What Are the Best Options for Dilaudid Rehab?
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Table of Contents
1. What is Dilaudid and How is it Used?
2. Development of Dependence
3. Development of Addiction
4. Potential Abuse and Addiction Symptoms in Users of Dilaudid/Hydromorphone
5. Detox Begins the Road to Recovery
6. Follow-Up Care is Essential
7. Types of Dilaudid Recovery Programs
8. Appropriate Treatment Plans
9. Choosing the Right Facility for You
If you’re suffering from Dilaudid addiction, help from trained professionals is a must for recovery of your sobriety. The only reliable places to find these professionals are specialized, high-quality opioid rehab programs. Such programs exist across America, but you must know how to find them.
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To identify the best addiction programs, you must first understand how an addiction to Dilaudid alters your brain and body. You must also gather information about the treatments known to help you halt your substance abuse. In addition, you must learn a bit about what separates average programs from exceptional programs. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can find the shortest possible path to a stable, substance-free lifestyle.
What is Dilaudid and How is it Used?
Dilaudid is the brand name for a prescription opioid medication that contains hydromorphone (hydromorphone hydrochloride) as its active ingredient. It comes in several forms, including tablets, an oral solution and an injection. Hydromorphone is also known as dihydromorphinone. The medication bears a close chemical resemblance to its parent drug, morphine.
As an opioid, Dilaudid provides pain relief by changing the way in which your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) interprets nerve signals from your body. At the same time, the medication slows down your central nervous system, sedates you and increases your perceptions of pleasure.
Doctors should follow certain criteria when prescribing Dilaudid for their patients. Before receiving the medication in the form of a tablet, oral solution or standard-strength injection, most patients must have tried other, non-opioid pain relief options. In addition, these options must have failed to provide sufficient relief. Your doctor may also prescribe tablets, oral solution or standard injection if your system won’t tolerate non-opioid pain relievers.
To qualify for a high-potency injection of the medication (Dilaudid-HP), you must already be tolerant to the effects of opioid substances. This tolerance may result from previous treatment with opioid medications. It may also be the product of previous consumption of an opioid street drug.
These precautions are in place because hydromorphone is a Schedule II opioid prescription drug. This designation means that use of hydromorphone products carries a very high risk for abuse and addiction. It also means that products in this category have a high potential to depress (i.e., slow down) your normal lung function and trigger life-threatening health consequences. Risks for breathing problems are especially high in two situations: during the first one to three days of use and whenever your doctor increases your medication dosage.
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Besides Dilaudid, the only hydromorphone-based medication currently available in the U.S. is Exalgo, an extended-release tablet. When sold and/or used illegally, Dilaudid and hydromorphone may go by street names that include:
Development of Dependence
If you’re dealing with pain that doesn’t respond to non-opioid medication, Dilaudid may prove very useful. However, continued use of hydromorphone or any other opioid can lead to the onset of something called opioid dependence. Dependence occurs when certain areas of your brain come to rely on the effects of Dilaudid. If you stop taking the prescription drug at this point, or make a significant reduction in your intake, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Opioid withdrawal runs a characteristic course. It begins with the appearance of symptoms such as altered sleep, excessive yawning, abnormally high sweat production and abnormally high output of tears and mucus. As the absence of hydromorphone continues, further possible symptoms of withdrawal include gut/abdominal discomfort, altered bowel function, widened pupils, nausea, vomiting and persistent goosebumps.
It’s important to note that opioid dependence is not the same as opioid addiction. Many legitimate prescription holders who take opioids for a long time become dependent. However, with help from their doctors, they maintain their ability to function and avoid any destabilizing changes in their daily lives. Current evidence also shows that opioid dependence affects different areas of your brain than opioid addiction.
Development of Addiction
While dependence on prescription opioids is a medically manageable state, addiction presents another picture altogether. One of the hallmarks of addiction is loss of control over your substance intake. In turn, this loss of control seriously damages your ability to lead a functional day-to-day life.
Your chances of progressing from dependence to addiction rise steeply if you take part in any form of Dilaudid abuse. People who hold prescriptions for addictive medications can cross the threshold of abuse by taking amounts that are higher than their prescribed dosages. They can cross the same threshold by taking their medication too often. If you take Dilaudid/hydromorphone without a doctor’s approval, you automatically meet the definition of prescription drug abuse, no matter how much of the medication you consume.
