Morphine is an opiate painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain.
It is a prescription drug that is sold under several brand names including Kadian, Avinza, and Roxanol. The drug works by acting on the Central Nervous System (CNS) to decrease painful sensations. When taken as prescribed, morphine is incredibly effective at helping patients feel more comfortable, but it has the potential for misuse, abuse, and addiction. Even those who take it as prescribed may struggle with proper use. Over time, morphine has the ability to cause users to feel dependent on the drug in order to feel “normal,” and once this develops, it can be difficult to stop use entirely.
Morphine has found its way to the streets and is most commonly known as morf, mister blue, and dreamer. As an opiate, morphine is incredibly addictive both physically and psychologically. Over time, a person using morphine will begin to develop tolerances that make them unresponsive to its effects. In order to achieve the same outcome, users must then take more of the drug. This in turn also leads to psychological addiction, in which a person becomes fixated on the drug and its effects, causing them to compulsively seek it out. Even when taken as prescribed, long-term use of morphine can lead to the development of addiction. Those who are taking the drug for legitimate medical reasons can be at risk for developing dependencies to morphine.
Signs & Symptoms of Morphine Abuse
While other opiates are more commonly abused than morphine, the drug is still sought by users who wish to satisfy cravings. Opiates can cause a number of effects on a user both physically and psychologically. Even those who use morphine for medical treatment but do not abuse it will experience symptoms of physical dependency. The following are common signs and symptoms of morphine abuse:
- Difficulty urinating
- Fainting spells
- Bluish tint to skin
- Compromised breathing
- Uncontrollable twitching
- Kidney failure
Morphine abuse can cause a number of short-term and long-term effects. These include:
- Blurred vision
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Irregular heartbeat
- Slowed breathing
- Mood swings
- Emotional instability
In addition, morphine abuse will take a toll on personal relationships. Morphine addiction can cause an individual to isolate themselves from friends and family, avoiding social gatherings and other activities they once enjoyed. Addiction inevitably damages relationships, either because of the way in which the drug causes the user to interact with others, or due to the behaviors, it encourages—such as stealing—in order to support the habit.
Withdrawing from morphine can be incredibly uncomfortable, making users less likely to quit using on their own. The body becomes dependent on morphine in order to feel “normal,” and without it, the person will experience a variety of symptoms that range in severity. Withdrawal symptoms are largely dependent on the amount of time a person has used the drug, the amount they have used, and their overall health. Withdrawal can also vary in length and is best managed through a treatment center that is equipped to make the process as comfortable as possible while preventing or addressing any complications that may arise. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle aches
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
Treating Morphine Addiction
Opiate addiction is one of the most difficult forms of addiction to overcome, but it is possible with the assistance of a treatment facility. The most effective way to address morphine addiction is through a long-term rehab program that addresses all stages of recovery. From withdrawal and detox to therapy and long-term rehabilitation, recovery programs can help an individual abstain from substance abuse and focus on overcoming their addiction with a clear mind, free from all mood and mind-altering effects.
Once an individual has made it through withdrawal, it is important to identify and address any of the influences that have led to addiction. Loss of loved ones, personal experiences, the influence of co-occurring mental health disorders, or spending time around enabling peers and environments are all common contributors to the development of addiction. Treatment programs are able to help individuals identify what has led them to the point of substance abuse and develop healthy behaviors and coping mechanisms that support sobriety. Due to the nature of opiate addiction, a short-term rehab program may help users overcome initial withdrawal, but it will not help them build a foundation to support long-term sobriety. The development of life skills that help individuals make healthy choices and avoid negative influences is crucial to long-term sobriety. Combining this with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and therapeutic activities can help a person develop a positive outlook and the desire to stay sober.