Symptoms and Side Effects of Morphine Addiction

Morphine is derived from poppy, the same plant used to manufacture other opiates, and it’s highly addictive. In medical settings, it is used as a pain killer for short and long-term pains, but people abuse it for the euphoria feeling it gives. Among drugs used to kill chronic pain, morphine has one of the highest abuse and addition rate, and it is a federally designated Schedule 2 drug. If morphine is used consistently for some time, the user becomes both physically and psychologically dependent. But what are the signs of Signs and Symptoms of Morphine Abuse?
Morphine addiction starts with a breakdown of the brains natural reward system. Dopamine, the natural chemical responsible for making us feel happy, ceases to have effect due to an overflooded morphine environment. It’s good to note that morphine addiction can result from prescription morphine as morphine dependence and tolerance develops very fast – within a couple of weeks.

Morphine dependence means that the user must take morphine for the body to function properly, and morphine tolerance means the user must take increasingly higher doses to achieve the same effect that was previously attainable with a lower dose.

The first signs of morphine abuse happen inside the nervous system and it is hard to tell if someone indulges in morphine abuse by just looking at their physical appearance. However, as abuse turns into addiction, prominent behavioral signs of morphine addiction start to appear such as habitual drug seeking, hallucinations, anxiety, irritability and depression.

The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders and clinical criteria includes the following as some of the indicators of morphine dependence:

  • Inability to control morphine use.
  • Getting into a depression when morphine is discontinued.
  • Neglect of other aspects of life due to addiction.
  • Continued abuse of morphine, despite the user acknowledging the negative effects the drug has on his or her own well-being.
morphine abuse
  • Increased irritation over minor changes in the environment
  • Increased aggression often without sufficient reason
  • Personality change with a tendency towards inwardness
  • General lethargy and lack of will power
  • Acute and irregular depression
  • Sudden social shyness and introversion
  • Dramatic changes in priorities
  • Loneliness and perceptive isolation
  • Less importance to grooming and neatness
  • Euphoria
  • Poor mental performance
  • Poor judgement
  • Doctor shopping to acquire more prescription

In addition to behavioral and physical signs of morphine abuses, you may find syringes, pills or pills bottles. Morphine is also sold in syrup form so you may see morphine sulfate liquid or small bottles. Note that a person using morphine under prescription can also get addicted in as less as 2 weeks of regular dosage.

If you already know that a person is using morphine, the following may indicate that he or she is sinking deep into addiction:

  • Lying that he takes less pills than he or she does
  • Crushing the pills before snorting or injecting them
  • Taking the prescription with alcohol
  • Doctor shopping to obtain more prescription
  • Stealing or lying to obtain morphine
  • Running out of prescription long before the refill is due
  • Constant complain of tiredness or illness
  • Purchasing more morphine that prescribed or other opiates from streets
  • Job loss
  • Sudden change in his or her group of friends or loss of friends
  • Change of interest
  • Hiding or covertly using morphine
  • Hiding morphine in multiple places fearing that someone may find and confiscate it
  • Consistent chat about quitting morphine but which never happens
The most distinct physical signs of morphine abuse are dilated pupils and impaired coordination. The patient may also show signs of restlessness or even sink into a deep state of false bliss. Other physical signs of morphine abuse include:

  • Constipation – Constipation occurs often when one is using morphine or other opioid drugs. This is because morphine slows down peristaltic movements in the intestines. It is estimated that constipation occurs in 40-95% of morphine users.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting – These are common signs of opioids medication and they arise because of the slow peristaltic activity in the small intestines. It is estimated that nausea and vomiting occurs in 25% of morphine users.
  • Respiratory difficulties – Morphine slows down the users’ respiratory system, and in case of overdose the user can literally suffocate.
  • Drastic change in body weight.
  • Decrease in metabolism, which results in physical weakness.
  • Heavy and forced breathing.
  • Impaired muscle coordination.
  • Unexplained euphoria.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Cramps in stomach and constipation.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Rashes on the certain parts of the body.
Because morphine tolerance happens fast, individuals who abuse it start taking dangerous doses earlier than individuals abusing other drugs, putting them at higher risk of overdose. The most common signs of morphine overdose include:

  • Adverse change in vital body signs such as:
    • Decrease in temperature, but a few users may develop fever.
    • Decrease in respiration, and if this goes on for some time, fluid may accumulate in the lungs.
    • Decrease in pulse rate or irregular pulse rate.
  • Hallucination, delusions, or becoming mentally confused.
  • Constricted pupil.
  • Markedly slow breathing.
  • Extreme lethargy or drowsiness.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Individuals with fairer skin appearing blue and individuals with darker complexion looking gray.
  • Lips and fingernails turning blue or purple.
  • Respiratory complexions that may cause incessant gurgling or choking.
Morphine Abuse: Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects
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Morphine Abuse: Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects was last modified: July 24th, 2017 by The Recovery Village