Demerol – About, Uses and Abuse

Methadone - Purpose, Abuse, Withdrawal, and Treatment Options

Demerol has been widely used in the U.S. for decades to treat pain; however, this drug has a high potential for abuse and addiction. When misused, Demerol can lead to a dangerous cycle of addiction that can be difficult to break without professional treatment. Demerol abuse and addiction can be safely treated using detox and evidence-based therapy at Dana Point Rehab Campus.

What Is Demerol?

Demerol is the brand name for meperidine — an opioid drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. Meperidine is approximately 10 times less potent than morphine but is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance alongside stronger opioids including morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl, per the DEA. Like all other opioids, Demerol binds to receptors in the brain and body that regulate feelings of pain and pleasure, and it produces euphoria in addition to pain relief and relaxation.

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How Do People Get Addicted to Demerol?

Doctors often prescribe Demerol to treat moderate to severe pain caused by surgery or injury. Demerol and other prescription painkillers are generally intended for short-term use only, since using these drugs longer than for a few weeks can lead to physical dependence and addiction. According to MedlinePlus, patients who have been taking Demerol for longer than a few weeks should stop using this drug gradually as opposed to abruptly, since stopping Demerol abruptly can trigger a wide range of withdrawal symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid heart rate.

Many people unintentionally get addicted to Demerol after using the drug for a few weeks and may keep using the drug to avoid and put off withdrawal symptoms. Others may get addicted to Demerol after choosing to abuse the drug for its euphoric effects. Demerol addiction can also manifest in several other ways, such as from using a family member’s leftover pills out of curiosity about how the drug works or using the drug for recreation with friends.

Can Demerol Cause an Overdose?

Yes, Demerol is a habit-forming drug that can cause an overdose due to its potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. According to StatPearls Publishing, a meperidine overdose can occur in people who:

  • Have an underlying or unknown condition that increases their sensitivity to meperidine
  • Use more than the prescribed dosage of meperidine, whether intentionally or unintentionally
  • Use meperidine in combination with alcohol, other drugs that slow down the central nervous system (such as benzodiazepines), or illicit drugs (such as heroin or cocaine) that make the body more sensitive to the effects of meperidine

A Demerol overdose can potentially lead to permanent brain damage, coma, and death. Those who need help overcoming Demerol addiction can safely do so at a drug rehab center.

How Is Demerol Addiction Typically Treated?

Demerol addiction can be safely and effectively treated at drug rehab using medical detox, counseling, and behavioral therapy. Medical detox takes place at an inpatient residential rehab center where patients can be closely supervised by nurses and doctors as they physically withdraw from Demerol. Medications are often used to reduce and relieve certain symptoms, including insomnia and drug cravings.

Following detox, patients can transition into a drug rehab program to receive therapy that teaches them how to manage stress and drug cravings, and that helps them modify drug-using behaviors. Patients normally receive a variety of therapies and have the opportunity to receive fun recreational therapies such as equine therapy, art therapy, and music therapy. Most inpatient residential rehab centers develop customized treatment plans for each patient based on their unique recovery needs and struggles as they pertain to addiction.

Drug Rehab Treatment for Demerol Addiction

Drug rehab centers operated by Dana Point Rehab Campus use detox, behavioral therapy, and a wide range of other evidence-based treatments to help people achieve long-term recovery from Demerol addiction. Contact us today at 949.569.7517 to learn more about our detox and inpatient residential rehab programs for drug abuse and addiction.