What Is Morphine?
Morphine, also called Morphine Sulfate, is a prescription Opioid analgesic used for moderate to severe pain. It is a popularly-abused substance active in America’s Opioid crisis. Morphine is a natural Opioid that comes from the poppy plant, which produces highly addictive and euphoric feelings. Because of Morphine’s addictive properties, it should be taken with caution as prescribed, and not mixed with other substances. Brand names of Morphine include:
- MS Contin
- Kadian ER
- Oramorph SR
How Morphine Works
Morphine is available in several forms and can be injected or taken orally—both in liquid and pill form. The end result of how Morphine works depends on the way it is taken. Liquid Morphine works rather quickly—in as little as 15 minutes, and up to 4 hours. Patients taking the liquid form of Morphine may chase it with other liquids to mask the bitterness of the taste.
The pill form works in a rapid release form; it works fast and lasts for hours. Pills can be crushed and taken with food, or through a nasogastric tube. In some cases, Morphine can also be smoked or snorted. The injection form goes into someone’s skin, in a major vein or injected into one’s fatty tissue. Once the liquid enters the bloodstream, the chemicals are released through the body. Due to the addictive properties of Morphine, expectant mothers should use extreme caution. Additionally, people taking other drugs should exercise extreme caution when taking Morphine.
In an effort to prevent abuse, Morphine now has a tamper-proof coding on it. However, it has been reported that the coding can be eliminated by rubbing it off in water or sucking on it.
Morphine Side Effects
Morphine creates a variety of side effects. These include:
- Slurred speech
- Scattered focus
- Shallow breathing
- Stomach cramps
Despite these uncomfortable side effects, many continue to abuse morphine. People struggling with long-term Morphine abuse can endure more serious side effects such as:
- Chest Pain
- Immune-related suppression
- Abnormal heartbeat
Morphine overdose symptoms can mimic side effect symptoms like irregular heartbeat, nausea, fatigue, and shallow breathing. If someone using Morphine experiences these symptoms, call a treatment provider to discuss rehab options.
Going “cold turkey,” or suddenly stopping or reducing Morphine use, can create strong withdrawal symptoms. The body and mind that were used to taking Morphine on a regular basis become dependent on Morphine’s chemicals. Morphine withdrawal has a timeline, with different symptoms and various intensities. These symptoms of withdrawal occur between 6 to 48 hours after a dose of Morphine:
- Muscle aches
- Increased heart rate
Symptoms of Morphine worsen worsen over 2 days, then gradually decrease. Symptoms should not last over a week’s time; however, symptoms can last over a week in some cases. Longer-lasting withdrawal symptoms, known as protracted withdrawal or Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS), include:
- Problems with memory
To avoid these symptoms, individuals sometimes choose to continue to use Morphine.The continued use of Morphine can develop into a substance use disorder, which can spiral into the use of stronger, but more dangerous Opioids. At this point, an addiction is likely born. Through therapy, one can learn coping skills to overcome PAWS.
Morphine detox requires medication to cleanse the body of Morphine. Through the process of medically-supervised detox, individuals battling a morphine use disorder endure less painful physical symptoms of withdrawal than they would otherwise. This process is vital in transforming a substance use disorder into sobriety. Best done in a medical facility under the help of a medical professional, detox is the safest and most successful way to begin morphine addiction treatment according to research.
Doctors may use the tapering technique, which allows the patient to be weaned from Morphine gradually. The patient receives medications like Naltrexone and Buprenorphine (Suboxone), which block Opioids from effectively working and reduce cravings. In addition to these drugs, patients can benefit from a wide variety of other methods, including biofeedback therapy, counseling, meditation and peer groups for wellness.
People in a facility can opt for inpatient or outpatient treatment options.
Inpatient treatment offers 24-hour supervised care at a live-in facility. Both psychiatric and physical health assistance are included. On average, clients will remain in inpatient treatment between 30 to 90 days. Before admission to inpatient treatment, a substance abuse assessment must be completed by an Addiction Professional to determine that the individual meets the criteria.
The goal of inpatient treatment is to return patients to a lifestyle without alcohol or drug use. It achieves this by providing education about the disease of addiction and teaching healthy coping skills for trauma, anxiety, depression, and other struggles, relapse prevention, stress management, healthy communication skills, boundary setting, relationship rebuilding. Techniques such as motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are commonly used.
Outpatient treatment can be very useful for individuals who must continue to work, attend school or take care of dependents. The various types of outpatient treatment programs vary depending on the client’s needs. Typically, outpatient programs require participants to meet at least twice each week for a few hours each time, but some programs are more intensive. Outpatient treatment often involves group, individual, and family therapy. Outpatient therapy can also be used as an aftercare or step-down program upon completion of inpatient treatment. Unlike inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment does not include supervised medical care, but there are often case managers available to provide referrals as needed.
Free Yourself From the Cycle of Abuse
Morphine is highly addictive, but getting help is key in living a life of wellness. If you or someone dear to you battles an Opioid use disorder, hope is not lost. Contact a dedicated treatment provider for any rehab-related questions. Future patients have the option of gathering information and discussing concerns. Call today.