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Morphine is an opioid analgesic drug used to relieve severe pain. Aside from its well-known use during labour is it also use to treat severe pain in injury related trauma, post operation and in illnesses such as cancer.
Morphine can also be used to control pain in chronic long term conditions where an individual has become tolerant to the effects of a less potent opiate such as codeine or tramadol.
When used within a hospital environment, Morphine is generally a very safe and well tolerated drug. However, outside of a hospital environment, when abused or even when used as a genuine prescription, Morphine can lead to tolerance, dependence and addiction.
Morphine’s powerful sedative and euphoric effects make it a very popular drug for abuse. In 2019 there were significant concerns raised by the public media of the overprescribing of addictive opiate drugs. Public Health England (PHE) revealed there had been more than a 60% increase in prescriptions issued for opioid drugs over the past decade. Many of these prescriptions were for morphine. This has lead to the government placing prominent warning labels regarding addiction on all opiate drugs.
The CQC (Care Quality Commission) were also prompted to issue guidelines to medical practitioners for the safer management of controlled drugs in 2018/2019. This followed after identifying a major rise in ‘unaccounted for losses’ around opioid medications in particular.
The main unaccounted for losses were contributed to: opioids going missing, discrepancies in recording data and prescriptions being reported as lost or stolen. After methadone, morphine was identified as the second most prolific drug to contribute towards unaccounted for losses in opiates (1)
The main concern with opiates and opioids such as morphine is their ability to quickly cause drug tolerance and dependence, which in turn can lead to addiction.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a morphine addiction or dependence it is important to seek professional help. You can call our Delamere helpline for confidential, expert advice today.
Morphine works directly on the central nervous system as a depressant, reducing pain signals or stopping them entirely from reaching the brain. It’s use also encourages the production of feel good chemicals in the brain. This is what makes the user feel good whilst providing very effective pain relief.
As with all controlled medications, morphine does come with unpleasant side effects. The side effects of morphine can become particularly problematic when the drug is used for prolonged periods of time.
Side effects of morphine include:
In addition to a whole host of unwanted side effects, when morphine is used continuously for a period of more than 7 to 14 days the following risks can occur:
As with all opiates, there is little evidence to support morphine being beneficial in the treatment of most chronic pain related conditions after a period of 3 months continuous use.
Morphine’s effects are very similar to heroin and other strong opiate drugs. As a naturally occurring drug, morphines effects are probably closest to heroin out of all of the opiate drugs available. This makes is a highly desirable drug for abuse.
Morphine can be administered orally by mouth, rectally by suppository or injected intravenously. It can also be injected in to the muscle, under the skin and into the space around the spinal cord. Morphine is also available in tablets, syrups and slow release transdermal patches (2)
Trade names and brand names for morphine include:
AVINza, Morphabond, MS Contin, Oramorph SR, Roxanol, Roxanol-T, Kadian and Kadian ER
Typically, when abused, morphine will either be taken orally or through intravenous administration. The onset of Morphine’s effects are the quickest when administered Intravenously. This method of taking the drug comes with the most risks and also has the highest risk of overdose.
When an individual abuses morphine there are certain effects that are sought after or ‘desired’.
The effects of morphine when abused include:
If you suspect someone you love is abusing morphine, look out for the following signs and symptoms of morphine abuse:
In a person who frequently abuses morphine they will have developed a tolerance and be able to function to a degree. The only tell tale signs may be pinpoint pupils and unusual euphoria.
Abusing morphine carries many risks and frequent abuse leads to dependence and addiction. If you suspect a family member or loved one is abusing morphine please call and speak with one of Delamere’s addiction treatment experts.
If you are taking morphine regularly and wondering if you have developed an addiction to it, there are some signs that indicate you need professional morphine treatment urgently.
Signs and symptoms of morphine addiction include:
If you feel that you have a problem with morphine that you cannot control or resolve, Delamere are here to help. As specialists in treating all manner of addictions, we can help you to safely withdraw from morphine using a full medical detox and help you get your life back.
Morphine addiction is progressive and can easily be fatal, please call our Delamere team today from immediate, confidential help and advice.
Mixing morphine with alcohol, prescription drugs or illicit drugs is probably one of the most dangerous ways in which morphine can be abused.
As a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, mixing it with another CNS depressants such as alcohol, opiates or gabapentinoids can prove fatal.
Morphine also has strong sedative properties, so mixing morphine with benzodiazepines or sleeping pills can also lead to overdose and death.
Signs of a morphine overdose include:
If you suspect someone has overdosed on morphine, place them in the recovery position and call emergency services immediately.
At Delamere we deliver medically managed morphine detoxes here at our purpose-built clinic in Cheshire. Our bespoke detoxes are delivered by our elite team of medical staff.
Our qualified detox nurses provide 24/7 care for all of our detox patients. Using approved medications we will effectively manage your morphine withdrawal symptoms to ensure a safe and comfortable withdrawal.
Many of our distinguished team of practitioners have themselves lived through the experience of addiction. This gives us a unique insight not only in truly understanding the implications of addiction but also in how to overcome them successfully.
At Delamere rehab you will feel safe from judgement of any kind. We will help to nurse you back to full health whilst instilling essential relapse techniques and healing any underlying issues.
We have considerable experience in treating patients who suffer from opiate addiction. We can help you too to break the addictive cycle and undergo a profound personal transformation that allows you to live a life beyond addiction.
Want to break free from the pain and misery of morphine addiction? Call and speak with one of our addiction experts today.
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