone is a narcotic medication that has a high potential for abuse. Often sold under the brand name Dilaudid, hydromorphone addiction is a growing problem in the U.S.
Millions of Americans report taking narcotics without a prescription, and nearly 20,000 people are hospitalized from abusing hydromorphone each year. Abusing hydromorphone can lead to tolerance, which means people need higher doses to get the same effects. Tolerance can quickly result in addiction, which is when people need the drug to function (even if they don’t want to continue using).
Hydromorphone is part of the opioid overdose crisis currently plaguing our nation. If you are concerned that someone you love is abusing hydromorphone, be aware of the signs of prescription drug addiction.
A person struggling with hydromorphone abuse may exhibit signs that include:
- Sudden Health Problems
Hydromorphone comes with certain side effects, including itchiness and headache. If a person abuses the drug, the severity of these side effects could be amplified. One of the most noticeable side effects of opioid abuse is extreme drowsiness.
Hydromorphone slows down the systems of the body, including heart rate and breathing. This can cause people to fade in and out of consciousness, or “nod out.” If your loved one appears to be half asleep at dangerous or inappropriate times, they may be abusing hydromorphone.
Hydromorphone comes in liquid and tablet form. People who are addicted to opioids may inject hydromorphone for a faster, stronger high. Using a needle to inject any drug puts a person at risk for infection and overdose. Additionally, people who share needles are at risk for blood borne diseases including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.
- Low Mood Or Defensive Attitude
Hydromorphone abuse can also affect a person’s mental health. Someone suffering from hydromorphone addiction may battle depression, agitation, and hallucinations.
Opioid addiction is extremely powerful. Many people who become addicted to drugs like hydromorphone feel helpless to stop their cravings. Even if a person realizes they are addicted to the drug, they may tell themselves and others that it is not that big of a deal.
This can lead people to behave in a deceptive or secretive manner. They may get angry or upset if people ask about their well-being. These responses are based in denial, which is likely a part of the person’s defense mechanism.
- Change In Personal Priorities
People who suffer from opioid abuse and addiction may spend large amounts of time and money on drugs. To obtain hydromorphone, people may “doctor shop,” or visit multiple providers to get more prescriptions. Others may forge prescriptions, or take another person’s medication.
These activities take a lot of time, and hydromorphone can quickly become the focus of a person’s everyday life. Some people may also resort to buying hydromorphone off the street, which can be very expensive.
If a person is unable to get more hydromorphone, the panicky symptoms of withdrawal may set in. This could lead a person to do things that they wouldn’t normally do, such as steal cash or valuables to pay for their addiction.
- Change In Appearance
Over time, a person who suffers from hydromorphone abuse will likely begin to show physical signs of their addiction. Your loved one may look like they have lost weight, are not sleeping, or have been neglecting their hygiene.
If a person uses a needle to inject hydromorphone, they may also suffer from track marks at the site of injection. They may begin to wear loose, baggy, and long-sleeved clothes to cover any needle marks or bruising.
- Drug Paraphernalia
When a person is addicted to drugs, they often carry their using supplies with them. For someone addicted to hydromorphone, this may include a pill cutter or injection paraphernalia.
People who use needles to inject hydromorphone may have syringes and a belt or piece of rubber on hand. Those who struggle with intravenous use may keep these supplies together in a small kit. If you find your loved one’s drug paraphernalia, try to avoid touching it.
- Hydromorphone Withdrawal Symptoms
Opioids like hydromorphone cause severe physical dependence. This means that if a person stops taking the drugs suddenly, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Hydromorphone withdrawal is not typically dangerous, but it can be physically and psychologically uncomfortable.
Physical symptoms of hydromorphone withdrawal include restlessness, teary eyes, yawning, chills, and backache. People suffering from opioid withdrawal may also experience severe anxiety and insomnia. The psychological effects of opioid withdrawal can be just as intense as the physical discomfort.
People who are addicted to hydromorphone may need professional help to overcome their addiction. The safest way to get off opioids is through a medically supervised detox program. At treatment centers like The Bluffs, we provide on-site medical detox services, including medication that helps soothe the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
Getting Help For Hydromorphone Abuse And Addiction
Most people know that opioid addiction has affected millions of families across the U.S. It can be extremely scary to realize that someone close to you is being affected by the opioid epidemic.
It’s important to remember that addiction is a treatable disease. It is possible to recover from hydromorphone addiction. However, due to the severe physical dependence that this drug causes, medical detox and formal addiction treatment may be needed. Fortunately, rehab centers like The Bluffs offer addiction treatment in a serene and supervised environment.
With a blend of therapies ranging from adventure therapy to 12-step meetings, patients at The Bluffs are supported throughout the recovery process. Motivational interviewing helps patients identify goals they have for their recovery, and group therapy sessions help to build a peer support network for accountability.
There is hope for people struggling with hydromorphone addiction. To learn more about the signs of hydromorphone abuse, or for more information on The Bluffs, reach out to a treatment specialist today.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration — HYDROMORPHONE