Demerol, a synthetic prescription opioid drug, works well as a treatment for conditions involving moderate to severe pain symptoms. Demerol produces effects similar to those of morphine in terms of its pain-relieving effects.
Like the good majority of opiate drugs, Demerol carries a high risk for abuse and addiction when used for long periods of time and/or used in excess. Abuse practices can develop gradually over time, and eventually morph into a full-blown addiction problem.
While people living with pain can definitely benefit from Demerol’s effects, once a need for Demerol addiction treatment arises, the sooner a person gets needed treatment help the better.
Demerol exists as a brand name version of meperidine, an opioid that belongs to the phenylpiperidine class of opiate drugs.
Phenylpiperidine varieties act on areas of the central nervous system that other types of opiates don’t, which makes for a more targeted treatment approach when dealing with different types of pain.
According to Mayo Clinic, Demerol and Meperitab exist as the only brand name versions for meperidine and come in tablet, syrup and solution (for injection) forms. Compared to other opiates, Demerol produces short-acting effects that last from two to four hours at a time.
As part of the underground drug culture, street names provide a way for drug dealers, drug traffickers and recreational users to mask their activities when speaking in mixed company. Teenagers involved in drug activity make ample use of street names within home and school settings.
Street names for Dilaudid and meperidine include Mapergan, Demmies and Pethidine. It helps to keep in mind that street names change quite frequently so parents may want to make it a point to stay on top of these trends.
Demerol produces short-acting effects that last for a short period of time. This, combined with its ability to relieve moderate to severe pain symptoms, makes for a good pain-relief treatment for people recovering from surgery.
According to Michigan State University, Demerol may also work well as a treatment for certain types of unusual medical conditions, such as:
- Relieving chills or rigors caused by drug-induced side effects
- For people who tend to have adverse reactions to other types of opiate drugs
- Relieving chills experienced after a person comes out of anesthesia
- Producing a type of sedation that allows a person to remain conscious, such as for a surgical procedure
How Does Demerol Work?
Demerol produces pain relief through its interactions with the brain and central nervous system (CNS). According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Demerol also inhibits activity within the parasympathetic portion of the CNS, a system that regulates involuntary movement of the body’s smooth muscles, such as those that reside in the lung and gastrointestinal tract.
In effect, Demerol slows chemical activities, which has the same effect on the areas of the body affected. In turn, Demerol’s pain-relief effects result from its ability to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.
Demerol Side Effects
Any drug capable of altering neurotransmitter processes can cause unintended side effects on the body. Considering how Demerol can treat moderate to severe pain symptoms, this drug exerts a considerable effect on the brain’s chemical activities.
Demerol side effects can vary depending on how a person’s physical makeup reacts to the drug. Commonly experienced side effects include:
- Feeling disconnected from one’s surroundings
- Muscle twitches
- Mood changes
- Agitation diarrhea
Demerol dangers develop out of cumulative effects had on the brain and body. Whether a person uses it for recreational purposes or medicinal treatment, the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects increases the longer drug use continues.
According to the Food & Drug Administration, dangers associated with long-term Demerol use can take the following forms:
- Kidney problems
The risk of overdose in particular is of particular concern, especially for people who must take large dosage amounts for treatment purposes.
Like many other opiate drugs, Demerol carries a high abuse potential. Demerol places a considerable strain on the cells that produce neurotransmitter chemicals. These effects pave the way for drug abuse practices to begin.
Demerol damages cell sites to the point where a person must keep increasing his or her dosage amounts in order for cells to produce the amount of neurotransmitters needed to bring on the drug’s desired effects. Under these conditions, the brain starts to develop chemical imbalances that ultimately work to create a Demerol dependent environment, also known as physical dependence.
A Demerol addiction develops out of the drug’s effects on the brain reward system. The reward system determines what types of activities and pursuits most benefit a person’s survival.
The rewarding effects from using Demerol, be it pain-relief or euphoria, essentially retrain the reward system to the point where using the drug takes on top priority in a person’s life. As a result, addiction’s effects warp a person’s beliefs, motivations, thinking and priorities.
According to Albert Einstein College of Medicine, these changes account for why people in recovery have such a difficult time maintaining abstinence on a long-term basis.
When to Consider Demerol Addiction Treatment
While Demerol offers much need treatment benefits for people living with pain-related conditions, its drawbacks start to outweigh its benefits when used for prolonged periods of time. From declines in physical health to psychological impairment, the effects of a developing Demerol addiction can cause more harm than good in the long run.
This is especially the case when using this drug for recreational purposes. With intentional Demerol abuse, a person stands to experience an faster rate of decline that ultimately works to destroy his or her life in the process.
If you suspect you or someone you know is battling a Demerol abuse problem, please don’t hesitate to call our helpline at 800-584-3274 to speak with one of our addiction counselors.