Can Untreated Dilaudid Addiction Lead to Heroin Abuse?

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Calendar icon Last Updated: 09/15/2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Unfortunately, if you do not seek Dilaudid addiction treatment when you have been abusing the drug for a long time, there is a possibility that this could lead to heroin abuse.

Dilaudid Abuse and Addiction

Normally, Dilaudid (a brand name drug containing hydromorphone) is only prescribed to individuals who are already tolerant to the effects of opioids (National Library of Medicine). This is because the drug can create very strong effects in those who use it. Thus, abusers of Dilaudid often experience intense side effects and other issues, including a high chance of overdose.

Dilaudid addiction, just like any other addiction syndrome, will require professional treatment, and it can be extremely beneficial to discuss your situation with a doctor in order to find out what kind of treatment program will be best for you. However, those who abuse Dilaudid consistently and already are or are likely to become addicted sometimes don’t seek help, which can lead to even more dangerous consequences.

Do Dilaudid Addicts Turn to Heroin Abuse?

Regrettably, people who abuse prescription drugs and do not receive the help they need often become abusers of even more intense, dangerous substances like heroin. As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin.” This issue can occur for several reasons.

  • A person starts abusing heroin because they have already become extremely tolerant to the effects of Dilaudid or another type of prescription opioid. Because heroin’s effects are so intense, a person who wants to experience a strong high again might turn to this drug in order to gain what they want.
  • A person starts abusing heroin because they can get it cheaper and easier than Dilaudid. The former drug is actually much easier to obtain and cheaper to buy, which means many people will turn to it just to get their fix more easily and more often.
  • A person starts abusing heroin because the route of administration causes the effects of the drug to come on more quickly. Heroin is usually either injected or smoked, and these methods of abuse cause the drug to reach the brain much faster. This is a large part of the reason why heroin feels like it is causing a stronger high than other opioids.

This is not the case for every individual, but the longer a person abuses a prescription opioid and the more addicted to it they become, the more likely they will be to look for a greater, cheaper, stronger fix. This is also more likely to occur if the individual, instead of seeking help, continues to abuse Dilaudid and/or other opioids.

Avoiding Heroin and Dilaudid Abuse

If you have been abusing Dilaudid for some time, you are putting yourself at risk for a number of issues, one of them being the possibility of switching to heroin abuse. The best way to make a change, especially if addiction has already set in, is to seek professional help in a rehab center.

It can be extremely difficult to stop using drugs on your own, and addiction causes a person to lose control over their substance abuse, even if they once were in control of it (NIDA). After you consider your needs and choose the right rehab program for your safe recovery, you can also practice these other steps to avoid any more opioid abuse.

  • Stay aware of yourself. If you begin to experience cravings, withdrawal symptoms, or other issues that may cause you to relapse, seek help from your doctor or another medical professional.
  • Ask a friend to stay with you while you are going through treatment if you choose outpatient care.
  • Use methods like meditation or yoga to learn to control or recognize your cravings when they occur and to avoid giving into them.

You can avoid the possibility of switching to heroin as well as a number of other possible scenarios that could come from severe Dilaudid addiction by seeking help today.