What Is Demerol?
Demerol is a medication prescribed to patients to relieve moderate to severe acute pain. It should only be administered to treat sudden episodes of pain before and during surgery or other procedures. Demerol is classified as an opioid analgesic similar to morphine. It effectively reduces pain by changing the way the brain and body respond to pain, but at the same time can be an addictive medication, there is where Demerol detox can be helpful.
Just like beginning treatment with any new medication, starting Demerol may produce side effects in some patients. The most common side effects of Demerol are nausea, vomiting, constipation, sweating, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, and pain or redness at the injection site. These do not typically require medical care, as they should dissipate over time. Promptly notify your doctor if any of these common side effects persist or worsen over time.
More serious side effects associated with taking Demerol are relatively uncommon. It is, however, important to be aware of them so they may be identified in case of an emergency. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects after taking Demerol: mood changes, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, stomach or abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, slow or irregular heartbeat, tremors, vision changes, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, and weight loss. Seek emergency medical attention if you notice fainting, seizures, slow or shallow breathing, severe drowsiness, or have difficulty waking from sleep.
Demerol Detox And Withdrawal
Patients who are no longer interested in treating their pain with Demerol should consult their doctor on how to end treatment and available alternatives. Patients should never adjust their dosage levels or treatment schedule without medical consent. This also means patients should never abruptly stop taking Demerol, as this can produce unwanted withdrawal symptoms. Usually, doctors will gradually lower a patient’s Demerol dose to give the body ample time to adjust to less and less of the medication.
What Is Demerol Withdrawal?
Prolonged abuse of Demerol can cause abnormalities and changes in the user’s brain. When these changes occur, it means the user has become reliant on Demerol—they’ve developed a tolerance, dependence, or even an addiction. Even those who follow a prescription can become dependent on Demerol.
Withdrawal occurs when a physically and/or psychologically dependent Demerol user quits taking the drug or reduces the amount they take. As their body tries to physiologically adjust to no longer having Demerol in its system, the user will experience unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal, such as anxiety and agitation. That is why it is important to have a proper medical Demerol detox.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with Demerol are not typically life-threatening, but they may feel that way to the user. Symptoms can be quite painful and are best treated in a medical environment.
Symptoms Of Demerol Withdrawal
Withdrawal from Demerol is different for each user. The symptoms that present are dependent on how long Demerol was abused, how much of the drug was taken, how often Demerol was taken, whether they also abused any other substances, their mental and physical health, and how they took Demerol. Demerol withdrawal symptoms are typically moderate to severe and can include the following:
- Runny nose
- Discharge from eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Dry mouth
- Increased blood pressure
Demerol users may also experience strong cravings when they first quit the drug, prompting some to begin using again. To reduce the likelihood of relapse, those who are addicted to this drug should seek the help of a medical Demerol detox program.
Duration Of Withdrawal and Demerol Detox
While the duration of withdrawal is different for everyone, most people begin experiencing symptoms within the first 24 hours after their last dose. For some, withdrawal can start as quickly as three hours after quitting.
There are 2 phases of Demerol withdrawal, acute withdrawal and Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS). Acute withdrawal is especially unpleasant, but usually only lasts for 3 to 10 days. Any symptoms that last longer than 10 days are considered PAWS. PAWS can last as long as 24 months, but usually, slowly diminish as time goes by.
Demerol Withdrawal Timeline
- First 24 hours: Symptoms typically begin three to 24 hours after the user’s last dose. Anxiety, irritability, physical discomfort, and nausea are usually the first symptoms to present. Cravings and urges to use are strong.
- Day 2 to Day 5: Withdrawal tends to peak over the next few days. The former user may feel uneasy, alarmed or even fearful. Physical symptoms often set in, like sweating, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. Demerol cravings may be strong.
- Day 6 to Day 14: Over the next week or two, symptoms begin to fade. Any remaining symptoms should be mild. At this point, acute withdrawal has ended and PAWS has begun.
- Days 15+: Cravings for the drug may persist, but most, if not all, other symptoms, including inability to feel pleasure, decreased appetite, restlessness, irritability, agitation, anxiety, depression, poor concentration, mood swings, lack of motivation, and poor sleep patterns should subside.
Demerol Detox And Addiction Treatment
While Demerol detox is a critical first step, it is only part of the solution to overcoming a Demerol addiction. Ideally, it will be followed up with inpatient treatment. In these supportive environments, people undergoing treatment for Demerol may undergo group and individual counseling to explore the root cause of their addiction.
Nutritional and wellness-based therapies help people overcoming Demerol dependence shift into a healthier lifestyle. Biofeedback is a contemporary treatment to help treat anxiety that has been helpful to many. The specific therapies one undergoes will depend on the facility one enters and their specific needs.
Demerol Detox Medications
Demerol users are advised to consult a doctor before quitting the drug if they have a prescription. Demerol users who do not have a prescription are advised to get an evaluation of whether or not they should complete withdrawal in a medical Demerol detox program.
During medical detox, doctors may taper off the user’s dose of Demerol over a period of weeks. However, it is more common to switch to another, a similar substance, such as Buprenorphine, Suboxone, or Subutex. Either method helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and is safer and more comfortable than quitting “cold turkey.” Sometimes, a physician will prescribe medications to help with the withdrawal process.
Two medications that are commonly used to treat Demerol withdrawal are Suboxone and Subutex. Both of these medications help with the painful symptoms of opioid withdrawal and have the same active ingredient, Buprenorphine. Suboxone also has a second active ingredient, an Opioid antagonist called Naloxone. Naloxone makes it next to impossible for the user to feel the euphoric effects of opioids, making relapse less likely. It also makes the user more likely to overdose because they often take more and more Demerol to get the effect they desire.
“The theory behind this treatment is that the repeated absence of the desired effects and the perceived futility of abusing opioids will gradually diminish craving and addiction. Naltrexone itself has no subjective effects following detoxification (that is, a person does not perceive any particular drug effect), it has no potential for abuse, and it is not addictive.”National Institute on Drug Abuse
Demerol Detox and Interactions
Always keep an updated list of your current medications, including herbal products or over-the-counter drugs, and share this with your doctor. This is important because some substances may cause an interaction with Demerol. Products that have been shown to interact with Demerol include pain medications such as pentazocine, nalbuphine, butorphanol, and naltrexone.
In addition, using MAO inhibitors with Demerol can cause dangerous, if not fatal, drug interactions. Specifically avoid the following MAO inhibitors during your Demerol treatment: isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. Do not take most MAO inhibitors for at least two weeks before starting treatment with Demerol. As is always recommended, check with your doctor if you have questions about the safety of mixing certain substances.
Reclaim Your Life With Demerol Detox
Demerol addiction is a condition that can cause significant health, social and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Washington Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from mental health issues associated with Demerol addiction with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
We Level Up Washington Mental Health Center: Primary Mental Health Treatment with Secondary Co-Occurring Treatments
The We Level Up Washington primary mental health center stands ready to help. Offering secondary treatment programs for underlying conditions like Demerol addiction that frequently fuels harmful behaviors. Taking that first step to get the professional support you need can be life-transforming.
We know how mental health disorders and secondary co-occurring substance abuse diagnoses directly affect one another. The We Level Up Washington treatment center provides recovery programs through science-based mental health treatments that can help you feel better. Call us now for a free mental health evaluation!
Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at affiliated facilities at other We Level Up Treatment Centers locations beyond the Washington treatment facility.