There are some common signs of morphine use that can point out the fact that this drug has become a problem in your life. Most of these signs are linked to the negative and sometimes adverse effects that the drug can have on your life.
Extracted from the Opium found in poppy plants, Morphine is one of the oldest pain medications in the world. The Opioid drug is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Morphine is typically injected via a syringe or IV drip in a hospital setting or prescribed in an oral tablet in an outpatient setting. Morphine is considered to be a Schedule II drug in the U.S., which means that it has recognized medicinal benefits but is still severely restricted due to the fact that it has a high potential for abuse and dependence.
Morphine, like all Opioid pain relievers, works by binding to Opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system to change the way the body feels and responds to pain. Upon ingestion, the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream and is carried to organs throughout the body where it affects specific receptors in the nervous system.
This interaction blocks pain and floods the body with dopamine, inducing euphoria. Many people will abuse Morphine because of this pleasurable effect or "high" that the drug produces. Any time someone uses the medication without a prescription or not explicitly as prescribed is considered abuse. Morphine is also relatively accessible and easy to obtain, which contributes to the high diverted use rates of the drug.
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Morphine can be prescribed in various ways. Commonly seen in hospitals as a solution to be administered intravenously, this is the easiest way to control the amount of Morphine used. When prescribed to a patient to take at home, it can be consumed as a tablet, transdermal patches, or a suppository.
While there are a variety of practical medical reasons to use Morphine, the calming, pleasure-inducing effects of Morphine have caused people to abuse the drug. People with the intent to abuse Morphine will most often use the tablets or patches. Typically, users crush the tablets into a powder to snort or cut open the patch to inject the solution inside.
Like many prescription drugs, addiction to Morphine most often grows out of a need for the pain reliever. Typically, someone starts Morphine as a prescription. Overtime, that person will soon find that it doesn't provide as much relief over time. This means that their body is building a tolerance to the Opioid and could lead to them upping their dose. Without a doctor's supervision tapering off the medication, the person can potentially go off cold turkey and go into withdrawal.
A person who was prescribed Morphine may not realize that they've developed a dependency until their prescription runs out. By that time, it's too late for them to go back to a doctor.
Craving the drug, many go to the street to procure it illicitly. Individuals looking to abuse or sell Morphine will often go "doctor shopping" (going to multiple physicians to keep getting prescriptions), or they'll turn to a different drug they can get cheaper.
Buying Morphine on the street is expensive, usually due to the high cost and difficulty of procuring Morphine. That is why many will turn to Heroin. Most people addicted to Heroin got there from another Opioid addiction. Whether they were unable to procure it, or couldn't afford it anymore, at some point the majority of them can no longer get access to Morphine. That is where Heroin, the stronger, cheaper alternative, comes into play.
Morphine, like all Opioid pain relievers, works by binding to the Opioid receptors in the brain, spine, and other organs of the body sensitive to pain. This interaction blocks pain and floods the body with dopamine.
Morphine is also a narcotic. This means it will induce sleep and potentially lead to coma if taken excessively. When it is used to treat pain, as with any drug, there can be a variety of side effects.
Along with its pain-relieving effects, Morphine can also cause some unwanted side effects as well. Although not all of these may occur, some of the most common effects include:
Like many other prescription drugs, people that are taking Morphine may require larger doses for pain control when used for extended periods of time. Over time, the body can develop a tolerance for the medication and will require more and more of the drug to experience the same level of effectiveness.
People with chronic pain who use Morphine may then become physically dependent on the medication, meaning that they will experience symptoms of withdrawal when attempting to stop taking the drug. Depending on a number of biological, environmental, genetic, and social factors, dependence on Morphine often turns into addiction, which causes the user to continue to use the drug despite the negative health consequences.
Despite the side effects of Morphine, its effectiveness as a pain reliever has kept it a staple for patients who suffer from chronic pain. It is that same effectiveness, however, that has proven to be so addictive over the decades.
The majority of Heroin users start with a prescription for Morphine or other prescription Opioid. After they run out and can no longer come by the substance legally, they turn to illicit means to feed their addiction. Morphine is actually more expensive to acquire illegally when compared to many other opioids, like Heroin.
There are many serious long-term side effects of Morphine abuse. While some are merely uncomfortable, such as fever and hives, others are incredibly dangerous and could result in irreversible damage to a person's health.
For example, many people who use Morphine find themselves at an increased risk for blood-borne pathogens like HIV. This is because many people who misuse the drug or take it illicitly inject it intravenously, sometimes with shared needles.
In addition to increased exposure to diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C, many people who abuse Morphine will experience adrenal insufficiency and severe hypotension. Opioid-induced involuntary muscle hyperactivity is also characteristic in those who take chronic high-doses of the drug.
Some of the other long-term effects of Morphine use includes:
These health risks are increased with higher doses of Morphine and chronic, long-term use. To minimize the chance that an individual will be exposed to these effects, Morphine should be taken exactly as prescribed and never abused.
