Duramorph is a brand name for an injectable form of morphine—a non-synthetic narcotic with a high potential for abuse. As one of the most effective drugs known for the relief of severe pain, it is only prescribed to patients with around-the-clock pain that can’t be effectively treated with other analgesics.
Although Duramorph can be incredibly beneficial to patients suffering from cancer, major surgery or serious injury, the drug is highly addictive and carries a high potential for abuse. Addicts tend to prefer injectable forms of morphine, like Duramorph, because the drug enters the bloodstream faster and the effects are felt sooner.
Understanding Duramorph Abuse
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, taking opioids like Duramorph can actually increase pain sensitivity for some patients, leading to chronic pain issues and physical dependency, which can be precursors to addiction. This effect has been known for a long time, but was largely forgotten until recently. “Increased pain sensitivity as a result of opioid dependency, then called ‘morphia,’ was also described in the medical literature as early as 1870.”
Like heroin and other opioid drugs, Duramorph attaches to opioid receptors in your brain, blocking pain signals, and causing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Abuse of Duramorph leads to a rush of dopamine that you experience as euphoria—a dangerously inflated sense of physical and mental well-being that hooks some users from their very first experience.
Signs and Symptoms of Duramorph Abuse
Some signs and symptoms of Duramorph use and dependence include:
- unexplained, extreme highs and lows of emotion
- feeling no pain at times, and complaining about excessive pain at others
- drowsiness or sedation
- slurred speech
- difficulty concentrating
- constricted pupils
- seeming spacey, or out of touch with people and surroundings
- loss of coordination
- sweaty, clammy skin
- needle marks
Duramorph addicts are also likely to experience financial trouble, and may even resort to breaking the law to get money for drugs. They tend to retreat from hobbies and activities they once enjoyed, and from the people who care about them—especially if these people have expressed concern about the addict’s drug use.
Dangers of Duramorph Abuse
Duramorph can cause a number of disagreeable and dangerous side effects, even when taken as directed. Usually, Duramorph is administered in a clinical setting, and then patients are closely monitored afterwards to ensure they don’t have any adverse reactions. Addicts don’t have the benefit of such monitoring, and their addiction usually pushes them to ignore warning signs that should otherwise push them towards seeking medical help.
If you experience any of the following symptoms while taking Duramorph, seek immediate medical attention.
- blue or purple color to the skin
- changes in heartbeat
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- severe muscle stiffness or twitching
- loss of coordination
- nausea, vomiting
- loss of appetite
- weakness or dizziness
- inability to get or keep an erection
- irregular menstruation
- decreased sexual desire
- extreme drowsiness
- chest pain
- itching, hives, or rash
- swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, lips or throat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Sustained use of Duramorph will create a tolerance, forcing you to raise your dosage to get the same experience. Taking large amounts of Duramorph puts you at risk of overdose.
The Drug Enforcement Agency’s fact sheet on morphine lists the following signs of overdose:
- cold, clammy skin
- lowered blood pressure
- slowed breathing
- slow pulse rate
Who Abuses Duramorph?
Drug abusers come in all kinds. Some seek out drugs out of a craving for intense experience, some do so to escape aspects of their lives that they find unbearable, and some slide into drug abuse accidentally, after prescription drug use slowly becomes overuse and misuse.
Some people try a drug once and go on to live a drug free life, but some people are addicted right from the start. There are varied reasons including —genetics, a predisposition to chronic pain, undiagnosed mental health issues, and more—but once drug abuse begins, you soon become trapped by addiction.
Not only is the psychological compulsion to use incredibly powerful, so is the deterrent of withdrawal symptoms that you experience whenever you try to quit or cut down on your drug use.
Withdrawal symptoms for Duramorph include:
- teary eyes
- runny nose
- muscle, back or joint pain
- widening of the pupils
- stomach cramps
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- nausea, vomiting
- loss of appetite
- fast breathing
- fast heartbeat
The United States is currently suffering from an opioid addiction epidemic, and where there is addiction, there is always the likelihood of overdose and accidental death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled. From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.”
Am I Addicted to Duramorph?
Figuring out if you are addicted to Duramorph means taking the time to honestly examine yourself and your behavior. Read through the list from the Mayo Clinic below and consider if and how each item may apply to you.
Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include, among others:
- feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day
- having intense urges for the drug
- over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
- making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
- spending money on the drug, even though you can’t afford it
- not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use
- doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing
- driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug
- focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug
- failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug
Any one of these statements, if true, can indicate a substance abuse disorder, and if you are addicted to Duramorph, then you need professional substance abuse help.
Duramorph Addiction Treatment
With the help of trained mental health professionals, you can learn to manage your addiction, and build a happier, healthier, more meaningful life.
Treatment programs have a variety of tools and techniques at their disposal, such as:
You should never abruptly stop taking Duramorph, but instead, you should slowly taper your dosage according to medical guidance. When it comes to addictions to potent opiates like morphine, doctors often help patients through detoxification by giving them medications to counteract or ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
There are medications that you can take to support your continued abstinence from Duramorph. Drugs such as methadone, buprenorphine and naloxone can help reduce drug cravings and/or block the effects of opiate drugs so that you can’t get high, even if you relapse. Such medications are useful tools to use in conjunction with other treatment modalities, including:
Individual therapy will help you work through any past traumas or mental health issues one on one with a therapist. Group therapy can give you strength through letting you give and get support from other addicts coping with the same issues as you, and by reminding you that you are not alone. Family and couples therapy can help you resolve interpersonal conflicts and improve communication skills to forge a more supportive environment for you to return home to.
Health, Fitness and Nutrition- Your health most likely suffered greatly due to drug use, both directly from the chemical impact of the drugs on your body and brain, and indirectly due to neglect. To develop a strong body and mind with the resources to sustain a more positive lifestyle, you need to heal through good health habits. Eating regular nutrient-dense meals, getting frequent exercise, and restoring yourself through quality sleep every night are all key components of the healing process.