MS Contin is a painkiller containing morphine, and can be given in the form of a time released tablet or an intramuscular injection. It is typically prescribed for individuals who require around-the-clock pain control, such as cancer patients or those who have acquired serious physical injuries or broken bones. It is different from the standard dosing of morphine, the latter of which is generally administered for pain every 4 to 6 hours. Unfortunately, according to MS Contin addiction statistics, abuse of this drug is on the rise.
Because MS Contin contains morphine, it affects a person's physiology in a similar way. Morphine is derived from the opium plant and binds to the neuroreceptors in the individual's brain, which brings on an intense euphoria. While this feeling distracts one's mind and body from his or her pain, it also results in a high potential for abuse, as many individuals become addicted to this euphoric sensation. For this reason, the United States Food and Drug Administration has classified the medication as a schedule II controlled substance. Unfortunately, however, this does not stop individuals from abusing the medication either through obtaining a prescription that is not truly necessary, or illegally purchasing the drug on the street.
Prescription medication abuse is considered by many medical professionals as the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. Following marijuana, prescription medicine such as Percocet and MS Contin are the most abused drugs among Americans between 14 and 34 years of age. The National Institute on Drug Abuse-NIDA-reports that in 2010 approximately seven million individuals in the United States were using such medications for recreational purposes. This means that they took the drug for the euphoria it produces, rather than for the condition for which it was prescribed.
In addition to dependency and addiction, those abusing MS Contin face other complications depending on how they choose to use the medication. For example, those who have been prescribed pills often attempt to crush the tablets and snort them in order to experience uncontrolled delivery of the morphine. Others crush the pills and heat them for the purpose of dissolving the product and injecting it into their veins. However, either of these activities pose serious health risks up to and including overdose and death. This is because the medicine is time released, and therefore not designed to be received by one's system all at once. This can cause the same effect as would an overdose. Additionally, those who attempt to inject the medication do not realize that certain filler components will also be injected into their veins, which can result in a stroke, heart attack or coma.
Not all individuals who are prescribed MS Contin will become addicted to the medicine. Unfortunately, however, it is impossible for even a doctor to determine in advance who will or will not be susceptible to addiction or dependency. Most physicians attempt to assess each patient's risk for narcotic abuse or dependency before prescribing drugs containing morphine. The risk for substance abuse is higher in patients who have a personal or family history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression or mental illness. Signs that an individual may be developing a dependency include seeking their scheduled dose early, using more of the medication than prescribed and subsequently running out before their next refill is due, or trying to persuade their physician to increase the dose. Such individuals are developing an addiction and should seek professional help as soon as possible.
Long-term abuse of prescription painkillers such as MS Contin leads to multiple health problems. Those who are addicted to such substances almost always need professional help to conquer their dependency. According to MS Contin addiction statistics, the number of individuals seeking treatment for narcotic addiction is on the rise. The National Institutes of Health report that the United States admission rate for narcotic painkiller addiction treatment has increased by 29 percent from 2001 to 2010.
Regardless of when or how one became addicted to MS Contin, he or she must understand that treatment is imperative. Treatment centers provide comprehensive programs designed to help addicted individuals conquer their problem. It is important to understand, however, that according to MS Contin addiction statistics, those who abuse the drug have a high relapse rate, and therefore it is essential for patients to be very active in their own recovery. Anyone struggling with dependency or addiction should seek professional help immediately.