Millions of prescription opioids, including Demerol, are abused every year in the United States.
Chronic misuse of Demerol can lead to addiction, which has a number of serious health risks. Physical dependence, organ damage, and opioid overdose are all risks of Demerol abuse.
Treatment for Demerol addiction can help you safely detox from Demerol. It can also teach you skills to help you rebuild a successful, fulfilling, and addiction-free future in recovery.
Examples Of Demerol Drug Abuse
Demerol is a brand name for meperidine, an opioid agonist. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain, due to its ability to change the brain and nervous system’s pain response.
Demerol abuse is any non-medical use of Demerol. That is, any use of Demerol that is not directed by a licensed prescriber, such as a general healthcare provider.
Examples of Demerol abuse include:
- taking higher doses than prescribed
- taking doses more often
- crushing and snorting Demerol
- dissolving Demerol into a liquid to inject
- mixing Demerol with other drugs to get high
- taking Demerol for longer than prescribed
- taking someone else’s prescription
Demerol abuse isn’t always intentional. For some, this can start out as taking higher doses to overcome tolerance. Others may misuse it for its pleasurable effects (i.e. euphoria).
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Demerol And Polysubstance Abuse
Demerol is sometimes mixed with other drugs, including alcohol, to intensify or counteract the effects of other drugs. This risky practice is known as polysubstance abuse.
Common drug combinations include:
- Demerol and alcohol
- Demerol and oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Demerol and heroin
- Demerol and benzodiazepines
- Demerol and stimulants
What Are Common Side Effects Of Demerol Abuse?
Demerol abuse can have short-term side effects and long-term side effects. It can affect your vital signs, such as your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. It can also cause drowsiness.
Effects of chronic Demerol abuse can include:
- erectile dysfunction
- irregular menstrual cycle
- general feeling of apathy (loss of interest)
- increased sensitivity to pain
- psychological addiction
How A Demerol Addiction Develops
Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a chronic condition in which a person is unable to control their drug use due to a physical and/or mental reliance on the drug.
Contrary to popular belief, prescription drug addiction does not develop instantly. It develops over time, as a result of a chronic pattern of substance abuse.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Demerol Addiction
Addiction isn’t always easily recognizable by the person with addiction, or their loved ones. But as it grows worse, signs and symptoms of this problem can become more visible over time.
Signs and symptoms of a Demerol addiction may include:
- excessive or very frequent Demerol use
- using Demerol in ways other than prescribed (e.g. snorting Demerol)
- constantly thinking about Demerol
- craving Demerol
- being unable to reduce or stop your drug use
- compulsive drug-seeking tendencies
- hiding or lying about your substance use
- dramatic, unexplainable changes in physical appearance
- continuing to use Demerol despite negative consequences
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms within hours of last use
Opioid addiction can be physical and psychological in nature. It can make people act in ways they normally wouldn’t, and doesn’t discriminate by age, gender, race, or ethnicity.
Why Do People Abuse Demerol?
Demerol is a powerful drug capable of relieving pain and causing euphoric effects in moderate to high doses. It can also be habit-forming with chronic use, making it difficult to quit.
Demerol abuse is more common among people who:
- are addicted to other opioids (e.g. heroin)
- have a history of substance abuse
- have a family history of addiction
- have a history of mental illness or trauma
- take opioids for pain management
For many, Demerol abuse can become a way to self-medicate. For instance, to relieve pain, stress, feelings of depression, or symptoms of other mental health disorders.
Unfortunately, this is a dangerous behavior that can come with risks, from risks to health, as well as other aspects of life, such as ability to work, care for others, or simply get through the day.
Risks Of Long-Term Demerol Abuse
Chronic opioid abuse is associated with a number of long-term risks, including organ damage, severe dependence, opioid withdrawal, and opioid overdose.
Withdrawal can occur if you develop physical dependence and try to go for more than six to 12 hours without taking Demerol. This can manifest physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Demerol abuse is also a risk factor for opioid overdose, which can be life-threatening in severe cases due to its effects on respiratory function and other vital bodily functions.
