A quiet hospital room is filled with family members who sit quietly around a bedside. Their loved one lies huddled under blankets, a patient who will never leave this bed, at least not until after his chest rises and falls for the last time. This person is suffering from a palliative condition such as Stage 4 cancer of some kind and there is no cure; only pain relief. The drug in a bag hanging on an IV pole and pumping through his veins is probably morphine.
What Is Morphine?
This drug belongs to a class of drugs known widely as opiates or narcotics. Sister and brother drugs include fentanyl, heroin, codeine, and oxycodone. All of them are used to fight pain but have also become objects of abuse, possibly even bringing death to individuals who were healthy before they experimented with illegal opiates.
Morphine is sometimes one of those killers, but is usually associated with authentic medical usage. Patients taking morphine are suffering from serious pain after going through surgery or perhaps as they fight cancer. Not every patient taking morphine is terminally ill, but many people associate morphine with the need for immediate relief from cancer-related pain after having seen a parent or spouse suffer in a palliative care bed.
How Is Morphine Administered?
There are, in fact, oral forms of the drug which one can take at home as needed. It is often successful at treating sudden pain but is also prescribed for when symptoms are ongoing, such as following major surgery. Most commonly, morphine is given intravenously.
Few addicts come to know the trials and destruction of opiate addiction after their introduction to morphine, at least when compared with addicts who felt the pull of heroin and other narcotics. Morphine addiction is still reported, however, and there are signs a family can look for.
Addicts become highly agitated as the drug recedes from their blood stream and they start to need more of it. These individuals might become emotionally unpredictable, nauseated and dizzy, sweaty, breathless, or complain of a racing heart beat. Any of these signs is serious in its own right, but a wary household watching for symptoms of addiction could take these as confirmation that intercessors are needed.
Treatment for Morphine Reliance
Successful recovery is possible, but one must really want to be healthy. It starts with entering detox and then rehabilitation treatment. This can take from 6 weeks to several months beginning with the medical portion, transitioning to in or outpatient counseling and teaching, before leading to less regular counseling and, if necessary, a visit to a halfway house. Counselors focus on empowering participants to overcome cravings for the drug naturally and to find incentives to stay away from narcotics in the future.
The factor most likely to complicate recovery is a co-existing mental health problem. Many individuals are easily influenced to buy drugs by other users in their lives because they want a way out of their emotional pain. Bodily pain never enters into the equation.
Since mental pain is much harder to see and to treat, drug abuse is far more common among people with personality disorders, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia than among the rest of the population. Treatment will almost certainly involve a lengthy stay in rehab under supervision by in-house support workers, with 24/7 support.
Counseling and group work are combined so that participants learn to empathize and relate to other people again; so they can see they are not alone. They also learn to own their mistake in a forgiving, understanding group before taking responsibility in front of family members. Individuals receive support from each other and from specially trained counselors who show them how to find hope for the future, a future in which they will no longer need morphine.