How common is morphine addiction?

Morphine: The opioid by which all others are measured.

Morphine is the gold standard of prescription opioids. When discussing the potency of other opioids, they are always compared to morphine. It also happens to be one of the most commonly used opioid painkillers in hospitals and medical facilities around the world. This is because it is relatively safe and effective. Morphine has been around for a long time and we have a good understanding of how it will work for patients in pain. Yet, it is also an addictive drug with a high potential for abuse. When abused, this opiate is a very dangerous and deadly drug.

Heroin addiction is really morphine addiction.

Heroin is a deadly street narcotic of abuse with no acceptable medical use. Morphine tablets, on the other hand, are frequently prescribed by doctors as
painkillers. Yet, they are almost the same drug. In fact, heroin is converted into morphine in the human body. Hence, when a drug user is addicted to heroin, in a sense, they are actually addicted to morphine. The effects of morphine abuse are similar to the effects of heroin.

Who is at risk of becoming an opiate addict?

Interestingly, healthcare workers, such as doctors and nurses are at risk for developing a morphine dependence. Working long shifts in a hospital can be a highly stressful job. Healthcare workers, in general, are at high risk for substance abuse. Additionally, morphine is a narcotic medication that is accessible in the hospital setting. While there are safeguards in place, doctors and nurses are smart people who are able to find ways to obtain morphine for their own drug abuse.

Morphine vs Heroin: Which is more likely to cause an opioid overdose?

As stated above, morphine and heroin are chemically related. Heroin metabolizes in the human body to morphine. Yet, heroin is more likely to cause an overdose compared to morphine abuse. This is because heroin is an illegal street drug. Dealers cut street drugs with other substances to increase their supply and profits. In the case of heroin, it is often combined with fentanyl. This is a deadly concoction that has resulted in many overdose deaths. Morphine, on the other hand, is more likely to be from a medical-grade supply. While this does make it safer, the risk of overdose is still there. Morphine addicts who are out of control can easily abuse the drug too much and overdose.

What are some brand names for morphine?

Morphine is available as an injectable that is used commonly in hospitals. It is also available in a variety of prescription oral preparations. There are both immediate-release, extended-release capsules and extended-release tablets. A popular long-acting brand is MS Contin. Others are Kadian, Avinza, and Oramorph. These pain medications are prescribed for cancer-related pain, chronic pain and also acute pain after surgery.

How does morphine compare to other opioids when it comes to substance abuse and opioid addiction?

Morphine tablets and injectables are highly addicting. While there may be the impression that it is less addictive than other opioids, such as oxycodone and hydromorphone, this is not true. Morphine has the same potential to cause opioid use disorder like any other opioid. Drug addiction is a serious chronic condition that requires life-long treatment. If you are considering using morphine recreationally, I recommend that you do not get started. The effect of morphine on the opioid receptors, particularly on the mu-opioid receptor can easily lead to addiction for some people.

How to prevent an opiate relapse after completing addiction treatment.

While the time in a long-term treatment center may be from a month to as long as six months, it will end eventually. Unfortunately, the risk of relapse is high. We should not think of the treatment for opiate addiction as being a process that lasts weeks or months. The treatment of addiction should be ongoing. As a chronic condition, addiction requires long-term treatment and vigilance. Support groups can be very helpful as well. Medication-assisted treatment with Suboxone or naltrexone is highly effective in preventing relapse. 

How do I find a buprenorphine doctor treat my morphine addiction?

Finding a doctor who prescribes buprenorphine, the ingredient in Suboxone, Subutex, ZubSolv, and Sublocade, is not too difficult. There are free addiction resources to help out. Treatment Match is a program that anonymously matches patients with addiction doctors in their area. SAMHSA, a federal agency that administers addiction treatment programs,  has a complete list of doctors who are credentialed to prescribe buprenorphine for MAT programs. There are many treatment options and a variety of ways to locate them.

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