Addiction has been a continuous difficulty in our nation for many years and there are numerous substances that are problematic in this regard. One type of substance that has been greatly contributing to the issue is opioids. Various substances can actually come under this heading, including both legal and illicit drugs. Of course, illegal opioids like heroin continue to be massive issues, but the various legal medications are also huge problems in the realm of addiction. In fact, many of these medications actually have very similar effects to those of heroin. A prominent brand name medication that tends to be heavily abused is Demerol, which is generically known as meperidine. This medication is typically prescribed to address moderate to severe pain on an immediate basis.
Opioids are generally sourced from the opiate poppy plant in some way or another, with the difference being that some medications are directly sourced and others are synthetically or semi-synthetically created. Meperidine falls under the heading of a synthetic opioid and it was initially thought to carry less risk of addiction and danger when compared with morphine. Although, both of these thoughts were later found to be false, as meperidine actually carries the same addictive risk as morphine, and it can even be more toxic than other opioids due to a certain metabolite within it. Just like other opioids, meperidine produces a series of effects considered to be desirable, such as:
- Pain Relief
- Sense of Well Being
While meperidine is quite effective in mitigating pain and has other desired effects, it can also bring about a series of negative side effects, including:
- Dry Mouth
- Stomach Pain
- Mood Changes
- Appetite Loss
The above could be called the lesser side effects, but meperidine can also produce an array of more severe side effects as well, such as:
- Slow Heart Rate
- Shallow or Weak Breathing
- Increased Heart Rate
- Cold, Clammy Skin
- Severe Drowsiness
- Hives or Rashes
- Chest Pain
The side effects of meperidine can be hellacious to deal with. Those who have a prescription for this medication and are experiencing any of the above lesser or severe side effects should rapidly consult with their medical care professional. Many of these side effects can be more likely to occur or exacerbated when meperidine is combined with other substances, such as alcohol. An individual should also always consult with their doctor regarding any medication combinations to ensure that all prescriptions can work in harmony.
While meperidine is valuable in its purpose as a pain reliever, it is unfortunately also abused by numerous people to achieve the above desired effects. There are a few different ways that an individual can abuse meperidine, such as taking larger doses than prescribed or using it too frequently. Unconventional methods of use also come under the heading of abuse, such as crushing the pill and snorting it or dissolving the crushed pill in liquid and taking it intravenously. It is very dangerous to abuse meperidine and doing so greatly increases the various risks associated with it.
Dependence and Addiction
Of course, just like virtually all of the opioids in circulation, meperidine can also bring about a pretty serious physical dependence. Physical dependence describes the way that an individual’s body becomes reliant upon a substance after extended use. If the individual then ceases to use meriperiden or goes too long between doses, they may experience hellacious cravings and withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Runny Nose
- Irregular Heart Rate
- Suicidal Thoughts
Detox and withdrawal from meperidine can be incredibly hellacious and individuals experiencing this should attend a professional detox center to properly come down off of the drug. Detox is a very important step on the road to recovery, as it is the process of allowing the body to expel substances from the system and adjust back to normal operations. Some people may have the idea that they can simply buckle down and detox at home, but this is highly advised against. In reality, detox can actually be dangerous in some cases or when done incorrectly, which is why a formal detox program is recommended. This way, the individual is guaranteed to receive a correctly formatted detox and they will be constantly monitored by professionals who can rapidly respond to any emergencies or complications. Plus, many detox centers can give the individual wean down medications to help ease the discomfort of withdrawal.
Those who are using meperidine can also run the risk of potentially developing an addiction. It is important to understand the difference between physical dependence and addiction, as they are not synonymous. Addiction is generally when an individual continues to use their substance of choice despite various negative consequences and impacts to their life. Addiction can affect virtually every part of an individual’s life, including their family, friends, job, education, and relationships. The way that addiction comes about can vary for each person, but the actual source or reasoning generally underlies the addiction itself. It often develops due to a person using substances as a refuge from things like mental difficulties, life’s problems, or emotional pain. It may only start with a single time that a person reaches for a substance to feel better about something. They could feel like it handled their difficulty and lead them to continue this line of behavior. Over time, it may reach a point where they feel like they need substances to even confront life. Addiction tends to only get worse the longer it continues and those struggling should be admitted into formal treatment. This is where they will be able to discover and address the various difficulties that contributed to their addiction and finally break free of it.
Meperidine and many other opioids can also bring about overdose when taken in too large of amounts. Overdose is when an individual consumes more than their body can actually handle and process, which results in a toxic shock to their system. Realistically, anyone can overdose on this drug but it tends to be more common among those who abuse it. This is generally due to them taking larger amounts than those who are prescribed it. Plus, people that are buying meperidine off the street may not know the proper dose to take or they might end up purchasing drugs that are cut with some other substance. The risk of overdose is also largely increased for those who are snorting or injecting the drug, as these methods of use bring about more rapid and potent effects. Meperidine overdose can have extremely terrible effects, such as:
- Tiny Pupils
- Clammy, Cold Skin
- Cyanosis (Blueing of the Skin or Lips)
- Respiratory Depression (Stopped or Slowed Breathing)
- Decreased Heart Rate
- Paling of the Skin
- Decreased Blood Pressure
- Cardiac Arrest
Addiction can be a terrible burden to suffer, but it is far from impossible to overcome. Best Drug Rehabilitation helps thousands to achieve their sobriety every year and we would like to do the same for you or your loved one. Give us a call today and we can help you choose the best program for your needs.