Can substance abuse like morphine addiction cause early...

4 answers | Last updated: Nov 10, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Can substance abuse like morphine addiction cause early memory loss?


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Studies have shown that substance abusers do have issues with short term memory, fact recall, and mental agility.  Abuse of pain pills over a long period of time can lead to memory loss.  If you are addicted to pain pills, you should let your health care provider know so that can help you get treatment.


Community Answers

Msgtrick answered...

This is true because I have been on pain killers for nearly 30 years and I have severe memory loss.


Floydetha answered...

You might also want to look into research done on different statins and memory loss. Talk to your health provider regarding this. It has had a huge impact on my own memory and the ability to understand things. With the help of my health provider I stopped taking Lovastatin and most of my memory has returned plus the ability to understand things. I also take pain medications and have for years.


Walter m. clark answered...

I've been on hydrocodone (first Vicodin, then Norco) for about sixteen years for a herniated disk. Finally got in to a pain specialist who knew what he was doing (and was able to really read the MRI). I had minimally invasive surgery Dec. 27 and am now going through physical therapy. Last time I saw the pain specialist (last week) he told me extended use of opioids can really decrease your testosterone levels. The blood test showed I was only one point above the bottom of the "normal" range and he gave me a prescription for testosterone (injected once a month) for three months. Some looking on-line showed a whole bunch of symptoms from low testosterone, including depression (I have it) and memory loss (I forgot, do I have it(?)). My depression started a year or two after the back pain and we'd always blamed the depression on the pain (I'm sure it's a part of it). My memory problem started a few years later. Get tested (and even women have to have a lower amount of testosterone) and see it this is at least part of the problem.