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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Dilaudid addiction

08/10/2006

Question:

Is recovery from iv dilaudid addiction more difficult than recovery from other opiates?

Answer:

Dilaudid is an analgesic narcotic that is 8 times more potent than morphine on a milligram basis. The severity of symptoms of withdrawal are related to the amount and duration of use.

Dilaudid is often called "drug store heroin" on the streets. It inhibits ascending pain pathways in the Central Nervous System, increases the pain threshold, and alters the perception of pain. It is highly addictive and tolerance develops rapidly.

Addiction is a major risk with prolonged use (over two to three weeks). Even moderate doses of some narcotics can result in a fatal overdose. With increasing doses of Dilaudid, individuals may first feel restless and nauseous and then progress to loss of consciousness and abnormal breathing. Other risks include withdrawal symptoms that may last for months.

Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms can include:

For more information:

Go to the Addiction and Substance Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Deborah L Hoy, CNS Deborah L Hoy, CNS
Clinical Instructor at the College of Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University