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Meperidine Addiction and Abuse: How Dangerous is it, and Do You Need Rehab to Recover?

Meperidine addiction isn’t quite as common as addictions to other opiate medications. However, it remains a part of the current opioid epidemic that is happening in the United States. If you’re someone who is abusing this medication, you need to know the dangers of it. You also should consider the probability that you will need to recover in a Meperidine rehab program.

Meperidine is a drug that goes by a few other brand names, including Demerol and Pethidine. It is a medication that is primarily used to treat pain. It can be given in tablet form, or as an injectable drug. It’s frequently used in hospital settings so that staff members can control moderate to severe pain quickly.

This medication is prescribed on an outpatient basis too. It carries a high risk of abuse and eventually, addiction. It’s possible that you’re abusing this drug without realizing it. If you are, you need to get help so that you can stop using it safely.

Interesting Facts About Meperidine

Meperidine is classified as a narcotic analgesic. This is a term that is used to describe medicines that depress the central nervous system. This capability allows these drugs to help control and reduce pain. This medication is often used to control pain after childbirth. It is also frequently the go-to pain medication during and after surgery.

For those who have long-term or chronic pain, this medication is not recommended. This is due to the fact that it can be abused, and it can lead to psychological and physical dependence. It works by attaching to the opioid receptors in the body. This can produce a slight euphoria when it is being taken in appropriate dosages.

Most adults find that Meperidine 50mg to 150mg is an appropriate dosage. However, it is possible to get high on as little as 50mg of this medication. Of course, this is even more possible when taking this drug in a way that’s different than just swallowing pills.

This drug is available on the street. Because of this, street dealers will usually refer to these types of medications by their street names. This serves as a way to protect them from the police or DEA.

Pethidine doesn’t have as many street names as some other drugs. It may be called Demmies or Mapergan. However, these nicknames often change from time to time.

What is the Addictive Potential of Demerol?

One of the reasons why Demerol is often chosen over other opiates is because it’s thought to be less addictive. However, this medication can be just as addictive as drugs like Oxycontin, or even heroin.

The problem is that many patients aren’t informed about what to expect when they start taking it. They may see that the drug is addictive, but still assume it to be safe because they got it by prescription. It’s surprising how many people fall into this trap when it comes to their prescribed medications.

When an opioid drug is abused repeatedly, an addiction can occur. This is just as true for Demerol as it is for other opiate medications.

Meperidine Addiction and Abuse

Meperidine Abuse: What it is, and Why it Happens

Meperidine abuse can happen for a number of different reasons. First and foremost, you may find it helpful to understand what abusing this drug really means.

Abusing Meperidine means that you’re taking this drug outside of the doctor’s instructions. It could mean that you are:

  • Using it without having a prescription for it
  • Taking a dosage amount that’s higher than what the doctor suggests
  • Taking this medication along with alcohol
  • Using this drug along with other drugs, either legal or illegal
  • Using it in a way that’s different from just swallowing the pills

Unfortunately, many people abuse Meperidine knowingly. They know that it will lead to a euphoric high, and that’s what they desire to experience. Others may abuse it accidentally. They might be on it for a long time and find that it’s not working as well as it once did. As a result, they increase how much they’re taking. For many people, this is the way that addiction and dependence begin.

People can abuse this drug in many different ways. Most people begin by taking the pills. If they have the injectable form of Meperidine, they may inject it themselves. As their tolerance levels increase, they soon find that they need to do something different.

Meperidine insufflation is a possibility, and this is often the next method of use for many people. This involves crushing the tablets into a fine powder, and then snorting it. People will also crush the tablets and smoke the powder, or they’ll smoke the tablets without crushing them. The powder can also be mixed with a liquid and then injected.

Using Meperidine in any of these ways will get you high. It creates a sensation of euphoria that your brain sees as pleasurable. This feeling is what makes people continue using.

How Abuse Leads to an Addiction to Pethidine

Most people believe that they can abuse drugs like Meperidine for a long time without any serious consequences. This simply isn’t true. While some individuals may be able to avoid addiction with long-term use, many cannot. Eventually, someone who abuses this drug will become addicted to it.

Addiction occurs because of the way the brain responds to these types of drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, various changes occur within the brain during drug use. Medications like Meperidine cause increased dopamine levels within the brain. This is what gives you the pleasurable feelings you have when you use. Over time, your brain stops producing its own dopamine, and relies on the drug to do it. This means that when you stop using, your brain doesn’t have the ability to make you feel happy.

In an attempt to feel more like themselves again, people will continue to use. As time goes on, they can’t imagine their lives without the drugs. They have become addicted.

Meperidine Side Effects and Warnings

Like many drugs, this one has a long list of side effects and warnings.

Some common side effects that people have reported include:
  • Becoming constipated
  • Feeling weak
  • Appetite loss, and possible weight loss
  • Intense itching
  • Feeling sedated
  • Feeling dizzy and lightheaded
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Urinating less frequently
  • Feeling flushed
  • Losing interest in sex

These side effects can occur in someone who is using this drug as prescribed. When someone is abusing the drug, they may become even more pronounced.

