Morphine Addiction Signs and Treatment
Morphine is a highly addictive opiate alkaloid extracted from the opium poppy. It became a popular potent painkiller during the American Civil War. It was this event that started the widespread use of this drug and the eventual opioid epidemic, and since then, the drug has risen and fallen in waves.
Morphine is now labeled as a Schedule II drug used to treat moderate, severe, and chronic pain. If used heavily, someone can become very addicted and seek out other opioids such as heroin or fentanyl. Once addicted to morphine, it can be difficult to live a normal life.
Risk Factors of Taking Morphine – Genetics
There are different genes that influence the chemical and electrical pathways in the brain’s reward circuits. The OPRM1 gene, for example, influences how the brain receives and responds to opioids and increases the overall risk of addiction.
Genetics can also increase the risk of mental conditions that occur with substance abuse, such as:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Risk Factors of Taking Morphine – History
Personal history can play a role in developing an addiction. Men and women who have previously experienced substance abuse are more likely to become addicted to morphine. Depression, childhood trauma, and neglect are also factors that can cause morphine addiction.
Risk Factors of Taking Morphine – Environmental
The immediate world around us can also be a factor that causes addiction. When someone is going through a rough time, the effects of euphoria and numbness that morphine causes can sound tempting. Even being in an environment, work or personal, that has access to opioids can increase the risk of addiction.
Other environmental factors include:
- Social circles with a high prevalence of drug use
- Abusive domestic situations
- Sudden unemployment
- High levels of work stress
Morphine Addiction and the Brain
The brain produces two natural opiates known as enkephalin and endorphins that help calm and dull pain. Morphine, which is a much stronger chemical, will attach to these chemicals’ receptors and set off the midbrain reward system. This floods the brain with dopamine, producing intense feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
A dependency will be created when the brain wants to encounter those same feelings again which then leads to a strong craving for more morphine. With repeated use, the brain will begin to build a tolerance to the higher level of opiate levels. This means you now need to take more of the drug in order to reach that same level of euphoria.
Recognizing Morphine Addiction
Even when morphine is prescribed by a doctor, it is still possible to become addicted and develop both tolerance and dependence. One in four people who are prescribed opioids and painkillers end up misusing them and becoming addicted. If you or someone you know is addicted to morphine, you may notice some troubling signs, including:
- Lowered sex drive
- Decreased alertness
- Faking injury
- Needle marks
- Withdrawl from family or friends
- Decrease in job performance or unemployment
Severe changes in health, personality, and lifestyle are typically found in people who abuse morphine. If you notice changes like this, contact help immediately.
Consequences of Morphine Abuse
Morphine has consequences for people who use it both in the short term and long term.
A morphine dependence can develop even when taken on prescription. Short-term effects of morphine abuse include:
- Increased tolerance.
Using morphine for an extended period of time can cause much more pronounced harm to physical, mental, and social well-being. A long-time user can experience a number of side effects, including:
- Lung failure
- Circulation damage
- Loss of consciousness
- Respiratory failure
Morphine is a depressant that can cloud the way we think and feel. Constant misuse of morphine can lead to overdosing or even death. No matter how often you or someone you know uses morphine, it’s never too late to seek out help.
Treatment for Morphine Addiction
The most effective drug rehab program will mix various treatments together to suit an individual’s needs. Many people will turn to detox centers. Most treatment centers will start with detox which helps remove the various toxins from your body.
Overcoming morphine addiction may be difficult, but it can be done. Users that have overcome morphine addiction have done so with the help of rehab, family therapy, support groups, behavioral therapy, and dual diagnosis.
The best way to treat morphine addiction is to recognize the signs early. Doing so will prevent the addiction from becoming something even worse. If you know someone that is possibly using morphine, visit our shop page today and get an at-home drug testing kit. These kits will give you the answers you need to ensure that someone you love doesn’t go down the wrong path.