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According to NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse), over 50 million Americans have used prescription drugs - at one point or the other - for nonmedical reasons. This is concerned to be drug abuse.
In many cases, the abused prescription medications are painkillers, among them Demerol. Although this drug was designed as a painkiller, it also causes effects that the user might eventually become addicted to. Further, since the medication is an opiate, it is habit-forming - which means that you need to follow your doctor's instructions to ensure you don't get hooked on it.
The brand name for Meperidine, Demerol is a narcotic analgesic used for relieving both moderate and severe pain. Typically issued during childbirth and labor, the drug also works for managing the pain caused by cancer, severe accidents, heart attacks, and a variety of other medical conditions.
Since this medication also happens to be an opioid narcotic, doctors seldom prescribe it in outpatient settings. As a direct result, only people who have been hospitalized will receive it.
Further, the Controlled Substances Act classifies Demerol as a Schedule II drug. This means that you shouldn't be able to get your hands on it if you don't have a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner. However, it is readily available on the open market as dust, D, or dillies.
The prescription usually comes in the form of a liquid or tablet. As a liquid, it is provided as an intravenous drug or as syrup, while tablets are white in color, circular in shape, and come in 100mg or 50 mg strengths.
When used as prescribed, Demerol tablets and syrup are taken orally.
If you use it as prescribed by your doctor, the syrup and tablets should be taken orally. That said, the common uses for Demerol are for a variety of medicinal reasons - such as in the treatment of the pain associated with labor, childbirth, cancer, heart attacks, as well as other conditions.
The drug works by changing the pain perception within the central nervous system. As mentioned above, Demerol is quite powerful at relieving pain. This is one of the reasons why doctors will not usually prescribe it outside inpatient facilities or the hospital setting.
If you take this medication for recreational use or outside the supervision of a physician, it might prove to be painfully destructive and highly addictive. It will cause euphoria in the brain, which means that you will be more likely to try recreating this feeling by consuming greater quantities of the drug.
Added to its powerful analgesic properties, Demerol will also produce feelings of giddiness and pleasure. With time, you might start using the narcotic for reasons other than your doctor prescribed.
For instance, you will be tempted to use the drug to escape troubling situations, cope with the stresses of life, or to numb your emotional pain. When you abuse the drug for a long time, your body will become psychologically and physically dependent on it.
Most Demerol addicts acquired the habit because they didn't realize that they were abusing it. You might, for instance, start using the drug to deal with your pain. However, as you develop tolerance, you will increase your dosage to feel the relief better. With time, you will become physically dependent on the medication, followed by an accompanying psychological dependence. At this point, you will be hooked to it.
Using the drug longer than your doctor prescribed, more frequently, or in higher doses is considered Demerol abuse. Although the tablets are designed for oral consumption, you might end up abusing the drug by:
When you abuse Demerol in any of the methods we've described above, you will intensify its pain killer properties. The drug will also cause a great euphoric rush, accompanied by prolonged sedation. Most people abuse the drug to get this extreme relaxation and quick high.
However, what you might not know is that Demerol abuse, dependence, and addiction will result in negative effects in almost every aspect of your lifestyle - both in the short and long term. Consider the following effects:
a) Physical Effects
Using Demerol recreationally will damage your body by effectively disrupting its normal operation. If you overdose on it, you might even die.
b) Psychological Effects
Abusing the drug will also disturb your emotional and mental well-being. Additional psychological impacts include an increase in mood swings, depression, anxiety, and altered perceptions of reality.
c) Social Consequences
Using this medication might disrupt your family unit and relationships. As you become consumed by the habit, you will isolate yourself and refuse to participate in normal social functions. This will disrupt your ability to form and enjoy meaningful relationships with others.
Overall, Demerol abuse usually leads to damaged outcomes in psychological health, relationships, financial responsibilities, and social life. As an addict, you will continue suffering these effects until you seek professional help and receive appropriate treatment.
When you first take Demerol, it will create an euphoric on your body and brain. Your brain's neurotransmitters will change, and the central nervous system will be affected by the drug.
