Mental Health News: University of Exeter scientists found that people who experienced childhood trauma get a more pleasurable “high” from morphine.
Researchers compared the effects of morphine on 52 healthy participants (aged 18-65) out of which 27 had a history of childhood abuse and neglect, and 25 reported no childhood trauma. Those with childhood trauma liked morphine (an opioid drug) more, felt more euphoric and had a stronger desire for another dose. Participants who were not traumatized as children disliked the effects and were more likely to feel dizzy or nauseous.
“There are high rates of childhood trauma in people with addictions. Our findings show that these sorts of experiences can actually change how certain drugs feel,” said lead author Dr Molly Carlyle. The results indicate that childhood trauma can make people sensitive to positive and pleasurable effects of opioids.
According to researchers, it could be because childhood trauma dampens the endogenous opioid system or the pain-relieving system that is sensitive to natural opioids like endorphins, making people more sensitive to the rewarding effects of morphine and other opioid drugs.
The study findings linking childhood trauma and opioid use disorder have important implications for treatments and the prescribing of opioids medically. The results call for treating heroin addicts with the same compassion as people with childhood trauma.
To Know More You May Refer To
Carlyle, M., Broomby, R., Simpson, G., Hannon, R., Fawaz, L., Mollaahmetoglu, O. M., Drain, J., Mostazir, M., & Morgan, C. J. (2021). A randomised, double‐blind study investigating the relationship between early childhood trauma and the rewarding effects of morphine. Addiction Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/adb.13047