Chronic pain can make life truly miserable. According to research published in the journal Pain Medicine, people who live with chronic pain can have difficulty with sleep, clear thinking, mood, heart health, sexual function and overall quality of life. In other words, almost all aspects of life are impacted, when the person is in chronic pain. As the risks of living with chronic pain become more and more apparent, people are demanding stronger drugs to help them keep their chronic conditions under control. Sometimes, this means patients are obtaining morphine to help them cope.
When taken properly, morphine can be an effective painkiller that can help people overcome their issues and work on healing their bodies and moving forward with their lives. Morphine use, however, can lead to morphine addiction, as the drug is quite strong and it tends to cause persistent changes in the brains of people who use it. Read on to find out more.
Table of Contents
Morphine and the Brain
Living With an Addiction
While obtaining euphoria on a daily basis might sound appealing, the reality is that those who struggle with a morphine addiction have lives that are far from ideal. For example, a man who was taking a whopping 3,000 mg of morphine per day told the Telegraph, “It makes you sluggish. It makes you aggressive, more abrupt.” Many users report feeling zapped or simply numb when they’re on morphine, and they may lose relationships as a result of this inability to connect.
People who take morphine, and who take remarkably large dosages of the drug in order to support their addictions, may face overdoses as a result. Morphine is a powerful depressant drug that can slow breathing, while providing a deep sensation of relaxation.
- Small pupils
- Clammy skin
Moving on to Street Drugs
When the brain has been primed to run efficiently in the presence of morphine, it can be extremely difficult for people to simply stop taking morphine. If they try to do so, they may experience withdrawal side effects such as:
- Jerking muscles
- Watery eyes
Some people find these symptoms incredibly frightening, and if they can’t get morphine from their doctors, due to stricter controls, they might be tempted to turn to street dealers for relief. Many street drug dealers claim to sell morphine, but the drugs they sell may contain no active ingredients at all. The pills might also contain powerful drugs that aren’t even similar to morphine. In addition, prescription drugs sold on the street can be prohibitively expensive. Dealers know that the market value of stamped drugs seems to be higher than the market value for street drugs like heroin, and they price the drugs accordingly. Some people actually switch to heroin, in order to keep their costs down. For example, a study conducted in Washington found that the death rate from prescription drugs was decreasing at the same time that the death rate from heroin was rising. This seems to indicate that people are moving to heroin, as a consequence of prescription drug abuse. A heroin habit can be extremely difficult to break, and it’s a terrible consequence of morphine addiction.
Help for Chronic Pain
Since many people develop addictions to morphine due to living with painful chronic conditions, they may be leery of stopping their morphine use altogether. In fact, they may worry that stopping the use of morphine will make their pain come back, stronger than it ever was before. In reality, researchers suggest that people who abuse morphine actually have more pain than people who do not. The drug is just not effective in the long run, when compared to other forms of therapy. As a result, some people who abused morphine find that they can achieve relief through a different pain medication combined with other interventions such as physical therapy or massage. The results can be dramatic. One woman, interviewed by the New York Times admitted that she still had pain from time to time, when she stopped using strong drugs on a daily basis, but she felt mentally clearer, sociable and relaxed when she was not on large doses of drugs. It’s a result that many people echo in other interviews about their recovery.
It is worth repeating, too, that morphine can be an effective treatment for pain as long as patients work with their doctors, use other therapies when needed and never take the drug in ways in which it was not prescribed. No one is suggesting that pain is something people should simply live with. Even people who have had addiction issues in the past might need pain control in the future, if they develop conditions that are impossible to handle in any other way. Working closely with a doctor, and remaining in control at all times, can make this a safe drug to use to control pain in almost anyone.
People with addictions to morphine often need medical interventions in order to recover. Thankfully, addictions to opiates like morphine are some of the most studied, and best understood, addictions in the world today. Scientists have developed medications, therapies and treatment programs that are specifically tailored to people who have opiate addictions, and these protocols have long track records of providing relief to people in need. If you’re addicted to morphine, it’s time to access this help and really get better. Please call us at Axis to learn more about our programs and to sign up for care. We can help you overcome your addiction and control your pain more effectively. Operators are standing by.