Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic drug that directly effects the central nervous system. It is generally prescribed to manage pain after surgeries. It has neurotoxic effects on brain and is very addictive. Many people are getting addicted to Morphine unaware of its adverse effects on health.
Side effects There are many side effects which result because of the Morphine abuse. The side effects of Morphine abuse include constipation, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, histamine release, pruritus (itching), flushing, dry mouth, excessive sweating, abdominal pain, somnolence (sleepy or drowsy feeling), hypotension (low blood pressure), euphoria (feeling of intense bliss, joy, excitement and happiness) etc. Some of the major side effects of Morphine are:
Constipation Morphine reduces gut motility which results in constipation and it inhibits nitric oxide generation. Morphine reduces gut secretion and increases intestinal fluid absorption which leads to constipation.
Inflammation of the liver Morphine abuse can cause Hepatitis C or inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C virus can be generally found in intravenous drug abusers. Morphine complicates hepatitis C by suppressing the immunity and also enhances the hepatitis C virus replication. Morphine abuse ultimately leads to progression of the disease.
Addiction Morphine is a very potent and highly addictive drug. It can cause psychological and physical dependance. It mainly activates the brain's reward system. The ability of the Morphine is that it chemically alters the normal functioning of the reward system which leads to Morphine addiction. It is also said that it takes only a few days for an individual to get addicted to it.
Tolerance There will be rapid tolerance to the analgesic effect of abuse of Morphine in abuser. Because of its high addictive nature, the Morphine abuser needs higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect of the drug.
Withdrawal Sudden withdrawal of Morphine abuse leads to prototypical opioid withdrawal syndrome, suicide, heart attacks, strokes, seizures, dehydration, muscle twitches, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, muscle and bone aches, loss of appetite, involuntary urination etc.
Overdose Morphine overdose is a result of intentional or accidental intake of too much drug. It will lead to asphyxia (condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body) and death due to respiratory depression if the person does not get medical attention immediately.
Effects on other systems and processes The effects of Morphine on other systems and processes are slow metabolism, moderate blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, acute and chronic effects on the endocrine system, blood, heart and lungs.
Effects on immune system The Morphine abusers have higher risk of infection of pneumonia, tuberculosis and HIV, as Morphine decreases the immunity. Morphine influences the production of neutrophils and cytokines which are a part of immune system. In Morphine abusers, there is high risk of infections and Morphine also may impair the healing of the wound.
Effects on human performance Morphine is known as a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant. Early effects of Morphine include slowed reaction time, sleepiness, depressed consciousness, poor performance on divided attention and psychomotor tasks. The late effects of Morphine include inattentiveness, slowed reaction time, poor concentration, greater error rate in tests, fatigue, easy distraction etc.
The long term abuse of Morphine results in deadly effects like brain damage because of neurotoxic effects of the drug. It is a long and painful process to overcome the psychologically dependence on Morphine. There is higher chances of relapse in Morphine abusers after stopping its use. The high rate of relapse testifies the addictive characteristics of Morphine. Hence, it is important to not to suffer from all these problems by getting addicted to Morphine. It only gives small amount of pleasure but later it kills like a slow poison.
By Nate Rodney MBA
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