Morphine Addiction

Q) What is Morphine?

A) Morphine is a narcotic analgesic. Morphine was first isolated from opium in 1805 by a German pharmacist, Wilhelm Sert?rner. Sert?rner described it as the Principium Somniferum. He named it morphium – after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Today morphine is isolated from opium in substantially larger quantities – over 1000 tons per year – although most commercial opium is converted into codeine by methylation. On the illicit market, opium gum is filtered into morphine base and then synthesized into heroin.

Q) How is Morphine used?

A) Morphinecan be taken orally in tablet form, and can also injected subcutaneously, intramuscularly, or intravenously; the last is the route preferred by those who are dependent on morphine.

Q) What are the side effects of Morphine?


involuntary movement of the eyeball
blurred vision / double vision
“pinpoint” pupils chills
depressed or irritable mood
itching cramps
rash diarrhea
rigid muscles inability to urinate
exaggerated sense of well-being
seizure dreams
light – headedness
swelling due to fluid retention dry mouth
tingling or pins and needles facial flushing
tremor fainting / faintness
uncoordinated muscle movements floating feeling
weakness hallucinations
abdominal pain headache
allergic reaction
abnormal thinking high/low blood pressure
appetite loss
accidental injury hives
memory loss insomnia

Q) What are the symptoms of Overdose?


  • cold clammy skin
  • flaccid muscles
  • fluid in the lungs
  • lowered blood pressure
  • “pinpoint” or dilated pupils
  • sleepiness
  • stupor
  • coma
  • slowed breathing
  • slow pulse rate

Q) What is Morphine addiction?

A) Morphine is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop quickly. Withdrawal from morphine causes nausea, tearing, yawning, chills, and sweating lasting up to three days. Morphine crosses the placental barrier, and babies born to morphine-using mothers go through withdrawal.

Addictive drugs activate the brain’s reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus his or her activities around taking the drug. The ability of addictive drugs to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and their ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems can produce an addiction. Drugs also reduce a person’s level of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.

Q) What are possible drug interactions when using Morphine?


  • Alcohol
  • Certain analgesics such as Talwin, Nubain, Stadol, and Buprenex
  • Drugs that control vomiting, such as Compazine and Tigan
  • Drugs classified as MAO inhibitors, such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate
  • Major tranquilizers such as Thorazine and Haldol
  • Muscle relaxants such as Flexeril and Valium
  • Sedatives such as Dalmane and Halcion
  • Tranquilizers such as Librium and Xanax
  • Water pills such as Diuril and Lasix

Almost all addicts tell themselves in the beginning that they can conquer their addiction on their own without the help of outside resources. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. When an addict makes an attempt at detoxification and to discontinue drug use without the aid of professional help, statistically the results do not last long. Research into the effects of long-term addiction has shown that substantial changes in the way the brain functions are present long after the addict has stopped using drugs. Realizing that a drug addict who wishes to recover from their addiction needs more than just strong will power is the key to a successful recovery. Battling not only cravings for their drug of choice, re-stimulation of their past and changes in the way their brain functions, it is no wonder that quitting drugs without professional help is an uphill battle.

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