Plugging Morphine | Side Effects, Risks, And Dangers

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on December 14, 2020

Morphine is sometimes prescribed by medical professionals for pain management. Unfortunately, it has a high potential for abuse and potentially severe side effects. If someone in your life may be plugging morphine, they may benefit from learning about the potential risks and dangers.

Dangers Of Plugging Morphine

Morphine is a narcotic that comes from opium. In the United States, healthcare professionals may use it for pain relief or pain management. Like other opioid drugs including oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and codeine, morphine can also be highly addictive.

If a person is plugging morphine, that means they’re using rectal administration to abuse the drug. This form of substance abuse may not be as common as injections or oral administration, but inserting drugs into the rectum can be equally dangerous.

A few of the biggest dangers of plugging morphine may include:

  • seizures
  • damage or death of rectal tissue
  • decreased blood flow to the small intestine
  • increased risk of addiction
  • increased risk of overdose

Dangers And Risks Of Plugging Morphine

Morphine sulfate, an opioid agonist, may be prescribed as an immediate-release or extended-release pill for oral administration to treat chronic pain. If a person is plugging oral morphine, they may insert the pill like a suppository or crush the pill into a powder for other methods of drug administration.

Unfortunately, these methods of ingestion can lead to an increased risk of potentially severe side effects that may include:

  • changes in heartbeat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • hallucinations
  • fever
  • sweating
  • confusing
  • shivering
  • loss of coordination
  • hives or rash
  • swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, lips, or throat
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • severe muscle stiffness or twitching

There’s also an increased risk of overdose when morphine is being plugged or abused in other ways.

Morphine Overdose Risk

Morphine, when administered rectally, has higher bioavailability. The bioavailability of morphine affects a person’s high.

When plugging morphine, a person may feel the high more intensely, but it may fade faster than the drug is able to leave the person’s system. This can cause a person to take high doses of the drug, which may lead to an increased risk of overdose.

A morphine overdose may produce the following side effects:

  • cold and clammy skin
  • low blood pressure
  • sleepiness
  • slowed breathing
  • slow pulse rate
  • coma

Sudden death is also possible from a morphine overdose. In some cases, naloxone can be used to treat an opioid overdose.

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If you suspect a morphine overdose, call 911 immediately.

Other Dangers Of Plugging Morphine

In addition to the potential risks listed above, other dangers that could come from the rectal administration of morphine may include:

  • passing blood
  • rectal pain
  • constipation
  • tears in the colon
  • inability to control bowel movements

Of course, the risk of these issues is increased if a person has been plugging drugs for an extended period of time.

Side Effects Of Morphine Abuse

While morphine is commonly prescribed as part of pain treatments, it can also be habit-forming. Whether morphine is being taken as a prescription drug or recreationally, there may be some noticeable differences.

Common side effects of morphine abuse may include:

  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • stomach pain and cramps
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • nervousness
  • mood changes
  • small pupils
  • difficulty urinating or pain while urinating

If morphine is being taken with other drugs such as tramadol, benzodiazepines, and/or antidepressants, these side effects may be more severe.

Effects On The Brain And Body

While accurate dosing of morphine can be used for effective pain control, the drug can have serious effects on the brain and body.

Morphine is an opioid analgesic, which means it interacts with the opioid receptors and serotonin blockers in the brain. There, it interacts with the central nervous system to change the way pain is perceived.

After an extended period of time, this can permanently alter how the brain works. Extended exposure to morphine can lead to physical dependence.

Perhaps some of the biggest effects on the brain and body occur during morphine withdrawal, which can resemble flu-like symptoms.

Common morphine withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • sweating and chills
  • muscle aches
  • increased heart rate
  • runny nose
  • watery eyes
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • increased blood pressure
  • irritation
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • confusion
  • trouble sleeping

Because these symptoms and side effects can have potentially severe consequences, it’s best to contact a treatment specialist to figure out the best route to recovery.

Treatment Options For Morphine Abuse

If you or a loved one may be plugging morphine or abusing opioids in any way, reach out to a healthcare provider immediately to determine the best course of action.

When it comes to morphine abuse and addiction, there are a variety of treatment options available including inpatient and outpatient programs.

Generally, inpatient treatment programs are more immersive, intensive, and effective when it comes to treating morphine addiction. With this treatment option, a person will stay full-time at a detox facility to receive the support and resources they may need for a successful recovery process.

Alternatively, outpatient treatment programs are available for people who aren’t able to stay at a treatment facility full-time. In an outpatient program, a person may visit an addiction treatment center several times weekly for counseling, support, and other resources.

Morphine addiction treatment may be treated with any or all of the following practices:

  • individual or group therapy
  • reward-based incentives
  • gradually reduced dosages
  • medication-based treatment
  • analysis and treatment for other mental health illnesses

Find Treatment For Morphine Addiction

After having problems with a morphine addiction, the potential withdrawal symptoms a person may experience can be severe. For this reason, it’s best to contact an addiction treatment specialist who can work with you to decide on the best course of action.

If you or a loved one may be plugging morphine or having problems with opioid addiction, don’t put off getting help. Contact an treatment specialist today to find the right treatment center and program.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on December 14, 2020

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