Morphine is one of the most ancient pain medications in the world. It is extracted from opium, found in poppy plants. Morphine is usually injected via an IV drip. It is a Schedule II drug in America, which means that it does indeed have recognized medicinal benefits but is still substantially restricted as it has very high abuse potential.
Morphine, like all other opioid pain relievers, works by binding to the opioid receptors present in the nervous system and the brain. By doing so, it alters how the body feels and its response to pain. Once you take morphine, it is absorbed in the bloodstream and transported to organs throughout the body, wherein it affects specific nervous system receptors.
It is this interaction that floods pain. It also floods your body with the dopamine chemical. Dopamine is what causes the euphoric feelings. Most people who abuse morphine do so because of the euphoric effects that it has. Anytime you use morphine outside of a doctor's prescription, it is tantamount to abuse. With morphine being relatively easy to access, it is widely abused in the US.
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Usually, morphine is administered intravenously. This allows for stringent control, in that only a certain amount of morphine is available in a certain period. When prescribed as a take-home medication, you may be given a tablet. You may also be given transdermal patches.
There is a variety of medical reasons concerning morphine use. However, abusers of the drug will stray away from the prescription protocol. Morphine abusers will crush morphine tablets, snort the powder, open the patch, and inject the solution within.
Like with most other prescription drugs, morphine addiction stems and grows from a need for pain-relieving medication. In most cases, the morphine user starts from following a doctor's prescription. By and by, the person realizes that the relief he or she aims for is not availed by following prescription protocol. This is due to the body developing tolerance to the drug. Without a doctor's supervision, whereby he or she will taper off the dosage, a person going cold turkey may be hit by a wave of very unpleasant withdrawal effects.
People on morphine do not usually find out they are addicted until their prescription runs out. Once it does, cravings and withdrawal symptoms set in. It might be too late to see a doctor at this point. Many of them seek out street dealers as well as black hat methods of accessing the drug.
Doctor shopping is yet another tactic that addicts use to procure the drug. Doctor shopping is approaching multiple doctors in an attempt to get prescriptions from them. When obtaining morphine becomes too difficult, addicts typically turn to more accessible street drugs. Heroin is a popular choice.
Buying morphine on the street is very costly, owing, in part, to the difficulty in accessing it. Hence, many of them turn to heroin. At some point or another, many heroin users "graduated" to heroin after obtaining morphine, or other prescription opioids became too hard.
Like Oxy and other prescription opioids, morphine functions by binding to opioid receptors in the spine, brain, and other organs sensitive to pain. It is this interaction which has a pain-blocking effect. Dopamine is also produced.
Morphine is a narcotic. This means that if taken excessively, it will induce sleep and even a coma. Morphine, along with its pain-relieving capabilities, may also have unwanted side effects. These include:
As with many prescription drugs, morphine use and abuse will lead to tolerance and dependence. You will require more significant amounts of the drug to achieve the same effects.
Those with chronic pain who use morphine to cope with the pain may experience the onset of withdrawal symptoms once they cease taking the drug. By this point, they have already become dependent on the drug. In many cases, they are addicted to it as well.
If unchecked, addiction to morphine will progress from mild to moderate. If left unchecked, it will proceed to severe levels, where the normal function will be impossible without a morphine fix.
There are numerous, severe long-term effects of morphine abuse. Some side effects are merely uncomfortable, such as hives and fever, while others are genuinely hazardous and could either lead to irreversible damage or even death.
Here is an example: many morphine abusers will prefer to inject the drug into their veins. A vast majority of these people will not observe hygiene standards and will reuse needles, share them with others, fail to sterilize them, Etc. The result may be a contraction of blood-borne pathogens like Hepatitis C and HIV.
In addition to exposure to such diseases as Hep C and HIV, many morphine abusers experience adrenal insufficiency and severe hypotension. They may also experience opioid-induced involuntary muscular hyperactivity.
Some other long-term morphine side effects include:
All these side effects are elevated as morphine doses climb. Chronic morphine use will make these side effects increasingly severe. The only way to swerve all of these is only to use morphine as prescribed by a medical professional. Abusing morphine is very dangerous, and even at times, fatal.
