is a narcotic analgesic. Morphine was first isolated from opium in 1805 by a
German pharmacist, Wilhelm Sertürner. Sertürner described it as the
Principium Somniferum. He named it morphium - after Morpheus, the Greek god
of dreams. Today morphine is isolated from opium in substantially larger quantities
- over 1000 tons per year - although most commercial opium is converted into
codeine by methylation. On the illicit market, opium gum is filtered into morphine
base and then synthesized into heroin.
Morphine addiction develops
very rapidly when an individual continues to abuse morphine. Morphine's addictive
nature activates the brains reward systems. The promise of reward is very
intense, causing the individual to continually crave Morphine and to focus his
or her activities around taking Morphine. The ability of Morphine to strongly
activate the brain's reward mechanisms and its ability to chemically alter the
normal functioning of these systems is what produces morphine addiction. Morphine
also reduces a persons level of consciousness, harming the ability to
think or be fully aware of present surroundings.
symptoms include but are not limited to:
- goose flesh
- restless sleep
- twitching and spasms
- kicking movements
- severe aches in the
back, abdomen, and legs
- abdominal and muscle
- hot and cold flashes
- severe sneezing
- increases in body temperature,
blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heart rate
Morphine withdrawal symptoms reach peak
intensity in 36 to 72 hours.
Without treatment, withdrawal symptoms runs their
course in 5 to 7 days, even though craving for Opium may continue for months.