In palliative medicine, such opioids as morphine, hydromorphone, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl are used for pain relief. According to Deer et al. (2019), they do not have a ceiling dose and do not reduce or reverse the effects of other full agonists given concurrently. Among the above drugs, morphine is a classic opiate called the gold standard. The effect of morphine is the most studied and accepted as the standard since, historically, morphine was the first opioid analgesic.
However, despite the proven efficacy of this drug, both patients and some healthcare professionals are widespread bias, including those regarding side effects and dependence on morphine. This fact is confirmed by the practice problem described by my colleague. One of the widespread myths is that pain relievers, including morphine, lead to addiction. The truth is that powerful painkillers do not lead to mental dependence and drug intoxication, as they are used only to block pain receptors and relieve pain. Deer et al. (2019) affirm that patient experiencing severe pain does not become dependent on pain relievers used for a long time. Dependence manifests itself when taking narcotic drugs without pain and a doctor’s prescription.
In this regard, the application of advanced scientific data in practice and the training of medical personnel is of particular importance, as my colleague says. The high need of modern healthcare for qualified specialists and a significant level of responsibility of medical workers to patients dictate the need for continuous improvement of professional knowledge and skills. Ho et al. (2020) note that targeted educational programs that address morphine misperceptions can increase patient and caregiver uptake of opioid analgesics and improve pain control. Since scientific knowledge in the medical field is constantly growing, new diagnostic technologies and treatment methods appear, and medical workers need periodic training and professional development.
Deer, T. R., Pope, J. E., Hanes, M. C., & McDowell, G. C. (2019). Intrathecal therapy for chronic pain: A review of morphine and ziconotide as first-line options. Pain Medicine, 20(4), 784–798. Web.
Ho, J. F. V., Yaakup, H., Low, G. S. H., Wong, S. L., Tho, L. M., & Tan, S. B. (2020). Morphine use for cancer pain: A strong analgesic used only at the end of life? A qualitative study on attitudes and perceptions of morphine in patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers. Palliative Medicine, 34(5), 619–629. Web.