Demerol is an opioid drug. Doctors typically prescribe it for the treatment of moderate to very severe pain. However, the medication also produces euphoric and pleasurable effects among users. This is why it is considered to carry a high risk of abuse and addiction.
That said, the medication has been used widely in the United States for the treatment and management of pain. This is even though it can cause a substance use disorder - commonly referred to as an opioid use disorder - to develop.
Demerol is a narcotic prescription pain relief medication that belongs to the opiate class of drugs. It is also a brand name formulation for meperidine, an opioid drug. Doctors typically prescribe it for a number of reasons.
Sometimes, they can issue a prescription for women who are going through childbirth so that it can manage the labor pains that they will experience. In the same way, they may prescribe it for the management of the pain that arises from cancer, heart attacks, and many other physical health conditions.
The drug is effective at managing a wide range of symptoms of pain - including but not limited to severe and chronic pain as well as minor injuries and acute aches. This is because the medication is effective at altering how the central nervous system and the brain handle the perception of the pain signal that are sent from other parts of the body.
Demerol is now ranked among the most potent pain relief medications. As a result, doctors will typically not prescribe it for use outside the confines of an inpatient facility or a hospital setting.
That said, the drug is available in different forms. For oral use, it is available as a liquid as well as in pill form. For intravenous use, it is available as a liquid that can be taken through injection. This is the most potent form of the medication.
If you take Demerol in any way other than a physician or a doctor recommended or if you use it recreationally, there is a high risk that you may develop a substance use disorder or an opioid use disorder. This drug may also end up being painful and destructive to your day to day life.
On the streets, the medication is known by a number of names to avoid detection by law enforcement officials and figures in authority. Examples of these street names include but are not limited to Dillies, D, Juice, Dust, and Smack.
If you use the drug for any other reason apart from a medical cause, it is easy to form an addiction. This is because Demerol produces euphoria and other pleasurable effects in the brain. You might try recreating these effects when you experience them - either by using the medication in greater quantities or more often than your doctor recommended.
This will often lead to the development of tolerance to the effects of the drug. As a direct result, you will increasingly find yourself using it in higher doses or more frequently than you used to in the past before you can experience its effects. Eventually, tolerance will be replaced by dependence and then by an opioid use disorder.
That said, Demerol is now considered to be an OPR - or an opioid pain relief medication. This means that it has some medical uses in the management of moderate and severe pain - such as that arising after you have gone through a surgical procedure.
Although the drug produces intense relief from pain, you should only use it in the short term. This is why the government controls it by putting it in the REMS - Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy - program for opioid analgesics. This program is designed to restrict the distribution of opioid drugs that can cause addiction.
Since Demerol is an OPR, it is quite effective. It works by attaching itself to the brain's opioid receptors. In the process, it blocks the receptors of pain from transmitting their signals into the brain. Simultaneously, the drug releases other neurotransmitters that will make you feel good. This is why you will experience euphoria and pleasurable effects when you abuse the drug.
If you use Demerol beyond the parameters of a medical setting or if you take it for recreational purposes, it can lead to the development of addiction. However, you may start abusing this drug because of the blissful and happy effects that it produces.
The longer you continue abusing it, however, the higher the likelihood that you will develop tolerance. When this happens, you will have to use the medication in higher doses or more frequently than you used to before you can experience its pleasurable effects.
Eventually, you will find that your tolerance has been replaced by physical and psychological dependence. When this happens and you suddenly stop taking Demerol or significantly reduce the dose that your body has become accustomed to, you may suffer some negative withdrawal symptoms.
That said, the drug is available in IV injectable forms, oral liquid form, and as a pill. However, the injectable form of the drug is responsible for producing the most powerful effects. Even so, you can rest assured that this type of substance abuse is the riskiest in terms of the speed at which you can develop an addiction as well as with regards to the probability that you may end up struggling with other negative consequences.
Further, if you are addicted to Demerol, you may find that you start using it to amplify the effects that you have become accustomed to. You may even start combining it with other depressant substances to enhance the pleasurable effects that you are looking for. Examples of these depressants may include alcohol and benzodiazepines. However, it is important to keep in mind that this form of drug mixing can quickly cause you to suffer an accidental overdose or even lead to fatal outcomes.
On the other hand, you may use this drug to reduce any unpleasant effects that you experience when you are on other drugs like cocaine. When this happens, there is a risk that you may suffer a heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular collapse, or even death.
If you use Demerol under the supervision of a medical professional - such as a doctor or a licensed pharmacist - it can provide you with relief from the pain that you may have been struggling with. Even so, you need to still be careful to ensure that you do not become addicted to it.
Due to its euphoric and pleasurable effects, Demerol has now been classified by the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - as a schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act passed by the federal government. This means that it has some essential medical purposes but also carries a high risk of causing the user to develop an opioid use disorder or an addiction.
In case you become addicted to it, the drug can cause you to start engaging in behavior that is atypical for you. For instance, you may forge prescriptions, start buying the medication from drug dealers, engage in doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions for the drug, or even start stealing it from the medicine cabinets of people around you. Other additional consequences of a Demerol addiction may include:
If you experience any of the signs and symptoms listed above, there is a high probability that you may already be struggling with an opioid use disorder or a Demerol addiction problem.
Demerol produces effects that are likely to have an impact on just about every aspect of your day to day life. These effects may range from the severe to the extremely mild. They will also vary from one person to the next. For instance, there is a risk that abusing this drug could cause you to develop a co-occurring mental health disorder - if one did not exist before. Examples of these disorders may include:
Since Demerol is a habit forming drug, it can cause you to suffer a serious overdose. The risk of overdose would be raised if you have an unknown or underlying condition that can potentially increase your sensitivity to the meperidine content of the drug.
It might also rise if you use more of the drug than your doctor recommended - whether accidentally or intentionally. This would also be the case if you mixed the medication with other drugs that work to depress the CNS, such as benzodiazepines and alcohol, or even those that will make your body much more sensitive to Demerol's effects - including cocaine and heroin.
If you suffer an overdose involving this drug, you may end up struggling with a coma and permanent brain damage. Further, there is a high risk that you could potentially even lose your life in the process.
In case you observe any of the effects and symptoms in someone - or in yourself - after using Demerol, there is a high probability that a drug overdose may be underway:
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you call 911 or get in touch with your local poisons control board. This is because an overdose situation involving drugs like Demerol can potentially lead to permanent brain damage, coma, and other long term consequences - including death.
When you first enroll in an addiction treatment to manage your opioid use disorder involving Demerol, you will receive medically supervised detox services to manage the following withdrawal symptoms that will arise when you stop abusing the drug:
After that, the addiction treatment center will provide you with therapy, counseling, and medication management - among other recovery services to enable you deal with the physical, emotional, psychological, and behavioral dependence that you have developed on Demerol.