Demerol is a pain medication that is most often prescribed to post-op patients. It can also be prescribed to those who are experiencing acute pain. This narcotic is an opiate medication that works by blocking pain receptor sites in the brain.
Those who abuse and eventually become addicted to Demerol usually do so unintentionally. Demerol is an incredibly powerful and potent drug, so developing an addiction is relatively easy to do.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from a Demerol addiction, it’s likely that you have a lot of questions you’d like to have answered. These might include:
Whether you’re engaged in Demerol abuse or addiction, it’s important to get answers to these questions. Make sure that you are informed and educated about what to expect, and what you can do to recover. Check out this guide for all of the information you need to make an informed decision.
Demerol is not a drug that gets a lot of media attention. As a result, many people don’t even realize that it’s possible to abuse Demerol or get addicted to this drug.
Demerol abuse refers to the act of using Demerol outside of a doctor’s prescription. It could mean:
Demerol abuse does not indicate that an addiction is present, but each use of the drug does increase the risk of an addiction occurring.
Demerol abuse statistics tell us that the number of ER visits that resulted from an overuse of prescription painkillers increased 111% between 2004 and 2008. There has also been a sharp increase in the amount of Demerol that has been stolen from hospitals. This number has gone up by over 16%. These statistics indicate that Demerol abuse is certainly on the rise, but it’s helpful to understand the difference between Demerol abuse and addiction.
(I created this image, so feel free to use it!)
Demerol, which is also known as meperidine, is a synthetic opioid agonist. It is not found in nature, and is chemically made in a lab. With that said, it behaves similarly to substances that are derived from opium. The chemical structure of meperidine contains 6 carbon sugars and a piperidine ester.
This drug mimics endogenous chemicals that activate opioid receptors. As a result, it’s considered to be chemically similar to morphine. The only difference is that Demerol does not appear to have an effect on smooth muscles, like morphine. Due to this reason, it does not cause side effects like constipation or cough suppression.
Meperidine is often prescribed to treat moderate-to-severe pain. It’s most often prescribed to patients after a surgery. The effects of this drug are relatively short, and will last only about 1 to 2 hours.
There are 3 subclasses of opioids. They include phenylpiperidines, phenanthrenes, benzomorphans, diphenylheptanes and phenylpropyl amines. Meperidine falls in the phenylpiperidines subclass.
Depending on the situation, doctors may prescribe Demerol in various forms. This drug comes in three different forms. All three forms are classified as Schedule II Controlled Substances. The forms and dosage strength of Demerol are as follows:
The active ingredient in Demerol is meperidine. Those who are purchasing this drug illegally are not likely going to use the actual name. Instead, they’ll use a nickname or a street name. Although Demerol is not a common or popular drug that most people would pick up from their local dealers, it, surprisingly, has quite a few nicknames. They include:
Another surprising point is that all forms of Demerol can be found on the streets. You can purchase meperidine in both its liquid and tablet form.
You don’t have to go down a shady alleyway to purchase Demerol. Many people will purchase Demerol illegally from others who have a prescription. Some Demerol abusers may even try to find this drug online. There are many different avenues for acquiring this prescription medication.
So, how long does it take the body to clear meperidine? The answer will vary from one individual to another. It’s important to note that meperidine gets broken down into normeperidine. These metabolites can still have an effect on the body.
Meperidine has a half-life of only 2 to 5 hours, while normeperidine has a half-life of approximately 15 to 30 hours. It can take the body some time to remove this metabolite. With that said, it takes patients with renal impairment even longer to get rid of this chemical. Studies show that it can take up to 35 to 40 hours for it to be removed.
Other studies have shown that it takes children much longer to completely eliminate Demerol from their body. In a sample of 21 infants, it took the infants an average of 10.7 hours to completely clear the meperidine from their system. With that said, the half-life is drastically reduced with age.
In short, it takes the body several days to completely remove Demerol from the body.
Your behaviors may also indicate whether or not you have an addiction to Demerol. Perhaps you’ve started purchasing it illegally, or maybe you’ve visited multiple doctors in order to get prescriptions for it. These actions are clear indicators that an addiction is present.
Demerol can really help those who are in pain get the relief that they need. Since this drug is so potent, it will have some unsavory short-term and long-term effects. Each patient will experience different types of effects. The intensity and severity of the effects will also vary.
