Like morphine, Demerol is also an opioid substance. Whether it is taken in a non-prescribed or recommended dose, it is potentially highly addictive.
Similar to many of prescription drugs, a lot of people do not recognize the fact that they can develop addiction to any form of Demerol. When users regularly take the drug, there can be quick development of tolerance. When this happens, users will require more amount of the drug to feel more of it effects. This leads to physical dependence. This type of dependence happens when the brain of the user changes because of Demerol use. As a result, the person becomes reliant on Demerol to be able to have normal functions.
When people have developed addiction to Demerol they usually exhibit a behavior that is observed in drug-seekers.
A user that is already addicted to the drug may forego his current prescription for him or her to get new prescriptions to get more amount of Demerol. Another way that they utilize is self-inflict themselves with injury for them to be able to visit the emergency room. They do these in hoping that they can get more Demerol. The other ways are getting more prescriptions as they visit more doctors and practicing “doctor shopping”.
When there is addiction to Demerol, the user manifests behavior such as:
- Spending a lot of money buying the drug or stealing money just to have the ability to purchase the drug;
- Continuing the use of Demerol even if there are already problems in the user’s health and relationships with others;
- Isolating themselves from their loved ones just to hide their abuse of the drug;
- Neglecting relationships and responsibilities while looking for or using the drug.
In a 2013 issue of The Washington Post, former US representative Patrick J. Kennedy had a statement on his addiction to Demerol. He shared that he spent 10 years as part of the House Appropriations Committee that oversees all of the federal agencies that are tasked to address the epidemic of addiction of the American people to prescription painkillers specifically opiates. While on his post, he shared that he was addicted to the said painkillers. He used to keep the drugs in a bottle of aspirin that concealed in his jacket. In this way nobody thought strangely whenever he popped one tablet during hearings of the committee. He had continued access to the drug using different alibis such as the pills got lost in his luggage, the dog ate the pills, or the pills got lost in his luggage. But when these didn’t work with his original doctor, he would seek prescription from other doctors.
When addiction to Demerol has taken effect, it would be very difficult for the user to quit the drug. Even if the user really wants to quit, it is difficult because the body has become dependent on the drug. If a user decided to quit the intake of Demerol, he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms that are very harsh. These include nausea and anxiety. When this happens, users will strive to feel better and they will resort to a relapse.
Better Understanding of Demerol
Demerol is an opioid painkiller and is particularly a brand name of the substance called meperidine. It is used for the treatment of moderate to severe gravity of pain. It has the same narcotic effects as oxycodone and morphine.
Demerol is usually prescribed inside the hospitals. There are very few and rare instances that it is prescribed outside the hospitals.
The Controlled Substance Act classified the drug as a controlled substance that is of Schedule II type. The only way to obtain it legally is through prescriptions. Abusers of the drug buy it on the streets using the names “dust”, “D” or “dillies”.
The drug comes in liquid and tablet forms. In liquid form, the drug is taken in the form of an injectable solution or syrup. However, only medical professionals are allowed to administer the injectable form. In tablet form, the drug is white in color, circular in shape and comes in strengths of 50 mg or 100 mg. When it is taken as a prescribed medicine, clients take it orally in the form of tablets or syrup.
Abuse and Effects of Demerol
Users become addicted to Demerol because they are not aware of substance abuse. After developing tolerance, they start to develop both physical and psychological dependence on the drug. Non-prescribed and non-medical use of the drug is already an abuse.
Users abuse the drug through:
- Snorting of the powdered tablet
- Chewing of the tablets
- Injecting the dissolved powder in water
Through these, the painkilling properties of Demerol further intensifies. The user experiences a powerful and euphoric rush. Later on, the user experiences a prolonged sedation. Users abuse Demerol because of the extreme relaxation they quickly feel after taking Demerol.
Abuse of Demerol is dangerous because it can lead to drug overdose. When large amounts of the drug is taken, the user will experience depression of the respiratory system. This is potentially fatal. Other symptoms when there is overdose are:
- Cold and clammy skin
- Extreme drowsiness
- Weak or limp muscles
Common Combinations of Drugs
Demerol is in itself already a powerful drug. This is why it should not be mixed with other depressants of the central nervous system. When combined with benzodiazepines, alcohol or other depressants, Demerol increases risks of overdose, extreme sedation, and death.
Statistics of Demerol Abuse
Between 2004 and 2008, there was a 111% increase in the number of emergency room visits due to Demerol abuse. In the US, pharmacies have dispensed 210 million prescriptions of opioids. Lastly, more than 2 million people abuse Demerol and other painkillers every year.