Smoking Dilaudid | Effects & Dangers

Smoking the opioid Dilaudid allows the drug to enter the body quickly, resulting in an immediate euphoric sensation. However, this type of drug abuse can result in serious side effects such as lung damage and dangers like an increased risk of overdose.x

Dilaudid, the brand name for hydromorphone, is a prescription opioid analgesic medication used to provide pain relief in those suffering from severe pain. 

This Schedule II controlled substance, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has the potential for abuse which may lead to psychological or physical dependence.

Those who smoke, snort, plug, or inject Dilaudid instead of taking the painkiller as prescribed can experience more intense side effects due to how quickly this opioid agonist enters the system. 

Effects Of Smoking Dilaudid

Smoking Dilaudid is a form of drug use that creates an intense high. Those who wish to engage in this substance abuse can crush the pill into a powder to smoke. Some may sprinkle Dilaudid on other drugs, a process referred to as polydrug use.

Common Side Effects

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some of the common side effects of Dilaudid may consist of:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • immediate rush of euphoria
  • headache
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • heavy sedation

Serious Side Effects

More serious complications can arise when a person participates in this type of substance abuse, including:

  • severe enhancement of side effects
  • Dilaudid dependency and addiction
  • negative impact on lung health
  • intense withdrawal symptoms

Dangers Of Smoking Dilaudid

Smoking Dilaudid is dangerous in a variety of ways. Not only will the drug enter your body quickly, it exits fast as well.

This can create withdrawal symptoms, such as runny nose or drug cravings, which may become severe. In addition, there is considerable risk of damage to lung health.

Negative Impact On Lung Health

Smoking Dilaudid can create short-term and long-term dangers to lung health. Some of the symptoms a person may experience include:

  • persistent coughing
  • chronic sore throat
  • lung infections
  • compromised immune system
  • chronic pneumonia
  • bronchitis

Those with underlying conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or sleep apnea should avoid Dilaudid as breathing problems such as respiratory depression can occur.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions can take place when certain substances are combined with Dilaudid. Those who take Dilaudid should avoid the following:

  • methadone
  • alcohol
  • benzodiazepines
  • stimulants
  • supplements
  • opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone
  • fentanyl
  • muscle relaxants
  • over-the-counter pain medications
  • other prescription drugs similar to Dilaudid
  • medications which contain opiates

Before combining any of the above medications, speak with your healthcare provider. Serious drug interactions can take place when Dilaudid and other substances interact. Additionally, there is also an increased risk of overdose.

Dilaudid Overdose

A potential life-saving medication known as naloxone (Narcan) can help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. However, a hydromorphone overdose can result in death, despite attempts of reviving the patient.

As stated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), taking high doses of Dilaudid can lead to life-threatening overdose symptoms which may include

  • fluctuations in heart rate
  • clammy skin
  • coma
  • constricted pupils
  • respiratory depression or shallow breathing
  • muscle weakness
  • low blood pressure
  • cold body temperature

If you suspect a person is experiencing any of these side effects, contact 911 immediately.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one are struggling with Dilaudid abuse, consider addiction treatment at Ohio Recovery Center. At our inpatient facility, we provide treatment options such as medical detox, evidence-based practices like behavioral therapy, and medication-assisted treatment.

To learn more about what we offer, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration — Hydromorphone
  2. Food and Drug Administration — Dilaudid
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse — What Are Prescription Opioids?
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Hydromorphone
  5. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Hydromorphone Overdose
  6. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior — A laboratory study of hydromorphone and cyclazocine on smoking behavior in residential polydrug users

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: March 8, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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