Substance Use

Morphine and Alcohol Substance Abuse

TABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents

morphine pills liquor bottle

Mixing Alcohol With Morphine: What Are the Dangers?

Morphine is commonly used as a pain reliever in emergency rooms and following surgery. However, morphine can make it into the hands of individuals who misuse it for its ability to relieve pain and induce a sense of euphoria.

When taken in high amounts, morphine can be deadly on its own. When mixed with another depressant like alcohol, the side effects increase exponentially, putting life at risk even if someone only takes their usual morphine dose. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, our team of compassionate professionals at Zinnia Healing’s addiction treatment center can help. Contact us today on our website or call us at (855) 430-9439. 

What Is Morphine?

Morphine is a non-synthetic narcotic derived from opium. It is prescribed for the treatment of pain, but it has a high potential for misuse due to the euphoria it can induce in users. Chronic morphine abuse can lead to decreased appetite and inhibition of the cough reflex. Physical and psychological dependence can also develop rapidly.

Morphine comes in multiple forms, including immediate-release and extended-release tablets and capsules. However, the injectable liquid form of morphine is the most common, and it has the highest potential for misuse since it enters the bloodstream directly and more quickly. However, tablets and capsules can also be crushed to increase absorption, especially extended-release tablets, which typically contain a larger dose.

It’s important to note that morphine is a Schedule II drug, according to the DEA, which means it is a controlled substance. Only a fraction of the morphine shipped into the United States is used in the pharmaceutical industry in its pure form. Most of it is processed into codeine and other painkillers that aren’t as powerful.

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Morphine

Both alcohol and morphine are classified as depressants, which means mixing them together leads to exponentially stronger effects than taking either by itself. As a result, the combination of drinking alcohol and taking morphine can heighten the sense of euphoria that morphine induces, thereby increasing the risk of dependence and misuse.

Especially when taking morphine with ethyl alcohol, users are at an increased risk of overdose and death because alcohol causes the drug to metabolize faster. This means even if someone takes an amount of morphine they are accustomed to taking, the addition of alcohol can make it deadly.

Additionally, because the effects of morphine and the effects of alcohol are multiplied when mixing them together, the combination can lead to a person more rapidly developing tolerance. In other words, adding alcohol to the mix will force someone to continue taking more morphine and/or more alcohol to continue feeling the same effects. This further increases the risk of overdose.

In short, the dangers of mixing alcohol with morphine include:

  • Stronger, more severe side effects
  • Increased risk of overdose 
  • More rapid development of dependence and tolerance
  • Dependence can lead to morphine addiction and alcohol addiction

Is someone you know mixing alcohol with morphine? Recovering from a strong pain medication like morphine is a complex matter, especially when dealing with alcohol use at the same time. Connecting with caring medical professionals like those at Zinnia Healing is critical to recovery. Contact us today on our website or call us at (855) 430-9439. 

Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol With Morphine

Since both alcohol and morphine are depressants, taking them together suppresses the central nervous system (CNS), causing a reduced heart rate that can drop dangerously low. The combination can also make it more difficult to breathe, as it puts stress on the respiratory system.

Immediate effects include feeling dizzy, confused, or paranoid. It also has a very negative effect on mental health, which can worsen any existing conditions like anxiety or depression. Other side effects of mixing alcohol with morphine include: 

  • An overwhelming sense of fear and/or panic
  • Seeing, feeling, and hearing things that aren’t there
  • Feeling dizzy, even to the point of collapse
  • Nausea and constipation

In the long term, morphine and alcohol combined can lead to high blood pressure, liver damage, and kidney failure. The organ damage that results from long-term misuse is not reversible and can lead to early death. On-going alcohol intoxication, whether or not a person is mixing morphine, can worsen all these side effects.

Recovering From Mixing Alcohol With Morphine

Morphine addiction must be taken seriously. With such a high risk of dependence, overdose, and permanent organ damage, anyone mixing alcohol with morphine should seek help from a team of caring professionals who are experienced in morphine addiction recovery.

Some of the most important things to watch for before and during recovery include:

  • Signs of drug dependence, which can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms during the recovery process
  • Dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as psychological conditions and risk of relapse
  • Relapse, which puts an individual at a heightened risk of overdose, even at a dose they used to take habitually
  • Co-occurring disorders, which can change the way substance use disorder is treated or managed

Your treatment options may include substance abuse treatment at a residential facility where you’ll receive full-time care and monitoring. Alternative, intensive inpatient or outpatient programs may be offered to help you work through your addiction while balancing school, work, and family obligations.

The right treatment provider will incorporate a customized detox program with long-term mental and behavioral health to ensure a full recovery. At Zinnia Healing, our team will develop a personalized care plan based on your unique concerns.

Zinnia Healing Can Help

Morphine’s addictive nature can rapidly lead to physical and psychological dependence. This dependence is only worsened when mixing alcohol with morphine.

Unfortunately, as dependence on a drug develops, most individuals find that their tolerance increases too. This means someone will continue to take more and more of a drug in order to experience the same effects, and it leads to drug addiction.

Due to morphine’s ability to suppress the central nervous system, too high of a dose can quickly turn deadly. Chronic usage also results in permanent liver damage and even kidney failure, both of which develop more rapidly when mixing alcohol with morphine. For these reasons, seeking help should be an immediate priority. 

Are you ready to explore your options for substance use recovery? Our caring team of healthcare providers can introduce you to customized techniques and programs for morphine addiction recovery. Contact us today on our website or call us at (855) 430-9439.