What Is Morphine?
Morphine is an Opioid that is naturally found within the opium poppy plant. Among the natural Opioids found within the poppy, Morphine is the most abundant and potent, making it a popular pain reliever since its discovery. It is used to relieve moderate to severe pain, usually after surgery or traumatic injury.
Effects of Morphine
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. Side effects of Morphine include:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Pupil dilation
- Chills and sweating
- Sensitivity to pain
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. 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.
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Morphine Use and Abuse
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.
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Recovering from Morphine Addiction
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.
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 specialist. They’re available around the clock to help you plan out your next steps.
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