What is Demerol Withdrawal?
Prolonged abuse of Demerol can cause abnormalities and changes in the user’s brain. When these changes occur, it means the user has become reliant on Demerol—they’ve developed a dependence.
Even those who follow a prescription can become dependent on Demerol.
Withdrawal occurs when a physically and/or psychologically dependent Demerol user quits taking the drug. As their body tries to physiologically adjust to no longer having Demerol in its system, the user will experience unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal, such as anxiety and agitation.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with Demerol are not typically life-threatening, but they may feel that way to the addict. Symptoms can be quite painful and are best treated in a medical environment.
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Symptoms of Withdrawal
Withdrawal from Demerol is different for each user. The symptoms that present are dependent on how long Demerol was abused, as well as how much of the drug was taken and how often.
Demerol withdrawal symptoms are typically moderate to severe and can include the following:
- Paranoid thinking
- Runny nose and eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Dry mouth
- Increased blood pressure
Demerol users may also experience strong cravings when they first quit the drug, prompting some to begin using again. To reduce the likelihood of relapse, those who are addicted to Demerol should seek the help of a medical detox program.
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Duration of Withdrawal
While the duration of withdrawal is different for everyone, most people begin experiencing symptoms within the first 24 hours after their last dose.
For some, withdrawal can start as quickly as three hours after quitting.
Symptoms typically peak after a few days and last a week or two. Many patients in a detox program will be held for one week until their symptoms start to improve.
Demerol Withdrawal Timeline
|First 24 hours||Symptoms typically begin three to 24 hours after the user’s last dose. Anxiety and irritability are usually the first symptoms to present.|
|Days 2-5||Withdrawal tends to peak over the next few days. The former user may feel uneasy, alarmed or even fearful. Paranoid thinking usually sets in, along with physical symptoms, like sweating and muscle aches. Demerol cravings may be strong.|
|Days 6-14||Over the next week or two, symptoms begin to fade. Any remaining symptoms should be mild.|
|Days 15+||Cravings for the drug may persist, but most, if not all, other symptoms should subside.|
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Demerol users are advised to consult a doctor before quitting the drug or to complete withdrawal in a medical detox program.
During medical detox, doctors typically taper off the user’s dose of Demerol over a period of weeks. This method helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and is safer than quitting “cold turkey.” Sometimes, a physician will prescribe medications to help with the withdrawal process.
Two medications that are commonly used to treat Demerol withdrawal are Suboxone and Subutex.
Both of these medications help with the painful symptoms of opioid withdrawal and have the same active ingredient, buprenorphine. Suboxone also has a second active ingredient, an opioid antagonist called Naloxone. Naloxone makes it next to impossible for the user to feel the euphoric effects of opioids, making relapse less likely.
“The theory behind this treatment is that the repeated absence of the desired effects and the perceived futility of abusing opioids will gradually diminish craving and addiction. Naltrexone itself has no subjective effects following detoxification (that is, a person does not perceive any particular drug effect), it has no potential for abuse, and it is not addictive.”
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Treatment for Demerol Addiction
There are many treatment options available to those struggling with Demerol addiction, including inpatient and outpatient programs. If you’re ready to overcome your addiction, don’t hesitate to take action and contact a treatment expert. We offer free consultation to anyone seeking help and our treatment specialists can assist you in finding the right treatment program.
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