Demerol (meperidine) abuse and addiction have become serious problems in the United States. Once a person gets addicted to this drug, the best option they have available to them is detox and rehab. But people often do not realize how grave their substance abuse problem really is. Many think they can quit on their own, and when they find out how difficult it is, they simply give up. Demerol addiction treatment can help break dependence on the drug so people can move forward in sobriety.
If you struggle with Demerol addiction, you can find substance abuse treatment in Edmonds, Washington at Northpoint Washington. Our evidence-based and holistic therapy programs help our patients break free from the grips of addiction so they can live a better life. Learn more about our inpatient treatment center by calling 425.437.3298 today.
What Is Demerol?
Like other opioids, meperidine is used to treat moderate to severe pain in patients and is sometimes used during surgery. It’s frequently used because it’s so effective and fast-acting. The drug is only meant to be used in short-term doses, though, as long-term treatment can end up causing dependency and, eventually, addiction.
As an opioid, Demerol affects the brain and body by stimulating certain cells called opioid receptors. These cells are used to help regulate mood, pain sensitivity, and sedation, among other things. As a result, taking it not only changes the way the body responds to pain, it can also cause feel sleepiness, relaxation, and even euphoria at certain dosages.
Demerol’s Side Effects
Taking Demerol can cause sedation, tranquility, and a reduced ability to feel pain, the main reason it’s prescribed in the first place.
However, taking meperidine can also end up causing a host of physical and mental side effects—even when it’s taken properly. The most common ones include:
- Extreme calm
- Mood changes
- Stomach pain or cramps
- Dry mouth
- Changes in vision
How Does Demerol Addiction Develop?
Most people first start taking this powerful drug to get relief from pain, and it never even enters their minds that they could become addicted to it.
When someone begins using Demerol, their brain is stimulated by the reward and withdrawal cycle that the medication causes. As time passes, they begin to develop a tolerance to it, and it doesn’t work as well as it once did. They must take more of their medication to feel any effects—one of the first signs of dependency.
This is an addiction—a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Breaking the cycle of addiction can certainly be difficult, but it gets much easier with the right kind of professional support to help through the steps of recovery.
Common Demerol Addiction Symptoms
If you’re addicted to Demerol, it’s very likely that you will experience some of the classic Demerol addiction signs that accompany the addiction. Signs of an addiction might include:
- Having involuntary muscle spasms in the body
- Becoming very dizzy or experiencing vertigo
- Having hallucinations or delusions
- Experiencing a slower heart rate
- Getting chronic headaches
- Experiencing nausea and vomiting
Your behaviors may also indicate whether or not you have an addiction to Demerol. You may start purchasing it illegally or visit multiple doctors in order to get prescriptions for it. These actions are clear indicators that an addiction is present.
Spotting a Meperidine Overdose
Overdosing on prescription opioids and drugs, in general, has become much more common in the past few decades than it’s ever been. In fact, overdoses have now become the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. That’s why it’s so important to know how to spot the signs of a Demerol overdose so you can get the proper professional help before it’s too late.
If someone displays any of the following signs of Demerol overdose, call 911 immediately:
- Slowed breathing
- Extreme sleepiness
- Loose, floppy muscles
- Cold, clammy skin
- Slow heartbeat
- Blurred vision
Demerol Addiction Treatment Options
If you’re addicted to meperidine, then you should consider seeking professional drug addiction treatment services. 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 Demerol addiction treatment are important in helping patients recover from an addiction. The treatment programs are designed to treat addiction’s physical and mental symptoms of addiction.
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.
With a Demerol addiction, most patients will receive a combination of medical and holistic detox services for the first two weeks. 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.
Opiate Replacement Therapy (ORT)
Since Demerol is an opioid, one of the most common types of medication-assisted treatment is opiate replacement therapy. 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 body.
There are several different types of medications used in ORT. Some of the more popular ORT medications include:
- Methadone – This is a full opioid agonist, which means that it attaches to opioid receptors and stimulates them in the same way as strong opioids. Methadone is very effective since it is quite potent and strong. Due to this reason, it’s also possible to develop a secondary addiction to this drug. Those who develop a secondary addiction will need to slowly taper from the medication.
- Suboxone – This is a partial opioid agonist. A partial opioid agonist is a bit different than a full opioid agonist in the sense that it has a “ceiling effect.” A partial opioid agonist will attach to the same receptors as a full opioid agonist. The only difference is that there’s only a maximum dose that users can take. Even if they take a larger dose, they won’t achieve the same high.
- Vivitrol – This is an opioid antagonist. This means that it’s different from methadone and Suboxone. It does not stimulate opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Instead, it blocks the receptors so that opioids cannot attach to them.
The type of ORT medication that may be most suitable for you will depend on your situation. An addiction expert at a Demeraol addiction treatment center will take into consideration the specific circumstances of your situation and make a recommendation.
Behavioral Therapy and Counseling
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 themself in dangerous or stressful situations. They will also learn 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:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Group counseling
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy
- Eye movement and desensitization reprocessing (EMDR)
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.
Inpatient Drug Addiction Recovery Program at Northpoint Washington
At Northpoint Washington, we offer one of the best drug detox and rehab programs in the State. In fact, treatment centers from all over the country refer their patients to us. We pride ourselves on providing personalized treatment to our patients, and we are determined to help them succeed.