Demerol Abuse and Addiction

Demerol Abuse and Addiction

Demerol is a pain killer. It is a type of medication in the class of narcotic analgesics.

This is a group of types of pain medicine that are similar to the drug morphine.

This medication works by changing the bodies sensory to pain.

Why Is Demerol Prescribed?

Demerol is a medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain it works by changing the way the body senses pain. It was originally found to be useful for muscle spasms. It works by dulling the pain perception center in the brain. Demerol's pain relieving properties are very different than that of other pain relieving medications such as morphine. Demerol works by acting on the central nervous system and causes the patient to feel high instead of feeling their pain. Some patients develop an addiction to this drug because of its euphoric effects.

Demerol is a pain medication that has been around for many years. It was much more commonly used many years ago in hospital settings during surgical procedures. Demerol was used to enhance the effects of anesthesia. It is still routinely used with other medications as a sedative for patients undergoing procedures like colonoscopy or endoscopy. But these uses have been proven to have negative effects so doctors do not prescribe this drug as often as they used to. Demerol's pain relieving effect is short and it produces toxic metabolites in the body. Also Demerol is known to have many dangerous interactions with other medications patients may be on.

Statistics About Demerol

Demerol is a medication that is not currently recommended for short term use to treat pain. This medication is also not recommended to treat long term or chronic pain either. It is not even used in a hospice setting or in palliative care. The only uses recommended for Demerol is if it is the last treatment option for very severe pain and it's only recommended to be used for a maximum of 48 hours. This medication should never be given to a patient with kidney or neurological disease.

Demerol comes in liquid or pill form. It is usually taken every 3 to 4 hours, with or without food, or as needed for severe pain. The doctors prescribing directions must be followed very carefully. In liquid form, it is syrup. Precise measurement using a measuring spoon specified for medical use should be used. The syrup must be mixed with a half of glass of water then ingested. If the Demerol syrup is swallowed undiluted it will numb the entire mouth. Most likely your doctor will adjust the strength of your medication during treatment. The pill form must be swallowed whole and never crushed and mixed with water or sprinkled on food. It is also very important that patients never attempt to snort or inject Demerol because of the serious side effects that may incur. Many deaths have been reported in the misuse of this drug.

How Is Demerol Abused?

This medication is an opiate and is a highly controlled substance with a high abuse liability. Demerol is a highly addictive drug commonly abused for its sedation and euphoric effects. When abused, Demerol is taken orally, injected and snorted. When Demerol is injected intravenously it produces an intense euphoria and a general state of well-being and relaxation. The most common misuse associated with the use of Demerol stems from the possibility of building a tolerance and a psychological dependency to the drug when a person is legitimately prescribed it. With excessive use the possibility of psychological and physical dependence increases greatly. Once this happens use of this drug should be discontinued immediately.

People who are addicted to Demerol show signs of a strong dependency to the drug. Signs of Demerol dependency include a need to continue taking the medicine even when not needed. With prolonged use the physical reaction once abruptly stopped may result in extreme fatigue and mental depression. Also a person may feel a need to increase the dose originally prescribed in order to maintain the primary effect of the medicine. Opiate agonist drugs such as Demerol can quickly induce "tolerance." Tolerance is a diminished response to a drug that develops over days, weeks, or months. Once a person has developed a dependency to this drug they will experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Some of the withdrawal symptoms a person may experience include:

  • Nervousness
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Fast Breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Yawning
  • Watery Eyes
  • Chills
  • Back Pain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Stomach Pain
  • Upset Stomach
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Stuffy Nose

Demerol Abuse Treatment Options

Long term Demerol users seeking treatment to stop the abuse of this drug should try to taper off the medication slowly under a physician's care or they may choose to enter an addiction rehabilitation facility to safely detox from this drug.

In patient detox in a hospital or medically supervised setting is highly recommended along with counseling and therapy proved in a rehabilitation environment. Treatment will ultimately depend on the degree of addiction.

Topic Discussion

  1. There are no comments for this post yet. Use the form below to be the first!

Leave a comment


To protect the integrity of our site all comments are reviewed prior to being shown, we apologize for the small delay, but this brings a better experience for our readers. SPAM & rude comments are not tolerated. Using the 'Connect with Facebook' option will get your comment up faster!

Contact A Substance Abuse Counselor

We help people take the first steps toward getting help for their drug and alcohol usage and having drug-free lifestyles. To contact an alcohol/drug abuse counselor, please call 1-800-591-6474(Info iconWho Answers?).

Socialize with us
Close Icon

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.