Check out the short-term effects and long-term effects of meperidine use below:
Since Demerol is such a potent opioid, it does come with some undesirable side effects. Most of the side effects will subside with time or will not result in permanent damage to the body. With that said, those who experience persistent and worsening side effects may want to consider speaking with their doctor. Some side effects of Demerol include:
There are some side effects that are considered to be more serious. Those who experience uncontrollable shaking of the hands, twitching, hives and rashes, urinary retention, hallucinations, seizures and irregular heartbeats should seek medical help. They may need to switch to another medication.
Demerol is already a very potent drug. As a result, it’s not a good idea to mix it with any other substances, like alcohol and other drug. The alcohol and drug interactions can end up causing more problems than before. Both substances may enhance and magnify the effects of the other. This increases the drug user’s risk of overdosing even when taking a smaller dose.
In other situations, the other substances may suppress the effects of Demerol. If this happens, then the drug abuser may continue to take a larger and larger dose in order to achieve the same high. Unfortunately, this also means that the drug abuser may end up overdosing, as they overwhelm their system with the opioids.
Those who take substances that suppress the effects of the other may also miss crucial symptoms of an overdose. As a result, they can easily reach the point of no return.
Mixing meperidine with any other substance is never a good idea. With that said, TripSit is a website that has taken a look at the drug interactions between opioids and other substances. The table is listed below. Some substances are more dangerous than others. Those who are combining these substances must be very cautious.
LSD: Low risk and no synergy
Mushrooms: Low risk and no synergy
DMT: Low risk and no synergy
Mescaline: Low risk and no synergy
DOx: Low risk and no synergy
NBOMes: Low risk and no synergy
2C-x: Low risk and no synergy
2-C-T-X: Low risk and no synergy
5-MeO-xxT: Low risk and no synergy
Cannabis: Low risk and synergy
MDMA: Low risk and no synergy/ Caution
Caffeine: Low risk and no synergy
GHB/ GBL: Dangerous
SSRIs: Low risk and no synergy
Alcohol is one of the most common substances mixed with other drugs. It’s also one of the most dangerous substances to mix with Demerol. To illustrate the dangers of polysubstance abuse, we explore the drug interactions between meperidine and alcohol.
First and foremost, meperidine is a CNS depressant. This means that it causes a user to relax and unwind. Demerol will also relax the cardiac and respiratory system. Most people who use this medication will have a lower heart rate and also slower breathing.
Alcohol is also a CNS depressant. It has a similar effect on the body and mind as opioids, like Demerol. Liquor can cause a person to relax and become calmer.
Due to this reason, mixing these two substances can result in some very serious consequences. Both Demerol and alcohol will have a depressive effect on the CNS. When mixed together, these effects are enhanced and magnified.
When a person consumes both Demerol and alcohol, his or her brain will not be able to metabolize either substance quickly enough. This means that both substances will depress the CNS system, and will become a hazard. Those who mix alcohol with Demerol are much more likely to overdose. Their respiratory and cardiac system will go into depression and then fail.
Some patients may have a sensitivity to opioids. They may be allergic to codeine and get an upset stomach after taking the drug. Or, they may even get hives after taking morphine. This doesn’t mean that the patients are necessarily allergic to opioids. In fact, true allergies are very rare. They affect less than 2% of all patients.
If this happens to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t take any opioids. Instead, it means that you simply need to take opioids that are structurally different from the ones that you are sensitive to.
Each opioid will have a different cross-sensitivity risk. Some are more likely to cause uncomfortable effects than others. It all depends on how similar the chemical structures are.
Demerol has a low cross-sensitivity risk. This is probably because its chemical structure is missing a 6-OH group of morphine.
Because Demerol is a prescribed medication, it’s quite common for people to believe that it’s really not all that dangerous for them. They may even read the label and see the addiction warnings that are required to be there, but wave them off. They assume that their doctors would never give them something that would hurt them.
These same individuals will often try to stop taking Demerol immediately once they learn of their addictions. This can be very dangerous, and can even result in terrible medical complications. Some of the more common symptoms of withdrawal from Demerol include:
Each Demerol abuse will experience different types of withdrawal symptoms. The intensity and severity of the symptoms will also vary depending on the length of the abuse and depending on the biological makeup of each substance abuser. Each instance of stopping it is likely to be different from the last attempt.
Professional help can lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms and increase the chances of a successful recovery.
Demerol is a relatively short-acting drug. As a result, it can be cleared from the body within a relatively short period of time. When this happens, someone who has a physical and chemical dependence on the drug will experience withdrawal symptoms.
The withdrawal process for most opiates will usually take anywhere from 7 to 14 days. Demerol loosely follows this guideline. The approximate withdrawal timeline for meperidine include:
Psychological symptoms will usually dissipate with time. With that said, some people may still get intense cravings out of nowhere months after completing a drug rehab program. The psychological withdrawal symptoms are responsible for the high relapse rates surrounding opiate and opioid abuse. Medical detox services can help ease withdrawal symptoms. You can learn more about the opiate detox treatments available below.
