Physical Complications of Abusing Morphine

Physical Complications of Abusing Morphine

Morphine is a narcotic opiate that weakens pain signals that reach the brain. When prescribed by a physician, it usually treats moderate to severe pain, often before and after surgical procedures. However, people often abuse morphine, because it produces euphoria. Unfortunately, morphine abuse is a growing problem in the US: a 2011 article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 5.1 million people abused painkillers like morphine in 2010.

Because morphine is prescribed by a doctor, many people think it is safe to use this drug under any circumstance, more often than indicated and at higher doses than prescribed. However, the problem is that using morphine in ways other than prescribed can lead to addiction and physical complications.

Physical complications of abusing morphine include the following issues:

  • Changed activity in the brain stem and spinal cord. These parts of the body control automatic functions, like breathing and heart rate. Abusing morphine can decrease respiration and lower blood pressure, which can then lead to coma, overdose and even death.
  • Heightened HIV risk. Injecting morphine increases a user’s risk for HIV and other diseases through using contaminated needles
  • Altered brain functioning. Repeated morphine abuse damages the part of the brain that is involved in critical thinking, judgment and decision-making. This means that people under the influence of morphine often make unwise decisions, such as driving while high. Furthermore, abusing morphine leaves people vulnerable to physical violence, such as rape or assault.
  • Painful withdrawal symptoms. Because morphine is so addictive, users will likely experience several side effects once the drug is absent from the body. These symptoms include muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, to name a few. These problems underscore the importance of seeking professional help when trying to end morphine abuse.

Besides the aforementioned complications of morphine abuse, which can result in dangerous and life-threatening situations, the body also undergoes other less dramatic changes when people abuse this drug. In fact, morphine abuse can also lead to the following problems:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Bacterial infection
  • Boils
  • Arthritis
  • Infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cell death in vital organs
  • Blood-born viruses

Once a person detoxes from morphine, the fight is not over: cravings for morphine can last for months or even years, which helps explain why relapse is common among morphine users.

Find Help for Your Morphine Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with morphine addiction, we can help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime to talk with our admissions counselors about your drug abuse. Together, you and our staff can determine best way to address your unique needs. Don’t destroy your body anymore by abusing morphine—call us today to get the help you need to start recovery.