Logo Drug Treatment Center Finder



Sorry an error occurred!



Dilaudid,known generically as hydromorphone hydrochloride, is a potent opioid pain reliever used to treat moderate-to-severe-pain. A derivative of morphine, Dilaudid works similarly, but is more potent. The prescription drug affects opioid receptors in the brain to change how the body responds to pain. People addicted to opiate drugs like heroin often seek out Dilaudid because of its greater potency. The medication can be a pill taken by mouth, but it also comes as an injectable medication or as a rectal suppository. People who abruptly stop taking Dilaudid after prolonged use can experience painful physical and mental symptoms known as Dilaudid withdrawal. In addition to psychological changes, the symptoms are flu-like.

Dilaudid Abuse, Addiction and Withdrawal

People who take Dilaudid over a few days or a few weeks can build up a tolerance and become dependent on the drug. Many do not realize they are addicted until they experience withdrawal symptoms. Dilaudid abusers chew, crush, snort, or inject the medication when it is in a dissolved form to achieve feelings of calm and euphoria. Dilaudid abuse can lead to overdose and death. Users who suddenly stop using Dilaudid go through withdrawal.


Heroin Signs

Heavy Dilaudid users who stop using the drug likely will go through withdrawal, an uncomfortable and taxing process. How long the process lasts varies. Factors that determine the length and intensity of withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Age, health, and lifestyle
  • Demerol tolerance
  • How long Demerol has been used
  • Dose of Demerol taken
  • Whether other substances, such as alcohol, were used along with Demerol

Withdrawal symptoms set in after a dependant user stops taking the drug. After usage is stopped, the body will react to not having the drug in its system. When this happens, people who are addicted to Dilaudid can have these symptoms:

  • Appetite loss
  • Backache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Fever
  • Goose bumps
  • Muscle and bone pain or cramps
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Yawning excessively
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Compulsive scratching
  • Depression
  • Dysphoria
  • Emotional instability
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia
  • Irrational thoughts
  • Restlessness

Heroin Timeline

Below is a general schedule of the process, which can last three to five days. Although the process is generally shorter than those of other opioids. former users have reported that the symptoms are more intense. Not everyone will have the same withdrawal signs or symptoms, so consult your physician with specific questions about any side effects you or your loved one are having or anticipate you will have.

Symptoms can start within four to six hours after the last dose. Users who have reduced their Dilaudid usage or stopped it altogether may become more anxious or restless.

Physical changes, such as a runny nose, muscle and bone pain, and cramps, among other symptoms, are experienced during this period.

Physical symptoms of Dilaudid continue in this period and tend to peak by or before day three or 72 hours into the withdrawal period. Recovering users may still feel some nausea and may start to experience psychological side effects, such as depression and insomnia.

Medical professionals recommend that users in this stage start a recovery program that can help them manage their psychological symptoms. Some people in this stage of withdrawal may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms, known as PAWS. The PAWS condition, which occurs during a prolonged period of withdrawal, can be felt for months or years after a person has stopped using the drug. Depression, changes in appetite, sleep patterns, or feelings of fatigue and high stress and anxiety are among the PAWS symptoms Dilaudid users may experience. A recovery plan that promotes wellness on all levels can help recovering users manage this condition.


Heroin Treatment

Common Medications for Dilaudid Detox

  • Buprenorphine: Clients in Dilaudid detox treatment may receive this opioid medication, also known as Subutex, at a medical facility or doctor’s office. It also can be used at home under a doctor’s prescription. Buprenorphine affects the same receptors as heroin and morphine do, but it does not give the same intense high or harmful side effects, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  • Clonidine: This medication used to treat blood pressure is also prescribed to help alleviate the physical symptoms, such as muscle aches, cramping and sweating, and psychological ones, including anxiety and agitation or restlessness.

Ending Dilaudid Addiction Is Only the Beginning

The detoxification for withdrawal symptoms is an important process, but it’s only one part of the process. After recovering users go through the medically supervised detox to end the physical part of active addiction, the next step is to put together a plan of action that helps clients address underlying issues that weren’t identified or faced when the person was in addiction. This plan also teaches clients how to change thought and behavioral patterns that can keep them free of Dilaudid addiction and relapse.

When the body starts the process of returning to its normal state after the drug has left its system, the mental, emotional, and psychological parts of the puzzle will have to be addressed.