In addition to loss of control over your medication intake, you may have other symptoms of hydromorphone addiction (or damaging, non-addicted abuse.) The diagnosis given to people affected by at least two abuse/addiction symptoms in a year’s time is opioid use disorder, or OUD.
Potential Abuse and Addiction Symptoms in Users of Dilaudid/Hydromorphone
- Recurring use of the medication in situations where you can physically harm yourself or others
- Recurring urges to consume the medication when engaged in other activities
- Dedication of significant parts of your day to hydromorphone-related concerns (i.e., acquiring, using or recovering from the medication)
- Tolerance to the drug effects of any given dose of the medication
- Turning to medication abuse as a replacement for other hobbies or interests
- Failure to alter your medication consumption when you know it hurts you mentally or physically
- Failure to alter your medication consumption when you know it hurts your ability to maintain key relationships
- The appearance of withdrawal if you stop taking the medication or take it in smaller amounts
Depending on how many of these symptoms affect you, you may have mild, moderate or severe OUD. The seriousness of your symptoms also has an impact on your diagnosis and treatment.
Detox Begins the Road to Recovery
Before you enter Dilaudid rehab, detoxification (detox) is an essential first step. This medically supervised process gets its name because it gives you time to purge an addictive substance and cease its immediate, toxic effects. For any person addicted to an opioid medication or street drug, detox will trigger the onset of withdrawal symptoms. The length and severity of those symptoms depend on two main factors: the duration of your addiction and the amount of hydromorphone you habitually abuse.
If you only abuse a single opioid, the withdrawal process will probably not have life-threatening consequences. However, certain complications may occur. For example, you can develop a serious lung infection if you vomit and inhale any particles into your lungs. If your withdrawal-related vomiting and diarrhea go untreated, you can also develop a dangerous, potentially lethal form of dehydration.
However, the number one health concern for anyone going through opioid detox is a relapse back into active medication/drug abuse. Why? Because detoxification lowers your tolerance to the effects of opioids. If you relapse and take your previous regular dose of Dilaudid, you can overwhelm your system and experience an overdose. Opioid overdoses are now one of the most common causes of death throughout the U.S.
During detox, your doctor should also check for any other health issues that can make relapses or other problems more likely to occur. One potential problem is alcoholism. The presence of alcoholism can make safe detox more difficult. And if you relapse simultaneously with opioids and alcohol, your risks for overdose and death can skyrocket.
Detox programs should also check for the presence of mental health issues not related to substance use. That’s true because depression, anxiety and other serious illnesses add a further layer of complication to successful treatment. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are among those groups with the highest risks for overlapping mental health and substance problems.
Follow-Up Care is Essential
Once you’ve completed your stay in a detox program, your ability to establish lasting sobriety rests upon enrollment in Dilaudid rehab. There are two main reasons why rehab participation is so critical. First, when you finish detox, your opioid tolerance will be low. If you relapse at this point in your recovery, you have a very strong chance of overdosing and possibly dying. By continuing on to rehab, you can safeguard your health and make the hard work of detox count for something.
Just as importantly, rehabilitation programs are the only place you can really come to understand your motivations for getting involved in opioid abuse. They’re also the only place where you can learn how to change those motivations and develop new, sobriety-supporting thoughts and behaviors. Opioid rehab programs are designed for people addicted to Dilaudid and similar drugs and medications. This means they provide services that fulfill your specific needs for ongoing recovery.
Types of Dilaudid Recovery Programs
Rehab programs for people addicted to a prescription drug can be conducted in several treatment settings. The two most common options are inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. Inpatient programs get their name because they require you to live onsite while you go through the rehabilitation process.
There are several benefits to this approach, beginning with round-the-clock monitoring of your health, safety and well-being. This 24/7 attention also gives inpatient programs the ability to respond to any treatment emergencies immediately. In addition, residential care makes it easier for your doctor to make changes in your treatment and maximize the usefulness of rehab.
Your doctor will probably recommend inpatient treatment if you have moderate or severe symptoms of Dilaudid-based opioid use disorder. (The worst cases may call for temporary hospitalization.) If you have milder OUD symptoms, help in an outpatient program may be a better fit. During outpatient treatment, you maintain your normal routine while making scheduled visits to your rehabilitation facility. This approach can make opioid treatment more convenient and easier to attend. Both college students and working adults can take advantage of the added flexibility.
