MS Contin is a strong narcotic pain relief medication; it is a morphine formulation made in time-released tablets. These are usually given for chronic pain, especially in cancer patients, and are taken once every 12 hours. Ideally, the medication is meant for individuals who suffer from chronic pain requiring constant medication. It is different from the usual morphine dosing that is given every four to six hours since it comes in a tablet.
Being an opiate, morphine acts on the central nervous system and is especially addictive in comparison to other substances since it can quickly cause both psychological and physical dependence. It binds the brain's opiate receptors, which in turn produces a feeling of relaxation or euphoria. The mind and body are distracted from the pain that would otherwise be felt, whether real or imaginary. While this invention is very helpful when used appropriately, it could be very dangerous because of its side effects.
MS Contin also presents the risk of dependence or addiction as a result of prolonged use. The fact that it is in a time-release form makes it possible to easily overdose. Its abuse could also cause serious medical problems including liver or renal failure. In addition, the physiological and psychological dependence make it very difficult to stop using the drug. In fact, discontinuing MS Contin abuse can be very dangerous.
Ascertaining that someone has become a MS Contin addict is often difficult, especially since the drug is only accessed on prescription. However, there are certain distinct signs of MS Contin addiction or dependence that are observable:
The first and probably the most obvious is the person taking more than the recommended dosage. Usually, the medication should be taken every 12 hours; shifting from this schedule could be an indication that the person's body has become tolerant of the medication.
It is also important to look out for withdrawal symptoms that occur whenever the individual skips a dose or attempts to discontinue using the medication. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, runny nose, body aches, tremors, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or severe abdominal pain. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the individual and a person might experience one or several of them.
Insomnia is also a common problem that might be considered one of the signs of MS Contin addiction. The person's eyes may become watery or bloodshot or the person might be sleepy all through the day. The person's vigilance and concentration is compromised, which is especially evident in students because their performance will progressively decline. In fact, addicted users can fall asleep while speaking or even while standing.
Changes in an individual's rate of performance could also be considered one of the signs of MS Contin addiction. For instance, the person may be hyperactive immediately after taking the medication and then slowly become irritable or depressed as its effect wears out. Some develop slurred speech while others talk rapidly. In addition, because of the euphoric effect, some people develop a stagger in their walk, although those who are tolerant may not display this.
The person's health might also go through drastic changes, such as losing an excessive amount of weight because the person neglects to eat as he or she focuses more on taking the substance. The drug is known to suppress hunger, so a person could easily skip meals, preferring to spend his or her money to buy more of the drug. The personal hygiene of the individual may also be seriously affected by drug use. For instance, he or she may look dirty and neglected due to failure to pay attention to his or her own appearance. Swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat for no good reason should also be considered warning signs of MS Contin addiction. An unfamiliar smell could also emanate from the user's breath or clothing.
It is important to carry out further investigation by seeking medical assistance as soon as the signs of MS Contin addiction have been observed to verify whether someone is addicted. People whose pain is not adequately controlled may display signs that mimic MS Contin abuse. However, this may also be used as an excuse that could lead to addiction. Treatment for this addiction is feasible, particularly when caught early, which is why your healthcare provider should be consulted as soon as possible when dealing with possible abuse or addiction.