Can You Snort Demerol?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on March 23, 2023

Those wishing to partake in Demerol abuse can crush the tablet to create a powder. The drug can then be snorted, entering the bloodstream much more quickly than oral ingestion and resulting in feelings of sedation.

A person participating in Demerol abuse may crush the tablet into a fine powder and snort the prescription drug. However, this form of drug abuse can result in serious side effects and life-threatening dangers.

Demerol (the brand name for meperidine) is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. It’s used to help treat those suffering from moderate to severe pain.

Snorting Demerol

Because Demerol is an opioid analgesic painkiller, it affects the central nervous system (CNS). Acting as a CNS depressant, Demerol relieves pain by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain, resulting in feelings of sedation.

Those seeking to achieve a high from Demerol may snort the pain medication, which is a serious form of opioid abuse that can lead to life-threatening health problems.

Side Effects Of Snorting Demerol

Those with opioid addiction who snort Demerol may experience more heightened side effects due to the route of transmission. When Demerol is snorted, the drug rapidly enters the bloodstream, resulting in almost instant euphoria.

Common Side Effects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states side effects of Demerol may include:

  • constipation
  • pain relief
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • feelings of euphoria and sedation
  • confusion
  • lightheadedness
  • confusion

Serious Side Effects

When taken in high doses via insufflation, more severe effects can occur, including:

  • physical dependence
  • increased risk of a Demerol overdose
  • uncomfortable and severe withdrawal symptoms
  • risk of disease
  • damage to nasal passageways

Dangers Of Snorting Demerol

Snorting Demerol can create hazards for your health. Not only is there an increased risk of an overdose, taking the drug in a manner not as prescribed may negatively impact your health in various ways.

Damage To Nasal Passageways

Snorting Demerol may lead to serious damage to the nasal passageways. In fact, some of the damage which can occur include:

  • a chronic runny nose
  • persistent nosebleeds
  • the development of a deviated septum
  • bacterial infections
  • irritation of mucous membranes

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

Demerol withdrawal may take place if a person tries to discontinue their drug use “cold turkey.” Those with a dependence to Demerol may require tapering off the drug at a treatment center. In fact, medical detox is a safe way to rid your body of the drug.

Those who experience withdrawal symptoms may suffer from:

  • cravings for the drug
  • vomiting
  • difficulty gaining weight
  • tremors
  • mental health problems such as anxiety or depression
  • irritability
  • hyperactivity
  • diarrhea

Drug Interactions

Those who participate in Demerol insufflation may turn to other methods of drug abuse such as combining medications. This type of drug use is dangerous and can result in adverse interactions.

If you snort Demerol, do not consume the drug with other substances such as:

  • benzodiazepines
  • antihistamines
  • other prescription opioid drugs such as oxycodone or hydrocodone
  • illicit opioids such as fentanyl
  • antidepressants
  • alcohol
  • antidepressants
  • over-the-counter pain relievers

Increased Risk Of Disease

If those who snort Demerol use straws, syringes, or other paraphernalia and share with others, they may be at risk of disease. For instance, if bodily fluids are exchanged, diseases such as hepatitis or HIV may occur.

Increased Risk Of Demerol Overdose

Taking large amounts of this opioid painkiller may lead to a high-risk of life-threatening overdose. Symptoms of an opioid overdose can include:

  • respiratory depression
  • seizures
  • fluctuations in heart rate
  • changes in pupil size
  • fluctuations in blood pressure
  • cold or clammy skin
  • blue fingernails
  • coma

A potentially life-saving medication called naloxone (Narcan) can be used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). 

Demerol Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with substance abuse, there are several opioid treatment options available at Ohio Recovery Center. At our drug rehab center, we offer inpatient treatment programs for you or your loved one that include evidence-based services such as:

For more information, please contact us today.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Steps to Care - Substance Abuse https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/effective-interventions/treat/steps-to-care/my-stc/cdc-hiv-stc-harm-reduction-substance-use.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration — Demerol https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/005010s050lbl.pdf
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Meperidine https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682117.html
  4. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls — Meperidine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470362/

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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