Both Demerol and Oxycodone are analgesic narcotics that are prescribed as painkillers. While marijuana has often been described as a gateway drug to much harder narcotics, prescription opioids are probably right up there.
Kids are especially vulnerable because of their inherent curiosity. In fact, researchers discovered that almost 50,000 patients 21 years and below were rushed to the emergency room in 2013 due to opioid poisoning. Just five years before that, in 2008, there were only a little over 32,000.
Every day, 135 teens and young adults test positive for prescription opioids, a survey of hospitals across the country said.
Parents who are prescribed with painkillers have a responsibility to safe-keep their bottles in a location known only to them. They should take it away from the prying eyes of their kids, especially if the effects are likely to get them high.
According to American Society of Addiction Medicine, opioid addiction constitutes about two million of the 20.5 million Americans 12 years and older who have a substance abuse problem. With the lack of understanding about their true dangers, overdose is the top cause of accidental death in the country in 2015. That year, there were 52,404 fatalities and almost half of those were attributed to opioid overdose.
Because of the dangers involved, both the Demerol and Oxycodone are not recommended by physicians for prolonged use. Besides, these drugs lose potency the longer you use them. Patients are urged to follow the dosage instructions to the letter because of their addictive properties. They should also tell their doctors that the effectiveness of the drug is waning so they can be prescribed with another painkiller if needed.
Both Demerol and Oxycodone work best when they are given to the patient at the earliest onset of pain. They are not as effective at providing relief when the ache has already degenerated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that from 1999 up to 2016, at least 630,000 people died from drug overdose. In 2016 alone, more than 63,000 died from drug overdose and of that total, 6 in 10 were due to painkillers.
Every 24 hours, 115 Americans die due to an opioid overdose.
Demerol vs Oxycodone: Similarities and Differences
Although both Demerol and Oxycodone are classified as analgesic narcotic, which means they share similar properties, there are also some slight differences in their mechanism of action.
For instance, Demerol takes effect faster than Oxycodone although the difference only varies in minutes. For instance, within 15 minutes, relief can only be experienced with the meperidine. Oxycodone, meanwhile, will take effect within 20 minutes to half an hour.
However, for drug dependents, each minute is precious so that’s an edge for Demerol. The disadvantage is that it’s much harder to score Demerol compared to Oxycodone, which means that it’s pricier.
The euphoric effects of both Demerol and Oxycodone only last a short time, which is between two to five hours. That means abusers need to take a pill or inject the drug into their system once again before the comedown.
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How Do They Work?
Without going too technical, opioid painkillers work by stimulating the central nervous system and alternating the way it acts. It tricks the body into changing the way it views pain by blocking the natural pathways in the central nervous system. As an offshoot of that mechanism, it also tells the brain to release an enormous amount of dopamine in the system. As you know, this is the hormone most associated with pleasure.
Unfortunately, opioids also dramatically cause a chain reaction in the brain. As a result, it will crave the euphoric feeling triggered by opioids.
What is Demerol?
Demerol is a brand name for meperidine, which is a narcotic painkiller. This can be used pre-surgery or post-surgery to numb the pain associated with the procedure. It can also be prescribed for a patient suffering from chronic and debilitating pain. The relief felt by the patient is similar to Oxycodone.
You will find the drug being prescribed for a cancer patient, for a woman who is about to go on labor, and also for a patient who just suffered a heart attack. It’s also used as an additional agent to induce local or general anesthesia.
But because it’s being administered in a hospital setting, they are under 24/7 monitoring to make sure that they are safe throughout the whole cycle. It’s important that you don’t unnecessarily self-medicate or increase your dosage outside of a controlled environment to avoid substance dependence.
The drug can be administered orally or through intravenous method. Tablets come in 50 milligrams or 100 milligrams. You can’t buy the liquid substance, however, as only doctors are allowed to administer it to the patient.
The Controlled Substances Act classifies Demerol as Schedule II controlled substance. This simply means that you can’t purchase it without a doctor’s prescription. By definition, drugs included under Schedule II are proven to have a high potential for psychological and physical dependence. Although there are medical uses, the severe restriction is employed regarding the prescription.
Side Effects of Demerol
As with all opioids, expect some negative side effects with the ingestion of Demerol. These side effects may range from mild to serious.
You can anticipate:
Dizziness and nausea
Loss of libido
However, contact medical personnel immediately if the user feels the following symptoms:
Erratic and slow breathing
Slow heart rate
Skin cold to the touch
Uncontrolled twitching and jerking movements
Lack of muscle control
It’s important that you refrain from mixing Demerol with a cocktail of alcoholic drinks. This is the fastest way to poisoning and overdose. Alcohol has another analgesic effect, which can cause your organs to shut down.
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What is Oxycodone?
Just like Demerol, Oxycodone is prescribed for patients suffering from moderate to extreme pain. It’s also listed under Schedule II because of its high potential for abuse. It can be administered through injection or oral ingestion.
