Morphine, like all opioids, is habit-forming and can cause a severe addiction syndrome when abused. It can be difficult to know whether someone you love is abusing the drug, unless you know the signs for which to look. Morphine addiction is debilitating, and the longer it goes on, the worse a person’s condition will become.
Physical Signs of Morphine Addiction
Opioid drugs cause an intense amount of physical effects when abused. Many individuals try to ignore these issues or solve them in a way that does not involve stopping their drug abuse, but this will often not work. Here are some of the physical signs your should look for when trying to uncover morphine abuse in a loved one.
- Weight loss
- Heroin is derived from morphine so many of the signs of addiction to one drug are similar in the other. Individuals who abuse large doses of morphine will, like heroin abusers, lose weight rapidly.
- Constipation is the number one most complained of side effect when it comes to opioid prescriptions. Those who abuse this substance heavily will experience it often. Still, these individuals will not want to stop using the drug and will try to use over-the-counter medication to combat the constipation.
- According to the NLM, headaches are one of the common side effects of morphine use. Someone abusing the drug regularly will often complain of severe headaches.
- Constricted pupils
- Those who are intoxicated from the effects of the drug will have constricted, or very small, pupils. Extremely small pupils, called pinpoint pupils, are a sign of opioid overdose.
- Nausea and vomiting
- As stated by the DOI, this is a common sign of morphine abuse. The drug causes many gastrointestinal problems, and someone currently high on morphine will likely experience stomach upset.
Behavioral Signs of Morphine Addiction
Based on a person’s behavior, there are other ways to tell if they are abusing morphine. One of these is finding pill bottles hidden in their home, bathroom, or bedroom. In some cases, the drug is obtained as a liquid so certain users may have clear, liquid bottles hidden in the same way. Also “finding needles, syringe caps, eye droppers… [or] bottle caps” lying around can be another sign. Other behavioral signs of morphine addiction include
- Nervousness and agitation
- The person will always seem nervous or upset when addicted to and consistently abusing this drug.
- Mood swings
- Addiction is often commonly associated with mood swings; an individual who is on the drug will be euphoric and calm, but when it wears off, they will become depressed or anxious. These kinds of mood changes are common even with regular morphine use (NLM).
- Constant confusion
- Because of the drug’s intoxicating effects, the individual will often act confused or dizzy.
- New friends
- Those who are addicted to a substance will start spending time with others who abuse drugs as well, causing them to abandon their old friendships.
- If you approach someone who is addicted to morphine about their drug habits, they will often become extremely hostile or deny that there is a problem.
If you notice many of the signs above in your loved one, it is likely that they are abusing and addicted to morphine.