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Is Dilaudid An Opioid/Opiate?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

April 23, 2019

Dilaudid is an opioid used in the treatment of severe and chronic pain. This substance comes with a high potential for abuse and addiction. Getting help for opioid addiction can prevent severe side effects and overdose.

In the face of the nation’s rising opioid epidemic, people may wonder whether their prescription medications fall under the opiate category of drugs. Pain medications like Dilaudid are considered opioids and come with an increased risk of abuse and addiction.

Dilaudid is the brand name for the opioid drug hydromorphone. This medication is used in the treatment of severe and chronic pain.

Hydromorphone is one of the more powerful opioids used to treat pain. It is typically only prescribed for short-term use and is only available through prescription. Using Dilaudid for longer than prescribed can increase the risk of dependence and addiction.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are drugs that are derived from the poppy plant. Because of their pain-relieving properties, opioids are most commonly used to treat and manage pain. In addition to hydromorphone, other common opioids include morphine and oxycodone.

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Opioids come in three different forms – natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic. Dilaudid is a semi-synthetic opioid, meaning that is derived from both the natural poppy plant and synthetic properties.

Opioids bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, changing the way it perceives pain. This can result in pain relief and feelings of pleasure and euphoria. These effects can positively impact the brain’s reward system, which can trigger the urge to continue taking the drug.

Because of these effects, opioids can be highly addictive and lead to abuse and dependence. The more Dilaudid a person takes, the more likely he or she is to experience tolerance and dependence. Continuing to use more and more of the drug can increase a person’s risk of negative side effects and overdose.

Getting Help For Dilaudid Abuse And Addiction

Dilaudid is an incredibly potent medication that should be taken exactly as prescribed. Even when used appropriately, addiction and dependence can still occur.

Opioid addiction can have a negative impact on every aspect of a person’s life. Many people continue to abuse Dilaudid despite negative consequences to avoid withdrawal symptoms. This only worsens the addiction and increases the risk for serious side effects.

Seeking professional treatment can help a person break the cycle of opioid addiction. Many people have found success through addiction treatment such as inpatient programs. Inpatient programs provide structured and intensive plans of recovery that help people achieve and maintain sobriety.

To learn more about whether Dilaudid is an opioid and treatment options available for Dilaudid addiction, contact a treatment specialist today.

Drug Enforcement Administration - Hydromorphone

ScienceDirect - Hydromorphone

Narconon - Hydromorphone Information

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