Those who are hoping to achieve lifelong sobriety will need a solid relapse prevention plan. A relapse prevention plan will help drug abusers learn how to identify triggers and avoid stressful situations. A relapse prevention plan may include living in a sober home living arrangement or even attending recovery meetings, like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Pills Anonymous (PA).
As mentioned above, the withdrawal timeline is merely a rough estimate. Each Demerol addict will experience a different timeline depending on a number of factors, which include:
For example, those with kidney issues may take a longer period to get rid of the Demerol in their body. As a result, they may have a much longer elimination timeline.
With a huge surge in opioid prescriptions being written, more and more Americans are victims of opioid-related overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the overdose death rate involving synthetic opioids in 2017 was approximately 9 per a population of 100,000. This doesn’t even include the overdoses involving natural and semi-natural opioids.
There’s been a shocking increase in opioid overdose rates in past years. Knowing how to spot the signs of a Demerol overdose is crucial. It can be the difference between life and death. So
In extreme cases, an overdose can result in coma or death. An overdose victim will slowly look like he or she is falling asleep. Eventually, the overdose victim will stop breathing. Respiratory depression is a main cause of death.
Are some people more likely to overdose than others? The answer is yes.
There are some risk factors that increase a person’s likelihood to overdose on meperidine. Some of these risk factors include:
If you’re at risk of overdosing, make sure that you seek professional substance abuse help. Also, make sure that you and those around you are familiar with what to do in the event of an overdose.
You walk into a room and see a family or friend who has potentially overdosed on Demerol. You see an empty Demerol prescription bottle, and the potential victim is sprawled on the floor or on the couch. The victim doesn’t wake up even after multiple attempts, and you noticed that they’re breathing is quite shallow.
At this point in time, the best thing that you can do is to call 9-1-1. Don’t wait! Many people make the mistake of waiting to see how the situation will turn out. That’s one of the worst things that you can do, as the overdose victim will be in more danger.
Instead, call 9-1-1 and explain the situation. Let the 9-1-1 operator know that you suspect that the individual has overdosed on meperidine. Give the operator as much information as you can on the situation. This includes:
If the overdose victim is still conscious, try to keep him or her awake. You can try to keep his or her attention focused elsewhere by telling jokes or stories. Once the overdose victim loses consciousness, you’ll need to place him or her on the side like in the video below:
The recovery position will open up the victim’s airway, so he or she does not asphyxiate. This position also prevents him or her from choking on his or her own vomit. If the overdose victim stops breathing, perform CPR immediately. Once again, you need to act quickly to save the victim’s life.
It’s possible to reverse the effects of an overdose. There are certain medications that can prevent opioid overdose deaths. We’re talking about naloxone in particular.
Naloxone is an opioid-reversing medication. It attaches to opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) and brain to block opioids from attaching. There are three different forms of naloxone:
The effects of the naloxone should kick in within 3 to 5 minutes. The overdose victim will start to breathe more normally. With that said, the effects of the drug will also wear off within 30 to 90 minutes. If the overdose victim still has opioids in his or her system, the opioids can still attach to the opioid receptors and trigger an overdose.
Naloxone is a life-changing medication in the addiction industry. Thanks to this drug, many opioid abusers are saved from overdoses. This is an important drug that any opioid user should have on hand.
There are plenty of different ways to get naloxone. You can get it from a doctor, from a rehab center or from an outreach program. However, the easiest way to obtain naloxone is to probably purchase it at a pharmacy. Pharmacies all over America carry this prescription drug, and many pharmacies will sell this drug to anyone. No prescriptions are needed.
Unfortunately, the cost of naloxone has been rising over the years. This has become very problematic to high-risk offenders.
If you’re addicted to meperidine, then you should really consider seeking professional drug addiction treatment services. The reason for that is that Demerol is very potent. As a result, it’s very addictive.
Professional addiction treatment can be broken down into many components. It involves detox services, behavioral therapy and more. All parts of the treatment are important in helping patients recover from an addiction. The treatment programs are designed to not only treat the patients’ physical states, but their mental states as well.
Let’s take a look at the different components of a successful Demerol addiction treatment plan below. When getting admitted into a rehab center, speak with the addiction specialists there to learn more about the treatment plans that they offer. You should also learn more about what type of treatment program works best for you.
