Native Americans and Morphine Use

Native Americans and Morphine Use

Morphine is the primary ingredient in opium, and it primarily treats severe pain. Additionally, it can relieve fear and anxiety by producing a sense of euphoria, which may cater to people in psychological distress. If you or a Native American you know abuses this drug, then seek professional help as soon as possible to begin recovery.

Native Americans and Morphine Abuse

Published in the November 2011 Journal of the American Medical Association, the study, “Racial/Ethnic Variations in Substance-Related Disorders Among Adolescents in the United States” reports that, of the 72,561 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years that were interviewed, 37.0% used alcohol or drugs in the past year, 7.9% met criteria for a substance-related disorder and Native Americans have the highest prevalence both of drug use (47.5%) and mental disorders (15%). Among 27,705 people who abused alcohol or drugs in the past year, Native Americans (31.5%) had the highest rates of drug-related disorders. The report further indicates elevated odds of drug-related disorders among Native Americans. In other words, Native Americans as a group struggle with drug abuse and mental disorders, and they need professional help to recover.

Signs of Morphine Abuse

Signs of morphine abuse are somewhat vague, so people may attribute them to other physical or mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, irritability and apprehension. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the following signs that indicate morphine abuse:

  • Abnormal thinking
  • Blurred vision, double vision, involuntary movement of the eyeball or “pinpoint” pupils
  • Changes in mood or behaviors, including signs of lying or stealing
  • Changes in social behavior with friends, colleagues and family members
  • Exaggerated sense of well-being
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Multiple providers: seeking prescriptions from different healthcare providers
  • Needle marks (if injecting drugs)
  • Prescription abuse: needing refills too often for alleged lost or stolen prescriptions
  • Slurred speech, fainting/faintness, or uncoordinated muscle movements
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Extreme agitation

If several of these signs develop, investigate whether they stem from morphine abuse.

Causes of Morphine Addiction

Morphine addiction develops from two issues, tolerance and cravings. Because morphine is so addictive, the body quickly builds a tolerance to the drug, so it requires greater amounts of morphine to achieve the desired effect. Because morphine affects the brain so powerfully, the brain continually seeks that relief. Craving morphine is the most obvious indicator of addiction and may cause any of the following problems:

  • Wanting more before a scheduled dose
  • Wanting more than the amount prescribed
  • Being anxious about having morphine available

These cravings, along with the desire to maintain or increase the desired effect, may lead people to use more morphine, or add other painkillers, drugs or alcohol to the mix.

Help for Native American Morphine Addicts

A morphine addict may struggle with several issues, including physical dependency, psychological dependency and whatever issues motivated morphine abuse in the first place. Therefore, the safest way to detox from morphine is to go to a rehab facility and be in the care of medical professionals. Recovering from morphine addiction is possible with proper care, so if you or someone you know is addicted to morphine, call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about treatment, so seek help to begin recovery.