Similarly, Demerol will sedate your body, causing you to feel calm and relaxed. If you were in pain, the medication would get rid of the pain in a couple of minutes. However, when the euphoria starts subsiding - within about two hours - you will become irritable, anxious, and restless.
Long term use will permanently alter your brain receptors. This is why doctors do not prescribe Demerol for use over the long haul. When these changes develop, you will acquire strong cravings for the medication.
That said, some of the side effects of everyday Demerol use include:
Common side effects of Demerol include:
Several factors are responsible for causing Demerol addiction. These causes will influence your progression through the addiction and include psychological, biological, and social triggers.
Some of the social factors that are likely to increase your chances of getting addicted to Demerol include:
Your psychological makeup might be the reason why you get hooked to Demerol. Some factors here include:
Your genetic pre-disposal to addiction might make you more likely to start abusing Demerol and eventually develop dependence to it.
Although you will start using this prescription drug to deal with pain - whether emotional or physical - you will eventually become tolerant to it. With time, you will start taking larger doses to feel its numbing effects. This will be the beginning of your addiction to the medication.
Before you use Demerol, therefore, you should understand that it is in a class of prescription painkillers that are highly addictive. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), addiction to this drug can prove to be disastrous. The Center also estimates that close to 78 people die on a daily basis from abusing these types of opioids, particularly after an overdose.
Most addicts often have underlying mental illnesses. The co-occurring disorders include:
Overdose can occur particularly among people who experiment with the drug and become addicted to it.
Therefore, Demerol abuse is as dangerous as it is fatal because it will increase your risk of an overdose. When you take it in large amounts, you will stop your normal respiratory function. Additional symptoms of an overdose include:
In case you think you are about to overdose or suspect someone has overdosed, you should seek immediate medical attention.
If you try to stop using Demerol, you will discover that the process is as painful as it is hard. You will also experience the following withdrawal symptoms:
You should only take Demerol as prescribed - responsibly and safely. However, you need to understand that the drug acts quickly, which is why it is so highly addictive. The drug is also dangerous especially if you are not using it to manage pain.
Alongside the many signs of addiction - including falsifying prescriptions and doctor shopping - the many complexities of abusing Demerol might also prove difficult for you to withdraw.
As an addict, you will suffer excruciating pain on top of your cravings for the medication. With time, you might even go to such dangerous lengths as signing up for medical procedures so that your doctor can prescribe Demerol.
Last but not least, this prescription medication carries the risk of overdose - especially if you use more of it than your body can handle. Overdose will eventually lead to death, as in the Michael Jackson case.
The most common signs and symptoms of addiction, abuse, and dependence include will depend on the level of addiction, your genetic makeup, the frequency of abuse, as well as the length of use.
These symptoms include:
Luckily, you can now recover from your abuse and addiction. However, this will only happen if you receive evidence-based intervention and professional care through a verifiable drug abuse treatment program, particularly one that is specialized in the psychotherapeutic and medical treatment of addiction.
Due to the addictiveness of many stress and pharmaceutical drugs, it is not entirely surprising that there are so many people who have developed dependence. Although falling into the trap will come easily and quickly, the road out will usually take effort and time.
That said if you have the right plan and adequate support from your medical team, family, and friends, you should be able to kick the habit once and for all.
The most common form of treatment used to deal with opioid abuse disorders - like in the case of Demerol - is behavioral therapy. To this end, you will benefit from the individual and group sessions where you will learn new strategies and life skills for managing emotions and coping with stress.
At the end of the day, you cannot allow yourself or someone you love to continue living with their Demerol addiction. For starters, the risk of death from an overdose or due to accidents while influenced by the drug is too high.
Remember, the longer you continue waiting to help your loved ones, or yourself, get into treatment, the greater the likelihood that this feeling of loss will become permanent if something fatal or final happens.
Overall, the best solution to Demerol addiction is to get treatment. Although the process isn't always easy, it will ensure that the addict receives medical attention, and the physical and psychological healing they need to kick their habit.
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