The Leading Expert in Treatment for Alcohol and Substance Abuse
and Founder of The Hills Treatment Center
Morphine Addiction

Morphine is a naturally occurring opiate analgesic. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner and then distributed in 1817. Wide-spread usage of morphine increased rapidly in 1853 after the invention of the hypodermic needle. Morphine is the most abundant alkaloid found in opium and is prescribed for relief of severe pain and suffering. Morphine is found on the street by the names of morf, Miss Emma and dreamer amongst others. With prescription morphine costs around $25 per injection of 4cc in the hospital. On the street morphine prices vary but tend to cost $35-$40 per 100mg pill. Morphine is classed a Schedule II drug in the United States meaning is has medical use but is illegal for recreational use.Morphine comes in the form of either capsules, tablets or taken via intravenous injection. Morphine works by binding to opiate receptors in the brain, blocking pain signals in the central nervous system and creating a euphoric effect. Morphine has the systematic name of: (5?,6?)-7,8-didehydro-4,5-epoxy-17-methylmorphinan-4,6-diol

And a chemical formula of: C17H19NO3

Effects of Morphine Include:

  • Relief of pain
  • Euphoria
  • Relief of anxiety and fear
  • Inhibits cough reflex

Side effects of Morphine include:

  • Impairment of mental and physical performance
  • Decreased hunger and weight loss
  • Dizziness and Lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased irritability and nervousness
  • Decreased sexual want or ability
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Stiff muscles
  • Shaking
  • Double vision

More serious side effects include:

  • Slow, shallow or irregular breathing
  • Blue or purple skin color change
  • Fast or slow heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Fainting
  • Hives/rash
  • Tightness of throat and/or difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of extremities such as hands and feet

Symptoms of overdose include:

  • Slow, shallow or irregular breathing
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Small pupils
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Limp muscles
  • Cold/clammy skin
  • Sleepiness

The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly 35 million American, 14% of the U.S. adult population, had abused painkillers at least once in their life. Morphine is a highly addictive painkiller if abused, especially by someone with a chemical addiction prior to morphine use. It is believed that morphine has a similar addictive potential as heroin. Morphine addiction comes with tolerance and psychological addiction developing rapidly and a physiological addiction developing after several months. Addiction can lead to prototypical opioid withdrawal symptom. Normal withdrawals symptoms manifest from 6 to 12 hours after the last dosage ad will usually last up to 3 days.

Morphine withdrawal is especially dangerous as morphine can cross the placental barrier. This means that if a baby's mother experiences withdrawal symptoms then so will the unborn baby.

Morphine addiction is difficult to overcome as morphine creates thousands of nerve receptors in the brain which cause serious cravings 24/7 when not given more morphine. Because of this home detox or outpatient treatment programs are possible but success rate is low.

The recommended way to quit morphine is to go 'cold turkey' and check into an in-patient treatment center for addiction, also to attend fellowship meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous.

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