Can Demerol Use Be Fatal?
Too much Demerol, either alone or in combination with other drugs, can be deadly. Sadly, thousands of drug overdose deaths involving opioids like Demerol occur each year in the U.S.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Demerol Overdose
Overdose is a condition that can develop if you take too much of one or more drugs. This is a medical emergency that can be fatal without quick medical treatment.
Signs and symptoms of a Demerol overdose include:
- bluish, clammy skin
- respiratory depression
- unable to respond
- low heart and blood pressure rates
- “pinpoint” pupils
- limp muscles
- blurred vision
- mental confusion
- loss of consciousness
Overdose does not always lead to death. This can be reversed with the quick use of the medication naloxone, or Narcan, which is an opioid overdose reversal drug.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of overdose, call 911 right away and let them know you believe someone is experiencing an opiate overdose. They will bring Narcan.
Treatment Programs For Demerol Abuse And Addiction
Demerol abuse and addiction is treatable. Across the United States, there are hundreds of rehab centers that offer treatment programs for opioid addiction, to help people achieve recovery.
Treatment programs for Demerol addiction include:
- Demerol detox programs
- inpatient drug rehab
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- dual diagnosis treatment
- outpatient treatment programs
A high-quality rehab program for Demerol addiction will address all aspects of your addiction, from the physical side effects to its effects on mental health and overall well-being.
Drug addiction treatment can teach you skills to help you succeed in recovery and maintain abstinence from Demerol, while also allowing space to address the root causes of your addiction.
Do You Need To Detox From Demerol?
Detoxification is a necessary step for overcoming addiction if you’ve developed physical dependence. Detox services are offered by detox facilities and some inpatient rehab centers.
Treating Demerol Addiction With Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
One of the most effective treatments for Demerol addiction is medication-assisted treatment, which involves taking certain medications to help with cravings and withdrawal.
FDA-approved medications for Demerol addiction include:
Medications for opioid use disorder can be prescribed by medical professionals with the proper training. This may be found through an inpatient or outpatient healthcare provider.
How Long Does Demerol Stay In Your System?
Demerol stays in the body for up to three days in the average person. This may vary depending on your tolerance, frequency of use, and other personal factors.
Ways to detect use of Demerol:
- urine testing: Demerol stays in the urine for up to 3 days after last use
- blood testing: Demerol remains in the blood for up to 24 hours
- hair testing: hair tests can detect Demerol for up to 90 days
- saliva testing: Demerol remains detectable in saliva for up to 48 hours after last use
Demerol Withdrawal Signs And Symptoms
Early symptoms of withdrawal include headache, nausea, muscle aches, runny nose, and anxiety.
Opioid withdrawal can be physical and psychological in nature. For some, it can be painful and may last several days, or up to a week on average.
Demerol Addiction FAQs
Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Demerol abuse and addiction.
How Is Demerol Classified?
Demerol is an opioid analgesic that is classified by the U.S. federal government as a schedule II controlled substance. It is also classified, medically, as a central nervous system depressant.
What Is The Average Street Price Of Demerol?
Demerol can cost anywhere from $2.50 to $6.00 for a single dose when bought on the street. This price may vary depending on the dose, formulation, and other factors.
See more about how much Demerol costs on the street.
What Are Common Street Names For Demerol?
Demerol is sometimes referred to by other terms to avoid detection of use. Common street names for this opioid pain reliever include demmies and pain killer.
Find A Demerol Addiction Treatment Program Today
We understand the pain that Demerol addiction can cause individuals and their families. Don’t wait to seek help for yourself or a loved one with addiction. Let us help you find healing.
Call our helpline today for more information about Demerol addiction treatment programs, or to find an addiction rehab center that matches your needs.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 NSDUH
- University of Michigan Medicine — Meperidine
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration — Demerol
- U.S. National Institutes of Health Library — Street & Commercial Names
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Meperidine Injection