Risks of Morphine Abuse: Withdrawal and Detox

Studies indicate that two million people in the United States are currently addicted to opioids such as morphine. Many people want to confront their addiction, but it can be difficult to understand the recovery process. You may be wondering what detox looks like and can you get through withdrawals without relapsing. If these questions or others are holding you back from starting detox here is some information about morphine detox to start you on your path to recovery.

Addiction to Morphine

Morphine is an opioid used to treat severe pain. It works by blocking feelings of pain and increasing feelings of euphoria and overall wellbeing. Morphine can be prescribed in various forms, including a pill or syrup. Some individuals who use the drug recreationally will smoke or inject it. Morphine is highly potent and effective at treating pain and inducing euphoria and as such, it has an increased risk for abuse and addiction. Many people who take morphine on a regular basis begin to build up a tolerance for the drug, causing them to need to take larger doses in order to achieve the same effect.

Some common symptoms of morphine addiction include:

  • Life become focused on obtaining morphine
  • Going to various doctors to obtain multiple morphine prescriptions
  • Intense cravings for morphine
  • Needing to increase morphine dosage to achieve high
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Engaging in risky behavior to obtain morphine (including stealing from loved ones or operating heavy machinery while intoxicated)

What is Morphine Withdrawal

When you take morphine it creates a chemical reaction which prompts the brain to produce more endorphins. These endorphins are what help block feelings of pain and increase the feeling of wellbeing and euphoria. Over time, your brain stops making these endorphins naturally and instead begins to rely solely on morphine for the endorphin prompt and production. When you stop taking morphine and the drug begins to leave your bloodstream, the amount of endorphins also begins to decrease, resulting in both mental and physical pain as the brain reboots and begins producing endorphins without the aid of morphine. These are called withdrawal symptoms and they can leave you feeling physically and emotionally sick.

Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms

For most people, physical symptoms tend to peak within five to seven days of taking the last dose and then slowly begin to dissipate, while psychological symptoms tend to linger for up to one month. Everyone experiences withdrawal differently. However, some common morphine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Digestive issues including stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Morphine cravings
  • Inability to focus
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood Swings

Morphine Detox

For those wanting to recover from an addiction to morphine, the first step is to detox. Detox occurs through a process of the body slowly eliminating the drug from the body, thus decreasing the physical and psychological dependence on the drug. Many people attempt to quit morphine abruptly, or “cold turkey”. While not life threatening most medical professionals and addictions specialists discourage such methods, as the withdrawal symptoms can be severe enough to increase the risk for relapse.

Medical detox is considered the most effective method for morphine detox. This method utilizes medication such as buprenorphine, to help minimize the withdrawal symptoms while you detox, increasing the likelihood that you will finish detox and begin your comprehensive treatment plan and recovery. During medical detox, you will be under the care of a medical professional who will monitor your detox process, making sure that you are comfortable throughout. Additionally, you may be provided addition medications, such as those to help you sleep or curb anxiety. Medical detox also provides the support of a counselor who is compassionate and knowledgable about the detox process and can help you through the most critical parts of the process.

You can participate in detox through inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient is typically suggested for those individuals with more severe or co-occurring addictions and provides 24/7 residential services during the detox and treatment process. Outpatient is available for those who would prefer to participate in detox and treatment with minimal disruption to their every day lives. Knowing which method is right for you is important and talking with a qualified addiction specialist can help you to make the right decision for your detox needs.

It is not easy to make the decision to detox from morphine. It can be scary and overwhelming. With the right information and support, you can take the steps toward recovery. Are you or a loved one ready to detox from morphine? If so, please send us a message or give one of our compassionate and knowledgable counselors a call at (844) 834-1777. We are available 24/7 to take your call.

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