Dilaudid Addiction, Statistics, Abuse, Symptoms & Side Effects

What is Dilaudid?

Belonging to the opiod class and derived from morphine, Dilaudid is a drug prescribed for relief of moderate to severe pain such as bone injuries, heart attacks, burns or cancer. It can come in several forms, including oral solutions, tablets, injectable formulations, or rectal suppositories. Common street names of the drug Dilaudid include “Big D”, “Super 8”, “Dillies”, “Shake & Bake”, “Peaches”, “M-80s” and “Moose”. It functions in the body by connecting with receptors in the brain to dull pain and also react to create feelings of euphoria. It is because of these effects that users of Dilaudid can become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug, whether the drug has been used for legitimate purposes or illicitly. Upon ingesting, effects are perceived in less than 15 minutes and can remain in effect for more than six hours. The use of Dilaudid can quickly lead to tolerance and dependence on the drug in a short amount of time, even as minimal as 2-3 weeks. Similar to Heroin, a tolerance developed to Dilaudid would cause an abuser to take higher dosages of the drug in order to induce the wanted effects, quickly escalating into a vicious cycle of addiction. A Dilaudid addiction can be devastating as it can cause negative effects on the abuser’s physical, social, mental, and emotional well-being. Fortunately, there is hope for recovery from a Dilaudid addiction, no matter how hopeless the situation might be.

Dilaudid Abuse Statistics

Dilaudid is a generic form of Hydromorphone, and many drugs contain Hydromorphone are increasing abused in the United States. In fact, in 2007, it was observed that prescriptions for products that contained Hydromorphone had increased by 228% from 1998 to 2006 [1]. The following are additional statistics about the drug:

  • According to the ‘Monitoring the Future’ Survey conducted in 2004, most types of illegal drug use have declined since the 1990s. The exception is abuse of prescription drugs, especially painkillers such as hydromorphone [2].
  • According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Control Program, Dilaudid was one of the “leading opiod products for abuse and diversion during the 1970s and 1980s” [3].

Causes of Dilaudid Addiction?

If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction to Dilaudid, it may be confusing to grasp why or how the abuse began. Addictions are complex disorders and develop as a result of several factors. These causes could have various origins, such as physical, psychological, social. For example, a possible physical cause of a Dilaudid addiction might include a genetic pre-disposition to drug abuse. If someone in your family has struggled with a drug addiction, the likelihood that you might become addicted to a substance is higher than someone who does not have a history of drug abuse in their family. Other examples of possible cause of a Dilaudid addiction are physical or emotional traumas or abuse. Often times, a drug addiction may arise as a coping mechanism to a traumatic event, and it may be abused to numb or block out a deep emotional pain. Social factors that may contribute to a Dilaudid addiction include peer pressure to take the drug, exposure and access to it, or poor living conditions. One or more of these factors may contribute to the formation of a Dilaudid addiction. Because multiple causes may be involved, it is important to seek professional help to break the cycle of a Dilaudid addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Dilaudid Addiction

There are several signs and symptoms to help identify an addiction. Do you believe that a loved one is stuck within the cycle of a Dilaudid abuse? Are you worried that your usage of Dilaudid has gone beyond legitimate use to illicit abuse? Review the following signs and symptoms to learn what is commonly revealed in an addict:

  • Physical Side Effects – These include shortness of breath, water retention, abdominal pain, chest discomfort, muscle spasms, weight loss, back pain, itching, vomiting, indigestion or heartburn, insomnia, constipation, nausea, and joint pain.
  • Obsession with Dilaudid – Men and women who are struggling with an addiction will act impulsively to obtain the drug at any means or cost.
  • Relationship loss – addicts will suffer in their relationships and personal life due to the amount of their time and energy that is consumed with the drug. Family and friend relationships will often be strained and/or broken due to a Dilaudid addiction.
  • Attaining more Dilaudid – Individuals addicted will try to acquire the drug however they can manage, including theft or fraudulently obtaining Dilaudid.

Dilaudid Effects

Though the ways in which a Dilaudid addiction may have developed will differ among abusers, the effects are often similar. Being addicted to it will reap consequences that go beyond the physical effects of abuse. While this might be the first and most obvious sign or concern of an addict, there are other effects as well, such as detrimental outcomes to one’s social life, emotional well-being, financial and job opportunities, and more. An addiction to Dilaudid will result in consequences that negatively impact all areas of an abuser’s life, both short and long term. Until professional help is sought and appropriate treatment received, Dilaudid addicts will continue to experience these consequences.

Dilaudid Withdrawal

Because of the nature of Dilaudid and its opiate base, it can cause a physical dependence quickly; both in short and long term use. When a man or woman has become accustomed to taking Dilaudid regularly, any decrease in the dose normally taken can result in withdrawal effects. Withdrawal symptoms can range among Dilaudid addicts, depending on how long Dilaudid has been abused and the dosage typically consumed. Withdrawal symptoms can peak in as minimal as 9 hours after the last dosage taken and can include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle Pain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea and/or Vomiting

Because of the complexities and severity of withdrawal from Dilaudid, this process should ideally take place under the supervision of trained professionals and medical staff. This will help ensure that the addict is safe throughout this process and that any complications that may arise are dealt with effectively. There are also circumstances in which doctors can prescribe approved drugs to help decrease some of the painful withdrawal effects, such as anxiety, muscle aching or joint pain. A physician and professional treatment team would be able to make the best decisions in regards to how to manage the withdrawal process. Dilaudid treatment programs often have the necessary resources to safely and efficiently withdraw from the drug and should be considered as part of the process. The duration of the withdrawal period will depend on the individual, severity of the Dilaudid addiction, and length of time the drug was abused.

Dilaudid Treatment and Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with a Dilaudid addiction, there is hope and comfort in knowing that you are not alone on this journey. You are deserving of the freedom that is experienced apart from dependence on Dilaudid, and your life is valuable and worthy of recovery. Though you might feel it may be impossible to live life completely and wholly without Dilaudid, take hope in knowing that recovery is always achievable. With the right resources, tools, and support from a Dilaudid treatment center, you can be well on your way on the recovery journey. By receiving the help you need, you will ultimately have the ability to overcome this addiction.

Other Articles about Dilaudid

  • Because Dialudid is an opiate drug, it has a higher potential for abuse and misuse. Common to other opiate drugs, Dialudid is often used recreationally, as its euphoric side effects are desired for inducing a “high” and a sedated state.


[1]: United States Drug Enforcement Administration http://www.justice.gov/dea/index.shtml

[2]: Monitoring the Future, a continued study of American youth http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/

[3]: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 1, 2014
Published on AddictionHope.com, Information on Drug Addiction Treatment