Morphine Addiction: Symptoms, Signs, & Side Effects
For people in Colorado, whether it’s Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs or anywhere else in the state, the effects of the opioid epidemic have been felt all too strongly. Many people in Colorado know someone who struggles with opioid abuse, or they themselves might have a problem. One such opioid wreaking havoc on the lives of so many people is morphine. Despite the fact that morphine is highly abused in Colorado and the U.S., it’s not often discussed as much as other opioids.
You may not know the side effects of morphine or the symptoms of morphine use, so they are covered below.
Morphine Side Effects
As with other prescription opioids, morphine is a painkiller that does have some therapeutic value but also can be addictive.
Morphine is available in short-term versions, and there’s also extended-release morphine which is for the around-the-clock treatment of pain.
The following are some possible side effects of morphine, whether you take it as prescribed or otherwise:
- Gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, nausea, and constipation
When someone takes morphine, particularly large doses, they may experience a euphoric rush, which is the high of the drug that some people seek out. Following that high, people on morphine tend to become very drowsy or in some cases, disoriented.
Severe possible side effects of morphine can include:
- Slow heart rate
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Chest pain
- Racing heart
- The feeling you might pass out
- Sexual problems
Any of the above side effects from morphine may be more pronounced in older adults or people who have health problems.
Side Effects of Morphine Tablets
Morphine can be taken in different ways. It can be given intravenously, but there are also morphine tablets available, which are taken orally.
Side effects of morphine tablets are similar to any other type of morphine and may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness or dizziness.
Over time the side effects of morphine tablets may be reduced or may go away altogether.
Signs of Morphine Use
The signs of morphine use are consistent with other opioids. When someone takes morphine, whether it’s under the supervision of a doctor or otherwise, they may feel a rush or high. This tends to range from euphoria to a sense of relaxation and well-being. Following that, they’re likely to seem drowsy or maybe a little confused.
Symptoms of morphine use may include nausea and vomiting, particularly for people who are just starting to use it, as well as itching.
As someone uses morphine for longer, they will develop a tolerance to it, meaning they will need higher doses to feel effects, and the euphoric high may disappear altogether.
There may be other signs of morphine use that become apparent if someone is abusing the drug such as finding pill bottles or syringes.
Signs of Morphine Overdose
For first responders and people in Colorado, the concept of an opioid overdose has become too common. It’s important to know the signs of a morphine overdose, particularly if you have a loved one you believe might be abusing the drug.
A morphine overdose occurs because the drug slows the respiratory system and central nervous system down so much that a person loses consciousness or potentially dies.
The primary symptoms of a morphine overdose include drops in key vital signs. Body temperature, breathing, pulse and blood pressure all usually decline when someone is experience an opioid overdose, including from morphine.
Other morphine overdose signs might include:
- Seeming confused or having hallucinations
- Becoming extremely drowsy or nodding off
- Cool, clammy skin
- Pinpoint pupils
Other possible morphine overdose symptoms can include:
- Choking or gurgling sounds that are because of breathing problems
- Seeming limp
- Slurred speech
- Being unable to talk when consciousness
- Pale or gray complexion
- Bluish tint to lips and fingernails
If you notice these morphine overdose signs, it’s extremely important to contact emergency services immediately.
Signs of Morphine Toxicity
The possible signs of morphine toxicity are the same as the morphine overdose signs and range from being unable to talk to nodding off or losing consciousness.
Morphine Addiction Signs
How can you tell if someone has a morphine problem? Here are some morphine addiction symptoms and morphine addiction signs to be aware of:
- Even when a person has a prescription for morphine, one of the first morphine addiction symptoms that people around them notice is that they take the drug more often than they’re supposed to, or they increase their dosage
- Developing a tolerance can be one of the morphine addiction symptoms
- Having cravings for morphine
- Trying to stop using morphine and being unsuccessful
- Withdrawing from friends, family or loved ones
- Continuing to use morphine even when there are negative consequences which can include health problems and problems in your personal life
- Obtaining morphine illegally without a prescription
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking morphine suddenly
- Using morphine in situations where it could be dangerous, such as before driving
If you believe someone you love is showing symptoms of morphine addiction, there are resources available to help them. The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake treats opioid addictions including morphine for people in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Denver, and throughout the state as well as nationally. Opioid addiction recovery is possible, but it more often than not requires professional help.