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Demerol is the brand name for pethidine, an opioid prescription painkiller also known as meperidine. Also known by the street name, “demmies”, this was the first wholly synthetic opioid developed. It is used during labor and delivery and also prescribed as a painkiller for diverticulitis.
Like all opioids, Demerol is known to produce physical dependence, including potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped. While it is often abused for its euphoric qualities, its use has declined in recent times due to the popularity of other opioids such as fentanyl, hydromorphone, morphine, and oxycodone.
This medication, like many opiate painkillers, puts users at a high risk for abuse. The most common forms of abusive consumption include swallowing the pills or crushing them for snorting, as well as injecting.
The signs and symptoms of Demerol abuse can include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Sense of euphoria
- Labored breathing
- Dilated pupils
Demerol dependence is associated with numerous physical-somatic and emotional-motivational withdrawal symptoms, some of which require medical intervention. A medical detox period is commonly used to treat Demerol dependence. Medical detox is defined as the process and experience of drug withdrawal under medical supervision. Withdrawing from prescription opioids like Demerol can be uncomfortable.
Common withdrawal symptoms associated with Demerol include:
Some of these symptoms can be dangerous if left untreated. Opiate replacement medications are sometimes needed to help alleviate and manage the withdrawal syndrome. Methadone or buprenorphine are often prescribed during medical detox, with long-term treatment sometimes needed in the context of opiate replacement therapy.
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While detox is an important part of opioid treatment programs, it does nothing to address the underlying causes of drug addiction. Rehabilitation programs can include intensive residential rehab, partial hospitalization, and outpatient rehab.
A number of treatment models can be applied during rehab, including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Motivational incentives
- 12-step programs
- Relapse prevention
- Family therapy
While these programs all address addiction from a different angle, they all attempt to change problematic behavior patterns and promote long-term recovery. Relapse prevention is an important part of this process. During this part of treatment, recovering addicts learning how to identify triggers and cope with the challenges of the recovery process.
Depression is a serious and life-altering mental illness that affects tens of millions of Americans each year. People with depression disorders often turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication, and many drug addicts also become depressed as a result of their condition.
A number of complex links have been discovered between depression and addiction. A range of dual diagnosis treatment options are available for people with co-occurring disorders. including medically supervised detox, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, 12-step support groups, counseling, family therapy, and relapse prevention systems.
Abuse, N. I. (2014, May 14). America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse
Last updated on April 7th, 2017 at 07:02 pm