There’s also another variation of this drug, which is called extended-release (in tablet or capsule form) for patients in chronic pain who need relief for a prolonged period; or those who are already immune to the effects of opioid drugs. In these cases, painkillers are the only option.
The doctor will assess carefully if the patient’s suffering can be relieved through other methods.
Dosage is typically very low but will increase according to the assessment of the physician. Like all narcotic analgesic, your body will adjust to the drug in time. When that happens, its potency tapers off. In this case, your doctor will take you off the drug and prescribe you with a new one. Generally, however, opioid dependency is avoided even under the close supervision of the doctor.
When taking opioids, it’s best to be upfront with the physician. Certain drugs will counteract and interact with Demerol and Oxycodone. Even natural supplements and vitamins should be listed and outlined. Allow your doctor to prescribe with all the information available.
If you are trying to conceive a child, steer clear of Oxycodone because it can cause fertility problems.
Here are some of the other Oxycodone side effects:
- – Dry mouth
- – Upset stomach
- – Drowsiness
- – Mood changes
- – Flushing
- – Migraines
- – Elevated body temperature
- – Sweating
- – Confusion
- – Appetite loss
- – Weakness
- – Dizziness
- – Rashes and itchiness
However, contact the medical personnel immediately if the patient is exhibiting the following symptoms:
- – Shortness of breath
- – Erratic breathing
- – Rapid or slowdown in heart rate
- – Hallucination
- – Extreme stiffness of the muscle
- – Loss of motor control
- – Severe diarrhea
- – Uncontrolled vomiting
- – Chest pains
- – Seizures
As already mentioned Oxycodone can cause infertility issues. For men, it can be the inability to have an erection while women may experience loss of libido or inability to produce an egg. They will also notice that their menstruation will become less regular.
Swelling is also another dangerous symptom of taking narcotics. If you notice some bloating on the face and tongue, bring the patient to the hospital immediately because the throat may likely also be swelling and can close up.
Once your body has developed a dependence on Demerol and Oxycodone, it’s almost always a guarantee that you develop withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop using. Drug withdrawal may vary according to the substance being abused.
Demerol vs Oxycodone: How to Spot if Your Loved One is Addicted
A substance abuser will exhibit sudden changes in behavior. This alone is a red flag although not the singular manifestation of drug dependence.
Below are just some of the warning signs of drug addiction:
Lack of interest in school or work
Becoming more secretive and locks himself inside the house or room for long periods of time
Disinterest in joining family gatherings, reunions, birthday parties, etc.
The tension in their personal relationship
They take the drug even if they are no longer feeling any pain
They overlook some of their responsibilities at home or office
They incur a lot of debt or unaccounted expenses
They either sleep too much or doesn’t sleep at all
They will lash out at everybody if they are confronted with their problem
Noticeable physical changes
Lack of attention to hygiene
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The best way to deal with the problem is to confront your loved one. It’s understandable that some may hesitate with the misguided notion of not breaking up the family. But an intervention is necessary, especially in the early stages when Demerol or Oxycodone has not yet caused too much damage to the brain and organs.
Treatment options may be through a residential program or an outpatient program. Residential programs offer supervised detox, which is the safer bet, particularly with these harder narcotics when the withdrawal symptoms can be very severe. Also, you will be away from temptation as well as the stresses outside, which will allow you to focus on your treatment.
While inside, some of the anticipated activities are physical exercises, yoga or meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, individual counseling, group sessions, and others. The obstacle for some is that freedom is constrained since they follow a regimented schedule while inside the facility.
However, it’s understandable for some people to choose outpatient treatment because it’s less invasive. You don’t have to take a leave of absence at work and you can still be with your family. The downside is that you are always going to be exposed to temptation and stress when you stay outside. It will take an enormous amount of willpower to shun off the drugs.
In a good number of cases, rehab therapists and counselors deal with dual diagnosis in people who abuse drugs. Dual diagnosis occurs when there’s a psychiatric issue associated with the substance abuse. Facilities no longer try to determine which came first, the disorder or the abuse, because it’s a chicken and egg question.
Nevertheless, everybody agrees that flushing out the toxins from the body won’t be enough without also addressing the underlying cause of the addiction.
That means the doctor will not only try to wean the patient from the chemical substance but also treat the co-occurring mental problem, as well. Naturally, in these cases, the treatment is more complicated and will take a lot longer than your standard illicit drug abuse.
Summary: Demerol vs. Oxycodone
To sum up, both drugs are extremely addicting and very dangerous. It’s important to know meperidine is considered the more potent of the two but the “high” feeling also lasts a long time, which is a minimum of two hours compared to the three hours of Oxycodone. Demerol is also very hard to find on the streets because most hospitals already removed it from their formulary due to a high level of toxicity.
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