However, even if you qualify for outpatient care, you may still benefit from a stay in a residential facility. That’s because inpatient care provides you with an extended period of time in which rehab treatment is your only major concern. Throughout your stay, you can avoid the stresses of daily decision-making, as well as any negative influences that can make you more likely to abuse Dilaudid. It’s also important to note that the presence of a co-existing mental illness can make outpatient treatment an unsuitable option, even if you have only mild addiction symptoms.
Appropriate Treatment Plans
In the 21st century, the standard of care for all people with opioid use disorder is appropriate medication combined with some type of behavioral therapy. Medication can help your rehabilitation team achieve several important objectives. First, it can help decrease the strength of your cravings for hydromorphone. The right medication can also make withdrawal more tolerable by decreasing the impact of your symptoms. Once opioids are out of your system, medication can also block the effects those drugs normally have on your brain.
The most common medical choices for hydromorphone addiction treatment, methadone and buprenorphine, are opioid medications, just like Dilaudid. This may seem like a bad idea at first. However, both of these medications are proven to work. They do so by doing two main things. First, they provide your brain with enough of an opioid boost to stop you from going through heavy withdrawal. At the same time, methadone and buprenorphine are given in doses too small to get you “high” and help you sustain addiction.
As your condition stabilizes, your doctor may gradually reduce the amount of buprenorphine or methadone you receive. In this approach, you will reach a point where you take no opioids at all. In contrast, opioid medication is sometimes given in low doses on a longer-term or even permanent basis.
If your rehab program’s goal is complete cessation of opioid use, you treatment plan may also include the anti-opioid medication naltrexone. Inside your body, naltrexone acts as a kind of kill switch and stops opioids from passing from your bloodstream into your brain. By stopping you from getting high, this blocking action decreases the appeal of returning to hydromorphone abuse.
A few types of behavioral therapy have proven benefits for effective Dilaudid rehab. One therapy option, known as community reinforcement approach (CRA) plus vouchers, uses a reward-based system to encourage active program participation. A second option, contingency management, relies on similar methods in a different format.
One of the most popular evidence-based opioid rehab therapies is called CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT helps you understand your substance abuse motivations, then helps you modify those motivations so you can avoid future problems. A fourth type of therapy, motivational interviewing, often takes place early in treatment. It aims to help you get you beyond any internal resistance to addiction rehabilitation.
People from all walks of life can benefit from medication and behavioral health options for hydromorphone addiction. That includes teenagers, veterans and young people enrolled in college. In some cases, treatment may be adjusted to account for your age or other factors in your personal background. Teenagers, especially, may require different types of programs than younger or older adults.
Choosing the Right Facility for You
To take full advantage of your stay in addiction rehab, you must enroll in a program that meets all of your treatment needs. At a bare minimum, this means that you must find a facility that upholds current standards of opioid-related care. The doctors and support staff helping you during rehabilitation should have extensive experience in the recovery field. In addition, they should treat you in a well-maintained facility that guards your health and safety at all times.
Before any active rehab begins, programs on your list of options should conduct comprehensive mental health and physical health assessments. Such assessments are the only way to identify all the factors that can affect the choice of effective treatments.
When making inquiries over the phone or in person, make sure to ask all relevant questions that come to mind. Reputable programs won’t mind this level of scrutiny. In fact, they’ll welcome it. At this stage, veterans and the parents of teenagers should also make sure their preferred programs offer treatments designed to fit their particular circumstances.
No matter your background, you should also look for programs with a holistic treatment philosophy. Such programs treat you as a whole person, not just someone suffering from Dilaudid addiction. By offering additional supportive care, they increase your odds of recovering and returning to a life built upon enduring sobriety. Popular, effective options for holistic addiction care include stress management, yoga and biofeedback.
Top programs also typically offer options for after-care. These follow-up treatments give you the chance to check in periodically, get a picture of your current health and renew your resolve to stay sober.
The bottom line in addiction treatment is taking action. Once you identify your preferred program options, you must continue your efforts by making contact and pursuing your goals for short- and long-term sobriety. Such an engaged approach will help you find the very best program for your needs. It will also help you weather the ups and downs of treatment, make progress and keep going strong once your enrollment comes to an end.