A morphine overdose will usually happen when an user either accidentally or knowingly takes far too much of it. Seeing as morphine tolerance develops quite fast, morphine abusers will progress to and past the tolerance and dependence levels more quickly than users and abusers of other drugs. As such, the risk of overdose is high.
Besides, many users of morphine like to mix it with other sedatives, such as alcohol. When you combine two or more CNS depressants, you considerably slow down the system's capacity to run essential bodily functions. Even breathing becomes a problem. Your body may have difficulties nourishing multiple organs with sufficient blood flow, Etc.
Speed-balling occurs when one mixes a depressant like morphine with a stimulant, usually cocaine. This is very dangerous and has been the cause of many OD cases. Yet another influencer of morphine overdose is its mode of administration. For instance, crushing morphine pills results in faster absorption, and a loss of its extended-release buffer. As such, rapid absorption, many be hazardous.
If you experience any of the following signs and symptoms, you should not only cease taking morphine, but you should contact emergency services promptly:
Overdosing on morphine requires prompt medical attention. OD victims are transported to the hospital or the ER. Here, professionals will evaluate the vitals and attend to any symptoms.
The fastest-acting morphine overdose antidote is Narcan. Narcan quickly reverses opioid effects. Breathing is especially monitored closely in the advent of an OD. The reason for this is that the respiratory system is often depressed by morphine ingestion, mainly when large amounts are involved, and breathing may slow down and stop altogether.
Impaired breathing may compel medical professionals to put in place airway support. Respiratory depression must be addressed quickly. Failure could lead to respiratory arrest and even death.
Symptoms and signs of morphine abuse usually include:
Symptoms and signs of morphine addiction include:
Those who abuse morphine with regularity open themselves up to more to dangerous side effects. They are also more prone to overdosing, sometimes fatally. The mode of administration also plays a role in one's proneness to OD'ing. Intravenous users of morphine are likelier to OD than those who take it in pill form. Abusing large amounts of morphine may depress the respiratory system so much that brain damage results.
Morphine detox will be necessary to help cut down on cravings. When you try to cease taking morphine suddenly, the result is a string of uncomfortable withdrawal effects. These symptoms will typically drag on for a week or so.
Because of the substance's ability to impact the brain and body, withdrawal symptoms are often intense. It is recommended not to attempt quitting cold turkey, or detoxing yourself at home. The best option is to detox in a medical facility where professional attention and care are available.
The morphine withdrawal symptoms will range from mild ones, such as excessive yawning and watery eyes to more severe symptoms like elevated blood pressure, seizures, and puking. These symptoms will require to be catered to in a professional medical setting.
If you think that you have a problem with morphine addiction, it is vital that you immediately reach out for professional help. This will give you the opportunity not only to put a stop to your addiction progressing into dangerous territory, but also to swerve the route of illicit alternatives, thereby saving yourself years of turmoil.
In a medical detox setting, professional personnel will watch over you throughout the process. They will monitor your vitals to ensure that you are safe. They will listen to what you have to say about your experience, and figure out ways to help you cope better. They will administer medications that will help curtail cravings and blunt the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Better yet, detoxing in a facility is fast within a week or so, the most severe symptoms will pass, and you will soon be ready for rehab.
Often, the most significant challenge that detoxing people face is the danger of relapsing. Going cold turkey at home is severe enough. In addition to sweating, nausea, and the like, the cravings may be too much to tamp down, and you may easily relapse. Once you have suffered withdrawal symptoms and relapsed, you will have a much more torrid time the next time you attempt to detox. The symptoms may linger for longer.
Naturally, detoxing will be more comfortable and faster if you can catch your morphine use problem at the prelim stages. However, many people already have persistent pains that they are trying to manage. If you are not sure about what to do or what stage your morphine use problem is at, consult with a medical professional. This is always the wisest move.
Once you are committed to detoxing, medical professionals will employ a range of treatment methods and techniques to flush the drug from your system. They will taper you off the drug, meaning they will give you increasingly smaller doses of the drug. They will also check your vitals often. This will ensure that throughout the process, you will remain safe.
You may also receive medications like Naltrexone or Buprenorphine, which will be valuable in providing you relief. This is referred to as MAT, medication-assisted treatment. While enrolled in a facility, you can ensure that the quality of therapy meds you are accessing is high. This will be made possible by peers and facility staff.