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Demerol vs. Oxycodone: The Key Differences


Understanding different types of addictions requires fundamental knowledge about diverse types of drugs that are commonly abused, both prescription and non-prescription, as well as the similarities and differences between them. Two substances that are known for creating a physical and psychological dependency are Demerol and Oxycodone.

Demerol and Oxycodone have a number of similarities, as well as several key differences that distinguish them from one another. In order to understand the subtle differences between these two substances, it is vital to analyze information about each and compare the two. To help you understand Demerol vs. Oxycodone, we have put together a guide of the most important information you need to know about these substances.

Oxycodone Vs. Demerol: Get the Facts

In order to compare different aspects of Demerol and Oxycodone to ascertain their differences, it is necessary to first have a baseline understanding of what these substances are and how they function within the body. Demerol, which is the brand name for the drug meperidine, is an opioid. Opioids are also sometimes referred to as narcotics or analgesic, which means that they are used in the treatment or relief of pain.

Demerol is most often prescribed for use as treatment for moderate to severe pain. The source of this pain can range greatly depending on the individual. Demerol is most often prescribed for use in labor and childbirth, to manage pain due to cancer, after a severe accident, or after a heart attack. Because Demerol is an opioid narcotic, its use is strictly controlled and medical professionals often limit its use to within a hospital setting. Demerol is rarely prescribed for use in an outpatient setting because of its addictiveness and the increased probability for abuse.

Within the body, Demerol functions within the central nervous system of the body. Being an analgesic, Demerol is capable of ameliorating or reducing feelings of pain. Demerol accomplishes this feat by altering the way in which the body perceives pain. In addition to quelling feelings of pain, Demerol also is capable of producing feelings of euphoria, giddiness, and pleasure. It is these properties that have prompted many individuals to attempt to use Demerol in an illicit recreational setting.

While Demerol can be extremely useful when utilized within a controlled environment under the direct supervision of a medical professional, it can be dangerous and addictive when used recreationally or abused. Demerol is extremely addictive, and over time the brain develops a dependency on the dosage of Demerol it is used to receiving. If it stops receiving the dose of Demerol it is anticipating, the body will begin to experience the symptoms of withdrawal, which can be uncomfortable and challenging to endure. Withdrawal symptoms occur due to the body’s attempt to regain equilibrium and regulate its processes without Demerol.

Oxycodone is also an opioid narcotic that is used in the treatment and management of pain. Oxycodone is highly addictive and is a potent substance. Oxycodone is present in a number of medications that are commonly prescribed, including Percodan, Percocet, Oxycontin, and Tylox. Oxycodone is most often prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. While Demerol is used for a myriad of different uses, Oxycodone is most often used to manage pain after individuals have undergone surgery, are experiencing chronic pain, or have suffered an injury.

Similar to Demerol, Oxycodone changes the way in which the body processes feelings of pain and mitigates them. Oxycodone has also been known to elicit feelings of euphoria, pleasure, and relaxation in addition to its analgesic properties. When Oxycodone is taken, it affects the central nervous system of the body by depressing and slowing it down, which is how it is capable of managing feelings of pain. Oxycodone binds to opioid cell receptor sites within the body, thereby prompting feelings of relaxation and euphoria to replace those of pain.

Half-Life of Demerol Vs. Oxycodone

The half-life of any substance is important to ascertain as this is what will determine how long that substance is present within the body and can be recognized on a test. The half-life of a substance refers to the duration of time that will elapse before approximately one half of the substance ingested will be eliminated from the body. The half-life of Demerol is roughly two to five hours, while the half-life of Oxycodone is roughly three and a half to five and a half hours. While these half-lives are relatively close in duration, this is a key difference to note about Demerol when compared to Oxycodone.

Potential Side Effects of Oxycodone Vs. Demerol

The potential side effects of a substance are vital to understanding and recognizing whether or not the body is not reacting properly to the medication and whether or not the dosage is too high. If an individual begins to abuse Oxycodone or Demerol, the probability that they will develop some of the common side effects increases significantly. The chances of experiencing side effects are also heightened for individuals who have a preexisting medical or mental health condition. Below are the most common side effects for Oxycodone and Demerol.

Side Effects of Oxycodone:

  • Dry mouth
  • Mild itching
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Confusion
  • Seizure
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Slowed, shallow breathing
  • Low cortisol levels
  • Impotence
  • Loss of interest in sex

Side Effects of Demerol:


  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Fainting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Decreased urination
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Constipation
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Shallow breathing
  • Seizure
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Clammy skin that is cold to the touch


Street Names for Demerol Vs. Oxycodone

One key difference between Demerol and Oxycodone is their respective street names, or names under which they are purchased illicitly. For all substances, street names fluctuate regularly and will change and adapt over time as law enforcement agencies and the wider population become knowledgeable about what the street names are.

For a street name to be effective, users should feel comfortable asking the person they are buying the drug from for the street name of the drug, even when in a public space, and be able to avoid detection. Demerol is commonly known by street names such as D, Dust, Dillies, Juice, or Demmies. Oxycodone, on the other hand, is often known as Hillbilly Heroin, Kicker, O.C., Oxycotton, Oxy, Percs, Roxy, or Oxycet.

