Since at least the 18th century, the drug morphine has been used in some capacity around the world. Known for its ability to reduce pain, this drug has long been used recreationally and in a medical capacity. Today, it goes by many names and users may suffer from a long list of side effects, not to mention the risk of addiction.
What is Morphine?To start, it is good to know exactly what morphine is. The drug is an opioid pain medication, and it can be used for acute as well as chronic pain. It is derived from the opium poppy, and it has many similarities with other opioid drugs. In a medical setting, this drug is typically administered intravenously. This means it is placed in an IV or injected directly into the patient. Of course, trying to do this at home or without medical supervision is dangerous. Other means of consumption include inhalation, smoking and oral ingestion. Morphine is primarily administered in emergency situations. It can be used during labor for women in extreme pain. It can also be administered as a quick way to treat a person who was recently in an injury car accident. Since it is so highly addictive, long-term use is rarely, if ever, recommended.
Derivatives and Varieties of the DrugThe entire class of drugs known as opiates has a lot in common. Morphine is just one example, but they all have the potential to reduce pain in exchange for possible lasting consequences. Many people don’t realize the common connection that these illicit drugs and prescription medications all have in common. Just a handful of the narcotic pain medications derived from morphine include oxycodone, oxymorphone and hydromorphone. To make matters more complicated, each of those substances is used in other medications, often with more specific brand names. Oxycodone, for example, is the primary ingredient in prescription narcotics like Percolone and Roxicodone. Heroin is another drug derived from morphine. Many of the people addicted to heroin originally used a morphine-based prescription medication. Heroin is dangerous, illegal and very addictive. Morphine, widely used illegally and outside of medical environments goes by many different nicknames based on its packaging or its color. Some of the more common street names for the drug include:
- White lady
- Miss M
- God’s drug
Short-Term Effects of Morphine UseWhether in the form of heroin or in the form of a prescription medication, morphine-based drugs can bring a lot of short-term side effects. These can range from mildly uncomfortable to very unsafe. Nausea, vomiting, and constipation are normal and common side effects of using morphine. A few more side effects can include chest pain, shallow breathing, heart complications, confusion, dizziness and a loss of appetite.
Severe and Long-Term EffectsUsing morphine over time can increase the likelihood of becoming addicted. In addition, the drug causes a wide range of severe and long-term effects. To start, there is the risk of an overdose. An overdose can lead to permanent organ failure, a coma or even death. Long-term use of the drug may also cause financial problems, deteriorating health and ruined relationships. In short, the drug can completely disrupt your life and that of your family.
Treating Morphine AddictionIt can be challenging to overcome an addiction to morphine. The best chance of success is through inpatient drug rehab. With a two-phase program, it is possible to truly recover. At a high-quality facility, patients can work through each of the following stages and treatments:
- Partial hospitalization programs
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Outpatient rehab programs
- Life skills training