Morphine has been a very useful analgesic option for those experiencing high-level pain. However, due to the nature of its action, it can also be a very addictive and dangerous opioid, which is why it is highly regulated.
Those going through a morphine addiction must seek help as soon as it develops. Both medical detox and long-term rehab are necessary to bring the addiction under control.
What is Morphine?
Morphine is an opiate that occurs naturally in the poppy plant and originates from Southeast Asia. Morphine is often prescribed in hospitals for pain relief. However, due to its potential for opiate addiction and abuse, morphine was given a Schedule II Classification. Taking it without a doctor’s prescription is considered abuse, making it illegal.
Morphine is used in order to alleviate medium to severe pain in various patients. In most circumstances, morphine is administered through an IV or injection, but it may also be given in pill form.
Morphine may be used on patients that went through surgery, as well as pain management for patients that are going through terminal cancer. In certain circumstances, morphine may also be used to provide short-term relief from an injury.
How Morphine Affects the Body
Morphine binds itself to the opioid receptors from the human brain, preventing your nervous system from sending pain signals. This can lead to the absence of pain, a deep feeling of relaxation, euphoria, and an overall dreamlike state.
Consumption of morphine for more than a month, even under the doctor’s orders, may lead to the following symptoms:
- Psychomotor impairment
- Reduced neuroplasticity
- Lowered reflex response
- Amygdala gray matter volume decrease
- Impaired memory that is caused by brain synapses that were disrupted
- Reduced heart rate and respiration as a result of neural activity changes
- Interference with the way your brain’s chemical messenger handles production, distribution, as well as reabsorption
Administered into the body, morphine can induce a sense of well-being, reducing anxiety as the person is feeling calm, pain-free, and relaxed.
What Makes Morphine So Addictive
Through its action, morphine affects the reward system of the brain. As the pain signals are blocked, morphine also triggers a dopamine release – one that we know as the “feel good” neurotransmitter.
Therefore, the reward system of our brain is triggered, prompting us to use the substance again once the effect passes. With time, our brain will get used to this feeling of pleasure, to the point where our usual sources of pleasure will no longer be enough.
Cravings will begin to appear, even after the physical pain of the body has passed – the pain that caused the patient to take morphine in the first place. At this point, morphine addiction will begin to set in.
Signs of A Morphine Addiction
Morphine consumption has certain signs telling you that you are dealing with an addiction – and not just your average pain management situation. Here are the signs showing that you’re addicted to morphine:
- You want to stop using or reduce your morphine intake, but you are not able to
- You have built a tolerance to morphine, and now you have to take a larger dose in order to feel the same effects
- You spend a lot of money, effort, and time in order to abuse or recover from your morphine intakes
- You are experiencing strong urges and cravings for morphine
- You are neglecting your home or work responsibilities, as you are prioritizing morphine consumption
- You are putting not only yourself but also other people in dangerous situations, just so you can obtain the morphine
- You are going through withdrawal each time you stop taking morphine
Morphine addiction can be very dangerous. When a person develops a tolerance, they will begin taking higher and higher doses of morphine. This can make it very easy for the users to experience a morphine overdose.
The Physical Symptoms of Addictions
Morphine addiction has a series of physical symptoms that show up both during the consumption stage and the withdrawal stage. Here is what you may experience when you are addicted:
- Dilated pupils
- Slow breathing
- Decreased heart rate
- Sleepiness or an overall sensation of lethargy
- Excessive sweating and chills
- Muscle aches
- Stomach cramps
- Appetite loss
- Excessive eye tearing
The more your body becomes used to the morphine, the harsher the symptoms may be. This is why long-term morphine abusers must go through medical detox.
The Long-Term Effects
Morphine addiction can have consequences in the long term, long after the withdrawal symptoms have ceased. Cravings might linger for a long time, increasing the patient’s chances of going through a relapse.
Other common long-term effects include frequent constipation, body tremors, kidney problems, and insomnia. Very frequently, a person may also experience depression, as their brain no longer gets that chemical “high” provided by morphine.
How Morphine Addiction is Treated
To get the morphine out of your system, you will have to go through a few days of medically assisted detox. This is necessary not only to put a lid on your cravings but also to keep your symptoms under control. Like with any other addiction, morphine withdrawal can put your body through quite a shock.
Depending on the circumstances, the doctor may recommend either inpatient or outpatient therapy. Inpatient therapy is best for those with a long-withstanding addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms. If the addiction is new, outpatient therapy may be enough.
Once this type of treatment is over, the patient may receive long-term individual therapy. This will help prevent them from going through a relapse.
Learn How Real Deal Can Help
Real Deal Therapy & Wellness offers you all the treatment options necessary, allowing you to get past your addiction. We offer anything from medically assisted detox to inpatient and outpatient therapy, along with long-term support therapy to help you stay clean and prevent a relapse.
If you or a loved one is experiencing a morphine addiction, contact us right away. This way, we can help put an end to the addiction before it affects their life even more.