A violent paroxysm of asthma may be arrested by the administration of morphine subcutaneously, but the practice should not be continued, as there is great danger in a chronic disease that the patient may become the victim of morphinism.
Morphinism (Morphinomania).-Chronic morphine poisoning is very common, as morphine taken constantly creates a habit.
The early stages of morphinism are marked by moral degeneration; the patient seems to lose all sense of right and wrong, and will lie most plausibly and even thieve to obtain the drug; personal disorderliness, disregard of time, neglect of business and decline of family affection become soon evident.
While not directly causing death, morphinism so lowers the bodily powers that the patient is easily carried off by some intercurrent malady.
For the successf ul treatment of morphinism, complete isolation of the patient is necessary in a place where he is supervised so that he can obtain no morphine.