The most common reason why people take prescription drugs is to relieve themselves of pain. The most common form of medicine that doctors prescribe to individuals in need of pain relief is opioids. Unfortunately, opioids are highly addictive. Thus, many people that receive opioid prescriptions for pain relief develop opioid addictions. One specific type of pain-relieving opioid that is highly addictive is morphine. Because of how addictive morphine is, it’s necessary to provide morphine addiction treatment at rehab facilities.
What is Morphine?
What is morphine, you ask? Well, morphine is an opiate. Thus, morphine is naturally extracted from the Opium poppy plant or from concentrated poppy straw.
People use morphine to relieve themselves of moderate, severe, or chronic pain. For example, people often use morphine as a form of pain relief after major surgeries or cancer treatment.
Morphine itself comes in various different forms. For example, morphine can come in the form of a tablet, liquid syrup, or an injection. A person can even smoke some forms of morphine.
Morphine is a Schedule II drug. Thus, there is a high potential for abuse if one uses morphine. This is especially true since tolerance to the drug develops quickly. The fact that morphine is a Schedule II drug also means that abuse of it can easily lead to psychological or physical dependence, leading to morphine addiction.
Not only is morphine highly addictive because of how easy it is to become tolerant to the drug and abuse it, but it’s also highly addictive because of the euphoric effects that it gives its users. Thus, many people that misuse morphine develop a natural desire to want to use more and more of the drug to feel good while their tolerance for the substance simultaneously increases. It also doesn’t help that morphine is easily accessible. All of these factors together create the perfect equation for a person to develop a morphine addiction.
Other Names for Morphine
Like many drugs, people have developed various different slang and street terms for morphine. Some of the most common slang or street terms for morphine are listed below.
- Miss Emma
- White Stuff
Short-Term Morphine Side Effects
There are some morphine side effects that can possibly occur when taking the drug. Some of these morphine side effects are short-term while others are long-term. The exact short or long-term morphine side effects that a person is likely to experience depends on how that person consumed morphine and how much morphine that person consumed.
Short-term morphine side effects usually start occurring within 15-60 minutes of a person consuming the drug. Once these morphine side effects kick in, they can last for around four to six hours.
Common short-term morphine side effects include:
- Feeling sleepy
- Slowed breathing
- Inability to concentrate
- Itchy skin
- Severe respiratory depression
- Low sex drive
- Dry mouth
- Mood swings
- Chest pain
- Rapid heartbeats
- False sense of well-being
- Feeling abnormally relaxed and calm
Long-Term Morphine Side Effects
Over time, morphine side effects worsen. In fact, the sedative effects of morphine over time can cause a person to become unconscious.
Other common long-term morphine side effects include:
- Poor immune system
- Severe constipation
- Collapsed veins
Statistics on Morphine Abuse
Morphine is one of the more commonly abused opioids in the U.S. In fact, morphine and heroin abuse have caused more than half of the accidental drug deaths in the U.S. Thus, it’s not surprising that approximately 10% of the U.S. population has abused an opiate before.
When it comes to morphine abuse specifically, the rate of individuals that have needed to go to the emergency room due to morphine abuse has steadily increased over the years. Between the years 2004 – 2008 alone, the number of individuals with morphine addictions that needed to go to the emergency room increased by 106%.
Part of the reason why morphine abuse is so common is that the drug has become easily accessible. This is due to doctors overprescribing the substance. As a result, there are many people that have access to morphine that give the substance to others.
In fact, in a study, more than 60% of people that suffered from morphine addictions admitted to getting the substance from a friend or relative. Because of how high the rates of morphine abuse and addiction are in the U.S., it’s imperative that there are rehab facilities across the country that provide morphine addiction treatment.
Dangers of Morphine Abuse
Regardless of how one first receives morphine, abusing the drug is very dangerous to one’s physical health. For one, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), people who choose to inject morphine into their bodies have an increased risk of developing hepatitis. To be exact, people that inject morphine into their bodies have a 50 -70% risk of developing hepatitis B within five years. People that inject morphine into their bodies also have a 50% – 80% risk of developing hepatitis C within five years.
While morphine abuse causing people to develop hepatitis is very dangerous, arguably the most dangerous thing that can occur due to morphine abuse is an overdose. Morphine overdoses occur when people take more morphine than their bodies can handle.
Morphine is a central nervous system depressant. Thus, morphine overdoses can cause people’s breathing to slow down to the point of them going into comas or respiratory failure. Individuals that don’t recover from morphine overdoses can die.
Dangers of Mixing Morphine With Other Substances
Morphine alone is highly addictive and dangerous enough on its own. Thus, mixing morphine with other substances can cause adverse effects. For example, mixing morphine with other sedatives such as alcohol and benzodiazepines can lead to extreme sedation, respiratory failure, or even comas.
