Demerol® (Meperidine) Treatment
Meperidine, the active ingredient in Demerol, is a highly addictive narcotic painkiller in the same family of drugs as heroin, morphine, and OxyContin. Doctors prescribe it before and after surgeries, during labor, and sometimes for emergency room procedures.
Demerol is a dangerous drug because it builds up in the human body, causing permanent trembling symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease as well as seizures. As with all opiates, it is difficult to quit using Demerol because it alters the way the brain experiences pleasure and blocks out pain in the central nervous system and spinal cord. This means users feel extremely calm, relaxed, and free of all anxiety and pain when under the influence of this drug. Without Demerol, they feel irritable, weepy, and anxious.
Also, as with all opiates, people build up tolerances to Demerol and keep increasing the amounts they use. Some people become so addicted to Demerol that they fake pain symptoms in order to obtain prescriptions for it, or even try to make it at home in kitchen laboratories.
If you are chemically dependent on Demerol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. How you react depends on personal factors such as your age, weight, medical history, and how long you have been taking Demerol and in what amounts. You can call a counselor to discuss your personal situation and treatment options.
Some people need to enroll in residential treatment centers for several weeks or months. Others will be able to achieve chemical withdrawal under medically supervised circumstances, and then complete their treatments at outpatient clinics near their homes.
The first step will be freeing your body from all traces of Demerol. Withdrawal symptoms may begin within six hours of your last dose, and your doctor may help you through withdrawal with medications such as Clonidine. For the first two or three days, you may experience insomnia, stomach and muscle spasms, and simultaneous shivering, sweating, and shaking. Nervousness, irritability, and anxiety can progress to paranoia. Other symptoms are watery eyes, stuffy nose, yawning, stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, fast breathing, increased heart rate, insomnia, and backache.
Once you are free from Demerol, your recovery work moves into the second phase, which is learning how to live a drug-free life. Your counselors and teachers will help you learn to avoid “triggers” that can cause relapses into new drug use, such as certain situations and people from your old drug-using environment. You usually attend classes to learn new ways of dealing with stress, such as sports, yoga, meditation, art, drama, and so forth. If you are in residential treatment, you will meet with your therapist on a daily basis in group or individual sessions. After you return home, you usually remain in recovery for a year or more, attending Narc-Anon or other support meetings and continuing with therapy. Often your family will participate in your recovery program.
If you became addicted to Demerol because you have chronic pain, your best option may be a center specializing in chronic pain treatment. You can discuss this with your phone counselor, and even look over programs.
If you are the custodial parent of a child who is abusing Demerol, you have the right to place your child in a drug treatment center. Even teenagers who go through drug rehabilitation unwillingly can achieve excellent outcomes.
Please call now and discuss your situation with a counselor. All of our counselors are professional, informed, and non-judgmental – and some have been through the same problems you are now experiencing.