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Morphine is an opioid drug. It belongs to the same class as heroin and opium, which are well known for their addictive nature. Morphine follows similarly in this case. The addictive potential of morphine is high.

It has medical benefits, particularly in the relief of pain. Unfortunately, it has become a drug frequently abused for the euphoria that it produces. Many may start using it for analgesia before finding themselves addicted to it. This dependence is dangerous as the overdose can occur and side effects of use are also likely. It is important to treat morphine addiction as early as possible. 

This article discusses the symptoms of addiction to morphine, the side effects of its use, as well as how to treat it.

What is morphine and why is it addictive?

Morphine acts on the user’s central nervous system via the opioid receptors there. Any opioid can attach to these receptors. By doing this, it produces its characteristic effects, particularly sedation and analgesia. For many addicts, first exposure was medically warranted. The euphoria that addicts desire it for is what keeps them using it.

A doctor gets ready to inject morphine into a patient. Patients may chase the use of the drug following use after surgeries.

Like other opioids, morphine is highly addictive. Studies have shown that morphine binding to its receptors increases dopamine levels. If dependence is established and the drug is stopped, dopamine levels are at a lower level than before addiction. This produces withdrawal symptoms and cravings, which are factors characteristic of addiction. With the desensitization of the receptors, these are both thought to cause its addictive potential.

What are the symptoms and signs of morphine addiction?

A morphine addict may attempt to hide their drug abuse from loved ones. However, people around them may notice behavior that are symptoms of morphine addiction. When many of these are present, it can point to likely drug addiction. There can be many possible morphine addiction symptoms.

Behavioral signs

There may be some changes in the behavior of the addict. These psychological effects of morphine are directly due to the effects of the drug or to sustain its abuse. These can also help an addict to self-diagnose.

  1. Frequent cravings to use morphine.
  2. Ignoring activities that they previously enjoyed to abuse morphine.
  3. Financial troubles due to spending on morphine. This can also include stealing money or continuous requests for money from loved ones.
  4. Continued use even with a social or physical toll on the individual.
  5. Using morphine even in dangerous situations.
  6. Neglecting responsibilities at home or in the workplace.
  7. Jumping between multiple doctors. This is done to continue getting prescriptions.
  8. Isolating themselves socially.

Symptoms of morphine use

There are physical and psychological symptoms that can be noted in a person with a morphine dependence. These include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Inattention
  • Dilated pupils
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability

What are the side effects of morphine addiction?

An addict who abuses morphine will notice certain changes it causes in their body. These can be in the short-term, immediately following use. Others can occur months or years later, due to the continuous toll it has on their body systems. Morphine addiction side effects can be short term or long term.

Short term effects of morphine addiction

Some of the negative effects that can follow morphine use will occur within minutes. They may also occur alongside the desired effects. Morphine short term effects include:

  • Reduced breathing
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itchiness
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Impairment of sexual function

Symptoms of morphine overdose

Overdose is a very serious risk of morphine abuse. This can occur when an addict uses a dose that is too high or mixes the drug with other substances like alcohol. It can be deadly if help is not gotten. The signs of morphine overdose include:

  • Severely reduced breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness or coma
  • Death

Long term effects of morphine addiction

Long term morphine use can have some chronic effects on the addict’s body. These may be difficult to reverse or may be entirely irreversible. Morphine long term side effects include the following:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Opioid-induced hyperalgesia: This is a condition whereby there is generalized pain in the presence of any injury.
  • Impaired sexual function
  • Abnormal changes in menstruation
  • Depression
  • Bone pain
  • Insomnia

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How and why does morphine addiction start?

An addict’s interest in morphine can sometimes stem from having used it in a clinical scenario. This can be after a fracture or following surgery. From this point, even after the drug is discontinued, the person may still seek the pleasurable effects it gave. They may switch between numerous doctors to keep getting fresh prescriptions. This can ultimately end in addiction.

Other opioids are not used as commonly in medical situations. Addicts of heroin and opium may find it difficult to acquire their drugs and decide to use morphine instead. It is very common for morphine to be abused by individuals who already use drugs.

What is the treatment for morphine abuse?

The dangers of overdose and the long-term effects of morphine addiction make it a dangerous habit. It is important to treat addiction as soon as possible. It is dangerous for an addict to attempt treatment by themselves. Most will end up using the drug again due to withdrawal symptoms. In most cases, quitting can only be achieved through professional morphine treatment programs.

An infographic showing the morphine withdrawal symptoms an addict will have over time.

Traditional morphine detox involves admission to a facility and monitoring them until the drug is cleared from the body. Medication is used to reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms and the patient is in the facility during this period. There is also outpatient treatment available.

However, this may take a bit of time. This is why ultra-rapid detox programs are available for opioid addiction. This accelerates the process of detoxification so the patient can be on the road to opioid recovery much faster. This a more modern treatment for opioid addiction.

Get started in treating morphine addiction

Morphine is a very useful drug medically as it provides effective analgesia. However, it has been abused by many drug addicts because of its associated effects. It is a dangerous drug as its addiction can cause morphine side effects and overdose, which can be potentially fatal. No time should be wasted in leaving addiction to morphine behind. You can get morphine help today.

We are here to ease your road to recovery from morphine addiction. Book a free online consultation to learn how to start >>>