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What is morphine?
What is morphine used for?
Is morphine addictive?
How is morphine taken?
How does morphine affect the
What side affects can
symptoms does morphine have?
options are available for morphine?
Where can I buy a
home drug test for morphine?
Where can I
find a treatment center for morphine?
What is morphine? (top)
Morphine is the principal derivative of opium, which is the juice in the
unripe seed pods of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. It was
first isolated from opium in 1803 by the German pharmacist F. W. A.
Sertürner, who named it after Morpheus, the god of dreams.
What is morphine used for? (top)
Today morphine is used medicinally for severe pain, cough suppression,
and sometimes before surgery. Given intravenously, it is still
considered the most effective drug for the relief of pain. Taken as
directed, morphine can be used to manage pain effectively. Many studies
have shown that if properly managed by a physician, short-term medical
use of opioid analgesic drugs can be safe.
Is morphine addictive? (top)
Morphine is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher
doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological
dependence develop quickly.
How is morphine taken? (top)
injected, taken orally or inhaled, or taken through rectal
How does morphine affect the
narcotic, acts directly on the central nervous system. Morphine can;
It also can;
What side affects can
Morphine causes many side
Weakness and fatigue
Feelings of elation
may be severe
reactions, such as irritation, itching, or hives
Taking a large
single dose of an opioid could cause severe respiratory depression
that can lead to death
symptoms does morphine have? (top)
Withdrawal from morphine causes nausea, tearing, yawning, chills, and
sweating lasting up to three days. Morphine crosses the placental
barrier, and babies born to morphine-using mothers go through
treatment options are available for morphine? (top)
Several options are available for effectively treating prescription
opioid addiction. These options are drawn from research regarding the
treatment of heroin addiction, and include medications such as
buprenorphine, as well as behavioral therapies
Naltrexone is a medication that
blocks the effects of opioid and is used to treat opioid overdose and
has been used for more than 30 years to effectively and safely treat
opioid addiction. Properly prescribed methadone is not intoxicating or
sedating, and its effects do not interfere with ordinary activities such
as driving a car. The medication is taken orally and it suppresses
narcotic withdrawal for 24 to 36 hours. Patients are able to perceive
pain and have emotional reactions. Most important, methadone relieves
the craving associated with morphine addiction; craving is a major
reason for relapse.
Methadone's effects last four to six times as long as those of opiates,
so people in treatment need to take it only once a day. Also, methadone
is medically safe even when used continuously for 10 years or more.
Combined with behavioral therapies or counseling and other supportive
services, methadone enables patients to stop using morphine (and other
opiates) and return to more stable and productive lives. Methadone
dosages must be carefully monitored in patients who are receiving
antiviral therapy for HIV infection, to avoid potential medication
Buprenorphine and other medications
Buprenorphine is a particularly
attractive treatment for morphine addiction because, compared with
other medications, such as methadone, it causes weaker opiate effects
and is less likely to cause overdose problems. Buprenorphine also
produces a lower level of physical dependence, so patients who
discontinue the medication generally have fewer withdrawal symptoms than
do those who stop taking methadone. Because of these advantages,
buprenorphine may be appropriate for use in a wider variety of treatment
settings than the currently available medications. Several other
medications with potential for treating morphine overdose or
addiction are currently under investigation by NIDA.
In addition to methadone and buprenorphine, other drugs aimed at
reducing the severity of the withdrawal symptoms can be prescribed.
Clonidine is of some benefit but its use is limited due to side effects
of sedation and hypotension. Lofexidine, a centrally acting alpha-2
adrenergic agonist, was launched in 1992 specifically for symptomatic
relief in patients undergoing opiate withdrawal. Naloxone and naltrexone
are medications that also block the effects of morphine, heroin, and
other opiates. As antagonists, they are especially useful as antidotes.
Naltrexone has long-lasting effects, ranging from 1 to 3 days, depending
on the dose. Naltrexone blocks the pleasurable effects of morphine
and is useful in treating some highly motivated individuals. Naltrexone
has also been found to be successful in preventing relapse by former
opiate addicts released from prison on probation.
Although behavioral and pharmacologic
treatments can be extremely useful when employed alone, science has
taught us that integrating both types of treatments will ultimately be
the most effective approach. There are many effective behavioral
treatments available for morphine addiction. These can include
residential and outpatient approaches. An important task is to match the
best treatment approach to meet the particular needs of the patient.
Moreover, several new behavioral therapies, such as contingency
management therapy and cognitive-behavioral interventions, show
particular promise as treatments for morphine addiction,
especially when applied in concert with pharmacotherapy's. Contingency
management therapy uses a voucher-based system, where patients earn
"points" based on negative drug tests, which they can exchange for items
that encourage healthy living. Cognitive-behavioral interventions are
designed to help modify the patient's expectations and behaviors related
to drug use, and to increase skills in coping with various life
stressors. Both behavioral and pharmacological treatments help to
restore a degree of normalcy to brain function and behavior, with
increased employment rates and lower risk of HIV and other diseases and
programs aim to achieve safe and humane withdrawal from opiates by
minimizing the severity of withdrawal symptoms and other medical
complications. The primary objective of detoxification is to relieve
withdrawal symptoms while patients adjust to a drug-free state. Not in
itself a treatment for addiction, detoxification is a useful step only
when it leads into long-term treatment that is either drug-free
(residential or outpatient) or uses medications as part of the
treatment. The best documented drug-free treatments are the therapeutic
community residential programs lasting 3 to 6 months.
Opiate withdrawal is
rarely fatal. It is characterized by acute withdrawal symptoms which
peak 48 to 72 hours after the last opiate dose and disappear within 7 to
10 days, to be followed by a longer term abstinence syndrome of general
malaise and opioid craving.
Click here to buy home drug
tests for opiates.
Where can I
find a treatment center for morphine? (top)
Click here for a
National Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator.