Morphine is a drug that has helped a high number of patients with a medium to severe pain cope with their illness. However, since it is an opiate, it also has a high potential for addiction.
If morphine is abused, it can lead to a morphine addiction – which can eventually lead to morphine withdrawal, when the patient tries to quit. Read on to find out more about morphine, its addiction potential, and the withdrawal symptoms.
Morphine is an opiate that originates from the South Asian poppy, which is often prescribed for medium to severe pain. It is given to patients in the short term in case they went through surgery or injury, or it may be administered as relief for patients going through terminal cancer.
Morphine affects the pain receptors, preventing the brain from sending pain signals throughout the body. In most cases, it is administered as an injection, but it is also administered through pill form.
Why Do Withdrawals Happen?
As morphine is an opiate, it changes the way your brain perceives pleasure and pain. Through its action, morphine not only blocks pain signals from the brain but also tickles the opiate receptors of the brain. This will release dopamine into your blood, which is the “feel-good” neurotransmitter.
Dopamine is naturally released into your blood when you do pleasurable activities – as in, the activities that you love doing. It triggers your brain’s reward system, giving you an overall sense of wellbeing. Because of this, you will crave the feeling that morphine gives you, even if you are technically no longer in pain.
The more you get used to the rush that morphine gives you, the more difficult it will be to stop using it. Your body will become dependent on the “high,” and will make you crave the substance even more. At this point, you may develop an opioid addiction, causing you to feel withdrawal symptoms when the morphine gets out of your system.
Symptoms of Morphine WIthdrawals
Morphine withdrawal has almost the same symptoms associated with all types of opioid withdrawal. The differentiating factor is usually on how long the drug was abused and its duration. With morphine withdrawal, symptoms usually peak on the 4th day, after which they will begin subsiding.
- Rhinorrhea and watering of the eyes
- Sweating and hot flushes
- Anxiety and irritability
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle and joint pain
- Elevated blood pressure
Many of the symptoms above can lead to another symptom – which is dehydration. Depending on the severity of the withdrawal, dehydration can become quite severe.
Left unchecked, morphine-based dehydration may turn out fatal. To reduce the severity of the symptoms, medically assisted detox should be given. To ensure the safety of the patient, the ones supervising should ensure that the person going through withdrawal stays properly hydrated.
What Affects Morphine Withdrawals?
Morphine withdrawal is affected by various things, and everyone will likely feel the withdrawal differently. A generally healthy person with no physical or mental issues that only used morphine a few times may get over the withdrawal very easily.
However, people who used morphine for a longer time, in higher dosages, may have a more difficult time with the withdrawal symptoms. Polydrug abuse may also affect the severity of the symptoms. If you abused another drug or opioid, you may experience more symptoms.
Other co-existing disorders may influence how you go through the withdrawal symptoms, whether they are of physical or mental nature. Environmental factors such as stress or peer pressure may cause you to use more morphine – and as a result, have harsher withdrawal symptoms.
The short-term symptoms of morphine usually span between 5 to 10 days, after which the drug will be out of your system. However, some symptoms may affect you in the long term, sometimes lasting even one or two years for the recovery to be complete.
The main symptom that hangs around is the craving. This applies especially if morphine has been abused in the longer term. For example, someone who has been abusing morphine for years might find it quite difficult to kick the habit. In this case, the cravings might take more than two years to subside.
Other symptoms that might linger in the long term are anxiety, irritability, and depression. As the morphine-induced dopamine rush is no longer there, the recovering addict may be unable to trigger their own reward system. This is more severe with people that abused morphine for a longer time.
How Morphine Withdrawal is Treated
Morphine withdrawal is often given various treatment options. For instance, if the person has been addicted to morphine for a longer time, then the doctor at the rehab center might suggest inpatient therapy. This is often the recommended option for those who require constant supervision or are expected to have severe symptoms.
For patients who have recently developed an addiction, the doctor might recommend outpatient therapy. They will be able to go to their own homes during the evening, but they need to come to the rehab center every day for recovery treatments.
No matter the therapy option, both inpatient and outpatient treatments will be associated with medical detox. This will help the patient flush out the morphine in a safer manner while controlling the cravings and preventing further consumption.
Real Deal is Here To Help
At Real Deal, we have the means necessary to ensure that your withdrawal goes as smoothly as possible. We provide both inpatient and outpatient therapy, depending on the severity of your withdrawal.
We also offer medical detox to make sure the morphine exits your system in a manner that is as safe as possible. We will also monitor your progress, to ensure not only safe withdrawal but also to reduce your chances of relapse. Our long-term therapy options will help you determine and manage your triggers so that you never start using morphine again.
If you or a loved one is going through morphine addiction, contact us right away. We can help you get through the morphine withdrawal process in a way that is as safe and comfortable as possible.