How to Approach an Addict
Helping a loved one with a Dilaudid addiction can be incredibly challenging. It is important to be supportive and helpful without enabling your loved one to continue using. Some tips from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) for helping someone suffering from addiction include:
- Learning everything you can about Dilaudid addiction. The more you know, the more help you can provide.
- Expressing love and concern rather than shame, blame, or judgment.
- Offering support and showing a willingness to help.
- Encouraging professional treatment.
- Not expecting him to be able to quit without help.
- Continuing to support recovery as an ongoing process that doesn’t end after initial treatment.
- Understanding that relapse is not only possible, but likely, and that aftercare is crucial to long-term sobriety.
- Approaching your loved one alone first before staging a group intervention.
- Seeking professional help if you are unable to convince him to seek treatment.
If you plan to stage an intervention with your friend or loved one, there are some important key points to consider:
- The goal of an intervention is to present the addicted person with a structured opportunity to seek help and support to make positive life changes.
- An intervention consists of information, education, and support from friends and family. In some cases, addiction professionals such as counselors, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, or interventionists may be involved.
While it can helpful for anyone attempting to perform an intervention to get the help of a professional, it may be especially important if the individual:
- Has a history of severe mental illness.
- Is aggressive or violent.
- Is taking several mood-altering substances.
- Has discussed suicide or exhibited suicidal behavior.
Many people choose to use the CRAFT method of intervention. CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) is designed to help people who initially refuse treatment to get the help they desperately need.
CRAFT is based on principles of positive reinforcement and effective communication strategies from behavioral therapy and community-based approaches. CRAFT emphasizes:
- Motivation building.
- Life enrichment.
- Safety training.
- Understanding the causes of behavior (functional analysis).
- Effective communication skills.
- Allowing natural consequences to take place.
- Treatment entry training.
- Contingency management training.
There are several different treatment options for individuals battling Dilaudid addiction. The first step is usually medically assisted and overseen detox. During medically assisted detox, the client will slowly taper their dose of Dilaudid under the care of a physician in order to minimize uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. Depending on the severity of the addiction, detox may take place on an outpatient basis or under full 24-hour medical supervision at a detox facility, hospital, or treatment center. Some detox programs will not offer medications but rather solely a supportive and abstinent environment.
These programs are referred to as non-clinically managed, or “social,” detox programs.
There are many maintenance medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone prescribed for opiate addiction that may be used to assist with detoxification or to prevent relapse on a long-term basis. These are best used in combination with other types of treatment such as:
- Inpatient or in-facility treatment: Drug addiction treatment that takes place in a residential center on a full-time basis for a specified period of time. Inpatient treatment typically includes detox programs, individual and group counseling and therapy, support groups, relapse prevention, and other specialized services, amenities, and alternative therapies.
- Outpatient drug abuse treatment: Outpatient treatment typically consists of the same type of therapies, except treatment takes place on a part-time basis.
Fewer opioid deaths among those who attend addiction treatment
Deaths rates for opioid users who only sought treatment at a hospital were double the rates for those who engaged in an addiction treatment program, according to a 2017 study. Addiction specialists can take recovery care beyond medical help and into comprehensive care that addresses psychological challenges, relapse prevention skills, and the transition into day-to-day life in recovery. Dilaudid addiction isn’t only a medical problem, and treatment must address the many other aspects that can contribute to relapse death.
Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2017). Opioid Abusers at Higher Death Risk When Addiction Specialists Not Part of Care. Medline Plus.
Is Dilaudid Addictive?
Dilaudid (hydromorphone) has a high potential for abuse, especially when taken in a way other than prescribed. More than 1 million Americans aged 12 and older have reported abusing Dilaudid at some point in their lifetime, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). While the risk for abuse and addiction is certainly high among those taking it recreationally for its euphoric high, those taking it with a prescription are also at risk of addiction due to the potential development of tolerance and dependence.
While the risk for abuse and addiction is certainly high among those taking it recreationally for its euphoric high, those taking it with a prescription are also at risk of addiction due to the potential development of tolerance and dependence.
Tolerance can develop quickly and people will need more of the drug to achieve the initial effect. Over time, the user may develop a physical dependence to the drug and experience wide-ranging withdrawal symptoms when suddenly lowering or stopping use.
What Are the Signs of Addiction?
Some common signs of Dilaudid addiction/abuse include:
- Needing more of the drug to achieve the same effects.
- Using the drugs in a way other than prescribed.
- Taking the drug to feel high rather than to relieve pain.
Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Excessive sweating.
- Muscle and joint pain.
- Runny nose.
- Appetite loss.
- Frequent mood swings.
Am I Addicted?
Some signs that you may be addicted include:
- Forging prescriptions for the drug.
- Doctor shopping, or visiting multiple doctors to get prescriptions.
- Hiding use from family and friends.
- Missing out on activities and hobbies due to drug use.
- Neglecting work or other commitments due to drug use.
- Losing interest in maintaining hygiene or personal appearance.
- Feeling consumed by thoughts and cravings for the drug.
- Feeling unable to control your Dilaudid use.
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- NCADD: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. (2015). Helping a Family Member or Friend.
- NCADD: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. (2015). Intervention: Tips and Guidelines.
- American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Community Reinforcement and Family Training: CRAFT.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse and Health. (2016). Medical Detoxification.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse and Health. (2016). DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.
- Drug Enforcement Agency. (n.d.). Drug Fact Sheet: Hydromorphone.
- Drug Enforcement Agency: Office of Diversion Control. Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section. (2013). Hydromorphone.
- Berger, F. (2014). Substance Use Disorder. U.S. National Library of Medicine