Meperidine, or Demerol, is an opioid that is prescribed for moderate pain. Meperidine can cause users to feel euphoric when taking it, making it an attractive drug on the streets. This drug is dispensed as a pill or a liquid, although many that abuse their meperidine prescriptions will crush tablets to created more intense pleasure. With side effects much like heroin, this drug is often a gateway drug for heroin addiction. Like all prescription painkillers, the use of meperidine outside prescribed dosing can cause drug dependence and meperidine addiction in a short period of time.
When used without a prescription, meperidine can cause dangerous side effects for users. Even when used as prescribed, patients should be aware of how this drug can affect them, and take steps to prevent accidental overdosing. Like many opioid drugs, Demerol can depress the respiratory system and slow or stop breathing altogether. The resulting lack of oxygen can cause organ failure and death if not treated quickly. Meperidine addiction and opioid addiction contribute to the rising number of drug-related deaths across the nation.
When an individual has been dependent on meperidine for long-term pain relief, or has been abusing the drug for any period of time, permanent changes can occur within the brain. Should use of the drug be decreased, or stopped altogether, Demerol withdrawal symptoms can start. Starting with intense drug cravings, withdrawal from this drug can cause many uncomfortable symptoms. Some patients will experience gastrointestinal upset, mental changes, and feelings of weakness. It is advised that people seek inpatient drug rehab to address the symptoms of withdrawal.
Medical professionals at inpatient rehab centers in Huntington Beach can prescribe medications that help counteract the negative side effects of Demerol withdrawal. Some of these medications help the body purge residual chemicals and quick start the recovery period. Having medical support while going through drug detoxification is important as some of the symptoms can cause health issues of their own. Patients at drug detox centers in Huntington Beach will be closely monitored while they go through the detoxification process.
The most obvious short-term effect of meperidine is pain relief. This drug can bring fast relief to patients dealing with moderate pain issues, reducing the accompanying stress and anxiety. Another short-term effect of meperidine is a sense of wellbeing or euphoria that evokes pleasure for the user. This is because the drug works within the pleasure center of the brain and nervous system. Quite often, this rush of pleasure pushes users to experiment with the potency of meperidine by crushing and injecting the drug. Tolerance is another short-term effect of meperidine addiction. In a relatively short period of time, an meperidine user can find themselves compensating for the tolerance they might have built. By increasing doses and shortening dosing times, an individual can quickly become addicted to meperidine.