What is Demerol?

The most frequently used name for the drug Meperidine, Demerol is an Opioid pain reliever, or OPR. Used to treat moderate to severe pain, it is most commonly prescribed for post-op recovery. While the relief Demerol can provide is necessary for some, it is highly addictive.

As an OPR, Demerol works by binding to the Opioid receptors in the brain and changing the fundamental feeling the body goes through, making Pain feel like Pleasure. Overusing Demerol can bring on a euphoric feeling, often referred to as a “rush.”

Effects of Demerol

Demerol is most frequently used as a pre- and post-op medication. Anesthesiologists will often use Demerol as a pain killer, with or without putting someone to sleep. Demerol can be anywhere from half to one-tenth as potent as Morphine. While this may sound weak, it is actually the recommended medication for most people going into surgery. As an Opioid, overuse of Demerol can easily lead to overdose. Symptoms of overdose include:

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

Demerol Addiction

Anesthesiologists Frequently Prescribe Demerol For Pre- And Post-Surgery PainUsing any prescription pain killer can turn into dependency and eventually an addiction. Even when used as prescribed, the powerful reaction triggered in the brain makes it harder for the brain to function without it. Most addictions to pain killers, like Demerol, start off with prescriptions. In the case of Demerol, prescriptions are usually written when someone is recovering from an invasive surgery and are even less mentally and physically able to resist the temptations of addiction. They’ll use their prescription as advised, at first, but soon they’ll notice that they aren’t sleeping as well or are suffering from pain. Their first reaction is to up their dose. Sometimes this means seeking out a new prescription from the doctor and sometimes this means taking it into their own hands and getting pills illegally.

Even if the doctor increases the dose, there isn’t an assurance that the prescribed won’t develop an addiction. Often times, they won’t know they’ve built a dependence on Demerol until they’ve had to stop, and they experience the symptoms of withdrawal. These can include:

  • Restlessness
  • Watery eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Yawning
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Stomach pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Back pain

When coming off a prescription to Demerol, the prescribing doctor may decrease doses gradually, a process known as tapering. While this can help in getting back to normal life, it may not be an option, something the doctor doesn’t prescribe, or not a long enough time frame to wean the body off its dependency. If this is the case, the symptoms of withdrawal may begin and could open temptation to turn to illicit means of procurement. Eventually, if it is impossible to find prescription Demerol, the user could turn to other drugs, like Heroin.

Treatment for Demerol Addiction

Treatment for a Demerol addiction can be harder than it seems. Given how addictive the medication is and how severe the symptoms of withdrawal can be, it is not recommended that anyone try to quit Demerol on their own. However, due to the stigma that surrounds prescription drug abuse, it can be hard for someone addicted to it to come forward and say they need help.

Looking from the outside, stopping use of a prescription pain killer seems easy. If they took it as prescribed, they should be able to stop? OPRs, however, are very strong and people using them regularly, even as prescribed, can develop an addiction within two weeks. The lack of public awareness of how addictive these medications can be has formed a stigma around people who have grown dependent on them.

If you, or someone you love, have grown dependent on Demerol, know that you aren’t alone. Prescription Opioid abuse is one of the most prevalent issues we are facing across the U.S. If you’re not sure who to go to, or where to go, then take the time to talk to a treatment specialist. They’re dedicated to helping you figure out your next steps and mapping out your journey towards recovery. Contact one today.

Last Edited: April 25, 2018

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