Morphine Abuse 101

One of the best ways to avoid harm from morphine is to be aware of the facts about morphine abuse and addiction.  Although most people have heard of morphine, they are not familiar with the potential for harm when the drug is misused.  Awareness is the first step in protecting yourself or a loved one from unwanted side effects or unexpected dangers.

Morphine is a widely used opium-based drug that has left many addictions and deaths in its path.  It is the primary chemical compound in opium.  Since it’s introduction to the market, morphine has been used to treat such things as chronic coughs, severe pain from surgery or illness, and has also been used to treat anxiety or panic disorders.   Because of morphine’s opiate base, it can produce a euphoric state and is highly addictive for that reason.

Morphine Abuse – The Early Years

With the dawn of the industrialization of America, Asians came looking for work.  Of course, they didn’t come empty handed.  They brought the opium that was commonly used in their country.  Use of the drug spread rapidly across the country.  It could be found in people’s homes during the 18th and 19th centuries, and opium dens were popular places to spend evenings or weekends.

Eventually, an alternative for opium was sought.  In the early 1800s, a pharmacist’s assistant created a substance that was ten times more potent than opium for pain relief.  He named the drug morphine after the Greek God, Morpheus.  Unfortunately, the drug also created powerful side effects such as psychiatric effects, constipation, slowed breathing, nausea, vomiting, and euphoria.

The use of morphine as a medicine began in the mid-19th century when it replaced opium as a pain reliever.  Ironically, it was also used to help cure opium addiction.  Later, morphine was used on injured soldiers, and they became some of the first people to develop morphine addiction, known then as “Soldier’s Disease.”

By the early 20th century, morphine addiction was rampant.  For this reason, the government established legislations banning morphine use.  In 1914 Congress passed the Harrison Narcotics Act which restricted morphine sales and use.  Much later, in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was established, and under its guidelines, morphine was classified as a Schedule 11 controlled substance.

Other Interesting Facts About Morphine

It’s interesting to note that heroin was initially marketed as a treatment for morphine addiction.  Unfortunately, is was soon discovered that heroin rapidly metabolizes into morphine.  Below are some equally interesting facts about morphine:

  • The average age of first-time morphine users is 21.
  • Morphine addicts have the highest rate of relapse.
  • Morphine abuse and addiction are the 3rd leading causes of ER admissions.
  • Over $500 billion is spent annually in the US on morphine-related crime, treatment, criminal justice costs, etc.
  • Nearly 416 tons of morphine were produced in 2010. The US, Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand consumed over 93 % of the amount produced.
  • Morphine withdrawal symptoms begin within 36 hours after the last dose and can continue for five to seven days.
  • Almost 60% of morphine users claim they obtained the drug from family or friends.
  • ER visits for morphine addicts increased by 106% in a four-year period.
  • More than 2 million Americans are addicted to or dependent on morphine.

As an opiate-based drug, morphine addiction requires professional treatment to overcome.  The most effective form of treatment is an inpatient rehabilitation program.  To learn more about morphine abuse and to find the best treatment facility near you, call our toll-free number today.

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