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Morphine Addiction: 5 Signs You May Have a Problem

By Kyle Kirkland
Morphine is a strong opioid that can treat severe pain, but it should be monitored carefully. Here’s what the experts say on how to tell if someone is addicted to morphine.

Morphine is a strong opioid that is prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. “Since it is a very strong opioid medicine, morphine can cause addiction since tolerance on it is developed rapidly, which can leave pretty serious consequences,” Lina Velikova, MD, medical advisor at Supplements 101, tells WebMD Connect to Care. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 115,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2017. Here are some signs to look out for in someone that has a morphine addiction according to experts. 

Ignoring Important Social Activities

“Recurring morphine use can result in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home,” Christopher Johnston, MD, chief medical officer at Pinnacle Treatment Centers, tells WebMD Connect to Care. The person struggling with the addiction will spend most of their time and energy either using the drug or trying to find the drug to use it, which causes them to ignore any normal social obligations they have.

Irritation & Aggression

Another sign of morphine addiction is “irritation about the smallest things and aggression, often without reason,” Velikova says. Behavioral changes that are unlike how the person typically acts are one of the first signs of an addiction.

Dramatic Weight Loss

Velikova says that someone struggling with morphine addiction will lose a lot of weight quickly. This can be due to either the person not eating because of a lack of appetite or due to nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting is a result of the small intestines not working as they should in order to digest food properly.

Extreme Drowsiness

“One typical sign of morphine addiction is drowsiness, either by falling asleep in public or excess sleeping,” Jason Reed, PharmD, tells WebMD Connect to Care. A typical side effect of morphine is drowsiness, so using morphine more than directed will result in more extreme drowsiness and sleeping much more than usual. 

Financial Difficulties

Mary Gay, PhD, program coordinator at The Summit Wellness Group, tells WebMD Connect to Care that financial difficulties can be a sign of morphine addiction. The person struggling with the addiction may have to resort to buying morphine illegally and to keep that high, they will spend all of their money on buying the drugs instead of spending it on essential items like bills or food.

While the above signs are focused on the person struggling with the addiction, it doesn’t stop there. An addiction can affect the person’s friends and family through a loss of trust and setting a bad example for children (if a child sees a parent behave irresponsibly, they may subconsciously start acting the same way).

Don’t Wait. Get Help Now.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help.

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