Sunday October 4th 2015

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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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32 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.

1:46 pm July 13th, 2015

My question is the dosage. I’m prescribed 30 mg daily. For some reason I don’t feel the effects that I believe that I should. I was recently told that morphine can be snorted. I have overdosed before with the oral pills for this reason, not feeling any effect. I don’t want to put it in a needle & do it by injection. I was also told that weight is a issue with the dosage. Larger patient, larger dose is that true?

12:26 pm July 14th, 2015

I have depression an i snort oxys an opanah but ive never snorted morphine before an i want to know the effects it a 15 mg morphine ir whay will it do??

5:44 pm July 14th, 2015

Hi Shilo. Your prescribing doctor should have taken your weight into consideration when deciding on a dose. Did it work in the beginning? If it used to provide the wanted effects and does not any more, it is possible that you are growing tolerance to the medication. Discuss this with your doctor as you may need a dose adjustment.

11:00 pm July 16th, 2015

What happens then if I have grown a tolerance to it now. I’ve been off & on morphine for about 2 years, nothing is helping my pain at all. I’m at my wits end.

4:55 am July 22nd, 2015

I snorted morphine 2 days ago and iam so sick my stomach is so nauseous I feel like I wanna puke when I eat its the first time doing it I want this stomach ache/puking feeling to go away how long do this last for I feel like I’m dying :(

11:50 am July 22nd, 2015

Hi Vanessa. Snorting morphine can result in multiple side effects, including vomitting. If these symptoms are severe and don’t go away, please ask for professional help. You are now at a risk of getting dehydrated since you cannot hold any fluids down.

2:49 am August 3rd, 2015

My sons girlfriend has been snorting morphine and something else. She gets to the point where she cannot breath and ends up in the hospital.the last time she was shooting into her viens and ended up septic. It always affects her she Taking too much. I have custody of her children right now and she has swore to me she hasn’t done anything.Why does it affect her breathing.?

11:09 am August 4th, 2015

Hi Debbie. Breathing slows down because of the central nervous system depressant effects of morphine. It is NOT a good sign and could signal possible overdose. Can you reach out to a social services agent, case manager, or parole officer to talk about your concerns?

3:30 pm August 4th, 2015

Now they are saying she has a mild case of COPD. Could the morphine trigger this. She is only 27 years old. I have seen her go through this 2 dozen times in the last 2 years. The hospital has been told she was snorting morphine Before that she was injecting into her veins. I have worked with DCF on this matter but they say they can not do nothing about it unless they see her do it. I will not have my grandchildren brought up in this situation.

4:15 pm August 5th, 2015

Hello Debbie. Maybe a drug test can determine what she is taking and to what extent. That’s the most certain source of valid information since she won’t tell anyone. Is your son willing to support her through addiction treatment? She needs therapy to be able to kick the habit and raise the children.

1:03 pm August 7th, 2015

Hello, I’m having a terrible time withdrawing from tramadol. I stopped taking them the first time June 8th cold turkey. I had severe sleep disruption for 7 weeks. I’d sleep 4 hours then be up 2 days straight. The anxiety was awful but lessened. The sleep never returned though. So, I started them again…just to sleep. I admit, I was abusing them before. Almost 900 mg a day or more for the past yr. I’d come off them before without a problem(about 2 yrs off and on) I started back at 2-2-2 and started sleeping immediately. Started to taper but I think I did it too abruptly. (1-1-1) Sleep started to suffer right away. Have I damaged something permanently? Do you have any suggestions on a taper schedule? My dr has no idea about this. And said he’s never heard of it lasting so long. I’m so scared. I need help here. Thank you.

1:24 pm August 7th, 2015

Hello Dwyatt. Long term use of tramadol in large doses changes the way your brain works and releases the natural chemicals that put your brain to sleep. Now, it has gotten used to be receiving chemicals from tramadol and is no longer producing them on its own. But, this is not permanent and is reversible only if you persist through and not use again. Your brain needs to learn that it is no longer stimulated by an outside sources and then you will be able to sleep normally on your own. The recommended tapering is 10%-20% off your current dose every week or every other week for a slower taper.

