Prescription drug addiction is an ever increasing problem and concern in the United States. In many regions, overdose from prescription medications is the number one cause of accidental death. This is even beating out traffic accidents. Usually the principal drugs that are being abused are pain medications, which often times are synthetic derivatives of the medication morphine.
What is Morphine?
Morphine is a principle component found in many analgesic medications. It is the main psychoactive chemical found in the opium plant. It comes from the seedpods of the poppy. Morphine has a long history in medicine. It is generally regarded as the first extracted ingredient created as a pain medication back in the 19th century. It is very effective in treating conditions of pain, both acute and severe. It is also regarded as one of the most essential medicines used in health and treatments. Typically it is used by intravenous means (an I.V.).
Compounds of morphine are also used in oral forms. Some brand names are MS Contin, Kadian, Morphine Sulfate, and Roxanol. There is also hundreds of similar medication brands with semisynthetic opioid medications intended to synthetically achieve the same pain relieving effects of morphine. It is highly addictive, and has been for a century. Due to this it is a schedule II drug and is usually only used in hospital and supervised medical settings.
When introduced to the central nervous system, morphine blocks the pain receptors in the brain. It also produces dopamine in the brain creating a sensation of euphoria. It is the euphoric sensation that can cause individuals to abuse such pain relief medications. It is always recommended to only use such meds under the supervision of a medical professional and only for short-term periods of time.
Side Effects of Morphine Addiction
Morphine use has some common and less common side effects. The less common side effects can be serious and can have fatal consequences. Like most pain relief medications, the use or morphine based meds can greatly reduce breathing rhythms. Other side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, nausea and anxiety, or depression. In some rare cases, hyper-algesia can happen. That is when morphine can actually rapidly bring on worsening pain in individuals.
More severe side effects that have been seen with the use and abuse of morphine medications are: anemia, blockage in the bowels, confusion, and lung failure, problems with blood circulation, hallucination and coma. These cases are considered less likely and rare occurrences. However, the long-term abuse of medications containing morphine does increase the risk of more serious side effects occurring.
Overdose on These Medications
One should seek immediate emergency help when an overdose occurs. These medications greatly reduce breathing. In cases of overdose, breathing can reduce to dangerous levels and can even stop, leading to death. This is coupled with extreme drowsiness, which it can be difficult to determine asphyxia if the individual is not awake. For those not abusing morphine or similar painkillers, a good rule of thumb to avoid overdosing, always follow the recommendations prescribed by your doctor or medical professional.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
Morphine and similar prescription drug addictions are treated through a personalized, multi-systemic approach. This begins with empirically based assessments to help gauge an individual's need for treatment and therapy. Through the assessment process a treatment plan is created to follow for that individual. We often say that we are not a cookie cutter program at Cirque. It does take different approaches to help each individual arrest their disease of addiction. Our dedicated and compassionate staff is committed to help those in treatment find the programs and support needed to achieve early and successful recovery.
Sometimes this can be an underlying issue. The abuse of morphine or painkillers can be a signal for more deeply seeded personal issues. Some can self-medicate to address a traumatic past. Others may use it as an escape for their struggles at home. Part of addiction therapy is to address such concerns and assist with creating coping mechanisms for the underlying issue. One such issue we also treat is that of co-occurring mental health disorders. It is very common to see individuals with prescription drug addiction dealing with co-occurring mental health problems. These are things like depression, anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder. We offer a caring and involved dual diagnosis program to arrest and provide recovery for both conditions.
|Continuing Care Services|
We also want you to stay connected to us. We continually provide alumni with programs and events that support and can keep you centered on your recovery effort. For those who need help along the way, we offer a guesting service. For those who stumble and relapse, we have a two-week program to help you get back on track and assess what went wrong in your recovery. You can recover from your addictions! We are always available to help!