Side Effects of Morphine Abuse
Morphine is a prescription drug that belongs to the narcotic group, although it is actually an opiate that affects how the central nervous system works. In medical circles it is prescribed to manage pain.
The effect that it has on the brain is what makes Morphine highly addictive. Furthermore it creates a physical and psychological dependence when it is used for a long period of time while also creating a tolerance in the body meaning that the dosage has to be increased in order for the original results to be achieved. The degree of tolerance usually depends on the dosage and the period of time that the drug has been abused for.
A major side effect of Morphine abuse constipation which results due to the reduced motility of the gut. This in turn inhibits the manufacture of nitric oxide which should increases fluid absorption in the intestine.
Other side effects that are usually experienced by people who abuse this drug include vomiting, nausea, dizziness, pruritus, histamine release, itchiness, dry mouth, abdominal pains, excessive sweating, flushing, drowsiness, low blood pressure, and sleepiness. Morphine is also known to cause a euphoric feeling which is usually characterized by intense joy, happiness, excitement or bliss.
Apart from the above side effects, Morphine has major side effects which occur when the drug has been abused for a long time. The most common of these is an inflammation of the liver, or Hepatitis C. The virus that causes Hepatitis C is often present in intravenous Morphine abusers as the drug suppresses the immunity, thereby allowing enhanced growth of Hepatitis C.
In most instances, people who have been abusing morphine for a long time have the Hepatitis C virus without realizing it but sooner or later, the virus will develop and the full effects will then kick in.
As an opiate, Morphine is highly addictive and causes physical and psychological dependence especially when used over a long period of time. Addiction occurs due to the way Morphine alters the brain’s reward system functions and studies have revealed that it only takes a few days for an abuser of Morphine to become addicted.
Another side effect of morphine use is tolerance which depends on the amount of the drug to be ingested as well as the length of time that the drug has been used for. When tolerance occurs, the dosage has to be increased in order for the original results to be achieved. Other severe side effects usually occur when people overdose on the drug while abusing it.
Morphine overdose often leads to asphyxia (a deficiency of oxygen) and in some cases even death.