Morphine is an extremely potent painkiller typically used to treat moderate or severe pain short-term. Morphine is considered to be one of the most powerful drugs on the market, and because of this it is only used in extreme moderation when medical professionals deem its use necessary.
Morphine works by attaching to pain receptors within the brain and affecting the way pain signals are transmitted to the central nervous system. This changes the way that the brain perceives pain while simultaneously producing a somewhat euphoric effect. Because of the euphoric effect that the drug produces and because it is so potent and habit-forming, the potential for morphine abuse and addiction is exceptionally high. When used as prescribed by a physician, morphine is very effective in treating pain. It is most commonly described for acute pain-related disorders either during medical procedures, after surgeries or after an individual has sustained a serious injury. If the drug is taken for an extended period of time – even when used as directed by a doctor – it can be habit-forming.
Those taking the morphine might develop a tolerance (meaning that more morphine is required in order to produce the same physical results). As soon as tolerance begins to build physical dependency isn’t far behind.
Morphine Dependence and Addiction
The effects of morphine addiction are similar to the effects of heroin addiction because both drugs interact with the central nervous system in the same way. It’s important to remember that anyone who is taking morphine without a prescription is in fact abusing the drug. Morphine abuse is commonly characterized by obvious behavioral changes.
Those abusing the powerful drug will start engaging in some or all of the following behaviors:
- Reduced sex drive; a disinterest in sexual/physical intimacy
- Mood swings and abrupt changes of mood, marked by aggression and irritability
- A lack of motivation
- A disinterest in hobbies or activities that used to be enjoyed
- Compromised performance at work or at school
- Increased secretiveness and a desire to be alone
- Changes in sleep patterns; more time spent sleeping
- Drug-seeking behavior (doctor shopping)
Physical side effects if morphine abuse and addiction will also occur. These will include (but will likely not be limited to):
- Stomach cramping
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dilated pupils
- Difficulty urinating
Those who use morphine excessively for an extended period of time will experience more severe side effects. These include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Extreme agitation
- Discoloration of the skin; blue or purple
- Rashes or extreme itching
- Chest pain; heart palpitations
- Swelling of the face
- Difficulty swallowing
- Breathing problems
Morphine addiction is serious, and can be lethal if not adequately and promptly treated at a long-term morphine addiction treatment facility. At Princeton Detox we understand that detox is a necessary first step on the road to recovery. In order for an individual to move onto inpatient treatment, he or she must first undergo a medically monitored morphine detox to ensure physical stabilization. If someone is experiencing symptoms of withdrawal during inpatient treatment, for example, the therapeutic care will be considerably less effective. If you or someone close to you has been struggling with morphine abuse or addiction there is help available. Give us a call and we’ll explain our detox program more in-depth, and help develop a plan to get you admitted as quickly as possible.
Because morphine is so addictive quitting can be difficult, and the symptoms of withdrawal can be quite severe. Those who attempt to quit cold turkey or stop use abruptly without the support of a team of licensed medical professionals risk severe side effects, some that can be life-threatening if not properly treated. Those who use morphine on a daily basis in significant amounts will experience more severe and dangerous symptoms of withdrawal than those that abuse the drug sparingly and occasionally. It is important to remember that even if you think your morphine abuse isn’t dangerous because you might not be using it every single day, addiction is a progressive disease and your symptoms will only continue to get worse without professional intervention.
Seeking treatment sooner rather than later is always the best option, because your withdrawal symptoms will be less severe and you will achieve significant results with a shorter stint in inpatient rehab. For example, those that have been abusing morphine every day for three years will probably need to stay in a medical detox for over two weeks and stay in inpatient rehab for well over three months. If you have been abusing small amounts of morphine for several months, you might be done with the detox process within a week and the rehab process within three months. Don’t put off getting the help you need – it will only make things harder in the long-run.
Morphine withdrawal is one of the most common signs of abuse.
Those who have been abusing the morphine will begin to experience the following symptoms as soon as use is stopped (usually because the supply runs out):
- Watery eyes and a runny nose (along with other flu-like symptoms)
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Muscle aches and cramping
- Increased blood pressure
- Rapid heart beat
- Extreme bouts of anxiety and depression
- Insomnia and other sleep-related disorders
- Suicidal ideation
The symptoms of morphine withdrawal can lead to life-threatening complications when not closely monitored by a team of specialists. At Princeton Detox we have extensive experience working with morphine dependencies of all severities, and we understand that while it is impossible to eliminate the symptoms completely go, we can do everything in our power to make them more tolerable and make sure that they are as short-lived as possible.
Princeton Detox & Recovery Center
We offer the following services as a part of our comprehensive detox program:
Upon admission every patient will be assigned a case manager, who will help them along during every step of their unique recovery journey. Case managers will stay up-to-date on progress and adjust treatment plans and treatment goals as needed.
Ongoing care is crucial during detox, seeing as uncomfortable or serious symptoms of morphine withdrawal could crop up at any time.
Therapy is a very important part of the overall treatment process, seeing as addicts and alcoholics are usually dealing with unresolved trauma and other underlying mental health disorders. We offer group and one-on-one therapy sessions as a part of our comprehensive detox plan.
If an underlying mental health disorder requires psychiatric care and medication, we have experienced psychiatrists on staff who will assess each patient individually and prescribe whatever medication is deemed necessary.
Detox is only the very first step on the road to recovery. Our case managers will help each individual patient develop a personalized post-treatment plan and will help them adhere to it as closely as possible.
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Our state-of-the-art amenities are designed to make patients feel right at home. We offer chef-cooked meals on a daily basis, comfortable group rooms where patients will have access to group therapy and 12 step meetings and individual rooms equipped with all of the comforts of home. Our staff members provide 24-hour service and support, and our team of licensed medical staff will do everything in their power to make the morphine withdrawal process as pain-free as possible. Every patient will have the opportunity to develop a personalized post-detox treatment plan with his or her case manager. For more information, call Princeton Detox today. We will gladly answer any and every question you have, and help you develop a plan of action as soon as you are ready and willing to do so.