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Effects of morphine abuse and addiction (INFOGRAPHIC)

Effects of morphine abuse and addiction (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Morphine is addictive and can be habit-forming.

In fact, you can become dependent on the drug both, psychologically and physically. Morphine addiction is very cruel, as the drug causes strong cravings, strong enough to drive addicts to commit acts they would never otherwise commit. Withdrawal from morphine can cause a number of issues, too depending on the dosage taken and how long it was used.

So, what does morphine use and addiction look like? We explore here. Then, we invite your questions or comments at the end.

Morphine’s mechanism of action

Morphine binds to opioid receptors… more specifically to

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1) The Mu-receptors, which are present in the brainstem and the thalamus. The activation of these receptors can result in pain relief, sedation and euphoria as well as respiratory depression, constipation and physical dependence.

2) Kappa receptors, found in the limbic system, a part of the forebrain called the diencephalon, the brain stem and spinal cord. When activated it’s responsible for pain relief, sedation, loss of breath and dependence.

3) Delta receptors present in the brain and also present in the spinal cord and digestive tract. Stimulation of this receptor leads to analgesic as well as antidepressant effects.

How addictive is morphine?


Morphine is a potentially highly addictive substance. It can cause psychological dependence and physical dependence as well as tolerance. Morphine also produces euphoria and other positive effects, which compel users to continue. Users have reported feeling addicted to it after few uses. So, this is certainly no “recreational drug”.

Is damage caused by Morphine permanent or reversible?

Possible permanent damage caused by morphine

  • collapsed veins
  • death as result of respiratory arrest
  • endocarditis: inflammation of the inner lining of the heart
  • inability to see colors (blue or yellow)

Possible damage caused by morphine

  • adverse allergic reactions
  • hepatic damage
  • swelling of lips and tongue

Reversible damage caused by morphine

  • CNS depression
  • low blood cells count
  • reduced gastrointestinal motility

How does morphine addiction really affect you?


  • reduced immunity and ability to fight infections
  • risk of developing hepatitis and HIV/AIDS
  • weight loss
  • possible death from overdose!


  • greater test error rate
  • impaired mental and physical abilities
  • poor performance on divided attention and psycho-motor tasks
  • slowed reaction time and poor concentration

Self esteem

  • altered personality
  • low self-esteem
  • mood swings
  • severe depression


  • broken interpersonal relations
  • inattentiveness
  • neglecting family
  • problems due to self-absorption

Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “Effects of morphine abuse and addiction (INFOGRAPHIC)
6:57 pm August 10th, 2015

I was addict to morphine from 1999-2005, I received help through MMT until 2010, I relapsed onto methamphetamine for weight loss, then back to morphine. I again went onto MMT from 10-2013 until March,2015 where I began Suboxone and SAIOPT. I go to 1 or 2 twelve step meetings a day, work the 12 steps with a sponsor and my life has become a place that I love! Recovery is a daily process and I am a work in progress! The gates of Heaven didn’t open up and let me in but the gates of Hell opened up and let me out!!!!!!!!

11:25 am August 11th, 2015

Hello Veronica. Good to hear about your path and experience. Thanks for sharing it here!

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