Signs and Symptoms of Morphine Abuse
Although often hard to detect, there are many signs of morphine abuse. It’s good to always be aware of the signs of morphine abuse. This is because early treatment for morphine abuse and morphine addiction can be the difference between a person achieving recovery or losing his or her life to the drug addiction.
Some of the most common signs of morphine abuse include the following:
- Mood swings
- Dilated pupils
- Continuously nodding off to sleep
- Slurred speech
- Poor attention span
- Shallow breathing
- Neglecting one’s daily responsibilities
- Having legal issues
- Going around to different medical clinics to get prescribed morphine from different doctors
- Isolating oneself from others
Signs of Morphine Overdose
There are certain signs that a person may exhibit when starting to experience a morphine overdose. Individuals should be aware of these signs to help recover the lives of those who are overdosing on morphine.
Some of the common signs of a morphine overdose include the following:
- Slurred speech
- Poor attention span
- Intense drowsiness or sleepiness
- Decreased responsiveness
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased thirst
- Lower back or side pain
- Swelling in the face and extremities
- Lack of movement
- Slowed breathing
- Muscle cramps
Since morphine is a highly addictive drug that people develop a tolerance to easily, it shouldn’t be a surprise that going an extended period of time without taking morphine often causes people to experience morphine withdrawal. People that misuse morphine usually start to experience morphine withdrawal symptoms six to 12 hours after their last dose of the drug. Morphine withdrawal symptoms usually peak 36-72 hours after one’s last dose of the substance.
Common early-onset morphine withdrawal symptoms include watering eyes, yawning, and sleeping. The common morphine withdrawal symptoms that occur within someone as he or she continues to spend time not consuming the substance include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle spasms
- Body aches
The most effective way to manage morphine withdrawal symptoms is to do so while in medical detox. After completing medical detox for morphine use, individuals should attend morphine addiction treatment.
Detox is the process of ridding the body of all toxic substances. When people detox from morphine, they do so by tapering their use of the drug. Tapering means to gradually minimize using a substance until one is no longer using the substance at all, and the substance is clear from the body’s system.
It’s important to taper one’s use of morphine while detoxing rather than do it cold turkey. This is because quitting using a highly addictive drug like morphine cold turkey can cause a person to experience severe side effects. For example, according to a Georgetown University Medical Center study, quitting morphine use cold turkey can increase inflammation and cause damage to healthy brain cells.
One benefit of detoxing from substances such as morphine at medical detox facilities or rehab centers that provide medical detox services is that individuals can receive medication-assisted treatment to help them manage their withdrawal symptoms. This is because only doctors at rehab centers and detox facilities can prescribe individuals with prescription withdrawal medications.
One prescription medication that can help people manage their morphine withdrawal symptoms is clonidine. Clonidine can help treat the morphine withdrawal symptoms of anxiety, irritability, cramping, and sweating. Individuals that need medications that can help them treat long-term morphine withdrawal symptoms can take buprenorphine during and after detox. Once individuals complete morphine detox, the next step is morphine addiction treatment.
Morphine Addiction Treatment
When attending treatment for morphine addiction, it’s essential to do so at a credible rehab facility of quality such as Phoenix Rising Recovery. This is because morphine is a highly addictive substance that may require various forms of addiction treatment.
Individuals with severe morphine addictions should attend inpatient or long-term treatment. Inpatient treatment provides individuals with 24/7 care and monitoring. To ensure that inpatient rehab patients receive 24/7 care and monitoring, they must live in rehab facilities while receiving care.
Individuals with slightly milder addictions that don’t want to live in rehab facilities while receiving care can attend outpatient forms of treatment. The most intense and structured form of outpatient rehab is partial hospitalization program (PHP) treatment.
PHP treatment requires patients to attend rehab five to eight hours a day, five to seven days a week. When not attending rehab, PHP patients can live in their own homes and tend to their own businesses.
The second most intense and structured form of outpatient rehab is intensive outpatient program (IOP) treatment. IOP treatment requires patients to attend rehab for approximately three to four hours a day, three days a week.
The least intense and structured form of outpatient rehab is standard outpatient program (OP) treatment. OP treatment requires patients to attend rehab for approximately two to three hours a day, once or twice a week.
Receive Morphine Addiction Treatment At Phoenix Rising Recovery
Phoenix Rising Recovery is a high-quality addiction treatment center that’s located in Palm Desert, California. Here at Phoenix Rising Recovery, we strive to provide our patients with a wide variety of treatment programs that will revitalize their minds and bodies. Because we want to make sure that we provide quality addiction treatment to all of our patients, we offer treatment programs that are specialized to treat a wide variety of substance addictions, including morphine addiction.
We here at Phoenix Rising Recovery also offer long-term and outpatient forms of rehab and with medical detox services. Thus, anyone that suffers from a morphine addiction or any other type of substance addiction can receive the rehab services that they need at our facility.