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Long term effects of morphine on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

Long term effects of morphine on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Morphine directly targets the central nervous system and changes the way in which the body feels and responds to pain. More precisely, it binds to opiate receptors in the brain and changes the neurochemical activity in the brain stem which can result in alteration of the automatic body functions. It also affects regions in the brain responsible for pleasure and with regular use the brain starts to register the effects of the morphine as a reward. Explore this infographic further for more details.

Specific long term effects of morphine on the brain

Morphine effects on the nervous system

  • depressed consciousness
  • diminished reflexes
  • general psychomotor impairment
  • possibility for seizures
  • slowed reaction time

Morphine effects on neurotransmitters

  • affects m-receptors, and also at k- and d-receptors
  • binds to opiate receptors within the reward pathway
  • binds to receptors concentrated in areas of the pain pathway
  • causes sedation, relaxation and drowsiness
  • gives short-term feelings of emotional well-being, warmth and pleasure
  • major effects on the Central Nervous System (CNS)
  • produces euphoria and elevated mood

The effects of morphine on personality

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  • alterations in personality
  • compulsion to use morphine
  • inattentiveness
  • neglecting formerly enjoyable activities and hobbies
  • obsessive behavior over obtaining morphine

How morphine affects behavior

  • apathy
  • destructibility
  • euphoric behavior
  • lethargy
  • sudden mood and action changes

The psychological effects of morphine

  • abnormal thoughts
  • delirium
  • disconnectedness
  • disturbed sleeping
  • mental clouding
  • severe depression

What are typical morphine doses?

Abuse typical doses

Per day recreationally …… 30-60 mg orally as a starting dose

Addicts can administer 1 to 3 times per day.

Addicts with high tolerance to morphine can use 2000-3000 mg daily.

Lethal typical doses

Overdose ………… 200mg is the least amount needed for overdose. But, in case of over sensitivity to morphine, 60mg can be fatal.

How long is “long term”?

For short-term relief of severe acute pain morphine is used for about 4 weeks or 1 month. Long-term use is recommended for the management of chronic pain. However, morphine should never be taken longer than 12 years.

Chronic use of morphine = repetitive and pattern-followed morphine abuse that reflects negative consequences on:

  • person’s economic stability
  • social relationships
  • state of health

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