Demerol is a drug that should never be mixed with alcohol. The combination can be lethal and can also leave significant life-long traces. One of the most common causes of serious injury from Demerol is the severe respiratory depression people experience from using the drug.
The combination of Demerol and alcohol can increase the risk of experiencing blackouts. Aside from alcohol, there are other substances that make the combination dangerous. You must be aware of the potential drug interactions when taking Demerol and should only use the drug as directed by the physician who prescribed your order.
What Is Demerol?
Demerol is the brand name for the generic drug, meperidine. It is used to help alleviate moderate to severe pain. It may also be utilized during medical procedures or surgeries. The drug belongs to the class of opioid analgesics, also known as narcotics, and is very similar to morphine.
The drug is very effective in relieving extreme pain by changing the way the brain responds to it. When on Demerol, your body feels pain differently, allowing the body to relax and feel comfortable.
In general, drugs that fall into the opioid category are not meant to be used for long-term periods. Instead, they are designed to provide temporary relief from acute pain. Several other substances, both prescribed and over-the-counter formulas, can be dangerous when mixed with Demerol.
How Can You Become Addicted to Demerol?
Similar to other opioids out on the market, Demerol changes the body’s perception of painful stimuli by interacting with the central nervous system. It has the potential to create feelings of euphoria and relaxation, which makes this a drug that is frequently abused in the United States and all over the globe.
People who misuse Demerol often don’t have a valid prescription. Instead, they get a false prescription or obtain it in the black market. Fraud is a common practice when it comes to falsifying prescriptions to obtain drugs.
Those who misuse Demerol often use it as a crutch while resolving emotional wounds and working through psychological disorders. Other reasons why someone might fall into a Demerol addiction include:
- The person’s unique brain chemistry
- Existing psychological conditions
- Exposure to environmental factors
- Genetic background
- Current addictions
Demerol should only be used as indicated by a medical doctor’s prescription and under consistent monitoring. Approaching the use of Demerol this way will improve the potential for using it properly and not developing an addiction to it.
However, an addiction to Demerol can still easily occur as it is an opiate and is in a class of drugs that makes the body physically and psychologically addicted. Even if people use it as prescribed, they are still at risk of becoming dependent.
There are other conditions that contribute to the abuse of Demerol. Those include disorders such as:
- Bipolar disorder
Your doctor must be informed about any medication or substances you frequently consume, including alcohol. During your consultations, your physician can fully explain the side effects that can occur when alcohol is mixed with Demerol. It is best to avoid alcohol altogether, as it alters the central nervous system and acts as a depressant.
There are many reasons why people become addicted to Demerol. Avoiding alcohol altogether provides a greater chance of improving your overall health. When the body is occupied metabolizing and eliminating Demerol, it is best to eliminate alcohol from your selections.
Demerol and Serotonin Syndrome
A condition by the name of serotonin syndrome describes a condition that is triggered when you take medications that cause high levels of serotonin to accumulate in the system.
Serotonin is a hormone or chemical messenger that is produced by the body and needed in proper brain nerve cell function. Excessive amounts of serotonin can cause a range of mild to severe symptoms that can become lethal if left untreated.
Serotonin syndrome is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Muscle rigidity
- Heavy sweating
- Dilated pupils
- Restlessness or agitation
- High blood pressure
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Twitching of muscles
- Debilitated motor coordination and balance
Severe serotonin syndrome is a serious medical condition that requires emergency medical care. The following symptoms need to be immediately addressed:
- High fever
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
Serotonin syndrome can occur when too much serotonin is present in the body. Since Demerol has serotonergic effects, which means they increase the activity of serotonin, it is probable that users of the drug will experience this urgent medical condition.
Serotonin Syndrome May Lead to Death
When serotonin syndrome is left untreated, it can lead to death or irreversible psychosis. Additional risks come from taking Demerol along with other drugs.
For instance, some antidepressant drugs are classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which can create a serotonin overload. The habitual use of Demerol can cause episodes of convulsive seizures from the overload of serotonin.
Deaths have occurred from the effects the toxic metabolite in Demerol has on the body when it accumulates. This is what leads to the onset of serotonin syndrome. It is therefore very important that Demerol is not combined with benzodiazepines. The combination has been responsible for a significant number of fatal cases of overdose.
There are various medications that act as central nervous system depressants that should not be consumed with Demerol because of the risk of experiencing clinically significant respiratory depression.
These medications include substances such as anxiolytics, which help relieve symptoms of anxiety, antipsychotics, muscle relaxers, alcohol, tranquilizers, anesthetics, hypnotics, non-benzodiazepine sedatives. Other types of opioids should also not be mixed with Demerol to avoid serotonin imbalances.
Combining Demerol With Alcohol
The liver is responsible for metabolizing Demerol. When alcohol is consumed with this opioid drug, it prevents the liver from properly metabolizing it. This can result in a higher drug clearance time and increased levels of the drug in the blood plasma.
Demerol is supposed to be eliminated from the body at a particular rate. When the liver is overloaded, and it remains in the body for an extended period in high concentrations, this can lead to severe respiratory depression and opioid toxicity.
As the liver is occupied with metabolizing and eliminating both Demerol and alcohol from the body, it has the potential to experience an overload that results in alcohol toxicity. Both an overdose from Demerol or alcohol have similar symptoms.
Alcohol Makes Demerol’s Side Effects Stronger
A disadvantage of mixing Demerol with alcohol is that the side effects of taking this opiate become more potent. It is one of the reasons why people like to use Demerol with alcohol. The drug potentiates its effects and creates a sort of high.
Demerol produces the following side effects, which, when used with alcohol, become stronger:
- Feelings of euphoria
- Excessive sweating
- Urinary retention
A Demerol overdose can manifest with constricted pupils, cold and clammy skin, depressed respiration, flaccid muscles, lack of coordination, hypotension (decreased blood pressure), coma, and anticholinergic effects.
Demerol Abuse and Pain
Although Demerol is effective in relieving acute pain, when it is abused, it actually worsens the pain, which makes it similar to alcohol. When people experience severe pain due to injuries, accidents, and other medical conditions, they can easily fall into the habit of self-medicating with Demerol.
When combined with alcohol, sometimes people experience a stronger effect from their medications, as they do with Demerol. Each individual is different and interacts with both Demerol and alcohol in different ways.
Long and Short-Term Effects of Alcohol and Demerol Misuse
Both Demerol and alcohol have the potential to be extremely dangerous or even lethal, whether they are used alone or combined. As not all people are made the same, these substances affect each person differently.
The following are short and long-term side effects related to the use of Demerol combined with alcohol:
- Suicidal tendencies or thoughts
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Vomiting and nausea
- Liver dysfunction
- Kidney issues
Of course, other consequences of an addiction to Demerol and alcohol use are changes to other parts of life, such as a financial collapse, failure at work, lack of personal care, and social isolation.
Mixing Alcohol With Demerol Can Cause a Medical Emergency
Combining alcohol with Demerol is never a smart choice. People who combine the two increase the pain-relieving qualities of the substances and get euphoric effects from each drug.
However, your nervous system is not equipped to handle such a combination without experiencing detrimental effects that can impair your judgment, make you drowsy, create an inability to concentrate, make you lightheaded, and impair cognitive skills.
Severe cases can experience:
- Respiratory distress
- Decreased blood pressure
Combining alcohol with particular long-acting prescription narcotic medication can cause Demerol to be released faster in the body, resulting in extremely high blood pressure that can reach lethal levels.
Receiving Support for a Demerol and Alcohol Addiction
If you or a loved one is misusing Demerol or alcohol, there are medical professionals ready to guide you through an effective treatment plan. Granite Recovery centers provide an alcohol rehab program as well as a drug rehab program especially designed for your particular needs.
Each of our treatment programs includes a comprehensive evaluation and individualized strategies created by expert staff who specialize in drug rehabilitation programs. All of our personnel is committed to helping people recover from their addictions safely and completely. Recovery is possible.
In 2019 alone, approximately 50,000 individuals in the United States had a fatal overdose involving opioids. If you have developed a dependence on Demerol, you’re not alone! Opioid addiction is a national crisis that is affecting the social and economic welfare of the whole country.
Besides Demerol, opioids such as fentanyl have also made an impact on the population. There are outpatient and inpatient treatment programs that allow the patient to be comfortable while attending rehabilitation therapies. These types of programs have effectively helped people overcome their opioid addictions.
Various types of therapies may include:
- Positive reinforcement and motivational incentives to encourage new behavior.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy assists people in changing perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. It addresses current lifestyles and helps patients design their new health regimens. This therapy also helps people stay current with their prescribed medications and other types of therapies.
- Motivational interviewing involves a type of counseling that helps people who are struggling with addiction. It helps them find the motivation to make progressive changes in their life. Patients who have reached the point where they desire to eliminate drugs from their lives have the most success when completing a treatment plan.
At Granite Recovery Centers, our experienced addiction therapists consider all aspects of your life. We know that we are not treating addiction, but rather, we’re treating the person as a whole. Within each individual, there is an innate power to heal and experience well-being.
Our programs assist you in tapping into your potential for creating long-term behavioral patterns that will continue to enrich your life. Call our center today for an appointment.