More than 11 million Americans used opioids for non-medical reasons in 2017. This group of medications is often used for effective pain relief. It also comes with a high risk of addiction.
One of the most commonly prescribed medications is pethidine. It’s also known as meperidine, but more people will recognize the brand name Demerol.
Many American adults fear addiction. If you’ve used this medication, you may be wondering about the signs of addiction and abuse.
This guide will go over the statistics around Demerol addiction and abuse. It will also outline the most common signs of abuse. Finally, it will describe some of the dangers and what you can do if you believe you may be misusing Demerol.
Demerol Addiction Statistics
Is Demerol an opioid? It’s often the first question someone asks when they’re prescribed this medication. The answer is yes.
Demerol is an opiate, which means it’s lab-made. It still falls into the larger category of opioids, and it is just as addictive.
General Statistics on Addiction to Demerol
In 2017, more than 11 million Americans misused opioid medications, including Demerol. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, around 116,000 people misused Demerol.
The same report indicates most people get prescription painkillers from friends or relatives. A large number share Demerol pills and other prescription medications. In some cases, people misusing painkillers bought or stole medication from loved ones.
Another common way to get Demerol and other painkillers is to visit a doctor. Some people saw more than one doctor to get more prescriptions. A handful of people forged or stole prescriptions.
The number of people admitted to hospital for misuse of painkillers has also been on the rise. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates 115 people die of opioid overdose each day.
The number of hospital admissions for opioid incidences has also been on the rise.
Signs of Demerol Abuse
Like other opiates, Demerol comes with a high risk of addiction. Some have even suggested it could be more addictive than other opioid medications. It’s a fast-acting medication, which means users tend to feel effects soon after taking it, but the effects fade fast too.
Like other opioids, meperidine is an effective pain-reliever. A Demerol high can also produce euphoria. This is what keeps many people using it long after it’s a medical necessity.
Not everyone who uses Demerol will become addicted. Some theories suggest there’s a genetic component to addiction. Others say mental health conditions can play a role in the development of addiction.
Signs of Demerol Addiction and Abuse
There are many signs of addiction and abuse when it comes to opioid medications. They include:
- An increased tolerance to Demerol
- Taking more of the drug than intended
- Using the medication longer than needed
- Struggling with familial responsibilities or demands at work
- Changes in mood and personality
- Changes in relationships, including withdrawal from other people
- A lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
Most people who misuse opioid medications exhibit drug-seeking behaviors as well. They may “lose” prescriptions or schedule emergency doctor’s appointments to get more. They may invent new symptoms or even “shop” for doctors who will prescribe more opioids.
People who misuse medications like Demerol may experience physical symptoms as well. These can include:
- Changes in appetite and weight loss
- Changes in sleeping patterns, including insomnia
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
People may also be unable to make an effective judgment. This can also prevent them from seeing the issues around their use of the drug.
Am I Addicted?
The next question many people have is whether they’re addicted. If you’re worried you may be addicted to Demerol, you can ask yourself some of the following questions.
- Have you continued to use Demerol despite negative consequences?
- Have you used tactics such as lying about a lost prescription or “borrowing” Demerol from a friend?
- Have you tried to quit and been unable to?
- Have you ever unintentionally taken a larger dose than you intended?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may be exhibiting signs of addiction. Your answers could point to a lack of control over use and engagement in drug-seeking behaviors.
There are other signs of Demerol addiction as well. If you exhibit any of them, you should talk to a doctor or addictions worker. Recognizing your drug use as problematic is the first step in recovery.
Dangers of Demerol Abuse
What happens when someone abuses Demerol? There are many dangerous consequences that go hand in hand with abuse and addiction.
Addiction and abuse of opioids can compromise your health. Physically, they can cause:
- Overdose and death
- Damage to organs such as the liver
- Trouble breathing
- Mental health conditions such as depression
Addiction to Demerol can also cause conditions such as bipolar disorder to worsen. For some people, disorders may manifest for the first time because of addiction to Demerol.
Drug abuse and addiction can also have many negative social consequences. People addicted to Demerol may experience:
- Social isolation
- Poor performance at work or school
- Job loss and unemployment
- Family problems, including abuse and divorce
- Arrest and incarceration
Some people addicted to Demerol may engage in risky or illegal behaviors, such as fraud or theft.
Financial instability is also very common, especially if someone loses their job. While Demerol 50mg street value is often below $6 per pill, the costs add up for those who are addicted.
The Road to Recovery is Ahead
If you believe you may be addicted to Demerol, rest assured that help is close at hand. It is possible to treat Demerol addiction and abuse.
The best thing you can do is to talk to an admissions specialist. They can help you recognize addiction and your options for treatment. They can help you as you take the first steps on the road to recovery, and they’ll be there every step of the way.