What Are Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms?

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morphine withdrawal symptoms

Morphine is a natural opiate used to control severe pain. When someone develops a morphine use disorder, they will need to receive expert detox treatment to overcome it. Here you will learn what the morphine withdrawal symptoms are, and how to break from opioid dependence or addiction.

What is Morphine?

Morphine is a natural substance derived from the opium poppy plant that is used to mitigate pain. While morphine has legitimate medical use, it also has a very high potential for abuse and addiction. For these reasons, it carries a DEA Schedule II legal status.

Due to its swift analgesic effects, morphine can be highly addictive, causing users to develop both psychological and physical dependence on it. Morphine is also sought out for recreational use and has street names like a dreamer, China white, and Mr. Blue.

Morphine is available in a liquid oral form, an injectable solution, and in regular and extended-release tablets and capsules. The IV solution provides more rapid effects, experienced in about 15-30 minutes, and is provided in measured dosing after surgery. Morphine is also commonly used in palliative or hospice care to provide pain relief.

The effects of morphine are pain relief, relaxation, drowsiness, and euphoria. Side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Stomach upset.
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling lightheaded.
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

How Morphine Addiction Develops

Morphine addiction happens when the drug is misused. Some people seek morphine as a means of getting high, which can lead to dependence and addiction. The drug seeking behavior later becomes compulsive and can result in taking major risks to obtain the drug.

Morphine addiction is a result of the effects of this opiate on the brain’s reward system. When someone ingests morphine they experience pleasant effects, which the brain records as something positive to seek again. With continued use, the person’s brain pathways are altered in response to the dopamine rush, and addiction forms.

Signs of Morphine Addiction

There are several telltale signs of morphine addiction. These are basically the same signs as heroin addiction, as heroin is just a synthesized version of morphine. The signs of morphine addiction include:

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  • Weigh loss.
  • Aggression
  • Neglecting responsibilities.
  • Obsessed with obtaining the morphine.
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Drowsiness; excessive sleeping.
  • Drug cravings.
  • High-risk behaviors.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Memory problems.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Increased tolerance leads to higher dosing.
  • Continue taking morphine despite negative consequences.
  • Having withdrawal symptoms when the drug wears off.

Factors that Impact Morphine Detox

When someone has become addicted to morphine they must first go through the detox phase of recovery. There are some factors that can determine how severe the withdrawal symptoms might be. These factors include:

  • The history of morphine use. How long was the morphine being consumed or misused, and in what daily amounts. The duration of morphine abuse can help determine how severe the substance problem is.
  • Presence of poly-drug abuse. When more than one substance has been abused the risk of withdrawal complications increases.
  • Genetics. Family history or other biological features can contribute to severity.
  • Co-occurring disorders. When a co-occurring mental health disorder or health issue is present it can affect detox and treatment planning.
  • Environmental. Adverse life issues, high-stress levels, absence of a support system can increase morphine dependence and addiction severity.

Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone goes through morphine detox they will first be placed on a tapering program. A doctor will prescribe lower and lower doses to ease the person through detox and reduce morphine withdrawal symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Excessive yawning.
  • Nasal drip.
  • Tearing eyes.
  • Sweating
  • Chills and goosebumps.
  • Increase in blood pressure.
  • Increase in heart rate.
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Being unable to feel pleasure.
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • Drug cravings.
  • Symptoms of depression.

The detox team is tasked with observing the patient’s symptoms and providing needed interventions to help reduce discomfort.

Morphine Recovery After Detox

Someone with a morphine use disorder must follow up the detox with addiction treatment. This is how the person changes the addictive behaviors that are made in response to cravings or triggers. Changing these behaviors is what provides hope for long-term success after treatment.

In a comprehensive rehab program, the person will engage in various forms of therapy that can help change the way they respond to triggers. These therapies include:

  • CBT assists the person in noting which thoughts and behaviors are unhealthy and offers ways to change them.
  • DBT focuses on four skills to improve recovery. These are emotion regulation, interpersonal, distress tolerance, and mindfulness.
  • MET uses a reward system to help reinforce abstinence from morphine use.

In addition to psychotherapy, the other treatment elements in morphine use recovery include:

  • Group therapy. Group therapy involves working with a small group of peers and a facilitator. During these sessions, you will share about your own journey and are free to express your feelings and thoughts about recovery.
  • 12-step integration. The A.A. 12-step program is a common aspect of treatment programs.
  • Education. In classes, you will learn about how drugs impact the brain, and how to avoid a relapse.
  • Medication. Meds may be prescribed to assist with a mental health issue or to support recovery.
  • Holistic. Holistic methods are very useful both in treatment and in recovery going forward. These are actions that help you to distress and be better equipped to deal with challenges. Some examples are massage, mindfulness, and yoga.
  • Wellness. Part of recovery involves restoring physical health. In treatment and beyond you will be encouraged to eat healthily and to get regular exercise.

You may be looking into getting help for a morphine problem and wondering what are morphine withdrawal symptoms. Now that you are informed, it is time to seek the treatment and support you deserve.

LifeSync Malibu Opioid Detox and Recovery

LifeSync Malibu provides state-of-the-art addiction treatment for those struggling with morphine use disorder. If you wish to break the grip of morphine, give our team a call at (866) 491-4426.