Demerol, also known by the street name “demmies” and the generic name meperidine, is a prescription opioid painkiller. Demerol is used to deal with relatively acute pain and is available in capsule or liquid form.
As a schedule II prescription medication, Demerol includes a high potential for physical and psychological dependence. Abusers may purchase the medication from street dealers or proceed “doctor shopping” (seeking out multiple physicians for prescriptions) to find the drug.
Demerol, such as other opiate painkillers, has a higher risk of abuse due to its pleasurable mood-altering consequences. Many users experience a strong sense of euphoria when taking the medication. Users may swallow the medication in liquid or pill form or choose to snort or inject it to enhance its effects.
Demerol has a history of being mistreated by health care professionals, including physicians and nurses, as it’s easily available in the health care community .
The abuse of opioid drugs such as Demerol is dangerous because it can easily lead to
- Tolerance (requiring increasing amounts to feel the exact effects).
- Physical dependence
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using the medication.
- Numerous physical health problems which range from moderate (e.g., drowsiness) to possibly deadly (e.g., respiratory depression.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Demerol abuse may stop severe negative consequences from occurring.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms and signs of Demerol abuse can differ from person to person. Some signs you will notice in someone under the influence Demerol may include:-
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Little pupils.
- Slowed breathing.
Signs of an Opioid Use Disorder
Demerol abuse may result in serious problems, including opioid addiction. When Demerol abuse persists, an individual may develop what is diagnosed as an opioid use disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) lists the following diagnostic criteria commonly met by those struggling with this and similar ailments:-
- Utilizing the medication in dangerous circumstances.
- Relationship problems because of medication use.
- Neglecting major responsibilities due to medication.
- Using larger and larger levels over time.
- Repeated failed attempts to stop.
- Spending long amounts of time acquiring, using, or recovering from use of this medication.
- Physical and mental problems because of use.
- Giving up important activities because of drug use.
- Withdrawal symptoms.
Identifying the signs and symptoms of Demerol abuse is vital because long-term abuse can have serious physical and mental consequences.
Symptoms of Demerol Withdrawal
Demerol withdrawal can be embarrassing, but it’s not typically considered dangerous. Withdrawing from prescription opioids such as Demerol can result in one or more of these symptoms:-
- Involuntary leg movements
- Cold flashes.
- Runny nose.
- Dilated pupils.
- Dilated pupils.
- Gastrointestinal distress (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).
Effects of Abuse
If you misuse Demerol, side effects could be severe. Abusing prescription opioids can place people at greater risk of developing the next problems:
- Physical and psychological dependence.
- HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases (if sharing needles).
- Permanent brain damage due to hypoxia (insufficient oxygen to the brain).
- Potentially fatal respiratory depression.
A threat specific to Demerol is that one of its metabolites, normeperidine, has the capacity to be neurotoxic, especially if it builds up in neural tissues with recurrent, higher dose use. A build-up of the metabolite can cause agitation, tremors, and seizures.
Overdose can also be an issue for Demerol abusers. At high doses, it may result in respiratory depression, a condition where the consumer doesn’t receive enough oxygen, which may lead to death. Snorting or injecting the medication, using massive quantities, and mixing it with other drugs and alcohol may increase the odds of an overdose.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
- Approximately 20 percent of Americans over age 12 have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at some time in their lives. But, Demerol abuse, like that of other prescription drugs, may be underreported because of stigma and fear of consequences.
- In 2010, more than 200 million prescriptions have been written for opiate painkillers. Regrettably, these prescriptions are too often diverted to the roads, where they’re sold for recreational use.
- Nearly 14% of people who used prescription medication non-medically meet criteria for dependence or abuse on using the medication.
- Overdoses from opiate painkillers quadrupled between 1999 and 2007.
Prescription opiate painkillers are among the most often abused types of drugs reported by 12th graders, according to NIDA. Prescription drug use among adolescents is connected to other harmful behaviors, such as heavy drinking, smoking cigarettes and use of prohibited drugs, like cocaine and marijuana.
Teens may abuse prescription medication due to easy accessibility, like after receiving a prescription for pain after an injury or operation. Some teenagers report giving away or selling their prescriptions or stealing drugs from relatives. They might falsely assume that prescription medications are safer than illegal “hard” drugs, such as the opiate heroin, or cocaine.
Factors which could put teens at greater risk of abusing prescription drugs:-
- Conflict with relatives.
- residing in a single-parent household.
- Regular moves between houses.
- Peer drug use.
- Criminal and violent behaviour.
- Poor physical health.
- Emotional health difficulties.
- History of injury.
Tips for Preventing Teen Opioid Abuse
- Parents, teachers, physicians, and pharmacists should explore the risks of prescription medication use with adolescents, including the dangers of combining different drugs and sharing with peers.
- Parents and others should provide instruction on the effects of prescription drug use and change false beliefs about its own safety.
- Parents and other relatives must carefully track prescription medication within the household. Prescription medications should be secured and locked, and old drugs should be properly disposed of.
- Parents should carefully monitor the dose and frequency in case their adolescents are given prescription drugs.
Additionally, parents may encourage healthy activities for adolescents, like hobbies, exercise, and positive peer groups. This may help reduce the appeal of prescription medication and protect against abuse.