Confidential Contact Form
Morphine: Side Effects, Addiction, Overdose & Treatment
Morphine is a powerful opioid that is used for pain relief. While it can be an effective medication when used as prescribed, morphine can also be addictive and lead to dangerous side effects.
This post will cover everything you need to know about morphine addiction, withdrawal, overdose, detox, and treatment. Understanding the risks of morphine use is important for anyone taking the drug or caring for someone who does.
What Is Morphine?
Morphine is a very potent drug for relieving pain and is derived naturally from the opium poppy. The medicinal value and benefits of this drug have been used for several years already. It is one of the most popular drugs in the opioid class.
This drug is known by several brand names in the market depending on the manufacturer. Some of its known brand names are Roxanol-T, Roxanol, Oramorph SR, MS Contin, Morphabond, Kadian ER, Kadian, and AVINza.
Aside from that, this drug is also called by various street names to cover its real identity when an illegal transaction happens. Some of its common street names include God’s drug, Morpho, Dreamer, and Mister blue. These names can vary depending on the culture of the vicinity.
What Does Morphine Look Like?
This drug is available in various forms such as a tablet, capsule, granules, liquid, suppositories, and injectables. All these have varying strengths but almost all have a similar time of inflicting their effect on the user.
The tablet forms of this drug both have a fast and slow-acting type. The fast-acting ones exist in 10 mg, 20 mg, and 50-milligram strengths. Whereas, slow-acting tablets have a wider range of strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg.
The capsule form of this drug is in a slow-acting formulation. This exists in different dosages: 10 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, 90 mg, 120 mg, 150 mg, and 200 milligrams.
If a person has a hard time swallowing tablets and capsules, then the liquid form and suppositories of this drug are the best choice.
The granules need to be dissolved in water before drinking the whole solution. The sachet granules of this medication are in 100 mg, 200 mg, 120 mg, 90 mg, 60 mg, 30 mg, and 10 mg, whereas the suppositories are always in 10 milligrams strength.
The last option of taking this medication is through injection which is applied in the spinal cord area. This method is done in hospitals so that there will be close monitoring of the patient’s condition.
What Is Morphine Used For?
Morphine is a popular opioid pain medication that is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is often used to treat pain caused by major trauma or surgery, as well as cancer and labor pain in childbirth.
Morphine can also be used for other conditions such as breathlessness and coughs. However, it is important to note that morphine can be addictive and should only be used under the supervision of a medical professional.
How Does Morphine Work?
Morphine works the same way as the other types of opioid substances in giving its pain-relieving effect. In general, it prevents the brain from receiving pain sensations from various parts of the body.
To further enhance its pain relief action, it also stimulates the secretion of dopamine to induce happy feelings and relaxation.
Among all forms of this medication, the injectable morphine sulfate has the fastest time of inducing its pain-relieving effect. After injection in the spinal cord area, the result is felt in one or two minutes while its maximum effect is reached after five to fifteen minutes.
How Long Does Morphine Stay in Your System?
If one plans to undergo a drug test, knowledge on how long it stays in the body must be known. This drug has varying times of staying in particular parts of the body such as in the blood, urine, saliva, and hair follicles.
In the blood, residues of this substance remain 12 hours after the last intake, In the urine, it stays for 2 to 3 days. In the saliva, traces of this drug remain up to four days from the last intake. Lastly, in the hair follicles, the presence of this drug remains up to 90 days from the person’s last use.
What are the Short and Long-term Effects of Morphine?
When a person starts to use this medication, the common side effects felt are drowsiness, temporary feeling of sickness, and stomach pain.
Meanwhile, short and long-term side effects of using this drug can be readily felt despite following the proper dosage. Some of its common short-term side effects are muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, lethargy, feeling dizzy or drowsy, and low pulse rate.
The long-term effects of this drug are detrimental to one’s health and behavior. Once a person develops an addiction, this can damage the life of the person and his loved ones. Consequently, the person develops unhealthy behaviors such as apathy and losing enthusiasm and interest to live a happy life.
The adverse effects of abusing this drug for a long time are respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, paralysis, and eventually death due to organ failure.
Aside from its common side effects, those who have a very sensitive immune system report side effects due to allergies. The common allergic symptoms of using this drug are swollen face, mouth, tongue, lips, throat, coughing, skin rashes, and early symptoms of a heart attack (chest and throat tightening).
Is Morphine Addictive?
Yes, morphine can be addictive. This drug has proven to be dangerous because of its addictive potential and its capacity to depress or stop breathing when the dosage goes high.
Addiction to this substance is characterized by a person’s constant craving and preoccupation with getting more supplies of the drug. An addicted person also changes his behavior and routine just to get hold of this drug.
Over time, an addicted person builds up a tolerance to the effects of this drug. This leads him to increase his dosage just to experience the same high.
What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms?
If you suddenly stop using this drug after developing an addiction to it, withdrawal symptoms are bound to occur.
Withdrawal symptoms usually start six to twelve hours after the last dose. The common symptoms felt are abdominal pain, diarrhea, goosebumps, muscle aches, and runny nose.
Other withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, irritability, sweating, tremors, and cold flashes.
Most of these symptoms are mild and last for a few days. However, some people may experience severe withdrawal symptoms that can last for weeks or even months.
What Causes Morphine Overdose?
Morphine overdose is caused by taking too much of this drug and it can be life threatening.
An overdose usually leads to a decrease in breathing and heart rate. It can also cause confusion, loss of consciousness, and eventually death.
Mixing the drug with alcohol or other drugs can also lead to an overdose. This is the most common cause of accidental overdose.
How Do You Treat Morphine Overdose?
If you or someone you know has overdosed on this drug, it is important to seek medical help immediately.
The first thing that needs to be done is to call the poison control center or emergency services.
Naloxone is a medication that can be used to treat an overdose. This drug works by reversing the effects of opioids.
How Do You Treat Morphine Addiction? Detox & Treatment
With the advances in the field of medicine, several drug addiction treatment options are available for people suffering from morphine addiction.
A professional detox and addiction treatment center can help you through the withdrawal process and provide you with the necessary tools to overcome your addiction.
If you need to detox from the drug, a medically-assisted detox program can help you through the process. This type of detox is usually done in a hospital or addiction treatment center.
After detox, you will be transferred to an inpatient addiction treatment program. These programs usually last for 30 days to 90 days.
Inpatient treatment programs provide 24-hour care and supervision. This method is recommended for people with moderate to severe addiction.
Final Thoughts: Addressing Morphine Abuse and Addiction
Morphine addiction is a serious problem that can lead to serious health consequences. If you or someone you know is suffering from this addiction, it is important to seek professional help.
A professional detox and addiction treatment program can help you through the withdrawal process and provide you with the necessary tools to overcome your addiction. With the right help, you can recover from this disease and live a drug-free life.