Morphine is a drug which produces its effects on the brain by stimulating the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with the feelings of euphoria, reward and happiness. With prolonged use, the brain becomes used to function in abnormal conditions. The user has an urge to take the drug over and over again to maintain the euphoric feelings. Morphine induces physical, mental and behavioral changes in an addict that can help to detect an addiction.
According to the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders and clinical criteria, following are a few signs that can serve as an indicator of morphine addiction:
- Excessive desire to consume morphine and an inability to control the amounts.
- Facing severe depression when morphine use is quit.
- Carelessness towards other obligations in life.
- Inability to quit the drug even after having knowledge about its harmful effects and even after trying to do so.
Apart from these, some other behavioral symptoms that can be noticed in a morphine addict are:
- Declined performance at school or office.
- Excessive irritability or aggressive behavior.
- Getting into frequent fights with the significant other, inability to maintain healthy relationships with people who matter.
- Frequent episodes of depression.
- Lack of energy, lethargy.
- Doctor shopping or frequent visits to the doctor in an attempt to get a prescription for morphine.
- Spending excessive amount of money on obtaining the drug.
- Negligence towards hygiene.
- A change in company, the addict befriends other addicts.
- Antisocial behavior, avoiding gatherings.
- Injuries at intravenous sites if the patient injects the drug.
Physical signs and symptoms:
- Nausea/vomiting are frequently experienced by morphine users due to slowed down peristaltic activities by the drug.
- Constipation, also caused by slowed down peristaltic movements.
- Slow respiration, in case of an overdose, even death is resulted due to fatally depressed respiration.
- Drastic weight changes.
- Slow metabolic activity.
- Labored breathing.
- Low blood pressure.
- Kidney damage.
- Stomach cramps.
- Dilated pupils.
- Slurred speech.
Mental signs and symptoms:
- Unexplained euphoria.
- Cognitive impairment.
- Poor judgment.
- Declined mental capabilities.