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Snort Morphine

Dangers of Snorting Morphine, Effects, Overdose, Addiction & Inpatient Rehab Treatment

Can You Snort Morphine?

Morphine is a prescription opioid medication used to treat relatively severe pain. Morphine is prescribed in various forms, including liquid solutions, tablets, and capsules, and is only intended to be used under the supervision of a medical professional. Morphine is highly addictive and is prescribed for only short periods—often post-surgery or in cases where other pain medications are ineffective.

While morphine effectively reduces feelings of pain, its use is sometimes accompanied by pleasurable effects, which makes it more vulnerable to misuse. This may involve:

  • Acquiring the drug without a prescription.
  • Using more than prescribed.
  • Tampering with the drug (for example, some users may crush up and snort morphine tablets or capsules to enhance its effects).

Morphine is highly similar to heroin—a notoriously addictive opiate. Heroin is synthesized from morphine opiate alkaloid precursors. When heroin is ingested, it enters the brain, is converted back to morphine, and binds to the opioid receptors. This causes an intensely pleasurable experience or “high.”

Abusing morphine is dangerous because it can lead to the development of an addiction and may increase the risk of an overdose. Snort morphine may pose even more dangers since the drug is delivered to the brain more quickly than if swallowed. Snorting opioids like morphine can also do damage to the nose.

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Can You Snort Morphine Pills?

The ideal particle size for insufflation or snorting was 285.9 M or less in a study comparing the manipulation of morphine tablets intended to be crush resistant. It is thought that particle sizes well below 500 M are appropriate for insufflation. Although smaller particles suitable for IN administration are insufflated, this does not guarantee the absorption of the drug. [5]

Can You Snort Morphine Sulfate?

Morphine sulfate is a drug that can be abused by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting it. These methods pose a high risk of overdose and death. Morphine sulfate, like other opioid agonists, can be abused. Therefore, when prescribing or dispensing morphine sulfate, the physician or pharmacist should be concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion. [7]

Do People Snort Morphine?

The subjective effects of opioids are heightened by rapid absorption via snorting, which results in high drug levels. Snorting opioids is a common method of abuse, with varying frequency depending on the type of opioid. More experienced opioid abusers frequently progress to snorting after beginning with ingestion. Morphine crushing for intranasal administration necessitates the reduction of tablets to snortable particle sizes. [5]

What Happens If You Snort Morphine?

As directed by a physician, morphine is a potent opioid that can be administered intravenously (IV) or orally. Morphine can be dangerous when snorted for several reasons, including:

  • damage to the nose
  • abuse and addiction
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • overdose
  • death[6]

Effects of Snorting Morphine

Side effects of morphine use may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Constricted pupils
  • Urinary retention
  • Severe itching
  • Anxiety
  • Mood instability
snort morphine
Morphine is highly addictive and is prescribed for only short periods—often post-surgery.

In some cases, morphine side effects may be severe and should be evaluated by a physician. Relatively more severe side effects may involve:

  • Cyanosis, or bluish tint to the skin
  • Hallucinations
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, sweating, shivering, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Muscle stiffness or twitching
  • Loss of coordination
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Chest pains
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing

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Snorting Morphine Can Cause Severe Damage To The Nose

The inside of the nose (nasal cavity) and the delicate mucous membranes it contains can be easily damaged by snorting a drug. Snorting morphine occasionally can irritate the nose and cause inflammation. These issues can become severe and long-lasting when use becomes frequent or compulsive.

Repeated or chronic morphine insufflation can cause crusty skin in the nose, bloody noses, and persistent sores. In addition, a person may suffer from chronic bad breath (halitosis), runny nose, or sinus infections (sinusitis). Snorting morphine can cause structural changes that cause the nose to whistle or alter the sound of a person’s voice. Some people may have complete or partial loss of their sense of smell.

While not the most serious of conditions caused by snorting morphine, these issues can alter a person’s quality of life. Some people may use morphine to cope with the sense of shame or embarrassment they experience from these conditions. These actions place them at a greater risk for overdose and other serious complications of morphine use.

snort morphine
Combining morphine with alcohol or other drugs, especially benzodiazepines, will increase the risk of overdose.

Snorting morphine can cause serious hazards to the nose, including:

  • A hole or perforation in the roof of the mouth
  • Perforated septum (a hole between the nostrils)
  • Saddle nose deformity (broad, flattened nose)
  • Blocked nasal airways
  • Bone loss
  • Collapsed nasal passages

Some people get plastic surgery to repair the physical damage caused by snorting morphine.

