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Meperidine Detox

Meperidine Detox in Florida

Meperidine is a prescription opioid (brand name Demerol), and abuse can lead to adverse changes in a user’s brain. These may include the development of tolerance, dependence, and, ultimately, full-blown addiction. Even those who take meperidine as directed with a prescription can become dependent on the drug.

Withdrawal occurs when a person who is chemically dependent on meperidine stops taking the drug abruptly or dramatically reduces their dose. As the individual’s body tries to adapt to meperidine’s absence, he or she will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and agitation.

Although withdrawal from meperidine isn’t generally life-threatening, side effects can sometimes be painful and challenging to endure. For this reason, among others, a medically-assisted detox to ensure the person’s safety and relative comfort is advised to prevent relapse and provide much-needed emotional support.

Meperidine Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from meperidine may be a bit different for each user. Symptoms that manifest are largely dependent on the duration in which the drug was misused or abused and how often, the average dose, the method of administration, as well as the individual’s overall mental and physical health. The timeline could also be affected if other drugs or alcohol are being abused concurrently.

Withdrawal symptoms usually range from moderate to severe and can include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Sweating and chills
  • Dry mouth
  • Hypertension

Demerol users may also encounter intense cravings when they first stop using the drug, thus prompting some to begin using again. As noted, to diminish the likelihood of relapse, those who are addicted to meperidine should seek the help of a medical detox program.

Duration of Withdrawal

Most people will begin experiencing symptoms within the first 24 hours after the last dose. However, some may find some symptoms manifest within just a few hours.

There are two stages of meperidine withdrawal: acute withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Acute withdrawal is especially unpleasant, but fortunately only lasts for between 3-7 days. Any side effects that persist past this point are considered PAWS and can last for months, but will tend to subside as time goes by.

Meperidine Withdrawal Timeline

First 24 hours

Symptoms typically onset three to 24 hours after the user’s last drug usage. Irritability, anxiety, discomfort, nausea, and drug cravings are often the first symptoms to manifest.

48-72 Hours

Withdrawal effects will usually peak between 2-3 days. The individual may feel uneasy, alarmed, or even panicky. Physical symptoms also set in, such as sweating, muscle aches, and more nausea and vomiting. The urge to use the drug again may feel overwhelming.

Days 6-14

Over 1-2 weeks, symptoms progressively fade. Any remaining symptoms should be relatively mild and mostly psychological in nature. At this point, acute withdrawal has ended, and PAWS has begun. Of note, not everyone experiences PAWS, and the types of emotional effects and their severity vary widely between individuals.

Days 15+

Drug cravings may persist, but most other symptoms, including dysphoria, decreased appetite, irritability, restlessness, agitation, anxiety, depression, poor concentration, lack of motivation, and sleep disturbances, should subside.

Meperidine users who are legitimate prescription holders are urged to consult a physician before stopping the use of the drug. Those who do not have a prescription are should consult an addiction specialist to be assessed and to determine if they should complete their withdrawal in a medically-assisted detox program.

Signs of Addiction

Meperidine may be more addictive than some other opioids due to the way it swiftly takes effect but also wears off rapidly, which may increase an individual’s tolerance and dependence if they begin to use higher doses to counteract this problem. Demerol interferes with the way dopamine and norepinephrine move around the brain, which may increase the “high” the drug can produce and make it more desirable to abuse. Regular abuse can then lead to dependence and full-blown addiction, as evidenced by the following:

Other signs of addiction to Demerol include:

  • Drug tolerance and increased dosage
  • Inability to stop taking the drug despite multiple failed attempts to stop
  • Using more of the drug and for longer than intended
  • Inventing or exaggerating pain symptoms to get more of the drug, or “doctor shopping”
  • Lack of interest in activities not revolving around drug use
  • Absenteeism at school or work and reduced productivity
  • Neglect of daily obligations
  • Sleeping at irregular times
  • Weight loss and changes in appetite
  • Mood swings and dramatic changes in personality
  • Continued drug use despite known adverse consequences
  • Using drugs in situations that may be risky or dangerous
  • Potential financial, legal or criminal issues

Let’s End Addiction

Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for those who are struggling with addiction to opioids, even those who have particularly severe conditions. These services include behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, health and wellness education, peer group support, and aftercare planning.

Just Believe Detox provides individuals with 24/7 medical supervision, and Just Believe Recovery offers comprehensive treatment in residential and partial hospitalization formats. All of our programs feature evidence-based services clinically-proven to be vital for the process of recovery. They are facilitated by our caring and highly-trained staff of medical and mental health professionals to give those we treat the very best chance of enjoying a long-lasting and healthy recovery.

If you’re ready to overcome your addiction, please don’t hesitate to contact us today and speak to a treatment expert. We offer a free consultation to any individual who is seeking help—let us be the one to guide you through this process!

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