Article Contributed By Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, for Addiction Hope
Dilaudid, a brand name for the drug Hydromorphone, is a highly potent narcotic pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain. As a derivative from morphine, Dilaudid falls under the class of opioid drugs and has major effects on the central nervous system of the human body.
While Dilaudid can be an effective medication for pain relief, it can also produce adverse consequences.
A Higher Potential for Abuse
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.
Many individuals may start out taking Dialaudid through a legal prescription obtained by their doctor. This prescription may be for pain relief following a surgery or for the management of discomfort from chronic illnesses.
Dilaudid may also be used within a hospital setting for pain management for patients during acute care. Even if used appropriately, a person can begin to develop an addiction or dependency, both physically and psychologically, to the effects that are produced by Dilaudid.
The Chemical Structure of Dialudid
The chemical structure of Dialudid is directly related to the effectiveness of this medication. Dilaudid is able to cross the blood-brain barrier in the body, thus having the capacity to infiltrate the central nervous system more rapidly.
Dilaudid is therefore able to be faster-acting that other pain relief drugs, providing a more concentrated form of relief per milligram basis that other comparable medications. Because of the rapid way in which Dilaudid acts on the brain and in the body, tolerance and dependency can result over a short-period of time.
Is Medication the Only Option?
With a drug that has the ability to offer effective relief for pain while being highly addictive, how can a person appropriately use this drug, and do natural alternatives exist?
As noted earlier, certain conditions and physiological states may result in moderate to severe pain for an individual.
While medication may seem to be the only solution to managing pain, it is important to know that alternative forms of therapy do exist for pain relief and management. These may include but are not limited to:
- Homeopathic Care
- Supplements, including various herbs, vitamins, and minerals
- Relaxation Techniques/Yoga/Meditation
- Medical Hypnosis
- Heat/Cold Therapy
- Dietary Modifications
- Massage Therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Physical Therapy
- Guided Imagery
Treatment Effectiveness Varies by Individual
As with all health related decisions, it is important to discuss these options with your doctor to determine what the best form of treatment for you is. The effectiveness of alternative therapies for pain relief may vary from person to person, and it is helpful to research and investigate these options thoroughly before trying.
Some individuals may also find that alternative therapies for pain relief work well in combination with traditional medications, or lessen the need for higher dosages of pain drugs.
Benefits of alternative therapies for pain management include minimal or no adverse side effects, decreased risk of dependency, withdrawal, and addiction, increased potential for healing, and long term recovery.
Sometimes a Medical Necessity
Many individuals may need to utilize the pain relief offered from narcotic medications, such as Dilaudid, out of medical necessity. While there are several negative effects from use of this medication, a health professional may deem it essential as part of therapeutic care and pain management.
If you are currently using Dilaudid as a part of your treatment for pain, it is critical to use the medication appropriately and as prescribed by your doctor. If at any point, you are finding yourself dependent or addicted to the medication, discuss these concerns with your physician. Addiction to Dilaudid can be detrimental, and the consequences you could suffer as a result of addiction can be damaging to every aspect of your life.
Learning More About Alternative Therapies
If you are interested in learning more about alternative therapies for pain management, take the time to consider, investigate, and discuss your options with your trusted health care professional.
If you are taking Dilaudid and wanting to transition to a natural form of pain relief, be sure to check in with your doctor about the most appropriate way to do this. Because of the nature of this medication, you may need to slowly wean off the prescription to prevent or minimize withdrawal effects.