Morphine Addiction, Withdrawal & Treatment Options
Morphine is the quintessential opioid painkiller and has long been used to treat relatively severe pain, both in hospitals and non-clinical settings. Though several more potent prescription opioids exist today, morphine can still be addictive and potentially dangerous—especially when misused.1
As with many other opioid agonist drugs, morphine overdose can result in respiratory depression, leading to coma and death.1,2 Read on to learn more about the risks of morphine use and how to get help if you or a loved one has developed an addiction to opioids.
Morphine Side Effects
Use or misuse of prescription painkillers like morphine can lead to adverse health effects. The most common side effects of morphine are:1
Signs of Morphine Addiction
A morphine addiction may be diagnosed as an opioid use disorder (OUD) by a physician or other healthcare professional. Some of the signs, symptoms, and behavioral changes associated with OUD include:3
- The drug is used in higher doses or over longer periods of time than intended.
- A persistent desire but inability to slow or stop morphine use.
- Strong morphine cravings.
- Failure to complete school or work obligations because of morphine use.
- Sudden disinterest in previously enjoyed activities.
- Morphine use continues despite the social or interpersonal problems related to its use.
- Tolerance develops to the effects of the drug.
- Withdrawal symptoms when morphine use slows or stops.
Though a substance use disorder diagnosis is best left to healthcare professionals, it’s important to take these signs seriously.
Opioid addictions can be progressive and often carry an ever-present risk of overdose. Overdose risks may rise as people commonly seek to achieve the high they experienced when first using the drug by taking more and more of it.
Signs and symptoms of overdose may include:1–3
- Tiny, non-reactive pupils.
- Slowed pulse.
- Slow, labored, or otherwise irregular breathing.
- Bluish tinge to lips and fingernails.
- Profound sleepiness.
- Loss of consciousness.
Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms
Morphine withdrawal symptoms may occur if a person has been using morphine regularly and then suddenly stops or reduces their use.1,2
Common symptoms of morphine withdrawal may include:1,3,4
- Watery eyes.
- Runny nose.
- Excessive sweating.
- Muscle aches and pains.
- Dilated pupils.
Additional morphine withdrawal symptoms may also develop, such as:1
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Elevated vital signs (e.g., increased blood pressure, and rapid breathing and heart rate.)
Acute opioid withdrawal can be intensely unpleasant and a challenging hurdle to recovery efforts.
The withdrawal syndrome associated with relatively short-acting opioids such as morphine usually begins as soon as 6 to 12 hours after the last dose and subsides within 5–7 days, though some symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia may last longer.3,4
Medical Detox for Morphine Withdrawal
Opioid withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, which is why many treatment plans begin with medical detox and withdrawal management. Aside from the difficult and sometimes-painful symptoms, it’s common for the addicted individual to experience intense cravings for the drug.4
These factors can make quitting on one’s own particularly challenging. A supervised, medically managed detox can be a huge benefit at the start of treatment, as it helps keep people as safe and comfortable as possible during this challenging early period.4
In some cases, doctors may prescribe certain medications for drug detox and addiction treatment, which can help manage cravings and other symptoms.5
Morphine Treatment Options After Detox
After detox, patients can continue into a more comprehensive rehab program, whether it be an inpatient or outpatient setting. Most addiction treatment programs involve:4,5
- Individual and group counseling.
- Support meetings.
- Relapse prevention education.
As maintenance therapy, medications such as the buprenorphine initiated during detox, or the combination drug Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) may be continued long after the withdrawal management period.4,5
The Importance of Individualized Care
Addiction treatment works best when it is tailored to the individual. What works for one person may not work for someone else.
Some people, such as those with co-occurring mental health disorders, unstable living environments, or a higher risk of relapse, may be advised by their doctor or other addiction treatment professional to attend an inpatient or residential addiction treatment center.
Other patients may do well in relatively less intensive levels of care, such as partial hospitalization or other forms of outpatient care.6,7
We also take aftercare seriously and start creating an aftercare plan on day 1. A patient’s plan may include such steps as living in a sober-living facility, attending alumni groups, continued 12-step meeting attendance, or other support group participation.
We are committed to the lifelong recovery of our patients and do everything we can to support you even after you leave our facility.
Morphine Addiction Treatment Near Dallas, TX
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and unsure what to do, call us at . We’re ready to help you start treatment today.
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