Signs of an Addiction to Demerol or Oxycodone

While there are a number of key differences between Demerol and Oxycodone, the signs that an individual has developed an addiction to them significantly overlap. Since they are both opioid narcotics, many of these behavioral, physical, and psychological warning signs are the same. If you are concerned that a family member or friend may have developed a Oxycodone or Demerol addiction, it is important to know the most common signs that an individual has developed an addiction so that you can work with them to get the help they need. Below are a handful of the most common physical, behavioral, and psychological signs of substance abuse of Demerol or Oxycodone.

Physical Signs of Addiction to Demerol or Oxycodone:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Sedation
  • Slowed breathing
  • Constant itching
  • Unusual sleep patterns
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Coma
  • Heart attack
  • Dizziness
  • Unusually constricted pupils
  • Continuous fatigue
  • Kidney problems
  • Constipation
  • Seizures

Behavioral Signs of Addiction to Demerol or Oxycodone:


  • Borrowing or stealing money to purchase Demerol or Oxycodone: In some cases, individuals may ask to borrow money, or may steal money, from their loved ones or friends in order to purchase more of the substance they are addicted to. In cases of theft, family or friends may attempt to press charges for the stealing in an attempt to teach their loved one a lesson and inflict consequences for their actions. However, some family members or friends may not want to drive their loved one further away and may attempt to ignore the theft.
  • Withdrawing from previously enjoyed activities: Addiction is a vicious cycle that drives some individuals to focus solely on getting and maintaining their usage of a substance. This may cause some people to withdraw from activities that they previously took pleasure in and valued.
  • Trying to forge a prescription for Demerol or Oxycodone: Some individuals may resort to stealing a doctor’s prescription pad in order to attempt to forge prescriptions for the substance they are addicted to. This is a risky and drug-seeking behavior that often results in legal consequences if caught.
  • Lying about how much Demerol or Oxycodone is being taken: Many individuals will attempt to conceal and hide their addiction and dependency upon a substance by lying to their loved ones and friends about how much they are taking. These medications can begin with a legitimate need, but can quickly spiral into the cycle of addiction due to their heady impact on the central nervous system.
  • Concealing Demerol or Oxycodone at work, in a car, or at home: If an individual is attempting to hide their addiction from those around them, then they may result to drastic measures to make sure that their stash of drugs remains concealed. This may mean hiding their drugs in their home, their car, or even in their workplace.
  • Increasing the dose of Demerol or Oxycodone to achieve the same effect: If an individual has been steadily taking a substance for a prolonged period of time, their body will begin to develop a tolerance. When the body builds up a tolerance to a substance, a larger quantity is needed in order to produce the same effect. In some cases, an individual may need to consistently increase the amount of Demerol or Oxycodone they are taking, which is an indication that a physical or psychological dependency has developed.
  • Having cravings or an obsession with Demerol or Oxycodone: When an individual is addicted to a substance, their focus on it can become intense and can take precedence above many other things in their life. If someone is displaying signs that they have cravings for a substance or an obsession with it, then it is an indication that they addicted to it.
  • Visiting the emergency room with the intent of getting a Demerol or Oxycodone prescription: If an individual has developed a physical and psychological dependency on a substance, then if they cease taking that substance their body will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. As both Demerol and Oxycodone are opioid narcotics that affect the central nervous system, they can produce intense and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Some individuals may become incredibly desperate to get another dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms, which may drive them to visit the emergency room in an attempt to get a prescription for the substance they are addicted to.
  • Visiting multiple doctors to try to obtain multiple prescriptions for Demerol or Oxycodone: This is a practice that is known as “doctor shopping”. Doctor shopping attempts to circumvent the restrictions placed by a primary physician by visiting multiple doctors and getting a prescription for the same substance. In this instance, individuals are attempting to manipulate the traditional method by which they would get the substance in order to supply their addiction.
  • Falling asleep at random (nodding off) or appearing to be in a haze: Because of the relaxing and euphoric effect both Demerol and Oxycodone can impart due to their effect on the central nervous system, some individuals may appear to fall asleep at random or seem to be in a drowsy haze. While this may also be a symptom of a number of other conditions and addictions, if you believe a loved one or friend may be addicted to Demerol or Oxycodone and they are displaying signs of nodding off or being in a haze, it is important to discuss your concern with them and ascertain whether or not it is an ancillary effect of their addiction.


Psychological Symptoms of Addiction to Demerol or Oxycodone:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Impulsiveness
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Intense mood swings
  • Psychosis
  • Delusions
  • Worsened symptoms of a mental illness
  • Hallucinations


As you can see the Morphine and Demerol addiction symptoms are varied and can even be different from person to person. If you suspect that someone you know is addicted to Demerol than Luminance Recovery can help. Our holistic approach to treatment has helped many people overcome their painkiller addiction. Call us today to learn more about our alcohol and drug treatment center.

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