Demerol Addiction Treatment in New Hampshire

Medical detox, behavioral therapy, and other treatment programs can help those suffering from Demerol addiction.

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Many people fail to realize that some prescription medications can be just as harmful and addictive as illegal drugs. Demerol, a narcotic analgesic, is one such example. While this medicine helps relieve pain for countless patients, it can hook several into addiction.

In this article, we’ll talk more about Demerol and how it works. We’ll also give you helpful information about how to spot the signs of Demerol addiction and the right steps for treating it.

So, if you or a loved one need Demerol addiction treatment (detox) in New Hampshire or around the country, you’re at the right place. Keep scrolling.

What Is Demerol?

Also known as meperidine or pethidine, Demerol is a strong type of pain reliever. It’s a synthetic opioid analgesic that’s usually prescribed by doctors to manage moderate-to-severe pain.

Principally, Demerol comes in various doses, whether in syrup, tablet, or injectable solution form. It’s especially helpful for use after surgery or for chronic conditions, such as cancer.

How Does Demerol Work?

Demerol, or meperidine, works in quite a similar way to morphine. It binds to certain receptors in the brain and spinal cord called opioid receptors. As a result, it blocks the transmission of pain signals from the body to the brain.

In addition, Demerol also interacts with the brain and stimulates it to release more dopamine. Since dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, having more of it in the body increases the feeling of euphoria and improves the mood.

Is Demerol Addictive?

Yes, it is. Despite past beliefs that Demerol isn’t as addictive as morphine, it actually can be. As an opioid medication, it has the potential to lead to physical dependence and addiction. That’s especially true if used improperly for an extended period.

In fact, The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Demerol as a Schedule II controlled substance. This classification indicates that it has a high risk for both physical and psychological dependence (despite its useful medical properties).

That’s why it’s strongly advised to use Demerol for a short-term only under close medical supervision.

Causes and Risk Factors of Demerol Addiction

Several factors contribute to the risk associated with Demerol abuse, such as genetics. In fact, scientists have discovered some variations of genes inside the body that can influence how a person responds to specific opioids.

Besides the genetic factors, there are also a few environmental and behavioral aspects to consider. These include:

  • Impulsivity and risk-taking behavior
  • Early exposure to and easy access to illicit opioids
  • Peer influence from those engaging in drug use
  • Family history of drug or substance use disorders
  • Using Demerol as a self-medication to treat an injury

Effects of Demerol Use

When taken as prescribed, Demerol provides immediate pain relief. Its effects start only within 15 to 30 minutes of taking the drug and can last for several hours.

Sadly, many individuals abuse Demerol by taking it in higher doses or in ways that intensify its effects. These ways include chewing the tablets, snorting the powder after crushing the tablets, or dissolving the powder in water before injecting it directly into the bloodstream.

Such methods lead to a hit of a euphoric rush followed by a period of prolonged sedation. These feelings are what most people suffering from addiction look for in Demerol.

Side Effects of Demerol Addiction

Despite its useful properties in relieving pain, Demerol abuse can lead to serious complications. With excessive use of higher doses, some adverse effects start to develop, such as:

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion
  • Weakened muscles
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Respiratory depression (leading to problems with breathing)
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort (nausea and vomiting)
  • Skin irritation or itching sensation
  • Constipation due to slow bowel movement
  • Dry mouth and diminished cough reflex
  • Headaches and mood swings
  • Lightheadedness and changes in vision

The Effects of Common Drug Combinations With Demerol

Despite the serious side effects of using Demerol without a prescription, the percentage of people misusing it and other opioids in the U.S. still increases. According to the World Health Organization, death rates from opioid overdoses have increased significantly over the years.

Besides the dangers of using it alone, mixing Demerol with other substances can escalate the risks even further and lead to severe consequences. Here are some of the most common drug combinations involving Demerol and why they’re dangerous.

