Morphine | Addiction


Morphine is a narcotic analgesic. Morphine was first isolated from opium in 1805 by a German pharmacist, Wilhelm Sertner. Sertner described it as the Principium Somniferum. He named it morphium - after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Today morphine is isolated from opium in substantially larger quantities - over 1000 tons per year - although most commercial opium is converted into codeine by methylation. On the illicit market, opium gum is filtered into morphine base and then synthesized into heroin. Morphine can be taken orally in tablet form, and can also injected subcutaneously, intramuscularly, or intravenously; the last is the route preferred by those who are dependent on morphine.

Morphine addiction

Morphine is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop quickly. Withdrawal from morphine causes nausea, tearing, yawning, chills, and sweating lasting up to three days. Morphine crosses the placental barrier, and babies born to morphine-using mothers go through withdrawal. Addictive drugs activate the brain’s reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus his or her activities around taking the drug. The ability of addictive drugs to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and their ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems can produce an addiction. Drugs also reduce a person’s level of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.

Drug interactions with Morphine

  • Alcohol
  • Certain analgesics such as Talwin, Nubain, Stadol, and Buprenex
  • Drugs that control vomiting, such as Compazine and Tigan
  • Drugs classified as MAO inhibitors, such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate
  • Major tranquilizers such as Thorazine and Haldol
  • Muscle relaxants such as Flexeril and Valium
  • Sedatives such as Dalmane and Halcion
  • Tranquilizers such as Librium and Xanax
  • Water pills such as Diuril and Lasix

Common signs and side effects of morphine use

Some signs and symptoms of morphine include: anxiety, blurred vision, double vision, involuntary movement of the eyeball, "pinpoint" pupils, sweating, chills, depressed or irritable mood, exaggerated sense of well-being, abnormal thinking, dizziness, drowsiness, fainting/faintness, floating feeling, light-headedness, uncoordinated muscle movements, rigid muscles, rash, hives, itching, constipation, diarrhea, inability to urinate, swelling due to fluid retention, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramps, tremors, tingling or pins and needles, seizures, facial flushing, sedation, weakness, hallucinations, dreams, agitation, headaches, allergic reaction, high/low blood pressure, appetite loss, accidental injury, apprehension, memory loss, insomnia.

Common symptoms of morphine overdose

The symptoms of a morphine overdose include:

  • cold clammy skin
  • flaccid muscles
  • fluid in the lungslowered blood pressure
  • "pinpoint" or dilated pupils
  • sleepiness
  • stupor
  • coma
  • slowed breathing
  • slow pulse rate

Morphine addiction treatment programs

Morphine is a highly addictive prescription drug. Recovery and rehabilitation from morphine addiction may require a treatment program ranging from certified addiction counselling to treatment at a residential alcohol and drug rehab centre, depending on the extent of the addiction and a number of other factors.

Clinics, Drug Rehabs etc.

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