The United States accounts for just five percent of the global population. Yet, people living in the U.S. consume 80 percent of prescription opioid drugs worldwide.
Opioids are the leading cause of drug-related deaths. In most cases, these deaths are preventable.
Morphine is one of the several opiates that are used to reduce acute pain, such as after major surgery or for cancer treatment. Its name comes from the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus, and it’s due to the fact that morphine gives users a cloud-like dreamy feeling.
A person’s tolerance to morphine can develop quickly. As a result, it doesn’t take long for someone to become addicted to it. The drug is readily available, and because of its pleasurable effects, morphine addiction is common.
Read on to learn about how prevalent morphine addiction is as well as the signs and dangers of morphine abuse.
Morphine Addiction Statistics
Many people who abuse morphine are those suffering from chronic pain. 26 percent of those who use opioids for non-cancer pain develop a dependence on the drug.
Over time, their bodies adapt to morphine. Gradually, they need a larger and larger dose in order to feel its effects. If they stop using it, they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
At this point, an individual is addicted to morphine, making it very hard to stop taking the drug.
Most addicts have not only a physical dependence on the drug but also a psychological need for it. They feel that they can’t cope with life without the effects of morphine.
No other medication that is used for nonfatal conditions leads to death as frequently as opioids. For every 550 patients who take prescription opioids, one suffers an opioid-related death about 2.6 years later.
General Stats on Addiction to Morphine
More than half of accidental drug deaths in the U.S. are caused by heroin and morphine. The age groups with the highest fatality rates are between the ages of 35 to 44 and 45 to 54. Both these groups saw 11 deaths per 100,000 people.
Statistics show that men are more likely to die from a prescription opioid overdose than women. Yet, the gap between both genders has been closing quickly over the past few years.
Many teens believe that morphine is safe to use because it’s a prescription medication instead of an illicit street drug. In fact, the average first-time user is 13 or 14 years old.
Signs of Morphine Abuse
It can be tricky to determine if someone you care about is abusing morphine, especially in cases where the person has a valid doctor’s prescription.
Yet, even in these cases, morphine abuse is possible if your loved one uses it in large doses or for other purposes than it was prescribed for.
If you’re concerned that a family or friend may be addicted to morphine, here are some signs to look for:
- Inability to pay attention
- Changes in eating habits
- Nodding off
- Pupils that are dilated
- Shallow breathing
- Slurred speech
In addition to these physical signs, you may notice a change in your loved one’s behavior. Mood swings, changes in their mental health, angry outbursts, and anxiety attacks are all signs of addiction.
You may also notice a decline in your loved one’s performance at school, work, or engagement in social activities. He or she may stop caring about their personal hygiene and become isolated.
Talking about addiction can be difficult. Many times, the person who is addicted to morphine will not be aware that he or she has this problem in the first place.
One of the best things you can do is stage an intervention to discuss your concerns with the person who is abusing morphine.
Am I Addicted?
If you’re concerned that you are becoming addicted to morphine, you have taken the most important step, which is to find out more information.
The first way to tell if you’re addicted is to check whether you’re taking more morphine than your prescription calls for. Also, if you crave the drug and try to get it illegally without a prescription, you may be dealing with an addiction.
If you try to stop taking morphine and aren’t able to, this is a sign that you are addicted to it.
Dangers of Morphine Abuse
Like other opiates, this drug many negative side effects. There are both physical and psychological dangers related to morphine abuse.
Because morphine affects the central nervous system, users may feel tired and have difficulty staying alert and focused.
Morphine overdose can cause chest pain, slow heart rate, and trouble breathing. Losing consciousness is a possible danger of misuse or abuse.
Vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, nausea, and confusion are all serious complications associated with morphine addiction.
This drug affects the brain in a way that makes reaction times slower and muddled. This can be dangerous if people under morphine’s influence drive or are pedestrians around traffic.
Serious overdoses can result in seizures and even coma.
Morphine addiction can also have lethal outcomes, including collapsed veins from injecting the drug. A deteriorated liver and swelling of the inner lining of the heart are also serious risks.
Furthermore, HIV/AIDS from shared needles is a risk for those who inject morphine. Ultimately, death is a serious and real danger connected to morphine use.
Break Free from Morphine Addiction
Morphine addiction is a serious problem that shouldn’t be overlooked. Its side effects can be life-threatening. We hope you have found this guide educational and eye-opening.
Remember, there is hope for you or a loved one who is addicted to morphine.
Contact us to talk about treatment options or schedule an intervention. We can discuss the next steps and recommend the best course of action so you get your life back on track.