This may include identifying triggers and other factors that could lead a person back to abusing Dilaudid and making key changes, such as to one’s environment or daily routines. This process can take several months, and for some people, it may take several years. Sobriety is the ultimate goal, but achieving clarity to reach the sobriety stage takes some time, so be mindful to take recovery one step at a time.

A post-detox recovery program can offer clients guidance as well as crucial support at such an important time in the process. Plans may include teaching clients coping skills and strategies to manage the issues that influenced them to use drugs. They also can involve connecting people to therapy or alumni groups, in which they will find people in recovery who share similar experiences.


Heroin FAQ

Dilaudid, known generically as hydromorphone hydrochloride, is a potent opioid painkiller used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. It is a derivative of morphine that is six to nine times more potent than morphine. When used recreationally and illegally, the quick-acting prescription medication is abused for its euphoric effects. It comes in an extended-release tablet or in liquid form.

Demerol has a half-life of 2.5 to 4 hours in an adult person, which means it takes this long for half of the dosage to leave the body.

Intense Dilaudid cravings and changes in physical appearance, such as dilated pupils and drowsiness are among the signs of addiction. Another way to know if a person is in Dilaudid addiction is if the person experiences the onset of flu-like symptoms once the drug isn’t taken or if the dosage is reduced. The person also may begin vomiting and experience constipation and overall nausea. If you suspect that you or a loved one are addicted to Dilaudid, get help today.

Withdrawal symptoms include a number of physical symptoms, including bone and muscle pain, chills and cold sweats, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, stomach pain, vomiting and more. Psychological symptoms include anxiety, emotional instability, depression, and cravings for Dilaudid.

The duration of withdrawal symptoms and their intensity can vary. A few factors include:

  • Age, health, and lifestyle
  • Demerol tolerance
  • How long Demerol has been used
  • Dose of Demerol taken
  • Method of Demerol used

Tapering is a method used in medically supervised detox that gradually reduces the dosage of Dilaudid to gradually and safely wean the client off the medication as they endure the withdrawal symptoms. The physician usually determines the tapering schedule, but tapering too quickly comes with risks, among them withdrawal and relapse.

The process can be painful and unpleasant, so there are people who opt to relieve their symptoms with alternative do-it-yourself methods. These usually are carried out at home or outside of a medical center. Drug Treatment Center Finder; however, advises longtime Dilaudid users in withdrawal to seek out medical treatment administered by licensed medical professionals as an alternative option to these methods.

According to HealthLine, if you are considering which pain reliever is better, Dilaudid or oxycodone, you have to consider what kind of pain you are treating. Dilaudid is stronger than oxycodone, but dosing depends on what kind of pain is being treated and what form of the drugs are being taken (both are available in tablet and liquid form). Because Dilaudid is stronger, its side effects are also stronger. Both drugs are also habit-forming, and if taken over a period of several weeks or months, physical and psychological dependence can develop.



At a drug rehab center, you can start your recovery with a healthy support group of trained clinical staff, other like-minded recovering addicts, and addiction counselors that only want you to succeed.


Addiction treatment programs will vary by individual and substance, depending on the severity of his addiction and whether other treatment methods need to be included, such as dual-diagnosis or holistic therapies.


Some medications that may be expected are: buprenorphine, Suboxone, and methadone. Medicines for non-pain health conditions may also be administered, such as for diabetes and high blood pressure.


Those who have become addicted to Dilaudid may decide to quit “cold turkey” by stopping altogether. However, people who abruptly stop taking Dilaudid after heavy use, especially over a long period, are likely to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The process is rarely life-threatening, but it is painful and difficult. These withdrawal symptoms,such as nausea and fever, are similar to ones experienced by people who abruptly stop using heroin or oxycodone. The side effects can cause some to return to using Dilaudid to end their withdrawal symptoms.



According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50 percent of all US opioid-related drug overdoses involve a prescription opioid like Dilaudid, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.


An estimated 20 percent (or 1 out of 5) of people are prescribed opioids in office-based settings, despite not being diagnosed with pain-related causes.


According to a 2011 survey, one in 10 American teenagers abused prescription pain medications to get high that year, and roughly 6 percent of those teenagers had abused them within 30 days prior to taking the survey.