The first thing to say about morphine is that you should not be afraid to take it if it’s legally prescribed to help you deal with severe pain. This strong painkiller from the opioid family is often used very successfully to help people deal with the effects of conditions such as heart attack or cancer. It can be provided in several different forms including tablets, granules, capsules and as a liquid. Morphine injections can also be used in a hospital setting.
Morphine blocks the pain signals that travel from nerves in the body to the brain. It’s a useful treatment for severe pain but it can also be highly addictive if it’s not taken as prescribed.
When morphine becomes dangerous
The dosage of morphine can change over time. This is natural as conditions that cause severe pain also change. However, all changes in dosage have to be as the result of a medical prescription. You should never take higher than the prescribed dose of morphine as the more you take, the more your body becomes used to the morphine and the more you need to take. It’s a vicious circle that can lead to morphine addiction.
What to tell your doctor
If you, or anyone in your family, is being prescribed morphine there are certain things that the doctor needs to know.
- Has the patient, or any one in the family, ever abused prescription drugs or alcohol?
- Has the patient, or any one in the family, ever taken street drugs?
- Has the patient ever suffered from depression or any other mental health issues?
All of these factors can make it more likely for a person to become addicted to morphine. This does not mean that morphine cannot be prescribed but the situation needs to be carefully managed.
Signs of morphine addiction
You may not recognize the signs of morphine addiction in yourself but it does help to be aware of them if the drug is prescribed for you. It also helps to be aware of the signs if you know anyone that has been prescribed morphine. The signs to look out for include:
- Dilation of the pupils.
- Starting to fall asleep on a regular basis.
- Speech that is slurred.
- Lack of attention.
- Breathing that is shallow.
Suspected morphine addiction should never be ignored. You can get help for yourself, or someone you know that is addicted; read more here. Getting help as soon as possible can help to avoid the potential side effects of addiction to morphine including sleep apnea, respiratory distress, inhibited cough reflex, headaches, and dizziness.
Morphine plays an essential role in helping people deal with intense pain. In most cases, it has a positive effect overall. However, if morphine is used without a prescription, or outside of the prescribed dose, it can be dangerously addictive. This addiction can cause serious issues which then need to be addressed.