Drug addiction affects millions of people every year. Addiction can cause damage to individuals, families and entire communities. The rise in drug abuse and addiction is a serious cause for concern, particularly, the rapid increase prescription drug abuse throughout the nation. Morphine is just one of many drugs that are being abused at high rates.


Morphine is the primary chemical in opium. It is an opioid pain medication that is also referred to as narcotic analgesics. The drug is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Morphine acts on the central nervous system to relieve pain. It is not intended for short term use and is sold under the names of Avinza, MS Contin, Kadian, and Oramorph. On the street it is known as Morf., Mister Blue, and Dreamer.

Morphine Abuse and Addiction

Morphine is a very powerful opiate, which means it can develop into an addiction. The drug can be both physically and psychologically addictive, making it especially dangerous. Over time the body becomes comfortable with the drug, which is known as tolerance. As an individual’s tolerance builds they will require more morphine at high doses to achieve the desired effects. Reinforcing brain patterns will drive the morphine abuser to continue to use the drug and develop a dependency. The person will begin to obsess over the drug and its effects, which will result in compulsive morphine searching and consuming. Morphine addiction is similar to other prescription opiate pain killer addictions. Many users begin using the drug for completely legitimate reasons, but ultimately fall victim to addiction. Using morphine for extended periods of time can lead to addiction. Taking the drug in higher doses or more frequently than ordered by a physician can be dangers and cause dependency. Mixing morphine with other drugs can have dangerous health effects which include fatality.

Morphine Abuse According to the Center for Disease Control

-Males between the ages of 20-64 and poverty stricken areas have the highest rates of opioid analgesic use.

-The increase in accidental death rate stem from the use and abuse of drugs like morphine.

-A large percent of the population have or is being affected by prescription opiate abuse: for every existential overdose death related to prescription opioids; nine people are admitted for addiction treatment, 35 more are admitted to the ER, 161 others report drug dependence or abuse, and 461 reports using the drug for non-medical purposes.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Teenagers are among the highest in the nation for reported prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse has overtaken motor vehicle accidents for highest death rate and marijuana as the number on gateway drug in America. Teenage prescription drug abuse and addiction is quickly becoming a silent epidemic. It is leading to more and more addiction problems for those entering their 20’s, which is the secondary education system. Teenagers are becoming addicts before the reach the age of legal consumption of alcohol. They are developing these addictions due to the ease with which they can obtain drugs.

Prescription drug abuse in America is on the rise and is becoming real cause for concern. These candy colored and coated pills are increasingly inviting for young adults. Their ability to access the plethora of prescription drugs is even more alarming. In a past year use of illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals among 12th graders, marijuana and hashish carried 36.4%; prescription drugs 32.1%, and synthetic marijuana 11.3%. Cough and cold remedies, over-the-counter drugs, are the most commonly abused drug; which is nearly 20% of all abused prescription drugs. Most people share they prescribed medication with other families members, unknowingly contributing to their addiction and possible dangers of mixing medications. There are over 2 million people in the US that suffer from opioid pain reliever abuse. Death from this disorder has quadrupled over the past decade and a half. One of the many causes for this is over-prescription of pain med’s; in 2013, 207 million prescriptions were written for prescription opioid pain medications.

Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics

-. Over 52 million people in the U.S. over the age of twelve have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime.

-In 2010, the amount of prescriptions was written to medicate every American adult every four hours for one month.

-There were 8.76 million prescription drug abusers in 2010; 5.1. Million were using pain killers, 2.2 million using tranquilizers, and 1.1 million using stimulants.

-Prescription Drugs are obtained by:

-.3% bought them on the internet
-1.9% got them from more than one doctor
-2.2% other
-3.9% Drug dealer or stranger
-16.6% bought/took from friend or relative
-18.1% got them from one doctor
-54.1% got them for Free from a friend or relative

Signs and Symptoms of Morphine Abuse (and other opioid pain killers)

The Misuse of Morphine can have many side effects. These side effects are similar to other prescription pain killers. Morphine abuse can cause:
-lowered blood pressure.
-Itchy skin
-Extreme drowsiness
-Pinpoint pupils
-Difficulty breathing or inability to breath
-Loss of consciousness
-Weak pulse/poor circulation
-Gastrointestinal disturbances like constipation
-Nausea and vomiting
-Cyanosis, or blue tint to lips and fingernails
-Coma and death from overdose
-Alternating periods of alertness and unconsciousness
-Sleep apnea
-Problems urinating
-Weakened immune system
-Reduced sex drive
-Increased risk of blood borne diseases

Mental/Physical Signs of Morphine Abuse

Individuals who are abusing or addicted to morphine will display significant changes in their behavior. They will fake injuries so they can get morphine from a physician or hospital. They will have difficultly focusing, have poor hygiene, needle marks, steal, cheat, and change friends. Those addicted to morphine will spend all of their time, energy, and money on more drugs. They can pull themselves away from family and friends. Isolationism is common among drug addicts.


Anyone who knows or suspects someone of morphine abuse should speak with a professional. Morphine abuse and addiction is a serious problem that must be addressed immediately. There are thousands of treatment facilities and professionals that are willing and able to help. Treatment should include behavioral therapy and dual diagnosis practices to address all the problems that lead or developed from the abuse.

What Needs to Be Done About Prescription Drug Abuse/Addiction

The government in response to these numbers has started several programs that are attempting to curb the rise in prescription drug abuse. The first level of defense is raising awareness and educated the youth. The second is developing dispensaries, where Americans can come to properly dispose of old or never used prescriptions. The last is a program that limits the number of prescriptions and the amount of said prescription to an individual from physicians. This collective effort will hopefully reduce the prescription drug abuse in the United States.