Meperidine should never be used in combination with any other opioid drug. People should use caution when taking with muscle relaxers or sedatives. It’s not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding. It can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. Signs of this include:

  • Developing a rash or hives
  • Problems with breathing
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, throat or lips
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Seizures

The short-term effects include all of the side effects on the above list. Other effects are usually quite pleasant, and they include the euphoria that results from abusing this drug. Most people agree that this is why they use it.

The euphoria with Meperidine usually begins within 15 minutes of taking a dose. It can last for as long as two hours. The mild nature of this medication is one reason many people feel that it’s safe. They fail to recognize what can happen with long-term abuse.

Using Meperidine long-term is much more serious. You are likely to experience many of the above side effects, but they will be enhanced. You could also put yourself at risk for:

  • Significant mood changes
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • The risk of kidney failure

This drug is dangerous, and when you’re an addict, you’re putting your life at risk with every use of it.

Are You Addicted to Meperidine? Take a Quiz to Learn More

At this point, you may be wondering if you’re addicted to Demerol. It’s normal to be confused about this. You feel like you can quit using it whenever you want to, but now you’re hesitant about that. You may find it helpful to take an opiate addiction quiz.

This quiz will dive a little deeper into your drug use patterns. It will ask you some difficult questions, but it’s important for you to be honest with your answers. If you are, your results will be accurate, and you’ll learn the truth. After you submit your responses, you’ll get your results, and any recommendations for treatment.

Opiate Addiction Quiz

What it Means for a Pethidine Addict to Recover

Perhaps you’ve taken the quiz, and you’ve found that you are an addict. Maybe you’ve been addicted to other substances in the past, or maybe this is all new to you. Either way, you need to know what it means to recover from your addiction.

What you’re suffering from is a problem with two distinct parts. One part is physical and the other part is psychological. In order for you to get this issue under control, both components need to be addressed. As you move forward in your goal to quit using, you will be in recovery. This is a process that takes some time, but it is possible to be successful.

Getting Treatment for Your Meperidine Addiction

You have the best chance of being successful in your addiction recovery when you get professional treatment. This is usually found in the form of a Meperidine rehab program. They will address both components of your addiction during that time.

The physical side of your addiction will be addressed first. Quitting the Meperidine drug can result in a host of different opioid withdrawal symptoms. Some of these include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Frequent yawning
  • Symptoms of anxiety
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Goose bumps
  • The onset of diarrhea

Symptoms will usually increase in severity once the drug leaves the body. This usually starts to occur within the first 12 hours after the last dose.

Unfortunately, people often feel that they can stop taking Meperidine on their own. This is problematic because withdrawals can be so difficult to manage without help. If you’re considering stopping your use of this drug, you should detox from Meperidine in a professional setting.

Meperidine detox will help you manage your symptoms of withdrawal successfully. You may be given medications to help you through the process. It’s possible that you’re a candidate for opioid replacement therapy, which can be quite beneficial. Medications like Suboxone have helped many people who desperately wanted to stop using opioid drugs.

Once you’ve gone through detox, it will be time to work on the mental part of your addiction. If you’re an addict, you’ve taken some time to train your brain that you need this drug. It can take some time to undo all of that training. However, it can be done successfully.

The goal is for you to learn more about the reasons behind your addiction. Perhaps you chose to start using Meperidine because you were depressed or anxious. You may have been dealing with excessive stress in your life. No matter what it is, the treatment you receive during Meperidine rehab will help.

What Happens After Your Initial Demerol Treatment?

Sometimes people believe that they’ll be cured of their addictions after going to rehab. Please know that this isn’t the case. There is no known cure for addiction. You will remain in recovery for the rest of your life, as long as you keep getting help.

Please don’t be disheartened or discouraged. As long as you’re focused on continuing to get well, you will. This will help you avoid a relapse, but you must continue to get the help you need.

What to Look for in the Best Meperidine Rehab Centers

You want to find the best Demerol rehab you can find. In order to do that, there are certain characteristics you should try to look for. These include:

  • Facilities that offer patients their own treatment plans
  • Personalized care that addresses every patient’s unique needs
  • A modern facility that only uses the most up to date treatment methods
  • A center that will offer detoxification services on site
  • A program that has a high success rate
  • A rehab that is accredited by JAHCO

Let Us Assist You in Getting Help for Your Meperidine Addiction

The right time for you to get assistance for your Meperidine addiction is right now. No matter how long you’ve battled this problem, we can provide you with the help you need.

Here at Northpoint Washington, we meet all of the above criteria. You’ll find our facility to be warm and inviting. We can help you understand and overcome your addiction.

Do you have more questions about Meperidine addiction that you need to have answered? Contact us and let us know how we can further assist you.

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Northpoint Washington: Opening April 2019

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