Short-Term Morphine Usage for Back Pain Can also Trigger Rapid Changes in Brain – Study


How long does morphine stay in the system?

People taking morphine to ease their back pain may experience changes in the volume of the brain’s gray matter in less than a month’s time, says a study published online in the journal Pain Medicine in December 2015 Buy Morphine 60mg Online . Morphine is a highly addictive opioid, so doctors need to exercise caution while prescribing it as a pain reliever to patients.

Lead author of the study Dr. Joanne Lin, a researcher at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, told the Reuters, “Because we are seeing that opioids rapidly change the brain, our take-home message is that opioids should be reserved for cases when most other treatment options have failed. ” Usually, prescribing morphine as a painkiller should be the last resort as landing in a morphine addiction rehab after consuming the drug to relieve pain is the last thing anybody would want to do.

Previous studies have proved that administration of oral morphine daily for one month to patients results in a dosage-correlated volumetric decrease in the right amygdala. The latest study aimed at probing the previous information extensively and establishing whether morphine can alter the gray matter in the brain.

The researchers enrolled 21 patients with back pain, of which 11 were administered morphine pills daily, while the remaining 10 were put on placebo. The researchers took high-resolution anatomical images immediately before and after the treatment administration period to see if the treatment impacted the brain. They investigated morphological gray matter changes by using tensor-based morphometry, and tested significant regions to ascertain any correlation with morphine dosage.

The researchers found that the morphine group showed a gray matter volume decline of about 3 percent in areas of the brain which regulate emotions, cravings and responses to pain, and a volume increase in areas associated with learning, memory, and executive function. The placebo group did not exhibit any changes.

While previous researches conducted on animals showed that long-term opioid use causes changes to the brain, the latest study offers fresh insight into how even short-term use of drugs can alter the human brain, said Lin and his colleagues. The study participants had chronic back pain for the last 8 years, yet none misused opioids, or for that matter any other drug.

Both the groups had a reduction in pain, though all were allowed to take over-the-counter pain drugs during the study period. The researchers said that though drugs like morphine are excellent treatment options for pain, especially for short treatment periods, as they can also improve the quality of life, there is concern about their long-term use that must be balanced against the potential therapeutic benefits.

Craig Stadler, 44, was an average American dad – a loving father of three who abided by the law. It was unthinkable that he would ever have a brush with the law enforcers; he was simply not that kind of person. However, one incident completely deflected his life from the track. He was charged for robbing a store in Outlook in February 2018. Some of the glaring gaps in the case raise doubts over the motive behind the robbery. Unlike experienced robbers and criminals, he made no attempt to guise himself for the theft.

Shockingly, he committed the crime wearing a neck warmer and a black hat. There seemed nothing dangerous about him, except the eerie way he had kept his one hand in the pocket that made the employee in charge of the store at that time handover the cash. However, all Stadler got was a paltry $80. Though he denied involvement initially, he later confessed the crime. For this, he was sentenced to 18 months in jail and 12 months of probation recently.

Though the robbery seemed bizarre and laughable, a detailed enquiry by the court revealed that the incident was one of the far-reaching consequences of opioid addiction. During the proceedings, Stadler revealed that he became addicted to morphine due to his ongoing surgeries. Stadler’s descent into drug abuse ensued after his leg was infected from screws used in an operation four years ago. He underwent multiple surgeries and was prescribed morphine, a standard medication for pain management in most hospitals.

Slowly, Stadler was drawn into the vicious cycle of morphine addiction. He lost his job soon after. In the wake of the aforementioned problems, Adam Masiowski, a legal aid lawyer, argued for a reduced sentence for the distressed man by highlighting morphine addiction as the main culprit. He argued, “So that’s really derailed his life; that’s why the robbery was committed. “

While handing out the sentence and encouraging Stadler to open up about his addiction, judge Marilyn Gray, said, “Part of the problem with addiction is that it totally messes up the clarity of your thinking and reason. ” In order to treat the problem, one of the conditions levied for probation on Stadler is to seek inpatient addiction treatment once out of the jail. He has been further advised to discuss his painkiller addiction with his doctor to explore other treatment options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *