Demerol Detox: Timeline And What To Expect

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on May 27, 2022

Demerol (meperidine) is a prescription drug that is habit-forming. Stopping it suddenly could result in drug withdrawal. Detoxing from the drug can be safely accomplished within a drug detox program, which can offer treatment for Demerol withdrawal.

How To Safely Detox From Demerol

Demerol (meperidine) is a prescription painkiller that belongs to a class of drugs known as opioids, which can become addictive with chronic use or misuse.

Taking Demerol for more than a few weeks can cause physical dependence. This can cause symptoms of opioid withdrawal if you try to stop taking Demerol very suddenly or all at once.

Detoxing from Demerol safely may require professional treatment through a drug detoxification program, which can offer medical supervision and treatment for withdrawal.

Find out more about detoxing from opioids

What Is Demerol Detox?

Demerol detoxification is the process of fully eliminating Demerol from a person’s system. This can take anywhere from four to 10 days.

Detoxification also refers to a type of short-term drug treatment program. This type of treatment program is recommended for people with a history of drug abuse or addiction, to help them get off drugs or alcohol safely.

Timeline For Demerol Detox

People who are physically dependent on Demerol as a result of chronic drug use or misuse may begin to experience withdrawal within eight to 24 hours of their last dose.

Day 1: Early opiate withdrawal symptoms may begin to set in within the first 24 hours after taking your last dose of Demerol. This may include mild flu-like symptoms, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.

Days 2-4: Physical symptoms of withdrawal, including nausea and vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, and drug cravings may begin during this time. This is the peak withdrawal period.

Days 5-7: Within the first week, the most intense symptoms of Demerol withdrawal should begin to gradually decline in their intensity. Some emotional and psychological side effects, including anxiety, may linger.

Days 7+: People with a history of chronic drug addiction, or severe physical dependence, may experience protracted withdrawal after detoxing from Demerol.

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Post-Acute Withdrawal After Demerol Detox

Protracted withdrawal, also known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, may cause lasting symptoms such as anxiety, depression, drug cravings, and insomnia.

This type of withdrawal syndrome can last anywhere from several weeks to several months after quitting Demerol and any other substances of abuse.

Protracted withdrawal can be treated through an inpatient, residential, or outpatient treatment program for Demerol abuse.

What Factors Can Affect The Timeline For Demerol Detox?

How long detox lasts can vary from person to person depending on a range of factors related to one’s substance use, the detox setting, and the treatment provided.

Factors that can influence the timeline for detox include:

  • duration of Demerol use
  • frequency of Demerol use
  • dose of Demerol taken
  • history of substance abuse
  • misuse of other drugs (e.g. benzodiazepines, alcohol)
  • co-occurring mental health disorders
  • certain medical conditions
  • body composition
  • medicine provided during detox

Some medical detox programs offer treatment that can help reduce the length of the detox process as well as the severity of symptoms of withdrawal.

Demerol Withdrawal Symptoms During Detox

Detoxing from Demerol can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms known collectively as withdrawal. This can become mild to severe in nature.

Early Demerol withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • restlessness
  • watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • muscle pain
  • irritability
  • insomnia (trouble sleeping)

Late Demerol withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • sweating
  • chills
  • hot and cold flashes
  • diarrhea
  • dilated pupils
  • goosebumps
  • drug cravings
  • fast heart rate
  • back pain
  • stomach cramping
  • increased blood pressure

Withdrawal symptoms and side effects of detox can be best managed within a healthcare setting, such as a detox facility, hospital, or addiction rehab center.

Treatment Programs For Demerol Detox

Detoxing from Demerol can be a distressing and physically uncomfortable process. Without professional help and treatment, withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to manage alone.

The safest and most effective way to detox from Demerol is to find a medical detox program, which can offer around-the-clock support and treatment for withdrawal.

Medical Detox For Demerol Addiction

Medical detox is a type of inpatient detox program that can help individuals through acute withdrawal from Demerol and any other drugs of abuse.

What medical detox can offer:

  • 24-hour medical supervision
  • a safe and secure detox setting
  • regular monitoring to prevent withdrawal complications
  • medicine for withdrawal symptoms
  • referral for drug rehab at a nearby treatment center

Medical detox is offered by rehab centers and detox facilities across the U.S. After detox, people with an opioid use disorder may be recommended additional substance use treatment.

Drug Rehab For Demerol Addiction

A comprehensive drug rehab program is often recommended after detox to help a person maintain their abstinence from Demerol and any other drugs of abuse.

What a drug rehab program can offer:

  • substance use counseling
  • behavioral therapy sessions
  • support groups
  • medication-assisted treatment (e.g. methadone, Suboxone)
  • family counseling
  • aftercare support

Residential drug rehab programs last 30 to 90 days. The length of time you stay in rehab will depend on your or your loved one’s individual needs for treatment.

Demerol Detox FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Demerol detox, withdrawal, and opioid addiction treatment options.

❓ What Type Of Drug Is Demerol?

✔️ Demerol is a type of prescription opioid pain reliever, similar to the drug morphine. It can be prescribed by a doctor for moderate to severe pain.

❓ Is Demerol Addictive?

✔️ Demerol can become physically and psychologically addictive.

It is classified by the federal government as a schedule II narcotic. This means it has medical value but also possesses a high potential for abuse and addiction.

❓ What Causes Demerol Withdrawal?

✔️ Withdrawal is a condition that develops as a result of drug dependence. This is caused by chronic use of Demerol, which can affect the brain and result in a physical reliance on Demerol.

Demerol dependence can develop within as little as a few weeks of regular use.

❓ How Long Does Demerol Detox Last?

✔️ Demerol detox may last between four to 10 days. After this, certain symptoms of withdrawal, such as anxiety and cravings for Demerol, may continue for some time.

❓ What Medications Are Used For Demerol Detox?

✔️ Treatment for Demerol withdrawal will depend on the types of symptoms experienced:

  • for drug cravings: Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are medication-assisted treatment options that can help with drug cravings.
  • for physical symptoms: Medications like clonidine and lofexidine (Lucemyra) can help relieve physical symptoms of withdrawal, as well as anxiety and general discomfort.
  • for pain management: Non-opioid pain relievers like ibuprofen may help with muscle aches, back pain, or other forms of pain that develop during detox.
  • for insomnia: Medication may be offered by medical professionals or a prescribing physician for difficulty sleeping during and after detox.

❓ Is Demerol Detox Dangerous?

✔️ Withdrawal symptoms from Demerol are not life-threatening. However, some intense physical symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, can cause dehydration.

The primary risks of Demerol detox are relapse and accidental overdose following detox, due to reduced drug tolerance. Both of these risks can be mitigated with the help of addiction treatment specialists.

Find Demerol Detox And Addiction Treatment Today

Detox is the first step on the road to recovery from Demerol addiction. If you or a loved one is addicted to Demerol, we can help you find a detox program that’s right for you.

Don’t wait. Call our helpline today to find a Demerol detox program or addiction treatment center for opioid addiction that can help you begin the road to recovery.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on May 27, 2022
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