Morphine Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Morphine was first identified in 1803, but its use was not that widespread until the development of the hypodermic needle in 1853. The principal ingredient in opium, morphine acts on the central nervous system to relieve pain. However, morphine is extremely addictive. In fact, during the American Civil War, over 400,000 soldiers became addicted.

Common Uses of Morphine

While morphine was initially used as a cure for opium addiction, it was scientifically proven not to be an effective method of treatment. However, it was and still is used for severe pain, cough suppression and sometimes before surgery. In addition to relieving pain, morphine has been prescribed to relieve fear and anxiety by producing a sense of euphoria.

Failure to Read the Signs of Morphine Abuse

Unfortunately, the signs of morphine abuse are “vague” enough to be associated with other, less threatening conditions. Sweating, chills, dizziness and drowsiness are often attributed to the flu. Rash, hives and itching are initially investigated for contact dermatitis or some allergy. Constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, fluid retention and dry mouth are associated with stomach or digestive issues. Stress can also explain other symptoms such as light-headedness, tingling sensations, headaches, fluctuation in blood pressure and insomnia.

Physical Signs of Morphine Abuse

However, if a person experiences any of the following symptoms, morphine abuse may be the reason:

  • Blurred vision, double vision, involuntary movement of the eyeball or “pinpoint” pupils
  • Slurred speech, fainting/faintness or uncoordinated muscle movements
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Needle marks (if injecting drugs)
  • Memory loss

Behavioral Signs of Morphine Abuse

Because the physical indicators of morphine abuse are sometimes hard to identify, physicians often look for some of the following behavioral signs:

  • Prescription abuse: needing refills too often for alleged lost or stolen prescription
  • Multiple providers: seeking prescriptions from different healthcare providers
  • Changes in social behavior with friends, colleagues and family members
  • Changes in mood or behaviors, including signs of lying or stealing

Emotional Signs of Morphine Abuse

Emotional signs of morphine addiction are another “vague” area that may be attributed to another health issue, such as anxiety, depression, irritability and apprehension. However, if a person is demonstrating any of the following emotional signs, you should check for morphine abuse:

  • Hallucinations
  • Exaggerated sense of well-being
  • Abnormal thinking
  • Extreme agitation

Get Help for Morphine Abuse

Recovering from morphine with proper medical supervision and support services is possible. If you or someone you know is addicted to morphine, call our toll free number today at (877) 259-5633. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about morphine addiction treatment. We are here to help.