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Hydromorphone Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Hydromorphone is an opiate narcotic that is legally prescribed for the relief of severe pain. Like all opiates, hydromorphone (trade name: Dilaudid) has a high potential for addiction, and it is sold on the black market to addicts who cannot obtain it legally. Hydromorphone withdrawal almost always requires medical support, as using this drug on a regular basis leads to physical addiction. Physical addiction can in turn lead to hydromorphone withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can cause an addict to continue to abuse this narcotic even though he or she is psychologically and emotionally committed to stopping its use.

Users of hydromorphone report a feeling of euphoria that is similar to the feeling produced by heroin or cocaine. Indeed, it is chemically related to heroin, as both drugs are derived from the opium poppy. Hydromorphone and its fellow opiates react with specific proteins and transmitters in the brain to cause the brain to send messages to the body at an extremely rapid rate. These fast-paced signals are caused by the release of chemicals called endorphins into the body. Endorphins are also released during periods of intense stress as well as during exercise, and their release causes a pleasant feeling that includes a temporary escape from reality.

After a long period of hydromorphone use, the body becomes accustomed to the constant release of endorphins. When hydromorphone is withdrawn, the body may not function correctly, since it has been programmed to require a certain level of endorphin release that cannot be achieved without hydromorphone. Therefore, hydromorphone withdrawal treatment becomes necessary for patients who want to stop using the drug without experiencing hydromorphone withdrawal symptoms caused by the lowered level of endorphins that result from sudden cessation of hydromorphone use.

Withdrawing from Hydromorphone: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Hydromorphone withdrawal treatment is often called medical detoxification, or detox. It is carried out by administering medications that create an effect similar to the effect hydromorphone creates in the brain. However, unlike hydromorphone, these substitute medications are not addictive.

In most cases, hydromorphone withdrawal treatment procedures are carried out in an inpatient setting. This allows for rapid detoxification, so that the patient can quickly eliminate the physical need for hydromorphone and begin dealing with the psychological and social factors that led him or her to abuse the drug.

Addiction specialists often recommend residential treatment facilities for hydromorphone detoxification. Respected medical professionals who specialize in hydromorphone withdrawal treatment prefer to provide detoxification in such facilities, as they provide comfortable accommodations and pleasant surroundings that contribute to the success of the recovery process. Hospital facilities are used for hydromorphone withdrawal treatment only if the patient is experiencing other medical conditions that require urgent and intensive treatment as a part of or in preparation for the detoxification process.

When physical addiction to hydromorphone is relatively mild, such as in cases where a patient has been using it for legitimate medical purposes over a long period of time, outpatient treatment of hydromorphone withdrawal can be effective. Outpatient treatment can consist of simply lowering the dosage gradually rather than withdrawing it suddenly and abruptly. It can also include the administration of slower-acting substitute medications, such as Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, under medical supervision.

If you or someone you love is ready to quit using hydromorphone, but wants to make sure to avoid hydromorphone withdrawal symptoms, please call our 24-hour national helpline at 1-888-658-5242. We offer unbiased, comprehensive information on hydromorphone withdrawal programs that are designed to break the grip of addiction.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery

When detoxification is carried out in a residential rehabilitation center, it usually lasts about three to five days, and it is the first part of an intensive treatment program that lasts for approximately one month. Once it is certain that a patient will not experience any discomfort from hydromorphone withdrawal, the patient is ready for counseling and behavioral therapy.

The counseling process begins with a clear assessment of the triggers and pressures that caused the patient to seek hydromorphone as an escape route. Therapy then centers on behavioral and cognitive methods that teach the patient how to deal with these triggers in a healthy manner, so that he or she is not tempted to resort to hydromorphone once again. Exercise, meditation, art therapy and other enjoyable activities are often a part of the month-long inpatient rehabilitation program, as they increase the effects of the therapy and represent constructive means of dealing with stress.

