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Signs of Morphine Addiction

The signs of morphine addiction include many physical and emotional changes in the user. Because morphine is highly addictive, the user builds a tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develops quickly. Morphine can be taken orally in tablet form, and it can also be injected subcutaneously, intramuscularly, or intravenously; the last is the route preferred by those who are addicted to morphine. Other signs of morphine addiction include the paraphernalia used to take the drug. Morphine users may have needles, tourniquets, morphine tablets, liquid morphine, or crushed up powder.

Morphine addiction develops very rapidly when an individual continues to abuse the drug. Morphine's addictive nature activates the brain’s reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to continually crave Morphine and to focus his or her activities around taking the drug. The ability of Morphine to strongly activate the brain's reward mechanisms and its ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems is what produces morphine addiction. One of the many signs of morphine addiction is that it reduces the user’s level of consciousness, harming their ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.

Physical signs of morphine addiction include but are not limited to:

  • reduced sense of pain
  • needle marks (if injecting drugs)
  • slurred speech
  • blurred vision
  • double vision
  • involuntary movement of the eyeball
  • " pinpoint" pupils
  • sweating
  • chills
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • fainting/faintness
  • floating feeling
  • light-headedness
  • uncoordinated muscle movements
  • rigid muscles
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • inability to urinate
  • swelling due to fluid retention
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • cramps
  • tremors
  • tingling or pins and needles
  • seizures
  • facial flushing
  • sedation
  • weakness
  • headache
  • allergic reaction
  • high/low blood pressure
  • appetite loss
  • accidental injury
  • memory loss
  • insomnia

emotional signs of morphine addiction:

  • anxiety
  • depressed or irritable mood
  • exaggerated sense of well-being
  • abnormal thinking
  • agitation
  • apprehension
  • hallucinations

Signs of morphine addiction withdrawal include but are not limited to:

  • restlessness
  • lacrimation
  • rhinorrhea
  • yawning
  • perspiration
  • goose flesh
  • restless sleep
  • mydriasis
  • twitching and spasms of muscles
  • kicking movements
  • severe aches in the back, abdomen, and legs
  • abdominal and muscle cramps
  • hot and cold flashes
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • coryza
  • severe sneezing
  • increases in body temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heart rate

Morphine withdrawal symptoms reach peak intensity in 36 to 72 hours. Without treatment, the signs of morphine addiction withdrawal will run their course in 5 to 7 days, even though cravings for morphine may continue for months.