Dilaudid Withdrawal & Detox

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

Editorial Policy | Research Policy

If you are located in Washington state, you probably know that the opioid epidemic has struck the West Coast just as hard as other parts of the country. You or someone you know may be using opioid pain medications, and there are treatment options available. When opioid abuse affects you or a loved one’s life, consider Dilaudid addiction and detox treatment.

Dilaudid is a commonly prescribed opioid pain medication. It is given by prescription only and is used for the management of severe pain. It is commonly used for cancer pain and in surgical patients. It causes a euphoric high by interacting with mu-opioid receptors on the surface of brain cells.

When someone is dependent on or addicted to Dilaudid, they will likely need to enroll in medical detox to cleanse their body of Dilaudid and take the first step toward recovery.

Dilaudid Withdrawal

Dilaudid is the brand name of the medication hydromorphone, which works by reducing the sensation of pain the body. It activates mu-opioid receptors on brain cells (neurons), and this activation decreases the signals neurons fire after becoming activated by pain signals.

Brain cells create chemicals to send messages to other brain cells, which are called neurotransmitters. Some of these neurotransmitters are used to send or stop pain signals. Normally, pain is a protective mechanism that signals when someone needs to stop doing something harmful. However, too much pain can cause short- and long-term problems, so the body must also be able to shut off these pain signals. Certain neurotransmitters do this by interacting with opioid receptors.

Dilaudid works by activating opioid receptors unusually powerfully and for an unusually long amount of time. Dilaudid withdrawal happens when a person stops using Dilaudid and they experience uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms are the body’s way of readjusting to functioning without the presence of the drug.

Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms

Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms happen because Dilaudid changes the way brain cells interact with each other. When opioid receptors are activated too intensely, brain cells adjust by making less of them. This effect can make some pain more intense.

Opioid receptors do different actions in different parts of the body, so when their levels change, a person can experience all kinds of symptoms of abuse.

Some common symptoms of withdrawal are:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Heart pounding
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils

If a person has been using opioids for a long time, as in months to years, they may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

Dilaudid Detox Process

During the Dilaudid detox process, a person’s body eliminates and metabolizes the opioid. Due to the discomfort of this process, some people may need to visit a professional rehab visit like The Recovery Village Ridgefield. This full-service facility offers medical detox care in a safe, supportive environment with 24-hour clinical support.

Stopping Dilaudid use cold turkey or attempting to quit without medical help can be dangerous. Even if a person is taking legally prescribed Dilaudid and not abusing it, they might still need medical supervision to detox safely.

Some of the benefits of a structured Dilaudid addiction treatment program include:

  • Balanced diet: meals are designed with recovery and health in mind. Addiction is usually coupled with a poor diet, so restoring healthy eating habits will help the recovery process.
  • Build new healthy habits: besides healthy eating, rehab can help create new habits around exercise, hobbies and free time. These are important places to begin the recovery process.
  • Community: the people one spends time with the most in rehab will understand what they are going through. They will either have gone through it themselves or are specially trained to foster success.
  • Comprehensive care: for those needing medical care as well as psychological support, every area of a person’s life is looked at to address the whole person.
  • Establish healthy boundaries living with a substance use disorder means healthy boundaries may never have been established. Rehab helps to build those boundaries and give a person the tools to maintain them after discharge.
  • Medical support: when detox is life-threatening, medical staff are trained to help people through these situations.
  • Remove negative influences: drug use and addiction are often influenced heavily by association. The people that a person uses drugs with can sabotage treatment and separation from these influences is critical.
  • Structure: one of the most important benefits of inpatient rehab is the structured environment. They are structured to help you succeed in both the short and long-term.

Dilaudid Detox Timeline

Although each person’s recovery is different, the Dilaudid detox timeline generally follows the same steps.

  • Dilaudid detox: One month. Typically acute detox takes about this long for most people. This is when the drug completely leaves the body.
  • Dilaudid withdrawal time: One to three months. Withdrawal symptoms usually last long after the drug has left the body. For some people, this stage can go on for years.
  • Medical treatment: One to three months. Medical care is often supportive and helps with the symptoms as a person is withdrawing.
  • Support and therapy: Years to life. This might include counseling, narcotics anonymous, or group therapy. Detox and withdrawal are challenging, and this phase should last as long as you need it to.

Find a Dilaudid Detox Center in Washington

If Dilaudid or opioid use is a problem for you or a loved one, it might be time to start considering a rehab facility. To take the first step toward recovery from Dilaudid addiction, it’s important to find a high-quality detox center in Washington.

The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers a standalone center devoted entirely to medical detox care, The Recovery Village Ridgefield Detox Center. This center offers 24-hour care, mental health counseling, personalized treatment and a seamless transition to further care at The Recovery Village Ridgefield.

To find a Dilaudid detox center that can meet your needs, several resources can help, including:

  • Talking with a doctor
  • Calling The Recovery Village Ridgefield to speak with a representative (free and confidential)
  • Using a treatment locator map

If you would like to learn more detox care for Dilaudid, contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield. Our team can talk to you about specific programs and payment options that fit your needs or the needs of your loved one. The decision to enter inpatient rehab is not an easy one, and we are happy to help guide you.


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    PDR by ConnectiveRX. “Dilaudid Summary.” 2018. Accessed 7 May 2019.

    Farrell, M. “Opiate Withdrawal.” Addiction (Abingdon, England), 1994. Accessed 7 May 2019.

    Drug Enforcement Administration. “2018 National Drug Threat Assessment”. October 2018. Accessed 7 May 2019.

    The Mayo Clinic. “What to Do When It’s Time to Stop Opioids.” 2018. Accessed 7 May 2019.

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Behavioral Health Treatment Locator Map.” (n.d.) Accessed May 2019.