Oramorph contains morphine, which is a substance obtained by processing sap which has been extracted from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) plant. When the sap undergoes processing, raw opium is the end result. Morphine is then obtained from the raw opium by putting that substance through a specific refining process.
The morphine is then added to other ingredients in varying concentrations ranging from 4% to 21% (in the United States the concentration standard is set at 10%) to manufacture drugs such as Oramorph.
Oramorph is a narcotic pain medication. It is prescribed when a person will require pain relief for more than just a few days. One might say that Oramorph falls between the time frame of short-term and long-term (or continuous) pain control or maintenance. The latter is often necessary when a person is suffering from the end stages of cancer, and medication must be administered on a “round-the-clock” basis in order to provide the patient with sufficient relief. Oramorph is not intended for this type use.
Oramorph contains morphine, a drug which is addictive, and therefore is known to have a fairly high incidence of abuse. According to a survey used by addiction recovery specialists, the abuse of morphine containing drugs, which include Oramorph, had increased in at least 14 major cities in 2008. These cities included, but were not limited to:
In addition, addiction recovery specialists also report that, when surveyed, people between the ages of 18 to 21 would often be the ones most likely to admit to drug use (in this case, “drug use” refers to taking illicit (“street”) drugs or taking drugs in a manner other than that for which they were intended). 46% of them said they actually did take drugs at one time or another.
According to the same survey from which addiction recovery specialists obtained the figures already cited, it would appear that drug use, at least that which is admitted to, is more common among men than women. 24% of men stated they had taken at least one kind of drug, as opposed to 16% of women. In the age group of 18-25, the statistics were 51% men and 38% women admitting to having taken drugs.
Oramorph comes in a sustained-release dosage form. This means that the drug will provide relief for a longer period of time. However, because of this, it is important that the tablet be swallowed whole. It should not be cut, chewed, crushed, or dissolved. If any of these are done to the tablet, the morphine can be released in a higher dosage, and be released into the body faster, than it should be.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what abusers of Oramorph and other drugs containing morphine want to happen. Therefore, they will change the composition of the tablet, by any of the aforementioned methods, in order to accelerate the release of morphine.
Morphine affects the central nervous system of the body. This system controls breathing, heart function, and brain activity. Oramorph causes all these functions to experience a “slowing down” process, even when taken exactly as it should be in the correct dosages.
As mentioned earlier, morphine abuse is very prevalent. Addiction recovery specialists are aware of this, and can offer help in the form of drug rehab that is specifically designed to address morphine addiction.
Undergoing drug rehab treatment that concentrates primarily on morphine abuse and addiction can sometimes be more successful than “scatter effect” treatment; that is, treatment given at a facility that treats all types of addiction and abuse. The reasons for the possibility of increased success include the fact that the patient has something in common with other patients, and individual and group counseling focus primarily on morphine addiction and abuse.