Meperidine is an opiate analgesic drug most often given to patients before and during surgeries or other painful medical procedures. When taken as directed, the drug blocks pain signals and creates a feeling of tranquility and well-being that can keep patients calm before surgery and protect their bodies from the damage of shock afterwards.
On the other hand, when meperidine is misused or abused, it produces a euphoric high and the potential for both physical and psychological addiction.
If you or someone you love is addicted to meperidine, call 800 774 5796 now, and let us connect you with the right substance abuse care for your needs.
Understanding Meperidine Abuse
Meperidine comes in liquid and tablet forms, and is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the FDA. It is highly addictive with a high potential for abuse and criminal diversion.
Although meperidine is often administered in a clinical or hospital setting, it can also be prescribed for home use. Most people taking the medication as directed for moderate to severe pain will not become dependent, but patients who abuse the medication by taking more than recommended, or by taking it more frequently, are vulnerable to becoming addicted.
Meperidine should be used to treat episodes of acute pain, and not as an ongoing medication for chronic pain. Therefore, anyone taking meperidine on a regular basis may be suffering from a substance abuse disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Meperidine Abuse
First synthesized in 1939, meperidine was dispensed for decades under the belief that it carried much less risk of addiction than morphine. Eventually this was disproved, and it was found that meperidine is equally as addictive.
If you worry that someone you love may be hooked on meperidine, here are some indications to look out for.
Addicts with a prescription will run out of the drug earlier than expected, and will likely exhibit a great deal of distress over obtaining more. They may visit multiple doctors and pain clinics for new prescriptions. They may even fake injuries or self-harm, then visit an ER to get drugs.
Here are some other possible indications of meperidine abuse:
- secretive behavior
- neglected appearance and hygiene
- appearing intoxicated without drinking
- unusual drowsiness
- mood swings
- unexplained irritability, nervousness, and depression
- altered eating and sleeping habits
- retreating from family and friends
- disinterest in formerly passionate hobbies, activities and events
If someone you love is addicted to meperidine, please call 800 774 5796 now, and let our treatment advisors help.
Dangers of Meperidine Abuse
Tolerance develops easily with continued use of meperidine, forcing you to take more of the drug more often, just to feel the same effects. Taking large amounts of meperidine can suppress your respiration to the point of death.
Meperidine can cause a wide range of other adverse effects, even when taken as directed. Misuse or abuse of the drug makes these effects more likely to occur, and more intense.
The MedlinePlus from the U.S. Library of Medicine lists the following symptoms as possible side effects of meperidine:
- extreme calm
- mood changes
- stomach pain or cramps
- dry mouth
- changes in vision
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Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are not common, but if you or a loved one experiences any of them while taking meperidine seek immediate medical attention:
- fast, or other changes in heartbeat
- severe muscle stiffness or twitching
- loss of coordination
- nausea, vomiting
- loss of appetite
- inability to get or keep an erection
- irregular menstruation
- decreased sexual desire
- slow or difficult breathing
- shaking hands that you cannot control
- difficulty urinating
- rash or hives
If you or a loved one is endangering their health with an addiction to meperidine, call 800 774 5796 now. We can help.
Who Abuses Meperidine?
The abuse of prescription opiates like meperidine has become an American epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted to them. In fact, as many as one in four patients receiving long-term opioid therapy in a primary care setting struggles with opioid addiction. Once addicted, it can be hard to stop. In 2014, nearly two million Americans either abused or were dependent on prescription opioid pain relievers.”
One reason it can be so difficult to stop abusing a drug like meperidine is the unpleasant withdrawal you suffer if you try to quit or cut down. These symptoms include:
- watery eyes
- stuffy nose
- muscle pain
- stomach pain
- upset stomach
- loss of appetite
- fast breathing
- fast heartbeat
- back pain
Once you are addicted to meperidine, tolerance rapidly follows, forcing you to continually increase your dosage in an attempt to experience the high you got from your first few experiences with the drug. Doing so puts you at a high risk of overdose.
MedlinePlus explains that symptoms of meperidine overdose may include the following:
- slowed breathing
- extreme sleepiness
- loose, floppy muscles
- cold, clammy skin
- slow heartbeat
- blurred vision
Am I Addicted to Meperidine?
Deciding if you are addicted to meperidine requires that you take a good, honest look at your relationship to drug use. Read over the following list from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. You may have a problem if at least two of these issues occur within a 12-month period:
- You often take larger amounts of the drug over a longer period of time than you intended.
- You want to cut down or quit, but haven’t been successful.
- You spend a good deal of time getting the drug, using the drug or recovering from the effects of the drug.
- You have intense urges for the drug that block out any other thoughts.
- You aren’t meeting obligations and responsibilities because of your substance use.
- You keep using the drug, even though you know it’s causing problems in your life.
- You give up or cut back important social, occupational or recreational activities because of your substance use.
- You use the substance in situations that may be unsafe, such as when driving or operating machinery.
- You use the substance even though you know it’s causing you physical or psychological harm.
- You develop tolerance, which means that the drug has less and less effect on you and you need more of the drug to get the same effect.
- You have physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug, or you take the drug (or a similar drug) to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
If you have a problem with substance abuse, we can help. Call 800 774 5796 now, and our advisors will direct you to the right forms of treatment for your needs and goals.
Meperidine Addiction Treatment
It can be intimidating, and even embarrassing to seek out help for your addiction, but you should know that you will look back on your decision to reach out as the bravest and best thing you ever did.
So what can you expect from addiction treatment?
There is no one path when it comes to recovering from substance abuse, and addiction specialists understand that you will respond best to a treatment plan that has been customized to your needs. That’s why all rehabilitation programs will begin with a thorough assessment. Your treatment team will evaluate your needs, and work with you to formulate a recovery plan.
Next will come detoxification. Before you can accept the full benefit of treatment, you need to clear your body and mind of harmful, addictive substances. Withdrawing from meperidine can be very unpleasant, resulting in the symptoms listed above, and suddenly stopping your use of meperidine will only amplify these. That is why you should always follow a doctor’s instruction for how to slowly wean yourself off the drug.
Once you have clarity of mind and a body prepared to get stronger through good nutrition, regular exercise, and quality sleep, you are also ready to dig into a range of therapeutic interventions designed to tackle your addiction from all angles.
Some of these therapies will include:
- Counseling with a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. These should include individual, group and family therapy sessions.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, will teach you to retrain your addicted brain, showing you how to replace old, destructive patterns of thought and behavior with new, healthy and productive habits and ways of coping with stress, cravings and trigger situations.
- Holistic and alternative therapies that try to heal your body, mind and spirit as one can be an invaluable part of your recovery process. Some possibilities are yoga, massage, mindfulness training, acupuncture, and art and music therapy.
- Relapse prevention coaching and alumni support systems will help you to maintain your sobriety for the long term.
Addiction is a chronic brain disease, but it does not have to rule your life.
Break free by calling 800 774 5796 right now. We can help you take the first step towards a better future.