  1. Benzodiazepines: Combining Demerol with drugs like Xanax or Valium can increase the risks of respiratory depression, sedation, seizures, and overdose. That’s because both drug classes work on depressing the central nervous system (CNS).
  2. Alcohol: Alcohol is also a type of CNS depressant that’s extremely dangerous to mix with Demerol. If consumed together, they may result in severe respiratory depression, coma, cardiac arrest, and death in some cases.
  3. Other Opioids: Taking a mix of different opioids together increases the total opioid load on the body, elevating the likelihood of adverse effects and toxicity.
  4. Antidepressants: Consuming antidepressants with Demerol can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. It’s a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by agitation, hallucinations, an elevated heart rate, and hyperthermia.
  5. Muscle Relaxants: Muscle relaxants, like cyclobenzaprine or carisoprodol, are also harmful to take with Demerol. The combination increases the risk of central nervous system depression and impaired motor functions.

Signs of Demerol Addiction

As a person develops an addiction to Demerol, certain symptoms and behaviors start to become more apparent. Therefore, you need to pay attention and observe the individual you suspect closely. Here are a few signs to be aware of:

  • Developing tolerance and needing higher doses of Demerol to achieve the same effects as before
  • Spending time and effort trying to obtain the drug, affecting other responsibilities
  • Feeling strong cravings for Demerol, resulting in compulsive drug-seeking behavior
  • Showing an increase in risky behavior such as driving under the influence
  • Being unable to maintain social relationships with family and friends
  • Showing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop taking Demerol (cravings, agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, nausea, or vomiting)
  • Continuing to use the drug despite the negative consequences and side effects
  • Lying about drug use or engaging in illegal activities to maintain drug abuse
  • Neglecting school, work, or family obligations
  • Having financial problems as a result of spending more money on acquiring Demerol
  • Showing a change in appearance, like weight loss or pale skin

Demerol Addiction Treatment

The plan for Demerol addiction treatment consists of a few vital steps. Such steps are better taken under medical supervision to achieve the best results.

Take a look at the common components of Demerol addiction treatment:

1. Detoxification

The first and most crucial step for treating any kind of addiction is detoxification. It’s the process of ridding the body of the substance completely by cutting it off.

However, doing so abruptly isn’t the best choice. That’s because Demerol withdrawal symptoms are usually too intense to handle without medical aid. Consequently, they may lead to a relapse.

During detox, medical professionals help the patient gradually taper off the drug and minimize withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, they can also prescribe some medications to alleviate discomfort and cravings during the process.

2. Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other types are fantastic approaches for addressing the psychological aspect of addiction. These therapies help individuals identify and change unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors resulting from substance abuse.

On top of that, they teach those individuals coping skills to manage cravings and deal with triggers, giving them more control over their lives.

3. Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Programs

Depending on each person’s case, participating in an inpatient or outpatient program may be necessary.

For those who need to stay under surveillance and prevent their access to drugs, inpatient care is a must. Not only does it provide them with the needed support, but it also prepares them to get back to their lives.

Outpatient programs, on the other hand, provide the same care with the option of going back home every day. This type of treatment plan is especially helpful for those who already have a healthy and strong support system from family and friends.

Inside a treatment center for Demerol addiction treatment, individuals can receive the following therapies:

  • Individual Therapy: Having counseling sessions alone with a therapist to address the personal issues that led to addiction.
  • Group Therapy: Participating in group sessions with other people to share experiences and provide mutual support.
  • Family Therapy: Involving family members in therapy sessions to better reinforce the person’s support system at home.
  • Medication Management: Receiving medications necessary to treat co-occurring mental health issues and alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms from specialized healthcare providers.
  • Life Skill Training: Learning more about managing stress, solving problems, and communicating effectively to be able to face daily life challenges.
  • Aftercare Planning: Working on a comprehensive plan to maintain sobriety and have access to ongoing support services after completing treatment.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with addiction can be tough for the people affected and their family members alike. However, asking for professional help and taking action towards recovery can make a huge difference in overcoming Demerol addiction.

Medical detox, behavioral therapy, and other treatment programs can help those suffering from Demerol addiction greatly. All they need is encouragement and support from surrounding individuals to overcome this issue.

If you need to find facilities offering Demerol addiction treatment (detox) in New Hampshire, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team at Live Free Recovery can assist you and provide answers to all your questions.

Published on: 2024-05-07
Updated on: 2024-05-12