Drug abuse and addiction are at an all-time high. In 2012, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported 23.1 million people were dependent on drugs or alcohol and only 2.5 million received treatment. Often when the term “drugs” is referenced, illegal substances like heroin and cocaine come to mind for a lot of people, but these aren’t the only substances impacting Americans. NIDA also notes over 2 million people struggled with substance use disorders associated with opioid pain reliever misuse or abuse, with over 207 million prescriptions being written for these drugs in 2013. This trend is only on the upswing, too. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioid painkillers, and Dilaudid is one of them.
What Is Dilaudid?
Dilaudid is the brand name of hydromorphone — an opioid pain reliever classified as a Schedule II drug under the United States Controlled Substances Act. It is most typically prescribed to patients suffering from pain that is moderate to severe or chronic in nature. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 259 million prescriptions for painkillers being dispensed in 2012 — an amount large enough to give every adult in the United States their own bottle. This isn’t to say they’re all abusing these drugs, but many people who use a prescription drug will misuse or abuse it at some point.
Who Uses Dilaudid?
Those in serious pain are most likely to get their hands on this drug. Likewise, street dealers have opioid pain relievers for sale on a regular basis — not that buying drugs is necessary for many. In fact, the White House notes that more than 70 percent of prescription drug misusers and abusers get their supply from friends and relatives, and around 5 percent from a dealer or online. The addicted individual is not necessarily who you think they are either. It could very well be the homeless person you always see downtown panhandling or the guy you grew up with down the street who took the wrong path in life, but it’s also the mom you pass every day dropping her child off at daycare before heading to her high-power career or the elderly man who lives next door. No one is exempt from addiction, and prescription drugs are a very sneaky way for it to enter someone’s life. When a patient receives a legitimate prescription from their doctor, why would they think to question whether they should take it? Why would they consider stopping before their physician instructed them to? Most of these thoughts never cross the average patient’s mind. Another group of individuals who are more vulnerable to addiction are those who are battling mental health disorders. While these people certainly have the cards stacked against them at times, overcoming addiction with a co-occurring mental illness is hardly impossible. In fact, both conditions can and should be treated at the very same time. This assures the best chance of a successful recovery for both issues. NIDA notes about half of all persons with severe mental health problems are also substance abusers or addicts.
How People Abuse Dilaudid
Are You Addicted?
- Growing tolerance
- A preoccupation with maintaining and securing your supply
- Trying to stop using and failing
- Feeling like you can’t function without using
- Using the drug to avoid symptoms of withdrawal setting in
- Mood swings
- Digestive problems
Dangers of Dilaudid
Developing addiction isn’t the only concern with Dilaudid abuse. Your drug abuse impacts more people than just yourself, from your family members and friends to complete strangers you might injure or even kill when driving under the influence. Drug abuse costs you time, relationships, your health, and more. Overdose can happen. It does every day. In fact, the CDC attests to a significant increase in the number of overdose deaths related to opioid pain relievers over the years, with only 4,030 people dying due to opioid overdose in 1999 and a reported 16,651 dying due to opioid overdose in 2010. Signs of overdose include depressed breathing, extreme drowsiness, slowed heart rate, small pupils, clammy and/or cold skin, fainting, and weak muscles, per Drugs.com.
The Treatment Process
There are many components to the rehab process, and for opioid addiction, the first step is detox. Opioids are highly addictive and as such, withdrawing from them in a week’s time as patients do with many other drugs just isn’t advisable. Not only does this method present serious concerns for side effects during withdrawal, but patients also aren’t as likely to remain abstinent from the drug post-detox if the process occurs too quickly. Individuals withdrawing from Dilaudid can expect to experience side effects, such as:
- Goose bumps
- Nausea, with or without vomiting
- Trouble sleeping
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Muscular aches and pains
There is a rapid detox process that is growing in popularity despite the risks it brings that allows addicts to be sedated while drugs are administered that detox the body so that they essentially wake up free of opioids. While it sounds like a dream come true to be able to skip over the withdrawal experience, this method isn’t advised. USA Today reports the procedure can cost upwards of $10,000. In addition to serious health risks associated with rapid detox, patients are more likely to benefit from detox and maintain their drug-free status if they endure the process and learn the lessons they need along the way.
Tomorrow Is a New Day
You can change your life today. You can choose a healthy, safe, and lasting life for yourself that is full of far more than worries about where your next supply is coming from and hiding your habit from the people you love. This can all become part of your past. Get help for Dilaudid addiction today. Call us at Futures of Palm Beach.