Once a patient is discharged from an inpatient rehabilitation facility, he or she is referred to addiction counselors who provide continuing therapy on a convenient outpatient basis. Participation in peer support groups, including those based on the 12-step method, is also recommended for additional encouragement during the recovery process.

Treatment for hydromorphone withdrawal symptoms is only the beginning of the recovery and rehabilitation process. Once medical treatment for the physical effects of hydromorphone withdrawal is complete, patients learn to find healthy and constructive means of dealing with personal and social pressures so they avoid using hydromorphone in the future.

Please call our substance abuse rehabilitation and recovery helpline at 1-888-658-5242 to obtain information and referrals for treatment centers and programs that will provide support for hydromorphone withdrawal so that you or your loved one can fully overcome addiction to hydromorphone.

Hydromorphone Information at a Glance
Medication Name, CostsClass of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Hydromorphine
  • Generic Name Variations: N/A
  • Chemical Name: Dihydromorphine
  • Brand Name: Palladone, Dilaudid
  • Brand Name Variations: N/A
  • Cost/Price: Varies
  • Used to Treat Addiction?
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Varies
  • Function or Use at High Dose: Varies
  • Chemical Makeup: C17H19NO3 - HCL
  • System: Opiod
  • Duration of Action: Varies based on dosage
Form, Intake and DosageInteractions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Tablets, Capsules, Powder, Syrup
  • Administration Routes: Orally ingested, injected
  • Dosage: Varies
  • Overdose: Varies
  • Alcohol Interaction: Alcohol and hydromorphone should not be used together as the combination may cause serious liver damage
  • Illicit Drugs: Illicit drugs such as barbiturate, opiates and other types of morphine can cause serious liver and heart damage and may even cause death
  • Prescription Medications: Please consult your physician before mixing medications with hydromorphone
  • Contraindications: Respiratory depression, obstetrical analgesia, asthma
Effects and Adverse ReactionsSubstance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Euphoria, light headedness, dry mouth, vision changes, fainting, constipation, nausea
  • Long-Term: Liver damage, heart damage, respiratory damage, possible death
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: High
  • Signs of Abuse: Depression, withdrawal from others, disorientation,
Physiological Problem Signs and SymptomsDependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: As little as 90 minutes after a dosage
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Constant shaking, cold sweats, diarrhea, vomiting, body cramps, insomnia, and muscle pain
  • Tolerance: Tolerance can be built up to hydromorphone
  • Cross Dependence: Alcohol and other opiates are common drugs that a user may become cross dependent on.
  • Physical Dependence: Yes
  • Psychological Dependence: Yes
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule II



Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How Long Do Hydromorphone Withdrawals Last?

While there is no set timeline for Hydromorphone withdrawals, the length of withdrawal is usually shorter than other opiates. The withdrawal symptoms will usually peak between 14-36 hours of withdrawal and should subside within 72 hours. Although the duration of withdrawal may be longer or shorter, there will generally be a peak and a subsiding of symptoms similar to that of morphine.

Do You Have a List Popular Slang or Street Names for Hydromorphone?

Dust, Footballs, Juice, Smack D

What are Common Misspellings?

Hydromophone withdrawl, hydromorphine withdrawls, hydromorfone withdrawel, hydromorfine withdrawels

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

While some users may want to try a home remedy or all natural detox to become clean, before seeking alternative ways to detox, it is imperative that the user seek medical. Because of the possible intensity of withdrawal symptoms, it is highly recommended that users of hydromorphone seek help from a professional detox center. The trained staff and medical professionals will be able to relieve some of the pain that comes from withdrawal symptoms. Only a medically assisted detox will offer relief from the full intensity of a hydromorphone withdrawal. If a user wishes to ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms, call us at 1-888-658-5242

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Hydromorphone?

The physical act of detox from hydromorphone will generally take between 24-72 hours depending on what dosage and frequency a user was taking the drug. After the hydromorphone leaves the body’s system, it is important to look at various programs for addiction recovery. There are many options to choose from. Call us at 1-888-658-5242 or visit our locator page to help find the best option.

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