The damage to the nose can affect other aspects of physical health too. The nose is responsible for filtering and cleaning the air a person breathes before it reaches the lungs. Tiny hairs inside the nose, called cilia, have a major role in this task. People who snort morphine regularly can damage these hairs. This means that the air reaching the lungs can be compromised, a fact that could potentially decrease a person’s overall quality of health.

Can Snorting Morphine Cause an Overdose?

Yes, misusing morphine by snorting it can increase overdose risk. While morphine is effective at treating pain and relatively safe when taken exactly as prescribed, misusing morphine can result in several harmful health consequences, including death. Overdosing on morphine can cause respiratory depression, a potentially fatal condition that involves slowed or delayed breathing.

According to the World Health Organization, overdose is most likely among those who are physically dependent on opioids. Other people at high risk of suffering a morphine overdose include those who:

  • Take large doses of morphine
  • Take more morphine than prescribed or in ways other than prescribed
  • Combine morphine with alcohol or other drugs, especially benzodiazepines
  • Have concurrent medical or mental health conditions like depression, HIV, or liver or lung disease
  • Return to morphine use after a period of abstinence, during which opioid tolerance has decreased.

Signs Of Morphine Overdose

A person experiencing a morphine overdose may display one or more of the following symptoms :

  • Significantly slowed, shallow, or irregular breathing
  • Profound drowsiness
  • Severe nausea and copious vomiting
  • Tiny, constricted pupils
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Blurry vision
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of consciousness and fainting

If you witness a morphine overdose, call 911 immediately. Untreated overdoses can lead to harmful consequences and even death.

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Signs That Someone Is Addicted to Morphine

Morphine is a highly addictive drug because of its intensely pleasurable high and propensity to develop physical dependence. Morphine users may experience some degree of physiologic drug dependence even when taking it as prescribed.

The diagnosis of morphine addiction (technically, an opioid use disorder) can be made after an individual using the drug displays at least two of the following signs :

  • Using larger amounts of morphine over time.
  • Difficulty cutting down.
  • Spending a long time acquiring, using, or recovering from morphine.
  • Urges to use more morphine.
  • Failing to take care of responsibilities at home, work, or school results from continued morphine use.
  • Continuing to use morphine despite relationship problems.
  • Giving up important activities because of morphine.
  • Using morphine in dangerous situations.
  • Continuing to use morphine despite the drug’s physical or psychological problems caused or made worse.
  • Requiring more morphine to achieve the same effects (i.e., tolerance).
  • Going into withdrawal when not using morphine.

Other signs that a person is specifically snorting morphine as their chosen route of abuse may include:

  • Frequent sniffling, runny nose, or nose rubbing.
  • White powder residue on personal items.
  • Paraphernalia like prescription bottles, straws, and razors.

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Morphine Addiction Treatment

Morphine withdrawal symptoms occur 6-12 hours after the last dose. Clients build a tolerance reasonably quickly, so withdrawal can set in even if someone hasn’t been using the drug for very long. Morphine addiction is a severe and debilitating problem, but recovery is possible. Provided that a medically-assisted detox can manage the withdrawal symptoms of morphine with minimal discomfort through the process — a process that also reduces the risk of relapse. Though not as potent as heroin, the effects of morphine are just as concerning. Many treatment facilities nationwide have had plenty of success in helping morphine addicts come clean.

The most effective treatment for morphine addiction is an inpatient rehab program, usually lasting around 90 days. One of the potential benefits of inpatient rehab is that it typically starts with a safe, medically supervised detox. In addition, inpatient programs allow a recovering addict to focus on treatment without the outside social and professional pressures of the world.

snort morphine
One of the potential benefits of inpatient rehab is that it typically starts with a safe, medically supervised detox.

Getting Help for Morphine Addiction

Morphine addiction is a condition that can cause major health problems such as an overdose. We Level Up rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition and give you clarity about issues like the morphine withdrawal symptoms. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.

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Sources

[1] U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. (2016). Morphine.
[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). DrugFacts: Heroin.
[3] U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. (2016). Opiate and opioid withdrawal.
[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016) Prescription Opioid Overdose Data.

[5] National Library of Medicine. (2017). Human Abuse Potential of an Abuse-Deterrent (AD), Extended-Release (ER) Morphine Product Candidate (Morphine-ADER Injection-Molded Tablets) vs Extended-Release Morphine Administered Intranasally in Nondependent Recreational Opioid Users
[6] RehabCenter.net Editorial Team. (2019). The Dangers Of Snorting Morphine (Insufflation)
[7] Accessdata.fda.gov. (2012). Morphine Sulfate tablets label

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