What Is Hydromorphone?

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Hydromorphone, marketed as Dilaudid, is an opioid analgesic prescribed to alleviate severe pain by intercepting pain signals within the brain. Administered orally in tablet form, it should be ingested with water as directed to achieve optimal therapeutic effects. Read on to learn more about this prescription medication and discover how to connect with compassionate and effective opioid addiction treatment.

Hydromorphone Side Effects

Common side effects of hydromorphone include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Euphoria
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching

If these effects are mild, they may diminish within a few days. Consult your healthcare provider if they persist or worsen.

Serious adverse effects of hydromorphone include:

  • Heart problems: Fast or slow heart rate, chest pain
  • Eye or vision changes: Difficulty seeing, blurry vision, small pupils
  • Stomach problems: Constipation, stomach pain, bowel blockage
  • Nervous system and muscle problems: Headache, tremors, unusual eye movements
  • Mood or behavior changes: Agitation, anxiety, depression, hallucinations
  • Blood pressure changes: Flushing, high or low blood pressure
  • Adrenal insufficiency: Persistent tiredness, muscle weakness, abdominal pain
  • Androgen deficiency: Fatigue, sleep issues, decreased energy, extreme drowsiness

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any serious side effects hydromorphone or if you feel that your symptoms are life-threatening.

What Is Hydromorphone Used for?

Hydromorphone is an opioid analgesic that works similarly to other medications in this category. Its mechanism of action involves interacting with MORs (mu opioid receptors) in the brain, although the precise method by which it alleviates pain remains not fully understood.

The oral tablet form of hydromorphone is prescribed to address severe pain unresponsive to other treatments. Its extended-release variant is specifically tailored for people who need around-the-clock pain management.

This medication is sometimes incorporated into combination therapy alongside other drugs.

Is Hydromorphone Addictive?

Like all Schedule II controlled substances, hydromorphone can he highly addictive. While it can effectively manage severe pain when used as prescribed, misuse or prolonged use can lead to dependence and addiction.

Factors contributing to the addictive nature of hydromorphone include its ability to produce feelings of euphoria and its impact on the brain’s reward system. Regular use leads to the development of tolerance, prompting the need for higher doses to achieve the same pain-relieving effects, increasing the risk of addiction.

Use hydromorphone exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional and avoid altering dosage or frequency of doses without medical guidance. If you or someone you care about is struggling with hydromorphone addiction, seek help from a healthcare provider or addiction specialist for effective management and recovery.

Signs of Hydromorphone Addiction

Identifying potential signs of hydromorphone addiction involves recognizing behavioral and physical changes indicative of substance misuse. While addiction can manifest differently from person to person, common signs include:

  • Craving hydromorphone: Experiencing intense urges or desires to use hydromorphone, often leading to compulsive drug-seeking behaviors.
  • Difficulty controlling use: Struggling to regulate hydromorphone intake despite awareness of its negative consequences, such as health risks or social impairment.
  • Social impairment: Significant disruptions in social interactions and relationships due to hydromorphone use, including withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities and withdrawal from social circles.
  • Risky use: Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence of hydromorphone despite potential harm to self or others.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Prioritizing hydromorphone use over personal or professional obligations, leading to neglect and deterioration in these areas.
  • Tolerance: Developing tolerance to hydromorphone’s effects, meaning that increased doses or more frequent doses are required to achieve the desired effects or maintain pain relief.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: Experiencing physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation or reduction of hydromorphone use – nausea, vomiting, sweating, anxiety, or insomnia, for example.
  • Loss of control: Inability to control hydromorphone use, often resulting in unsuccessful attempts to cut down or quit.
  • Continued use despite adverse outcomes: Persisting in hydromorphone use despite awareness of its negative impact on physical health, mental well-being, or personal relationships.
  • Preoccupation with use: Spending significant time and effort obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of hydromorphone, often at the expense of other activities and responsibilities.
  • Interference with life goals: Hydromorphone use interfering with long-term life goals, aspirations, and personal development, stunting progress and fulfillment in various areas of life.

Recognizing these signs early on can streamline timely intervention and support for those struggling with hydromorphone addiction, promoting better outcomes and improved quality of life. If you or someone you know exhibits these signs, seek professional help.

Get Treatment for Hydromorphone Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

At Ohio Recovery Centers, we treat prescription drug addiction in an outpatient setting. This modality enables you to fulfill your everyday obligations while participating in weekday therapy sessions at our facility in Cincinnati, OH.

Streamline the intensity of opioid withdrawal by choosing medical detoxification at Ohio Recovery Centers. Access medications and continuous care to mitigate the discomfort and complications associated with hydromorphone withdrawal.

During ongoing treatment, you can access an individualized blend of therapies that blend medications, behavioral interventions, and holistic treatments for a whole-body approach to recovery from hydromorphone addiction. All of our treatment programs also incorporate comprehensive aftercare planning.

Call 877-679-2132 for effective and evidence-based opioid addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn