Prescription medications like Demerol have helped spark an opioid crisis, causing severe issues nationwide. Research released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that 128 people die daily in the United States after overdosing on opioids. The misuse and addiction to prescription painkillers have caused a crisis that has grown entirely out of control.
The crisis started in the 1990s when pharmaceutical companies assured the medical community that their products were harmless. Unfortunately, without much research, doctors began prescribing drugs like Demerol for minor injuries. These prescribing practices have led to an epidemic that has affected communities nationwide. It is hard to find an area that isn’t affected by opioid addiction today.
Drugs like Demerol cause severe withdrawal symptoms that hinder a person’s ability to stop. When you become dependent on or addicted to Demerol, finding the right treatment is vital to your life. Read more to learn about Demerol withdrawal and how it’s treated.
Demerol withdrawal will affect a person in two distinct phases based on interactions with opioid receptors in our body. The initial symptoms will resemble a common cold. However, the second stage will become more severe and replicate the flu. Those who have conquered Demerol withdrawal can attest to these acute symptoms and how they needed assistance to overcome them.
People who are on a quest to achieve sobriety from Demerol also face intense emotional and psychological symptoms. Anxiety and agitation are part of the first phase of withdrawal and may cloud the mind, but one’s condition will gradually worsen as depression takes over.
If you start to experience depression, it may lead to suicidal thoughts, which require professional help to avoid any potential dangers. Doctors and addiction specialists are trained to help you overcome harsh emotional symptoms that are part of Demerol withdrawal.
The initial wave of Demerol withdrawal includes:
Once your symptoms peak, you should expect additional symptoms, which include:
Although Demerol withdrawal won’t cause seizures or any other life-threatening effects, there are unique risk factors you must take into consideration. If you relapse after a brief time away from Demerol, it could cause you to overdose due to a lowered tolerance.
The timeline of withdrawal symptoms is based on various factors. The timetable will vary from one person to another, and these could be moderate to severe based on the level of chemical dependency or how long you took Demerol. Cravings will be difficult to overcome by yourself, which could lead to drug-seeking behavior. If you’re unable to retrieve Demerol, you may be prompted to seek out and use heroin or fentanyl.
During the first 72 hours, you will experience cold-like symptoms. Once the peak is reached, you will notice symptoms that feel like the worst flu you’ve ever had. As these symptoms begin to dissipate, depression, anxiety, and lethargy could persist for months or more. You must speak to a medical professional if these symptoms remain.
If you want to change your life and free yourself of Demerol addiction, you must consider medical detox. By stopping the drug abruptly, you’ll experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms that will lead you back to using the drug. Detoxing alone typically leads to relapse, which, as we mentioned above, can be deadly.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
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Waldhoer, M., Bartlett, S. E., & Whistler, J. L. (2004). Opioid receptors. from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15189164
NIDA. 2020, June 19. Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction
Darke, S., Larney, S., & Farrell, M. (2016, August 11). Yes, people can die from opiate withdrawal – Darke – 2017 – Addiction – Wiley Online Library. from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/add.13512