One of the most important parts of any addiction treatment program is detox. Detox usually is one of the first substance abuse treatment services that patients receive at drug treatment centers.
With a Demerol addiction, most patients will receive a combination of medical and holistic detox services for the first 7 to 14 days. The length of the detox program will depend on how quickly the patients recover from the addiction. It will also depend on how quickly the withdrawal symptoms are eased.
There are distinct differences between medical detox and holistic detox. As opioid withdrawal symptoms are dangerous, medical detox is absolutely necessary. Holistic detox services are optional. Many rehab centers recommend getting both types of detox services.
Medical detox services involve using medications to normalize neurochemical levels in the brain and body. These medications ease withdrawal symptoms and get rid of the most dangerous ones.
Holistic detox services, on the other hand, uses only natural approaches to ease withdrawal symptoms. This includes eating healthy, drinking more water and exercising more. Holistic detox services can also include massage therapy, art therapy and more.
As Demerol is an opioid, one of the most common types of medication-assisted treatment is Opiate Replacement Therapy (ORT). This type of treatment involves the use of weaker opioids to replace stronger ones. The weaker opioids will attach to the same opioid receptors in the CNS.
There are several different types of medications used in ORT. Some of the more popular ORT medications include:
The type of ORT medication that may be most suitable for you will depend on your situation. Each patient will respond better to a certain regime. An addiction expert at the drug rehab will take into consideration the specific circumstances of your situation and make a recommendation.
ORT medications are not the only option. There are other types of drugs that can be used to treat an addiction to opioid. These drugs are not opioids. As a result, they’re usually a lot less addictive. Those who opt for these medications are less likely to develop a physical or chemical dependence to them.
Two of the most popular non-opioid addiction treatment medicines include clonidine and lucemyra. Both of these medications work in similar ways.
These medications are designed specifically for treating an addiction to opioids and opiates. Some drug rehab centers will also use medications that are not approved by the FDA. These medications are used to treat specific symptoms. For example, some people may take sleeping pills if they have difficulties sleeping.
An addiction is a chronic mental disease. This means that a full recovery will also involve improving a patient’s mental state. The patient will need to learn how to recognize triggers and how to avoid putting himself or herself in dangerous or stressful situations. He or she will also learn how to think more positively, and better manage their emotions.
There are many different types of behavioral therapies and counseling. Some of the more popular options include:
Each drug and alcohol rehab center will specialize in a different type of therapy and counseling. The experts have more training in certain therapies than others. Each patient should try out different types of therapies in order to find out what works best for them.
It’s also important to note that some therapies are designed for specific situations. For example, those who have struggled with a traumatic situation will benefit a lot from EMDR. This type of therapy will teach them how to manage negative emotions. Many studies have proven that EMDR can help those struggling with trauma. Their mental state can improve drastically after several sessions.
When choosing a drug rehab center, you’ll have an option to choose between an inpatient and an outpatient center. Some drug treatment centers offer both inpatient and outpatient care. You’ll need to get an addiction assessment from a professional to decide which one may be best for you.
An inpatient drug treatment center will require a patient to pack and move into the rehab facility. The patient will live at the treatment center for anywhere from 28 to 90 days. There, they will receive all of the addiction treatment services that they need.
An inpatient rehab center is usually reserved for those who have a serious addiction. Those who are addicted to Demerol will usually require inpatient care. This is because they’re likely to experience intense withdrawal symptoms. They will need around-the-clock care and supervision.
An outpatient rehab center is a bit different. Patients do not need to live at the rehab facility. Instead, they will only travel to the facility when they need treatment. They may need outpatient care for anywhere from several months to over a year.
In general, outpatient treatment centers are more suitable for those who have a mild addiction or for those who have a better handle on their addiction. Those who complete an inpatient rehab center for a Demerol addiction will usually get outpatient care after.
Most people who are abusing or addicted to Demerol didn’t start out that way. They never intended to misuse the drug. In fact, they were often prescribed meperidine as they have moderate-to-severe pain.
Breaking free from an addiction is never easy. We understand that the cycle of addiction is complicated and complex. You’re likely to run into many obstacles along the way. In fact, many recovering addicts will often relapse. It’s a natural part of the cycle.
Here, at Northpoint Washington, we simply want to make the recovery journey as easy as possible. To enhance each patient’s chance at success, we create individually-tailored addiction treatment plans that will cater to each and every patient. We would love the opportunity to help you.
If you would like to learn more about our alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are located in Washington State and accept a wide variety of different health insurance plans. Contact us at any time, as we have a team of professionals around 24 hours of the day to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Our goal is to make recovery as simple as possible.