Meperidine, otherwise known by its brand name Demerol, is a narcotic used by physicians to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is part of a class of pain medications that are similar to morphine; these drugs change the way the body senses pain. The body uses meperidine in a way that alters pain perception in the central nervous system. The drug is very potent, therefore it is often not used outside of a hospital. It is advised that people only take the substance under the supervision of medical professionals, and only short term. However, more people have begun to abuse meperidine for purposes outside the medical realm. Due to the addictive nature of the substance it should not be used for the treatment of chronic pain; it is intended for short episodes of severe discomfort. It is not uncommon for prolonged meperidine use to lead to addiction.
Demerol comes in both liquid or pill form. It should be taken as needed with pain, every 3 to 4 hours with food. It is highly important to follow the specific instructions recommended by your physician, read the prescription label carefully, and ask the doctor or pharmacist about your dosage if you have any questions. Your dose might need to be adjusted during treatment, so be sure to tell the medical professional about your specific pain level, or any side effects that are experienced while on the medication. This helps your physician determine what dose is best for you and therefore, reduces the chance of acquiring an addiction.
Meperidine is known to be habit forming, which is why it is recommended it only be taken short term and exactly as directed. The drug has been known to cause serious side-effects, such as death, when taken in large doses, snorted, or injected. If you have been taking Demerol for more than a few weeks, do not abruptly stop, consult with your doctor first so that they may decrease your dosage gradually. People who stop taking the drug suddenly are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. The frequent use of the drug over an extended period of time can cause symptoms of withdrawal such as:
- Sleep problems
- Severe anxiety
- Muscle spasms
- Stomach pain
- Mood swings
- And a wide range of other issues
If the drug is not taken as recommended by an experienced medical professional, it is not unlikely for a person to develop an addiction. Addiction is one of the most dangerous side-effects of Demerol abuse.
Meperdine is abused in way similar to other opioids regardless of if they are legal or illicit. People with a past of drug abuse and addiction should avoid the morphine-like substance. If the drug is used recreationally to achieve a high and feelings of pleasure, it can likely destroy the life of the abuser and those they surround themselves with. Meperidine is available in multiple forms; the most unsafe being by injection. Injecting the drug causes a multitude of risk factors, but it is common among addicts because it produces the strongest high. Because it is an opiate narcotic, the body quickly becomes dependent on the substance. An addict will require a higher and more frequent dose to attain the same effects that were achieved when the person initially started using. Once someone has developed a physical tolerance on the drug, the withdrawal symptoms can be so unbearable that the addict cannot quit without medical supervision. They would rather return to drug use than experience the effects of withdrawal. It is incredibly difficult to find yourself on a path of recovery when you are concerned about the potentially fatal symptoms of detoxification.
Many people who abuse meperidine will combine it with other potent drugs or alcohol, whether they be illicit or not. Severe effects of this form of substance abuse include:
- Respiratory depression
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Heart attack
- Overdose and death
Addiction to meperidine can devastate a person’s life, and seem like a life-long sentence. Recovery is within reach as long as the addict is willing to accept treatment and has the motivation to make lasting changes.