Demerol Man: I should have stuck with Shrooms!

My inquisitive mind recently got me into big trouble at work.  After “self reporting” my use I was forced into a five week inpatient treatment center 5,000 miles from my home! I am now doing “follow up” monitoring for two years as part of a contract I had sign with my professional licensing College in order for me to be able to return to work. What follows is the story of my foolish experiment. I hope you find it both entertaining and helpful.

Almost every minute of every work day I handle the the Opiates Morphine, Diluidid(Hyrdomorphone), Fentanyl and the synthetic the “ah yes” Opiate, Demerol(Meperidine). I treat pain as one of the main tasks in my job as a post operative recovery room RN. Almost every patient gets “some” opiate after surgery.  The pain med is given and then any wastage is discarded in the “sharps container” with no monitoring.

One day my inquisitive mind remembered how it felt to experience Demerol for my migraines, that became uncontrollable and required a trip to the local ER in my 20’s and 30’s.  I had perhaps only 4 shots of Demerol over a 10 year period but I certainly remembered it’s affects! The immediate control of pain, the immediate decrease in stress ,and especially the incredible euphoria! Now Demerol is no longer used for pain as it is actually not a great pain killer. It simply tricks the brain, via euphoria, into thinking there is no pain . It doesn’t work very well at pain receptor sites at the spinal cord level.  Also, Demerol has a particularly nasty metabolite called Normeperidine that can build up in the body and cause seizures.  Demerol is now only used to control post operative shivering caused by the volatile inhalation anesthetics used in surgery.  10-20 mg is enough to almost immediately stop uncontrolled shaking after the patient arrives in the Recovery Room. The vials come in 50-100 mg doses, so my routine became 15mg for the patient and 85mg for me! I would simply pocket the remains of the syringe!

The first time I used this “wastage” I used the IV route or course. I knew exactly what I was doing and I knew which route if administration for give me the best and fastest buzz. I mainlining the Demerol into the brachial vein in my left AC Fossa(inner elbow region).  I was absolutely blown away by the 50mg dose I took!  The rush was incredible and was accompanied by a small histamine release causing a flush of the face and upper body. An instant warmth came over me, along with the incredible euphoria of Demerol!  It’s hard to explain but rest assured it was very intense and very “nice”.  I was a little unsteady for a few minutes(a little dizzy) but I manged to easily walk back to my “spot” in the recovery room to await the next admission from the OR.  Sitting there waiting was quite an experience as I watched the other nurses care for their patients. I felt fantastic! I had loads of energy! I felt positive and happy. I was chatty and soon became very helpful in the department.  Nobody had a clue that I was ripped on Demerol. My next dose was a few days latter at 100mg, and I got an even more intense Buzz. I think I was already hooked psychologically by this point. I eventually tried 200mg and that dose almost blew me off the toilet seat in the staff bathroom ,but after a minute I was in total control as the dizziness only lasted a few minutes.

I eventually tried the other opiates that were available….Fentanyl, Hydromorph and Morphine.  I found Fentanyl fairly mild even at high dose, Hydromorph made me sluggish and morphine caused a big histamine release(flush) that I hated and it also made me sluggish.  None of these were euphoric and energizing, at least compared to Demerol so I didn’t really bother much with them.

I used Demerol for about 3-4 months. I had limits built in to my use. I would not use it two days on a row. I would not use it more than twice in a 12 hour shift. I would never take it home.

But over time my rules slackened and my tolerance for the drug increased, which required more frequent higher doses,  but thank God I never took it home.

One day I got hauled into the manager’s office as other nurses were wondering why the Hell I was giving so much Demerol, when Demerol is for rarely used.  I was lucky that my drug of choice was not the very commonly given opiates because my use could have gone on undetected for a much longer time.  I quickly realized that if the narc book was audited I’d be toast!  If a nurse gets “caught”  the College comes down hard but if they self report things go much easier. So I immediately stopped my use and self reported.

I thought I’d receive a suspension without pay for a month and some local counseling.  HA!  I was sent away to a 5 week treatment program 5000 miles from home!  I have also been given a 2 year monitoring program of urine testing and forced weekly(three) “meetings” to attend. Luckily my city has many “LifeRing” meetings which are secular and rational. I hated the 12 step meetings in the treatment center for many reasons.

I am very thankful that I stopped when I did. Addiction is progressive and I starting to like Demerol too much. I never took the drug home with me and never looked for opiates on the street but I could see the writing on the wall for sure! The path I saw before me was HELL. I was especially afraid of the metabolite Normeperidine as it can kills you quickly with a seizure!

I have since learned, from reading Marc Lewis, that the opiates are especially good at giving a feeling of warmth and love, and those that are missing love and trust  in their lives are easy prey of opiates. My wife had been in an affair and I certainly lacked that love and trust, but found it with Demerol.  However, this is all an illusion and a counterfeit and terrible addiction takes over very quickly: your brain is literally changed forever.

I can never touch opiates again. I will be requesting random hair testing for the rest of my career, after the two year urine monitoring is over. Demerol is too good…I cannot completely trust myself around it ever again!

In Neuromancer, Willian Gibson said this about Meperidine and I paraphrase:

If God created anything that felt better, then he saved it for himself.


My advice to you all is to never experiment with Opiates, they will “get you”!

Those who struggle with opiate addiction please know that there is hope but the choice is yours to take. You are notthe victim of a progressive brain disease and nor are you powerless!

Yes, I should have stuck with Shrooms!

3 thoughts on “Demerol Man: I should have stuck with Shrooms!

  1. Janet April 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I love the truth and here it is! So well written, so much covered, so quickly. Like ripping back the curtain and letting us SEE and feel. All of it. My eyes were popping open as I read your words. Wow. I love that you work in a place that doesn’t just punish. I love that you “told on yourself.” I love that you got help and got right to the source. I love that you wrote about this. And I love that you speak the truth. Thanks.

  2. alexia January 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    I was given demerol only once in 2002, during my first pregnancy. I knew back then that if I ever got ahold of it, id be addicted. And im not the addictive type. I can quit cigarrettes easily, alcohol is no issue, i tried coke, ecstasy etc. Nothing else is addictive to me except demerol and maybe chocolate. Id even pick demerol over chocolate! You are right in that it wasnt any good for pain anyway. Ive never had it again, but lately i was considering going to medical school and decided against it simply for the temptation of the demerol. I wont risk it.

  3. Lee Noocha April 11, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    So I found some round white pills that clam to be demerol. But it clearly says Winthrop on one side a nothing on the other hmmm oh yea the bottle says 5-20-67 are they still any good

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