Demerol Addiction and Abuse

Demerol is an opioid similar to morphine. It possesses high addictive potential at both recommended and unprescribed doses.

Addiction to Demerol

As with most prescription drugs, many people do not realize they can develop an addiction to Demerol. Regular abuse of this painkiller can quickly lead to tolerance and physical dependence. Physical dependence is when the user’s brain changes due to Demerol use, becoming reliant on the drug to function normally.

An addicted user may “lose” prescriptions in order to get new ones or visit the emergency room with a fake or self-inflicted injury in hopes of getting more of the drug. They may also begin doctor shopping to get prescriptions from each of them.

A person addicted to Demerol may also:

  • Isolate themselves from loved ones to hide their drug use
  • Continue using Demerol despite problems it’s causing with their health or relationships
  • Spend a lot of money on the drug or even steal in order to pay for it
  • Neglect responsibilities and relationships while using or looking for the drug

Once a Demerol addiction has taken hold, users often have a difficult time quitting the drug even if they really want to. When an addicted user quits taking Demerol, they’ll experience harsh withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and nausea. This causes many people to relapse in an attempt to feel better.

A treatment program that offers medical detox can help Demerol users break this cycle and successfully get sober. Call us now for help finding a program that fits your needs.

Understanding Demerol (Meperidine)

Demerol is the brand name of Meperidine, an opioid painkiller. The drug is used to treat moderate to severe pain, with narcotic effects similar to morphine or Oxycodone.

As classified by the Controlled Substances Act, Demerol is a schedule II controlled substance and it cannot legally be obtained without a prescription. Some people who abuse Demerol buy it on the streets under the names “dillies,” “D” or “dust.”

Demerol comes in tablet or liquid forms. The tablets are circular in shape, white in color and come in 50 mg or 100 mg strengths. As a liquid, Demerol comes in syrup form (to be taken orally) or as an injectible solution. However, the injectible form is typically only administered by medical professionals.

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Demerol Effects and Abuse

Using Demerol in higher doses, more frequently, or for longer than prescribed are all considered abuse of this drug. While Demerol tablets are intended for oral consumption, some people abuse the drug by:

  • Chewing the tablets
  • Crushing the tablets and snorting the powder
  • Crushing the tablets, dissolving the powder in water and injecting it

Abusing Demerol in these ways intensifies its painkilling properties. A euphoric, powerful rush hits the user, followed by prolonged sedation. This quick high and extreme relaxation are the main reasons people abuse Demerol.

Demerol abuse is dangerous, as it increases the risk of overdose. Taking large amounts of the drug can depress and halt respiratory function, which can be fatal. Other symptoms of Demerol overdose include:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Stupor
  • Weak or limp muscles
  • Hypothermia
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Coma

Dangers of Demerol Abuse

Demerol abuse can lead to an array of health problems, such as:

  • Sweating
  • Impaired coordination
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach cramps
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts
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Those who become addicted to Demerol often resort to snorting and/or injecting the drug to produce a more intense high. Many of these addicted people make the switch over to heroin because it is cheaper and produces the same kind of high.

Questions about treatment?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

Recognizing Demerol addiction

Outside of the physical signs of abuse associated with Demerol addiction, there are many other behavioral signs that heavily indicate there is a problem.

Some of the tell-tale signs of Demerol addiction are:

  • Isolation from friends and family to hide drug use
  • “Doctor shopping”
  • Stealing money from friends and family to feed their habit
  • Forging prescriptions
  • Becoming highly defensive when their drug use is brought up
  • Neglecting their obligations at work and at home

If you have a loved one that is struggling with Demerol addiction and in need of treatment, don’t hesitate to call us. Our addiction specialists can help you find a treatment center that fits your loved one’s needs.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Withdrawal from Demerol is different for each user. The symptoms that present are dependent on how long Demerol was abused, as well as how much of the drug was taken and how often.
Demerol withdrawal symptoms are typically moderate to severe and can include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoid thinking
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Hallucinations

Demerol users may also experience strong cravings when they first quit the drug, prompting some to begin using again. To reduce the likelihood of relapse, those who are addicted to Demerol should seek the help of a medical detoxification program.

Questions about treatment?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

Duration of Withdrawal

While the duration of withdrawal is different for everyone, most people begin experiencing symptoms within the first 24 hours after their last dose. For some, withdrawal can start as quickly as three hours after quitting. Symptoms typically peak after a few days and last a week or two.

Demerol Withdrawal Timeline

First 24 hours Symptoms typically begin three to 24 hours after the user’s last dose. Anxiety and irritability are usually the first symptoms to present.
Days 2-5 Withdrawal tends to peak over the next few days. The former user may feel uneasy, alarmed or even fearful. Paranoid thinking usually sets in, along with physical symptoms, like sweating and muscle aches. Demerol cravings may be strong.
Days 6-14 Over the next week or two, symptoms begin to fade. Any remaining symptoms should be mild.
Days 15+ Cravings for the drug may persist, but most, if not all, other symptoms should subside.

Demerol-specific Rehabs

Given that opioid painkillers are some of the most commonly abused drugs in America, many rehabs offer addiction treatment programs for Demerol users. When choosing a treatment center, it’s important for Demerol users to find a rehab with a medical detox program, such as:

Rally Point

Get Help Now

Help for addiction is only a phone call away. Addiction Center is committed to helping those struggling with Demerol addiction find effective treatment options. If you or a loved one are struggling, please call us now.