Morphine is an effective prescription painkiller for moderate to high levels of pain. However due to its high effectiveness and potency it is also very addictive. When addiction happens accidentally, morphine users may feel guilty. They may believe they did something wrong even when they have taken their medication exactly as prescribed. This is not uncommon, and treatment and recovery are possible.
Morphine is a strong opiate that can be used for the treatment of chronic pain. Patients with cancer and other serious illnesses can benefit from sustained release versions of the drug. Morphine can also be prescribed during recovery from surgery or serious injuries. While short-term use rarely leads to serious addiction, individual experience can vary and tolerance may develop faster in some people. Morphine has a high potential to cause tolerance and addiction.
Morphine binds to endorphin receptors in the brain, and this has the same effect as the body’s natural painkillers. Morphine is more effective and longer lasting than natural endorphins, and the brain becomes used to this euphoric stimulation. Thus even when morphine is taken just as prescribed, it is possible to develop psychological addiction and tolerance to the drug after only a few days. This effect is more likely to happen if a doctor misjudges a patients’ dose and prescribes a higher dose than needed for pain.
Patients that accidentally become addicted to morphine are often inexperienced in drug use or abuse and may not realize at first that they have developed a tolerance. They may be in denial about their addiction. The prescribing doctor may not have stressed the high risks for addiction, or a patient may simply need a high level of medication for pain relief. All of these factors can contribute to tolerance and addiction to prescription morphine.
Regardless of how or why morphine abuse begins, it is important to seek treatment for morphine addiction to avoid serious consequences and negative effects of long-term abuse. Morphine can permanently change the reward pathways in the brain which makes addiction harder to treat. Addiction can become all-consuming and can have long-lasting effects on a person’s personal life.
While it may be embarrassing to realize you are struggling with abuse or addiction to morphine, it can happen to anyone and is nothing to be ashamed of. Call our 24 hour helpline to find out about treatment for accidental morphine addiction. All calls are free and confidential, so there is no reason to wait.