Last updated: 04/2/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
If meperidine has taken a prominent role in your life and you find yourself dependent or addicted, your best chance for recovery lies in inpatient addiction rehab. Known commonly by the brand name Demerol, meperidine is a synthetic opioid painkiller first synthesized in the late 1930s. Like all opioids, meperidine creates a strong addiction, severe withdrawal symptoms, and numerous health complications.
Meperidine is considered a Schedule II drug by the DEA. This means that although it has a medical use, it poses a high risk for abuse, possibly leading to mental and physical dependence. Used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, meperidine served as a particularly popular opioid painkiller throughout the 20th century. An article in the Annals of Neurology notes 60- percent of doctors surveyed in 1975 used it to treat acute pain and 22 percent used it to treat chronic severe pain.
In March of 2016, the FDA issued a warning about a number of safety issues with opioid pain medications, like meperidine. The labels of all relevant medications were changed to warn users of risks like serotonin syndrome, adrenal insufficiency, and decreased sex hormone levels. But, obviously these aren’t the only dangers that users of opioid painkillers face.
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine asserts 16,651 opioid-related deaths happened in 2010. If you continue using meperidine, your health is in danger. You need structured, professional treatment to recover.
The following information should help you to better understand the ways that an inpatient treatment program can help you with your meperidine addiction.
How Is Inpatient Treatment Different Than Outpatient Treatment?
If you were to choose outpatient treatment, you would go to a facility (probably daily) and participate in assessments and therapy and other components of treatment. During the periods of the day and night when you are not being treated, you go home or to work/school and you conduct your life in the ways that you normally would.
When you enter an inpatient or residential treatment, you remain at the facility full-time with 24-hour oversight.
Because meperidine is an opioid, you will need to undergo detox (the removal of all drugs from your system); this can be dangerous. You will also need a full course of treatment. A residential facility can take care of both.
The risk of opioid addiction is higher in users who have a family and/or personal history of mental disorders. Treatment can be complicated by a co-occurring disorder and an inpatient program will do the best job of treating both conditions so that one does not negatively impact the other. This will reduce the chances of relapse.
What Is the Primary Benefit of Inpatient Care for My Meperidine Addiction?
In addition to other benefits, inpatient treatment differentiates itself by separating you from your daily life. Meperidine addiction drains every part of your life, often leaving you with job, relationship, and possibly legal woes. When you attend inpatient treatment, all of those difficulties get put on hold and you get to focus fully on your treatment. You are less likely to succumb to daily stressors and environmental cues that can trigger a dangerous relapse.
How Long Will My Meperidine Treatment Last?
As mentioned earlier, treating opioid addiction is difficult and you must, therefore, commit to long-term treatment. Do not attend for any period less than 28-30 days in length. Although, you may wish to extend your stay further, remaining for 60-90 days. The longer you remain in treatment, the more likely you are to succeed. Remember that you did not develop your meperidine addiction overnight. Give yourself an equivalent amount of time to recover.
When choosing a treatment program, you will want to look for one that has proven success with opioid painkiller addiction. We can help. Our advisors are experts in linking patients with treatment. You don’t have to struggle with making decisions. You can get help and support.