Morphine addiction and abuse are some of the most talked-about topics in the addiction scene. In some settings, discussions on morphine addiction centre around adults and sometimes teens. In the actual sense, irrespective of age, anyone can suffer from morphine addiction and abuse.
The effects of morphine addiction are so serious that it affects your emotional and mental health. Asides from emotional and mental strain, morphine addiction can affect your finances and relationships with those you love. This is all linked to poor decision-making abilities that come with morphine addiction.
Although a morphine habit is a serious problem, it’s often underplayed in the media and social circles. Here, we will show you just how bad morphine addiction can be.
Firstly, we’ll extensively differentiate the difference between dependence and tolerance. More importantly, we will also highlight the dangers, symptoms and effects of morphine addiction.
Symptoms of Morphine Addiction and Abuse
Morphine is an opioid substance obtained from poppy plants in the form of opium. Just like every other opioid drug, morphine helps to alleviate chronic pain. For this reason, morphine offers many advantages in medical circles.
It is known by several names including the following:
- God’s drug
- Mister blue.
All of these names are how users and dealers refer to morphine on the street. However, morphine is sold under brand names like Raxamol, Oramorph SR, and ms contin. Morphine can also be sold in liquid form, tablets or capsules.
Morphine and its effects on the body
When you use morphine, it attaches itself to opioid receptors in the reward circuitry in the brain. The reward circuitry system of your brain is responsible for feelings of excitement. These feelings of excitement are produced when your brain produces dopamine — a hormone that blocks pain signals.
Naturally, dopamine is produced during sex or pleasurable activities. When morphine binds to opioid receptors, it stimulates the production of dopamine. With increased dopamine production comes a feeling of excitement.
This is the feeling that accompanies a morphine high. It’s responsible for many people sticking with morphine abuse despite the severe side effects.
Morphine tolerance vs morphine dependence
There is a clear difference between morphine tolerance and morphine dependence. After long usage of this opioid, your body starts demanding higher doses to attain the initial high. At this point, we can say your body is already tolerant of the drug.
On the other hand, when your body system cannot stay without morphine, we call this morphine dependence. Morphine dependence is a result of your reward circuitry system forsaking its natural duties. It means it cannot produce dopamine on its own. Hence, you’ll start to rely on morphine for dopamine production.
When your body is dependent on morphine, a supply cut can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are clear signs of morphine dependence. Examples of morphine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Teary eyes
- Running nose
- Abdominal cramps
It is important to know the difference between morphine addiction and morphine abuse. When you take morphine without the doctor’s prescription, you are abusing morphine. Likewise, when you take an excess of morphine beyond the doctor’s prescription, it is still morphine abuse.
Morphine abuse symptoms can either be physical or behavioural. Physical signs of morphine abuse will include:
- Slurred speech
- Dilated pupils
- Nodding off randomly
- Shallow breathing
Behavioural signs of morphine abuse include:
- Mood swings
- Personality changes
- Poor judgement
- Legal issues
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- A dramatic change in priorities
On the other hand, morphine addiction is a result of total dependence on the drug. Someone suffering from morphine addiction will display the following:
- Uncontrollable cravings for morphine
- An increased amount of morphine usage
- Difficulty in cutting down morphine use
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Great societal, psychological and interpersonal problems
- Reducing other activities due to morphine use
- Morphine usage even in hazardous situations
Related Article: How to Manage Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms
Is Morphine Addiction Serious: Dangers and Effects of Consistent Abuse
Morphine addiction is a serious issue. It’s an addiction that comes with a plethora of side effects — both in the long and short term.
Because morphine stops your body from producing dopamine naturally, it’s hard to stop using it. When you stop suddenly, your body will react with withdrawal symptoms that may threaten your health.
This is why it’s best to start your recovery journey with a detox program at an opioid addiction rehab centre. They’ll have access to the expertise and medical facilities necessary to keep you stable throughout the detox stage.
Now that you have a window into the morphine addiction recovery path, here’s why this addiction is serious.
Short term effects
Short-term effects of morphine addiction border on the mode of administration, duration of use and amount of dose. Short-term effects can begin as early as 15 minutes and can last for 5 to 5 hours. Short term effects of morphine addiction where your health is concerned include:
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes
- Small pupils
- Problem urinating
- Stomach pain and cramps
But there are other side effects of morphine addiction and abuse that do need urgent medical attention. They include:
- Change in colour
- Change in heartbeat
- Decreased sexual desire
- Chest pain
- Extreme drowsiness
- Facial swelling and confusion
Long term effects
Long-term morphine addiction and abuse will lead to severe health problems. A common example of the long-term effect of morphine addiction and abuse is respiratory-related diseases. Other examples include:
- Chronic agitation
- Prolonged confusion
- Severe constipation
- Lowered immune system
- Mood disorders
Dangers of morphine addiction and abuse
Asides from the effects of morphine addiction and abuse, there are other health dangers associated with morphine addiction and abuse.
- Renal failures are associated with consistent abuse
- Ruptured nasal mucous membrane associated with constant inhalation of morphine
- Hepatitis B and fever are associated with decreased immune system capacity
- HIV is associated with sharing of needles
- Poor financial management
- Poor decision-making abilities
- Poor interpersonal and societal relationships
The Possibility of Morphine Overdose
One of the indicators that morphine addiction is a serious health issue is the possibility of an overdose. Unfortunately, morphine is a gateway drug.
Over time, with an increased tolerance for the drug, users will likely start to crave a stronger high. Some people “solve this problem” by using stronger opioids. For others, they combine morphine with alcohol.
Taking morphine with other substances can cause morphine overdose. It’s a scenario we refer to as polysubstance abuse.
Morphine and alcohol
Morphine and alcohol are both central nervous system depressants. Usually, when you take morphine it reduces your heart rate and suppresses respiratory functions.
A combination of morphine and alcohol will reduce your heart rate drastically, causing you to have hallucinations. It is worthy of note that taking alcohol together with morphine will increase morphine absorption rates too. This can lead to an overdose.
Morphine and heroin
Heroin is three times stronger than morphine. So, taking heroin and morphine together will cause an overdose of the substance.
Morphine and cocaine
Cocaine has opposing effects to morphine. Often, morphine addicts try to counter its effect with a cocaine dose. Unfortunately, it’s hard to gauge exactly how much cocaine is necessary to make this happen. This is why the possibility of overdose is high.
Related Article: How Much Does Opioid Addiction Treatment Cost in Canada?
To Wrap It Up
With the plethora of side effects we have discussed above, it’s easy to conclude that morphine addiction is a serious problem. Worse, it also changes the way your brain works. So much so that it’ll almost be impossible to produce dopamine without morphine. This is what morphine dependence is all about.
Morphine, just like other opiates, can easily lead to opiate addiction. The risk of addiction that comes with morphine can also be linked to its ease of purchase on the streets of Canada.
Considering the dangers of morphine addiction and abuse, the need for professional morphine addiction treatment services is paramount. Competent hands will mean safe recovery from morphine addiction.
Here at Inspire Change Wellness Addiction Treatment Center for Men, we can help you reverse the effects of a morphine addiction. Our counsellors can devise a treatment plan to overcome a morphine habit. Get started with us today!