Morphine overdose most commonly occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes too much of the drug. Because tolerance to Morphine develops quickly, individuals who abuse the substance start to take dangerously high doses earlier than people that abuse other drugs, thus putting themselves at higher risk of overdose.
Additionally, many Morphine users have been known to mix the drug with other sedatives such as alcohol, increasing the chance of overdose. Mixing two central nervous depressants together slows the nervous system's ability to maintain basic bodily functions such as breathing and pumping blood to organs.
It is also common to mix Morphine with stimulants such as cocaine, (known as "speed-balling") which is also very dangerous. Another cause of overdose resides in how the Morphine is consumed. Crushed Morphine can lose its extended-release buffer, allowing for a faster, more hazardous absorption into the bloodstream.
People that experience any of the following symptoms should stop taking Morphine and contact emergency services immediately:
When someone overdoses on Morphine immediate medical attention is required. Victims of overdose are to be transported to a hospital or emergency department, where medical professionals will monitor vital signs, including breathing, pulse, and blood pressure to treat any necessary symptoms.
The quickest remedy or antidote in most cases of Morphine overdose is the medication Narcan, which rapidly reverses the effects of opioids. One of the most dangerous side effects of a Morphine overdose is life-threatening respiratory depression, so breathing is closely monitored during this time.
Impaired breathing may necessitate airway support, oxygen, insertion of a breathing tube, or putting the person on a ventilator. If respiratory depression is not immediately recognized and treated, it can lead to respiratory arrest and death.
Some of the symptoms and signs of morphine use and addiction may typically include the following:
Symptoms of a Morphine addiction typically include:
People who regularly abuse or are addicted to Morphine are more likely to suffer dangerous side effects of the drug, especially those who take it in high doses or inject it intravenously. One of the greatest risks of drug misuse is overdose, which can result in coma and even death. Excessive doses of Morphine can slow breathing to such an extent that an individual can become oxygen deprived and suffer brain damage.
Morphine detox is helpful for reducing the cravings for the substance. When someone tries to rid themselves of Morphine suddenly, the result is often uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Because of Morphine's ability to affect the brain and the body, withdrawal symptoms are often intense. Ideally, someone should not attempt to go "cold turkey" or detox at home. Medical supervision is the best way to attempt to stop drug use in a safe way. Not only do patients have access to medication but also much-needed professional supervision and support.
Withdrawal symptoms of Morphine range from mild, such as watery eyes and excessive yawning, to more severe symptoms like seizures, increased blood pressure, and vomiting. These symptoms are disruptive to daily activities and daily life, and can create other complications like declining job performance, relationship problems, and health complications.
People who suffer from Morphine addiction are at a crucial stage. Talking to a doctor and weaning off their addiction before it grows or pushes them to turn to an illicit alternative can save them years of pain and turmoil.
Morphine detox is not only the safest and most comfortable way to get through morphine withdrawal, but also the most likely to be successful. Medically-supervised morphine detox is the most highly recommended method for getting through morphine withdrawal, a set of symptoms that appear when someone who is dependent on or addicted to morphine reduces their dose or ceases taking the drug entirely.
Morphine detox makes the withdrawal process safer and more comfortable, making it more likely that a patient will successfully get through withdrawal without relapsing and putting them in a better state of mind when they begin post-detox treatment at an inpatient or outpatient rehab program.
If you, or someone you know, suffer from an addiction to Morphine, getting help now can turn your life around. Because Morphine is a legal medication, catching your dependency early enough can mean being able to taper off the drug over time, rather than dealing with the additional pain that comes from stopping an Opioid cold turkey.
Recovering from an addiction while it is in its preliminary phase can also be easier in general, as the body has not grown as dependent on the drugs to function. If you're not sure what to do, try reaching out to a dedicated treatment provider. They're available around the clock to help you plan out your next steps.
Morphine detox is effective for people finding it difficult to stop excessive and hazardous Morphine use. The detox experience includes monitoring someone's physical symptoms and vital signs to see how the decreasing levels of the drug has affected them.
This helps medical professionals construct the best treatment. The personalized treatment plan created for each individual may include around-the-clock medical supervision, medications, counseling, and an exercise and diet plan. Detox allows each person to heal based on their severity of their Morphine use disorder, as well as possible underlying concerns such as co-occurring mental health issues. Detox typically lasts around 10 days, and is most safe, comfortable, and successful when completed in a treatment facility.
Once someone decides to detox from Morphine, doctors may try various methods to help them. One technique is a tapering method, whereby the user is prescribed smaller and smaller doses of Morphine over time. This helps the person transition into sobriety gradually.
Patients also may receive medications like Naltrexone or Buprenorphine to provide relief. This is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). While in a facility, patients can ensure they are accessing high quality treatment meds, with the support from peer and staff to manage the signs of morphine use as well as overcome their addiction to this drug.