If you suspect that a loved one is abusing Demerol or you know someone who is trying to quit using, there are ways that you can help.
How to Approach an Addict
It is important to understand how to address the situation in a supportive manner.
Here are some tips to help you approach an addicted loved one:
- Be supportive and nonjudgmental.
- Don’t threaten or isolate her. Be open and receptive instead. Know that what your loved one is going through is not easy.
- Encourage her to attend treatment and follow treatment protocols.
- Get involved in the treatment. If she attends self-help groups, see if you can attend meetings.
Some helpful methods include professional intervention and Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT).
In an intervention, family and/or friends confront the individual in a non-adversarial way, expressing their feelings about how the addiction is negatively impacting their loved one’s life and the lives of those around her.
With CRAFT, an individual’s family members attend a series of trainings to teach them the skills they need to help their loved one change maladaptive behaviors associated with drug abuse. The classes cover a variety of topics including:
- Understanding a loved one’s triggers to use substances.
- Positive communication strategies.
- Positive reinforcement strategies.
- Problem-solving strategies.
- Safety precautions.
- Encouraging a loved one to accept help.
There are many treatment options and rehab programs available for those suffering from Demerol addiction.
Inpatient rehab programs typically last anywhere between 30 and 90+ days, depending on the level of severity of the addiction and any other factors, such as the presence of polysubstance abuse and comorbid medical or mental health conditions.
Often, inpatient treatment includes the use of group therapy and support groups as well as skills training and relapse prevention.
For those with less severe addictions to Demerol or those looking to continue their care after completing a course of inpatient treatment, treatment outside of a residential facility may be a good option.
In these programs, people are able to continue living in their communities while attending therapy for several hours per week. Outpatient programs may incorporate support groups, as well.
Therapies and techniques that help to modify the unhealthy behaviors associated with drug use – including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and biofeedback – are effective treatment options for combating drug abuse and addiction. Behavioral therapeutic approaches are often used in both inpatient and outpatient Demerol addiction treatment programs.
Behavioral therapy engages the individual and encourages him or her to address maladaptive behaviors associated with drug use. It teaches recognition of problems and triggers and how to develop effective coping skills to address them.
A concoction of different therapy methods, as provided by various addiction treatment counselors and therapists, is available as part of both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
12-step groups and other forms of support focused on addiction, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, are helpful in providing ongoing support to those recovering from addiction. They are usually non-profit, free programs that host regular meetings attended by other recovering addicts who are able to understand and support each other in a safe environment.
Treatment courses depend on the individual’s level of addiction and physical and mental well-being. A healthcare provider can help you navigate your options.
Other Treatment Methods
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) involves the use of medications, such as naltrexone or buprenorphine, to help people cope with cravings and withdrawal.
MAT refers to the combination of medications with counseling and/or behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders. Vocational and educational services may also be part of a well-rounded treatment program. Together, these comprehensive services help people overcome addiction and maintain their commitment to living drug-free lives.
Is Demerol Addictive?
Prescription painkillers such as Demerol are one of the fastest growing drugs of abuse in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the impact is disastrous.
Opioid overdoses from drugs such as Demerol have more than quadrupled over the last two decades. The CDC estimates that an average of 78 individuals die every day from opioid abuse in the US.
While Demerol can be safely used when taken exactly as prescribed, it produces pleasurable effects that may promote misuse and abuse. It subdues pain and creates a euphoric feeling in the brain. With continued use, however, these effects are dulled by the development of tolerance and many users may find themselves taking more and more to get those effects back. This cycle can quickly lead to dependence and addiction.
What are the Signs of Addiction?
Physical signs of Demerol abuse include:
- Fatigue and/or difficulty sleeping.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Cold, clammy skin.
- Blurred vision.
- Slowed breathing.
Am I Addicted to Demerol?
Apart from the physical signs and symptoms of abuse, some indications that you might be addicted include changes in behaviors, such as:
- Isolating yourself from friends and family.
- Engaging in drug seeking behaviors, like going to different doctors to obtain the drug.
- Stealing money from friends and family to get the drug.
- Forging prescriptions.
- Becoming highly defensive when drug use is brought up.
- Neglecting obligations at work, school or at home.
- Spending a majority of your time finding and using Demerol.
- Using Demerol when doing so could cause a physical hazard to yourself or others, such as while driving.
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