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Snorting morphine

Snorting morphine

If you’re thinking about snorting morphine, you should know what happens to the brain and the central nervous system as a result.  In fact, morphine is highly addictive when snorted.

Here, we review what happens in the body while snorting morphine, as well as the dangers and safety concerns of snorting morphine. We welcome questions about snorting morphine or treating morphine addiction at the end of this article, and will try to answer all legitimate questions with a personal reply.

Morphine: What are you really snorting?

Morphine is actually one of the many alkaloids produced from the poppy plant. It is a schedule II substance and is available in many prescription forms, including injections, oral solutions and tablets. Once in the body, morphine is first metabolized in the liver (partially in the brain and the kidneys) and then affects the central nervous system. Morphine is converted into active metabolites, such as M3G and M6G, or other opiates such as codeine and normorphine.

On the market, morphine is found under many product labels, such as Astramorph®, Duramorph®, Infumorph®, Kadian®, Morphine Sulfate®, MSIR®, MS-Contin®, Oramorph SR®, Roxanol®. The active ingredient in these products is morphine sulfate and the inactive ingredients are (depending on the product) croscarmellose sodium, lactose anhydrous, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and others.

How does snorting morphine affect the body?

Morphine is one the most powerful drugs for the relief of severe pain. Up until today, morphine has been considered the standard against which new analgesics are measured. As with other narcotic analgesics, taken in moderate doses, morphine dulls the senses and can induce deep sleep. But when taken through the nasal passage, what happens?

Snorting is a process of inhaling morphine powder through the nose, where is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. The official medical term for it as intranasal administration. The bio availability is usually longer with this method of taking morphine, because of the quick absorption of the molecules into the bloodstream through the nasal tissue and circulation bypass. In fact, morphine must be water soluble so it can be absorbed in the membrane. However, one part of the dose (not absorbed) goes to the throat and into the stomach, and is often unpleasant to taste.

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Snorting morphine to get high

Snorting morphine is the third fastest way to reach the brain, after injecting and smoking. Fast delivery affects brain regions that facilitate addiction, while slow delivery is often used for addiction therapy.

Even though snorting is preferred due to the intensified effects ,it also increases the risk of infections in the nasal area, including instant and chronic bleeding, and serious injuries of the septum. One reason for that is the constriction of the blood vessels and the caustic nature of the drug.

Snorting morphine vs oral

When taken orally, half of the dose of morphine affects the central nervous system, while the other half goes through the liver and then enters the system. This is they way morphine was designed to be taken.

One of the most common way of morphine pills abuse is crashing the pills, turning them into powder and snorting them with a small tube. Bear in mind that you can find many additives in the pills, which are strongly not recommended. Further, the absence of enzymes, which have the role to protect the human body, make snorting a much more dangerous method for taking morphine. In fact, damage may appear to the nasal tissues and the membrane between the nose and the brain. Do not forget that snorting morphine may pose a significant risk to the user that could result in overdose and death.

Snorting morphine side effects

Snorting morphine can result in multiple side effects. If these symptoms are severe and don’t go away, please ask for professional help.

  • diarrhea
  • difficulty urinating or pain when urinating
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • mood changes
  • small pupils
  • sweating
  • vomiting

Snorting morphine dangers

If you decided to snort morphine you need be aware of the risk level. Snorting any drug affects specific areas of the brain, which can develop addiction. Often, users in the urge for an instant way to get high overslook some important facts about snorting, such as the dosage. The regular dose, prescribed for oral use or injection, in this case is missing the natural “filters” of the human body and goes straight to the bloodstream. That may result in possible overdoes and eventual death.

Snorting morphine safely

Is it possible to snort morphine safely? No, it is not possible to snort morphine safely. Of course, the standard procedures for responsible behavior, such as the hygiene level do matter, yet again the risk is always there.

There are no recommended daily limits for snorting morphine because the dosage is patient-dependent. The drug history and the medical condition, are among the many factors which affect the dose range. Some users, after snorting 30mg of morphine sulfate experience the “rush”, while others are only “sociable” after the same dose.

Snorting morphine questions

Do you still have questions about snorting morphine? If so, please let us know. We respond to all morphine questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: NHTSA: Morphine
Daily Med: Morphine sulfate
FDA: Morphine prescribing information
Erowid: Morphine experiences

Photo credit: David Foltz

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8 Responses to “Snorting morphine
8:14 am September 5th, 2014

I’ve just barely started abusing morphine intranasal I usually do abut 7.5 MG twice a day. First, does it build up as I do it and cause more MG to be in my system? Second, I have a heavy history of kidney stones, I went septic the last time, will morphine causemail something like this to happen again? And last, I usually feel a heightened heartbeat (I went tachycardic when I went septic) is that a typical side effect also? I know these are dumb questions but the answers could be what makes me stop.
Thank you.

11:40 pm January 13th, 2015

I have never snorted a pill of any kind but , I recently found out that my brother has been snorting.morphine lortab and Percocet can anyone tell me what mixing these drugs could do to him? Or anything I can do to help him please . Thank you

8:22 pm January 15th, 2015

I have never snorted a pill of any kind but , I recently found out that my brother has been snorting.morphine lortab and Percocet can anyone tell me what mixing these drugs could do to him? Or anything I can do to help him please . Thank you

12:49 pm January 16th, 2015

Hi Kristy. Well, its definitely risky and dangerous, doing what he does. You can support him if he wants to make an honest effort to quit. This is a tough situation to be in, so you may also seek professional help in counseling to get on top of handling the situation. But, this will only work if he, himself decides to stop snorting.

10:10 pm March 22nd, 2015

@ Kristy I’ve been snorting and abusing drugs for 30+years. I’m a functioning addict although I’m in a detox mode as I write. I’ve snorted every sort of opiate for 15 yrs and please tell your brother not to do it with lortab or perc. They contain Tylenol and are not good for this purpose. Of course I hope you could convince him to stop altogether but that’s up to him. He must have the resolve to do it. It is sheer hell to detox after abuse for so long so all I can say is the sooner he stops the easier it’s going to be for him to quit. And believe me he will one day have to quit.

7:39 pm May 1st, 2015

I been using Morphine for 3 months already. But my Doctor started me with 15 mg twice a day but in a month I went from twice a day to 3 times a day . But in the 3rd month he higher my dose to 30 mg 3 times a day . But before that I was using oxy’s 10-325 one or two pills every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain . But my pain was getting really bad to the point I couldn’t walk cause of my back pain it was too much . But with the morphine sulfate 30 mg is working better.

4:49 pm June 5th, 2015

Question.. How much of the morphine actually gets absorbed when snorted vs taken orally? Like if you take a normal dose of 15mg IR orally, would it be the same to snort it. Other than quicker affect?

3:59 pm June 9th, 2015

Hi Mel. When snorted, morphine will start to take an effect on the brain in three to five minutes. After snorting, the morphine particles are in the mucus membranes of the nose, where they are absorbed by the blood vessels. With oral ingestion, levels peak after about 30 minutes.

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