Since the beginning of time humans have sought relief from pain in any way possible. Being flesh and blood creatures, it’s something we must all deal with one way or another, but one of the hallmarks of being intelligent beings is that we seek to illuminate life’s inconveniences. As the world has evolved, humans have developed more and more sophisticated ways of dealing with pain, from alcohol to morphine to today’s more elegantly created medical pain-killing products.
Severe pain obviously can be impossible to live with; in extremes it can be a soul-killing experience. The irony, of course, is that the use of medicinal pain killers always comes with a price. Overuse of alcohol can lead to alcoholism and a host of physical and psychological health problems. The more effective opiate painkillers (Morphine, Oxycontin, Vicodan, etc.) are great at taking away the horror of throbbing, chronic pain, but the threat they hold for addiction is a serious issue that must be examined.
Since its first discovery in 1804, morphine, an opiate analgesic medication, has proven one of the most effective treatments in easing intense pain. Morphine brings with it feelings of euphoria that are highly addictive, however. Addiction to this drug can come quickly and become a life-threatening issue for the user. Withdrawal from morphine is a harrowing and highly dangerous experience.
Playwright Eugene O’Neill wrote heartbreakingly about his mother’s morphine addiction in his powerful 1956 drama, Long Day’s Journey Into The Night. In the play, O’Neill’s mother is represented by the character Mary Tyrone, an Irish beauty whose life has been destroyed by her addiction. The other characters in the play, her sons and husband, are also dealing with addiction to alcohol. It’s a compelling look at the reality of addiction and a comment on how painkillers can create a pain worse than the one they are treating.Tags: morphine, narcotics, pain killer, Surgery