Morphine Sulfate Addiction and Abuse
What is Morphine Sulfate?
Morphine is a prescription drug used to relieve ongoing pain. Morphine sulfate affects how the brain interprets and responds to pain. Morphine sulfate is generally used for moderate to severe pain caused by ailments like cancer, severe accidents, or other serious medical conditions.1
Is Morphine an Opioid?
Morphine sulfate belongs to the opioid drug class. Morphine is one of the stronger opioid drugs and, similar to other opioids, it does have a high risk for addiction. Morphine sulfate should only be taken at the recommended doses from a medical professional.
Morphine sulfate does come under different brand names.2 Common morphine brand names include:
- Kadian ER
- MS Contin
- Oramorph SR
Liquid morphine, also known by the brand name Roxanol, is a short-acting pain treatment. It’s also used to treat shortness of breath since it dilates the bronchioles in the lungs, increasing their capacity.3
Dilaudid vs Morphine
Hydromorphone, known by the brand name Dilaudid, is a chemically similar medication to morphine. The main difference between Dilaudid and morphine is that Dilaudid is stronger, meaning a lower dose can provide the same or a better pain-relieving effect compared to a larger dose of morphine.4
There are numerous forms of morphine and dosages to cover different patients’ needs. In a medical situation, the dosage for morphine tablets ranges from 5mg – 30mg every four hours, or as needed by the patient. If the morphine is delivered in an injectable form, the dosages are usually lower and needed less frequently.5 There are instances where the pain is less severe or more severe and the patient would need lower or higher doses than what is in that range. Since morphine sulfate has a high risk of addiction, morphine should only be taken when medically necessary and under guidelines provided by a medical professional.
Signs and Symptoms of Morphine Sulfate Addiction
It can be difficult to recognize addiction if one tries to cover it. However, some symptoms indicate if someone is suffering from addiction. Signs of morphine sulfate addiction may include physical or behavioral symptoms.6
Common physical signs of morphine addiction may include:
Common behavioral signs of morphine addiction may include:
Morphine Side Effects
There are many short-term, long-term, and even dangerous health effects that may occur due to morphine addiction.7
These side effects can cause a morphine addict distress and can lead to harsher long-term side effects down the road.
These long-term side effects can require medical attention for proper treatment and support.
If a morphine tolerance is built up, then it will take increasingly higher doses overtime to get the same effect. This can lead to a morphine overdose. Common signs of a morphine overdose are:
If someone is experiencing any of these signs it’s important to seek immediate medical attention by calling emergency services.
When going through the detox process, morphine withdrawal symptoms can be serious and even life-threatening. Common morphine withdrawal symptoms may include:8
How Long Does Morphine Stay in Your System?
Most morphine medications go through many half-lives before the drug is fully out of a body’s system. A dose of morphine can be detected in urine for up to three days, saliva for up to four days, and hair for up to ninety days.9
There are many options and resources available for morphine addiction recovery. Speaking with a medical professional or going to a treatment center is a good first step.
The detox stage is an important part of the recovery process. Detox can be difficult since there is a range of withdrawal symptoms. The detox process should occur in a proper treatment system so that the addict has constant medical support and can go through withdrawal safely and comfortably.
During treatment, medications may be used to help ease withdrawal symptoms or prevent relapse.10 For morphine addiction, common medications that would be used are Methadone, buprenorphine, and Naltrexone. Methadone and buprenorphine are both maintenance medications that help ease the withdrawal symptoms of opioid addiction by tapering off opioid use. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids when they’re taken.
Due to the serious nature of opioid withdrawal symptoms, inpatient rehab is usually recommended for the best results. Inpatient treatment allows one to live at a treatment center for a duration of time while detoxing and receiving addiction therapy. Inpatient rehab provides around-the-clock medical support, a structured recovery program, and therapy to provide coping mechanisms and seek the underlying problem causing addiction.
Outpatient treatment allows you to continue living at home while receiving treatment for anxiety and addiction. This can be a good option for those experiencing less severe symptoms or those who need to keep up with work or family responsibilities. Outpatient treatment requires commitment, as this option obliges you to check into the treatment center at designated times and manage temptations at home.