2:58 pm August 9th, 2015

Thank you so much! I am dedicated to getting these out of my life. I will do this taper correctly. I was just worried about not sleeping for two months. It seemed a bit excessive. Since I’d come off of these before with minimal withdrawal symptoms, it scared me. Of course, I was taking a much higher amount this last time. Also, I wish my family doctor knew something, anything about this. This site could be a life saver to those that can’t get answers from their doctor. I am taking all the information I’ve come across and meeting with the doctors at the office to discuss their request! So, thank you again.

8:56 pm August 24th, 2015

I am on day 4 of withdrawal from morphine and it hasn’t been to bad other than the runny nose and constant yawning. But here’s a little advice don’t take diphenhydramine (benedryl) to help you sleep at night it causes a severe case of RLS and makes it about 10 times worse, at least it did to me anyway if it works for you then great but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Not Mr. Robot
2:40 pm August 25th, 2015

I recently saw a TV show called, “Mr. Robot” where the main character snorts Morphine. I take Morphine often, but still feel pain. I thought maybe shorting would offer me something additional. After reading this page, I think I’ll pass. Thanks for the advice!

4:56 am September 1st, 2015

Lynne, the RLS is from narcotic withdrawal, NOT the Benedryl. I have found taking a hot bath & put a topical pain relieving cream (I like the ones for arthritis, not the ones that start hot & turn cold, like Icy Hot) and then wrapping hot towels around your legs to be effective for relieving RLS, while going through withdrawal. I don’t know what dosage you were on or how long you were taking them, but it can take a few days to a few weeks to go through complete withdrawal, depending on several factors. Day 4 was just the beginning for me. It took me about 3 weeks to feel “normal” again. I was on 3 8mg Hydromorphons (Dilaudids) a day. While going through the WD process, my Dr prescribed me Xanax, Etodolac & Hydroxyzine (anti-anxiety meds) which helped me sleep mostly throughout the entire process. I hope you are doing well, Best wishes

12:08 pm September 1st, 2015

@christine thats also what I thought that the rls was from the withdrawal but i talked to a few other people who said they experienced the same thing when they took benadryl to sleep and then I did some research and found that benadryl can actually cause rls in people who have never used opiates and if you already have rls benadryl can actually make it 10 times worse. Google “benadryl for rls” and you will see what I’m talking about.

I hope you are doing we’ll in your recovery

12:47 am September 2nd, 2015

I’m taking now 60mg tablets of morphine just to relive the pain. I crushed one up just to see if it helps more. I began vomiting about an hour after it. Is that considered an overdose at the time?

11:38 am September 3rd, 2015

I recently found this site and it’s great,the only thing is how and where do I ask questions and make comments?
Please help Thank you

1:02 pm September 4th, 2015

Hi Steve. You just did! What else can we help with?

Joe Schein
8:57 am September 17th, 2015

Help…my friend has been snorting morphine for about 40 days bow and has gone to two pills a day of e655 60 mg.he is very scared and wants to stop but really addicted. I read this article to him and identified with it strongly and wants to stop … he has a construction job is 57 years old with a history of addiction. Literally tonight scared to sleep now and wants to know how to get off them. one seems to know. but he ia really frightened human being and going nuts …will not sleep but 2 or 3 hours a night at best and tonight is struggling with shortage of breath, irritation of nasal cavity, severe mood changes and overall a nervous wreck. will suboxone help? Can he wane down to 1 then 1/2 etc? Please help he is truly scared and detiorating daily.

5:29 pm September 17th, 2015

Hello Joe. Seek the help of a doctor or medical detox. You’ll need expert advice in order to reduce risk and increase his chances for success.

10:04 am September 25th, 2015

Have been taking suboxone for four years but recently went off and, after six days of physical pain from withdrawal, took some percs. Usually need 30mgs to feel relief. Was given 30mg er Morphine a few minutes ago and wondering if it is safe to break it in half. I’m not trying to get super buzzed….just want to minimize withdrawal effects with least amount of morphine as possible. Will breaking in half be dangerous as its a time release tablet?

4:56 pm September 26th, 2015

I’m on 4 10mg Opana & 40mg er Opana… I know not 2 crush the er pills, but how abt the 10mg bars? How much would 1 have 2 crush, bcse my nephew crushes abt 4 at a time, and snorts away. I’m scared 4 him & he gets his off the street, mine are professionally prescribed! HELP!!!

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