Demerol is a brand name drug for Meperidine and Pethidine. Although it has some medical benefits and is a legal substance that doctors often describe, it also carries a high risk for substance abuse and addiction.
Demerol is a synthetic or artificial piperidine-ester with some opioid analgesic activities. Also known as meperidine, the drug works on the opioid receptors where it imitates the activities of other endogenous neuropeptides. When you take this drug, it will produce effects that are similar to those of morphine, including but not limited to bradycardia, euphoria, analgesia, sedation, and respiratory depression. It can also cause physical dependence to form on the mu-opioid receptors of the brain.
Today, the drug is known for causing addiction among nurses and doctors. This is due to a study that found that 186 of the 280 Demerol addicts who were admitted to a psychiatric hospital were healthcare workers.
That said, the substance is effective as a pain relief medication. Doctors typically prescribe it for patients struggling with moderate to severe pain. The drug is classified as an opioid analgesic or a narcotic. This is because it has characteristics that are similar to those of morphine.
However, the drug also affects the brain where it changes how your body responds to and feels pain sensations. Even so, it is not recommended for the long term management of pain. Instead, doctors typically prescribe it for the treatment of sudden onset pain of an average to acute nature.
In terms of brand names, Demerol or meperidine hydrochloride is also known as Dolantin, Meperidol, and Pethidine. On the streets, it is known as demmies, smack, dillies, and dust among people selling or abusing it illegally.
In the United States, the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - has classified Demerol as a schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act passed by the federal government. This means that it comes with a high risk for abuse and it can cause physical and psychological dependence.
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In terms of routes of administration, the drug can be administered intramuscularly, intravenously, or orally. When administered orally, it would typically be prescribed as an accurate amount of an oral solution to ensure that the user does not make dosing mistakes that could lead to a potentially fatal overdose.
In terms of intramuscular administration, doctors would inject it into a large mass of mass to ensure that it is absorbed faster into the border. This is because large muscle tissue often produces greater blood supply in comparison to the tissue that is just underneath the skin. If you are going to get repeated injections of this drug, intramuscular injection is often preferred to subcutaneous intravenous administration.
In case you are receiving the drug intravenously, doctors will inject 10 milligrams (per milliliter) slowly. However, you need to ensure that it is administered by a qualified medical potential. This is due to the fact that the injection is highly sensitive.
You might develop Demerol addiction if you start abusing the medication on a regular basis. Over time, you will eventually develop tolerance, which means that your body and brain would have become accustomed to the presence of the drug in the system. When this happens, you will have to take it in higher doses or more frequently than you used to before you can experience its pleasurable effects.
Eventually, your tolerance will be replaced by psychological and physical dependence on the substance. After you reach this stage, you will not be able to engage in your normally daily activities unless you take the drug. On the other hand, failure to use the drug for a given period of time or in adequate amounts could lead to the development of withdrawal symptoms. When this happens, you will be struggling with a substance use disorder.
If you are a patient with a prescription for Demerol, you might not even realize that you are abusing it. You will initially start taking it exactly as your doctor prescribed. However, this will lead to the development of tolerance, particularly if you had a prescription to use the drug for an extended period of time.
Eventually, you will end up raising your dose of the drug so that it can provide you with greater relief. However, this behavior will cause you to develop physical dependence which will soon after be accompanied by psychological dependence.
The physical dependence will be manifested when you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you do not take enough of the drug or completely stop using it. Over time, your addiction will start becoming apparent when you act in any way that is detrimental to yourself or to your loved ones just so that you can obtain, look for, or abuse the drug.
As an addict, you may take Demerol in high doses on a regular basis or for a prolonged time period. You will also consume it in other ways than a doctor would recommend - including by chewing the tablets, or crushing them so that you can snort the resulting powder. You may also crush the tablets and mix the resulting powder with a solution for intravenous use.
But why is this drug so addictive? Essentially, its addictive nature arises from the fact that it works swiftly. It also produces effects that are similar to those that are produced by morphine. The short acting effects of Demerol make it effective for the relief of moderate to severe pain. Even so, it is these effects that often increase its potential for and risk of abuse.
Additionally, the medication produces euphoric effects. This means that when you take it, it will make you lightheaded and produce a feeling of intense serenity. Due to these pleasurable effects, you may start abusing this psychoactive drug through other alternative routes of administration. The goal would be to escalate its analgesic properties.
The fact that Demerol caused a powerful and euphoric rush in the brain means that it has a high risk for abuse and addiction. This is particular true when you also consider that it also provides prolonged sedation in users.
There are a number of factors that could contribute to your risk of abusing and developing an addiction to this drug. Today, researchers agree that your genetic makeup is among the major risk factors and causes of this substance use disorder.
Evidence exists to show that there are genetic factors - such as impulsivity and novelty seeking - that could raise your risk of abusing this drug. Scientists also note that people who are addicted to the drug come from families with a history of addiction and substance abuse.
Other factors that could contribute to your addiction include but are not limited to:
Social and environmental stress could also predispose you to mental health disorders. They could also raise your risk of abusing substances like Demerol. Typically, your brain will react and adjust to the surroundings and the conditions around you. The environmental and social factors that you interact with could predispose you to substance abuse and addiction.
On the other hand, if you are naturally unable to cope with stress - especially high levels of it - there is a possibility that you may be vulnerable to abusing drugs like Demerol. Further, if you have easy and ready access to the drug, you may end up abusing it.
The fact that Demerol is not a street drug means that you may think that it is safe to abuse it. Whether or not you know that this drug is dangerous, it is important to keep in mind that it might be difficult for you to conceal the fact that you have developed a substance use disorder as a result of taking it.
This is because Demerol addiction could cause you to experience and display some signs and symptoms. These include but are not limited to:
When you start abusing Demerol, you might be under the impression that the drug does not produce any harmful effects. In particular, you may think that it does not have long term effects. This is due to the fact that the substance only stays in the system for a relatively short time period.
Even so, you need to know that there are medical studies showing that Demerol can cause devastating health effects. This is because the drug can alter the receptors of the brain. As a result of this alteration, the drug can cause your brain to stop naturally producing the naturally chemicals that you need to live a healthy life. Over time, you will become dependent on the substance.
That said, the following are some of the various effects that come with abusing this psychoactive drug:
When you take Demerol in the long term, it can result it alterations of your brain. Due to these changes, you will end up struggling with Demerol addiction. At this stage, if you do not take the drug within a particular period of time or reduce your typical dose, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as:
As a powerful and addictive drug, Demerol can cause many problems in your life. When you decide to overcome Demerol addiction, it is recommended that you enroll in an addiction treatment and rehabilitation facility.
The first service you will receive will typically involve medically supervised detox to manage your withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. This is because the withdrawal process can be painful unless it is properly managed using medical services.
Other services that you will receive to help you overcome your physical and psychological dependence on this drug include but are not limited to:
In case you or a loved one has been suffering from Demerol addiction and abuse, you should seek addiction treatment and rehabilitation services so that you can overcome this substance use disorder and get your life back on track.