Learn more about Roxanol misuse and opioid use disorders
Today, Roxanol, a trade name (now discontinued in the U.S.) and street name for morphine sulfate is considered to be a critical pain management medication in healthcare facilities all over the world. In the past few decades, Roxanol and other opioids have come under public scrutiny due to the ballooning opioid crisis. In recent years, opioid rehab centers in Dallas have experienced a sharp rise in visits, including for Roxanol misuse.
Unlike many other misused opioids, Roxanol is intended to be taken orally, rather than injected, smoked, or snorted. When administered by doctors and nurses under controlled conditions, Roxanol is highly safe and extremely effective at controlling pain and relieving shortness of breath in patients. For these reasons, Roxanol is a standard medication for end-of-life care.
As with most opioids, Roxanol prescriptions could only be given by a qualified physician. Unfortunately, although this is a controlled substance, the misuse of Roxanol is not uncommon. Due to it being fast-acting, convenient, and effective at pain relief, patients and those around them can be easily exposed to the dangers that come with the use of opioid medications, including opioid use disorders and the risk of overdose.
People who misuse Roxanol often steal it from a family member with a legitimate prescription, or obtain it from black market sources. While it isn’t meant to be snorted or injected, individuals with severe opioid use disorders may do so to bring a faster onset or more intense high.
As with other opioids, Roxanol has several potential side effects. Reported side effects can go from very mild to severe, depending on the dosage and length of use. Attending physicians can recommend treatments for alleviating some of the more serious effects.
The most common side effects of morphine sulfate are:
- Sleepiness (somnolence)
- Slowed breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Increased sweating
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
Serious allergic reactions to Roxanol drug are rare compared to other commonly used opioids. However, immediate medical attention is recommended in case of rashes, itching, and swelling. If the patient has difficulty breathing, emergency care is needed.
Roxanol and opioid use disorders
While Roxanol can trigger an opioid use disorder (a term that covers both opioid abuse and opioid addiction), this is comparatively rare when administered by qualified clinicians. Oral morphine sulfate is even sometimes used in Dallas opioid rehab centers as part of withdrawal management to safely wean individuals hooked on other more dangerous opioids such as heroin or fentanyl.
A serious risk is only present with misuse. Unfortunately, because Roxanol is widely prescribed for pain management, unauthorized access and misuse are inevitable. Rehab center and emergency room records point to opioid use disorders cases rising in North Texas. Many people misusing Roxanol may also only be using it due to a lack of immediate access to heroin and other powerful illicit opioids.
However, one shouldn’t confuse a dependence on Roxanol for pain relief with an opioid use disorder. Dependence on morphine for pain control does not necessarily mean someone necessarily has a serious problem with opioids. Dependence is a natural, physical phenomenon that happens to everyone on long-term opioid therapy.
In any case, a person regularly misusing Roxanol and other opioids may experience the following:
- Heavy sweating
- Mood swings
- Coordination problems
- Excessive euphoria
Treatment for Roxanol misuse and opioid use disorders
The first step is to get in touch with a qualified psychiatrist as soon as possible. Only a doctor can diagnose a substance use disorder. Withdrawal from opioids can be extremely uncomfortable and even fatal when done without proper medical supervision as well.
If you or a loved one are not sure where to get help or have had a previous diagnosis for a substance use disorder, it’s important to get in touch with a drug rehab center that specializes in opioid addiction treatments.
If you live in Dallas, help for problems with Roxanol is just a phone call away. Dallas Drug Treatment Centers has the expertise and the experience to help you find Roxanol and opioid use disorder treatment facilities that meet your needs. We can also connect you with opioid use support groups that can help improve chances of a permanent recovery. Call us today at (214) 935-2287 to learn more about your options for recovery.