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What Is Demerol Detox?
Demerol detox is a medically-supervised process that helps those who are addicted to Demerol purge their body of the drug and get through withdrawal symptoms safely and carefully. Demerol detox is considered the best way to maximize the chance that a patient will maintain and achieve sobriety, especially if they attend inpatient or outpatient rehab afterwards.
What Is Demerol?
Demerol, also known as Meperidine, is a highly addictive prescription Opioid drug administered for people with moderate to severe pain. It has become more commonly prescribed as a replacement for Morphine, although it is only half as potent. Other common uses for this Opioid are to ease the pain of childbirth and to anesthetize people before surgery.
Most patients get Demerol injected in their veins or under the skin by a medical professional. It is also available in pill form and can be taken in syrups. Demerol should not be taken with any other prescription substance unless advised by a doctor. Similarly, Demerol should not be taken with alcohol, due to the potential for extremely harmful effects on the body such as respiratory failure.
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Demerol Dependence and Abuse
Demerol is classified as an analgesic and, like both prescription and illicit Opioids, has a high risk of dependence and abuse. When used effectively and within the dosage prescribed by doctor, Demerol is an effective medication in treating pain. However, Demerol can cause a tolerance and dependence even when taken according to prescription. Tolerance occurs when the user has to take more Demerol to experience the same effects. Dependence occurs when the body is so accustomed to the presence of Demerol that it experiences withdrawal symptoms when the user suddenly reduces their dose or stops use completely.
Signs of Demerol abuse include increasing isolation or spending large amounts of money on Demerol. Another major sign is when a patient visits several doctors to get new prescriptions, also known as doctor shopping. Addiction occurs when the user has become so dependent on Demerol that they begin to act irrationally or irresponsibly to obtain the drug. Signs of Demerol abuse and addiction include:
- Taking increasing dosages of Demerol
- Taking Demerol more frequently
- Using Demerol to treat non-physical problems
- Slowed breathing
- Neglecting work, family, and personal commitments
- Inability to control or stop Demerol abuse
The consequences of Demerol abuse can range from mild to severe. The more serious consequences include stroke, confusion, seizures, and liver and heart problems. In some cases, someone can lose consciousness, overdose, and even die.
Demerol use, especially long-term use or abuse, changes the chemistry of the brain and body. Eventually, they become so accustomed to the presence of Demerol that they can no longer function “normally” without its presence. When a user stops taking Demerol suddenly, or reduces their dose, their body struggles to adapt. This struggle results in withdrawal symptoms that are uncomfortable, painful, and potentially even dangerous. As is the case with withdrawal other Opioids such as Heroin or Oxycontin, Demerol withdrawal can be so difficult to get through that many users relapse to avoid it. In some cases, especially in instances of a long-term, severe Demerol addiction, withdrawal can lead to dangerous complications. Even when a user gets through Demerol withdrawal without medical supervision, the process can be so draining that they are susceptible to relapse later. For these reasons, medically-supervised Demerol detox is almost always recommended. Symptoms of Demerol withdrawal include:
- Dry mouth
- Runny nose and eyes
The Benefits of Demerol Detox
Individuals feeling withdrawal symptoms benefit from medications to reduce cravings and discomfort, as well as to prevent potentially dangerous consequences. Patients receive drugs like Suboxone and Subutex. These medications help reduce symptoms of withdrawal. If someone is overdosing on Demerol, they can also receive Naloxone. If patients do not respond well to their prescribed medication, they may also receive medications for anxiety, nausea, and flu-like side effects of Demerol abuse and withdrawal. The combination of medications and medical supervision make Demerol detox significantly safer and more comfortable than going through withdrawal at home, making relapse less likely. Also, patients coming out of medically-supervised detox are more likely to be in a better mental state that is more conducive to starting inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Demerol Withdrawal Timeline
Every individual will experience withdrawal differently, and how they experience it is determined by a number of factors including, how large their average dose of Demerol was, how frequently they took the drug, how they administered the drug, their mental and medical health, and whether they abused other drugs and alcohol with Demerol. However, there is a general timeline for Demerol withdrawal that most patients fit into.
The first 24 hours of demerol withdrawal typically produces anxiety. Days 2 to 5 are generally when the most intense withdrawal symptoms are experienced. People feel fearful and paranoid, sweat profusely, and suffer and muscle cramps and aches. The 6th to 14th days typically involve increasingly mild symptoms, with reduced cravings. For most patients, by the 15th day, most symptoms will have either disappeared or been greatly reduced in severity.
|Demerol Withdrawal Timeline|
|24 Hours:||Individuals experience anxiety, insomnia, moodiness, and physical pain. There are strong cravings to use Demerol.|
|2 to 5 Days:||This is the peak of withdrawal. Individuals feel confusion, sweating, muscle aching, vomiting, and unease.|
|6 to 14 Days:||Demerol withdrawal symptoms begin to subside. Individuals experience increasingly less acute withdrawal symptoms.|
|15 Days or More:||Drug cravings are mild. Insomnia and anxiety have gone. Symptoms like depression and lack of appetite have also decreased. Symptoms (PAWS) that last longer than this are considered|
PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) are symptoms of Demerol withdrawal that last for 15 days or more. In rare cases, PAWS can last for up 24 months, although symptoms typically diminish gradually over time. The length of time and severity of PAWS are determined
If you or a loved one is thinking of quitting Demerol by going “cold turkey,” please consider getting professional treatment instead. This will make the journey safer and more comfortable.
While Demerol detox is a critical first step, it is only part of the solution of overcoming a Demerol addiction. Ideally, it will be followed up with inpatient and outpatient treatment. In these supportive environments, people undergoing treatment for Demerol may undergo group and individual counseling to explore the root cause of their addiction. Nutritional and wellness-based therapies help people overcoming Demerol dependence shift into a healthier lifestyle. Biofeedback is a contemporary treatment to help treat anxiety that has been helpful to many. The specific therapies one undergoes will depend on the facility one enters and their specific needs.
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There Is Always Hope for Recovery
Enduring an addiction to an Opioid like Demerol will eventually cause damaging effects on the mind and body, including a potentially fatal overdose. If you or someone is fighting a Demerol abuse disorder, there is hope for healing. Contact a treatment provider today to discover the best medications and therapies in a rehab facility near you.
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