Is Morphine An Opiate?

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Morphine and the Opioid Epidemic

The United States is currently experiencing an opioid overdose epidemic. There is often a misconception that drugs falling into the opioid category are wholly illicit street drugs. The truth could not be further from that misconception.

If you are wondering, “is morphine an opiate?” the reality is that this prescription drug is absolutely an opiate. It is used to provide relief from severe pain, quite often after a surgical procedure. The concern is that it brings with it the potential to be incredibly addictive.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we recognize the seriousness of addiction to morphine. We have the programs and treatments needed to help you battle your morphine addiction.

Understanding Morphine

You know that morphine falls into the category of opiates. And the answer to the question “is morphine an opiate?” is yes. Did you know that it was named after the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus? This is due largely to the fact that it offers feelings of euphoria in patients.

It is quite often referred to as being in a dreamlike state. Morphine is extracted from the poppy plant and is a naturally-occurring substance. It does have a chemical makeup that is quite like that of heroin.

Morphine can be taken in a number of forms, tablet, injectable liquid, and syrup. There are addicts who turn to smoking it when a pill is not enough. This is because it can often be a faster way of feeling the effects of the drug.

Tolerance to Morphine

Tolerance to morphine can be developed rapidly. This is why so many find themselves addicted to it, after a legitimate prescription for pain. The drug is considered to be a schedule II drug. It can treat pain that ranges from moderate to chronic.

Postoperative use is common, as is a treatment for pain associated with cancer. It is also used in hospice settings, to address end of life shortness of breath. The risks for potential abuse of morphine run high due to the relative accessibility of the drug. The pleasurable effects it can provide to those who use and abuse it are also what makes it popular.

In recent years, drug manufacturers have added coding to help deter abuse. The pills cannot be crushed, injected, or snorted. This does drastically reduce the potential for addiction. It does not, however, eliminate the potential for abuse. It also, of course, does not have any effect on morphine that is manufactured illicitly.

Signs of Abuse

Morphine has value in the medical field. It is also often abused for the euphoria that it offers as it eases pain. It is not just someone struggling with addiction who abuses morphine. Those who suffer from various types of chronic pain may potentially misuse and abuse their prescribed medication. This increases their potential for developing an issue with substance abuse.

The effects of morphine are what make it such a reliable and often used drug in the medical world. These include the following:

  • Relief from pain
  • Sense of euphoria
  • Relaxation and sleepiness
  • Reduction in anxiety

Those who abuse it feel these effects but may also feel a false sense of well-being. Morphine is a legally prescribed substance, but it is also quite heavily regulated. The drug is highly addictive. It is easy to build up a tolerance to it. This can also make it entirely too easy to overdose.

There are some key signs of a morphine overdose, including the following:

  • Elevations in blood pressure
  • Increased thirst levels
  • Slurred speech
  • Intense feelings of drowsiness
  • Fever
  • Swelling in the extremities and face
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Reduced breathing

An overdose of morphine can result in falling unconscious or falling into a coma. It is possible to lose your life with a morphine overdose.

Understanding Addiction

There is no one reason why someone may find themselves developing an addiction to morphine. Morphine abuse may develop because of being legitimately prescribed the drugs by a physician.

Addictions typically start with tolerance being established. Patients prescribed morphine to control their chronic pain may find that it takes more and more of this powerful drug to take the very edge off of their pain. Once the tolerance has been established, users can go through some of the signs of withdrawal if they do not take the drug. This can make it incredibly difficult to quit the drug.

It is both a physically addictive drug and a psychologically addictive drug. Once the addiction has been established, addicts will compulsively seek the drug out. They will engage in their addictive and abusive behaviors., actively ignoring any potentially negative consequences of their addiction.

Addiction is quite similar in many ways to heroin addiction. Both are quite difficult to overcome without the right support. The sudden withdrawal from either of these can be uncomfortable, and even painful.

This is where our team of detoxification and recovery experts can step in. Detox that is medically managed is the most effective means of ridding the body of the drug.

Combining Morphine with Other Substances

Is morphine a depressant? It is a central nervous system depressant. This factor alone makes it incredibly dangerous to combine morphine with other substances that are central nervous system depressants.

Consider benzodiazepines and alcohol. Each of these is abused with high frequency. They can result in some serious medical emergencies when overdosed. When combined with morphine, respiratory failure, and even coma may become a reality.

Those addicted to morphine may find themselves seeking out other substances. This is particularly true once their morphine tolerance increases. This is incredibly dangerous.

Detox and Withdrawal

The symptoms of withdrawal will begin once the levels of the drug decrease in the bloodstream. This is typically within 12 hours, after the most recent dose. There are several phases of withdrawal, each of which will be carefully monitored within the safety of our Resurgence Behavioral Health facility.

It is important to be aware that there are both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. The less severe symptoms will typically occur in the early stages of detox. The more severe symptoms will follow within a few days.

The withdrawal symptoms can range from discomfort to severe. Many who go through detox compare the withdrawal to having a bad case of the flu.

Some of the physical symptoms of morphine withdrawal could include:

  • Aches in muscles
  • Yawning and tiredness
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Inability to sleep
  • Cramping in the abdomen
  • Stomach troubles
  • Nausea, which may be accompanied by vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure

Some of the psychological symptoms of morphine withdrawal could include:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Hallucinations and delusions

The timeline for withdrawal can vary between individuals. Several factors can impact the timeline. These include physical factors, the duration of abuse, and the dosage taken. Most patients report feeling refreshed and back to their old selves after a full week of detox and recovery.

What Does Long-Term Recovery Look Like?

The reality is that without a long-term recovery plan, patients are quite likely to relapse. This holds true for those who still live with some form of chronic pain. During your time at Resurgence Behavioral Health, we will work with you closely.

This allows us to determine the best aftercare treatment plan to meet your recovery needs. Many find that group therapy and addiction recovery meetings are incredibly beneficial. Ongoing therapy and medication management is also essential.

Getting support from family and friends is perhaps the most important part of recovery. It is estimated that more than half of overdose deaths in the United States were the result of morphine and heroin abuse.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we offer individualized treatment plans that include detox programs and ongoing services. We offer compassionate treatment and the results that you need.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.