What Is Demerol (Meperidine)
Demerol is the name brand of the painkiller meperidine. Belonging the class of narcotic analgesics, Demerol acts on the brain and central nervous system to slow down the response to pain. As an opioid, Demerol has similar effects to morphine, codeine, and oxycodone.
Demerol is generally prescribed in tablet-from, although it is occasionally taken as a liquid or syrup. Each tablet of Demerol contain between 50 mg to 100 mg of meperidine. The tablets should always be swallowed, and never crushed, broken, or chewed. The liquid or syrup is taken with a measuring spoon, not a household spoon. Taking the syrup undiluted may cause the person’s mouth to go numb.
For a prescription, Doctors recommend taking Demerol every 3-4 with hours with food, but only while the pain persists. Taking more than directed can result in Demerol addiction and abuse.
Schedule I drugs are the most likely to be abuse, while Schedule V drugs are the least. This means Schedule II opioids like Demerol are highly addictive and dangerous. If a person succumbs to Demerol addiction, they will likely exhibit several signs and symptoms of abuse.
Signs and Symptoms Of Demerol Addiction
The following list includes some general signs of Demerol addiction:
- A constant craving for Demerol
- Lack of control using Demerol
- Continual use of Demerol despite obvious harm
- Compulsively using Demerol
Demerol addiction is likely to cause unintended side effects in the person struggling with abuse. While side effects are possible for anyone prescribed Demerol, abusing it or taking it for nonmedical reasons may increase health risks. Some general side effects include blurred vision, chest discomfort, dizziness, and difficulty swallowing.
An individual suffering from Demerol addiction is likely to show some external signs of abuse. These observable signs include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, lightheadedness, sweating, and a general state of relaxation and calm.
Demerol addiction may also cause the person to experience adverse symptoms such as mood changes, weakness, headache, hallucinations, involuntary muscle movements, disorientation, and confusion.
The signs and symptoms of Demerol addiction should not be taken lightly. People showing any signs mentioned above should seek treatment immediately; Demerol addiction is dangerous and potentially life threatening.
Dangers Of Demerol Addiction
Even if used as recommended and prescribed to relieve pain, Demerol is still dangerous and needs to be taken with extreme caution. However, people will continue to misuse and abuse prescription drugs regardless of the inherent dangers involved. It was recorded, in 2014, that around 4.3 million people used narcotic pain relievers for nonmedical reasons.
Someone struggling with Demerol addiction is likely to abuse the drug by crushing, snorting, chewing, or even injecting the drug. Injecting Demerol is generally reserved for patients before entering surgery, and injecting the drug without proper medical supervision is extremely dangerous. Abusing the drug in these ways result in the uncontrolled delivery of a powerful opioid, Demerol, thus increasing the risks of overdose and death.
Overdose is likely to stem from a Demerol addiction because the person may be taking more than directed, administering it in risky ways, and using it more frequently. Whether it’s accidental or on purpose, an opioid overdose may cause certain symptoms in the individual taking the drug.
Symptoms of a Demerol overdose may include small pupils, nausea/vomiting, and blue fingernails. An overdose can lead to death, especially when the person experiences respiratory depression (shallow or slow breathing), coma, and a weak pulse.
Signs And Symptoms Of Demerol Withdrawal
Opioids are likely to cause strong physical dependence if abused. A physical dependence aroused by Demerol addiction, for example, means the person relies on taking the drug in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be painful and cause extreme discomfort, and are generally experienced when long-term use is cut back or stopped abruptly.
Demerol, or opioid withdrawal, is likely to occur in two phases: early and later. Some early signs of withdrawal are agitation, yawning, running nose, anxiety, muscle aches, and insomnia.
Later symptoms of withdrawal from Demerol addiction may include vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, goose bumps, diarrhea, and dilated pupils. While withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and difficult to deal with, they are not life-threatening. However, trying to attempt withdrawal on your own can be very hard and potentially dangerous.
If experiencing withdrawal, it’s useful and effective to seek treatment. There are various methods available to treat Demerol addiction and withdrawal, including medically supervised detoxification.
Detoxification, or detox, is defined as freeing someone from an intoxicating and addictive substance in the body. This person is typically addicted and dependent on the drug before detox occurs. The ultimate goal of detox for a Demerol addiction is to eliminate the effects of the drug in a safe and effective way.
Medically supervised detox can take as little as a day and as long as two months. This process works by administering an opioid substitute, like methadone or buprenorphine, and then reducing the dose over a period of time. This can be effective for a person suffering from Demerol addiction because they have likely formed a physical dependence to opioids, and therefore need opioids in their system to avoid physical withdrawal.
By administering the opioid substitute, medical professionals can control dosage and wean the afflicted individual off physical dependence of the drug without experiencing withdrawals.
Other opioid substitutes useful for detoxifying a Demerol addiction include clonidine, naltrexone, suboxone, and subutex. It is crucial to not attempt using opioid substitutes for detoxification without professional assistance. There are a wide variety of treatment options available for those dealing with Demerol addiction.
Demerol Addiction Treatment
Treatments for Demerol addiction and other opioid abuse are wide ranging and abundant. Treatments will likely include medications, counselling, and support. Which treatment the individual chooses will depend on their individual preferences, as all treatment methods have varying degrees of success.
Generally speaking, Demerol addiction treatment is split into two broad categories: behavioral and medically assisted.
Medically assisted treatment, or MAT, will often feature detoxification methods like those listed above. MAT is generally combined with a form of behavioral treatment. Behavioral treatments include the following:
- Inpatient Treatment – By far the most effective measure, inpatient treatment consists of constant care by medical professionals in an environment that is conducive with healing and improvement. Inpatient treatment allows for both therapy and MAT to detox and beat addiction.
- Recovery groups – these include self-help groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and SMART recovery. They allow people to share their thoughts and feelings with those struggling with addiction and abuse.
- Outpatient Counselling – this means individuals will receive counselling or treatment in their own environment. This treatment can be hard and difficult as social and environmental factors likely influenced Demerol addiction in the first place.
Get Help For A Demerol Addiction Today
A Demerol addiction can lead to serious health risks, a poor quality of life, and even death. There is no reason to continue down the path self-destructive addiction when there are treatment options available.
The first step is often the hardest step, but making the initial call goes a long way. Call now and begin the path of recovery for you or your loved one suffering from Demerol addiction.
DailyMed – Demerol
US National Library of Medicine – Meperidine