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Morphine is a powerful derivative of opium, a drug extracted from the poppy plant. And though morphine is far from an unheard of drug in the field of internal medicine, it is primarily used in hospital settings to treat severe pain. Only four countries—Australia, France, Spain, and Turkey—are legally authorized to grow poppy plants for medicinal use such as morphine production.
While morphine was originally extracted and used in its pure form from opium, today doctors use semi-synthetic versions of the drug. Morphine comes in several forms, including extended-release tablets and capsules, syrups, injections, and suppositories. People who abuse morphine sometimes also smoke or snort it.
Morphine is generally only prescribed to people who have severe, long-term, or chronic pain—such as cancer-related pain, pain after surgery, or pain after a heart attack. Unfortunately, morphine is also commonly abused and sold as a street drug.
Though heroin addiction and addiction to newer synthetic opiates have largely replaced morphine addiction due to the lower cost and higher potency of the former, morphine can still be very addictive.
This is because while heroin is five times stronger than morphine, they are otherwise quite similar in the way they affect the brain and foster substance addiction. For instance, both heroin and morphine can lead to tolerance, as can other drugs like alcohol or even nicotine.
Someone who develops tolerance to heroin or morphine will need higher and higher doses of the drug in order to feel its rewarding effects. As addiction to morphine or heroin progresses, their tolerance may increase so drastically that they need the drug simply to feel normal. After patients have reached that stage of tolerance and addiction, they may relapse simply to avoid withdrawal rather than out of a desire to get high.
Commonly abused name-brand drugs containing morphine include:
Unfortunately, even those who begin taking morphine as part of a legitimate treatment plan for chronic pain may be at serious risk of opiate dependence due to the drug’s physically addictive nature.
Morphine is an opioid drug that attaches to nerve receptors in the brain known as mu opioid receptors, sending signals that trigger the release of dopamine and block pain. In addition to feelings of euphoria and relaxation, morphine can produce the following side effects:
Because morphine acts on many areas of the brain and central nervous system, it can slow breathing and suppress the immune system, which can have dangerous consequences. Morphine addiction can seriously damage a person’s health over time if left untreated, as well as put them at high likelihood of eventual death from opioid overdose.1 It is also imperative to treat opioid addiction promptly because of the chance that using drugs like morphine intravenously could lead to a HIV infection.
Because of its potency and the way it impacts the brain’s reward system, morphine carries a high risk of both physical dependency and drug addiction (compulsive drug use). Unfortunately, addiction and overdose deaths from morphine and other opioid drugs are all too common. Consider the following:
Several recent studies assert that the picture of opioid addiction has gotten even bleaker in the meantime, with over 68,000 drug overdose deaths involving opioid use in 2020. But as bleak as these statistics look, it’s important to remember that substance addiction recovery is always possible with access to the right addiction treatment program.
Morphine detox often requires round-the-clock supervision by a team of qualified addiction professionals, as some people are at increased risk for stroke, heart attack, and even death during the detox process.
Though withdrawal symptoms as serious as these are rare, more typical morphine withdrawal symptoms can still be incredible uncomfortable and sometimes painful. These withdrawal symptoms will usually begin six to twelve hours after a person’s last dose of the drug and will peak at between 36 and 72 hours clean of the substance before they begin to subside.
The following withdrawal symptoms are common in those recovering from morphine addiction:
Seeking treatment is also a better option when it comes to morphine addiction and detoxification from other opioids because severe withdrawal symptoms can lead many patients to relapse without access to medications that can treat opioid addiction.
Methadone—a synthetic drug used as a substitute for morphine under careful medical supervision—is among the medications sometimes used to help ease morphine withdrawal symptoms, in what is known as methadone maintenance therapy. Other, newer medications sometimes used in medication-assisted treatment for opiate withdrawal include buprenorphine and Vivitrol.
Medication-assisted treatment works by blocking or partially binding to opioid receptors, aiding in morphine detox, and medically assisted detoxification from other opioid use disorders by reducing drug cravings as well as withdrawal symptoms. The medication-assisted treatment prescribed indefinitely, known as maintenance treatment, has been scientifically shown to help prevent relapse, significantly reducing the risk of overdose and other negative health outcomes in people with opioid addiction.
However, overcoming physical withdrawal symptoms is only the beginning when it comes to recovery from morphine addiction or addiction to other opiates. After detoxification, most patients will still be at quite a high risk for relapse unless they deal with the underlying reason for their drug abuse problems as well as their physical opiate dependence.
Thus, many patients find success by moving from detoxification to other treatment facilities instead of going directly to the real world. The post-detoxification treatment options may include both inpatient programs and outpatient treatment. While a more restrictive inpatient program may be the best fit for someone at a high risk of relapse or self-harm, outpatient treatment options may be appropriate if a person’s addiction is less severe.
As opposed to the physical health focus of detoxification, inpatient programs or comprehensive outpatient treatment programs are more focused on how to prevent relapse by addressing the psychological roots of addiction. For instance, many patients turn to morphine and other drugs to deal with underlying mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
In effective treatment programs, these underlying mental health disorders are addressed by treatment providers through proven substance abuse treatment options like behavioral therapies. Behavioral therapies are such effective treatment for addiction because they provide patients with coping strategies they can use to address their co-occurring disorders as well as their addiction itself.
For example, treatment providers may teach patients with anxiety and depression to challenge their mental health problems by replacing their negative thoughts with thoughts more conducive to recovery. Treatment providers may also address anxiety, depression, and related mental health problems through prescribed medications that can help facilitate recovery by stabilizing mood and reducing symptoms.
Individual counseling may also focus on how patients can conquer drug abuse by processing and overcoming any traumatic events in their past that may have played a part in their addiction. Patients may also discuss the trials of their drug addiction with one another in group counseling, giving them access to a community and support system that can help patients find lasting friendships and shared motivation for recovery.
Finally, most substance abuse treatment plans include treatment programs focused on facilitating recovery by restoring patients to holistic health. For example, many drug addiction treatment programs include extras like yoga, adventure therapy, massage therapy, or classes in nutritional health in addition to standard addiction treatment using therapy and medications.
If you or a loved one is struggling with morphine addiction or addiction to another drug, RECO Intensive can help. We’ve helped hundreds of men and women safely through morphine detoxification and to begin a new path forward. We tailor our Delray Beach morphine outpatient treatment program to the individual needs of our clients, taking into consideration each person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs when developing our treatment plans.
Morphine recovery is possible at our state-of-the-art Delray Beach rehab center, staffed by a dynamic team of empathic, skilled medical professionals and counselors. Patients will also have access to licensed health care professionals who can prescribe any necessary medications.
Located in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida, our addiction treatment facilities also provide the ideal setting for health, wellness, and recovery as they provide easy access to Florida’s great outdoors and legendarily sunny weather.
We are also accredited by the National Institutes Of Health, the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Association for Addiction Professionals, the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, the American Society Of Addiction Medicine, the Alliance for Addiction Solutions, the National Alliance for Recovery Residences, and many other reputable organizations with expertise in drug addiction treatment and detoxification.
Treatment for morphine addiction is just a phone call away—and you can get in touch with an admissions specialist today at 561.808.7986 to learn more about how you can access our addiction detox and outpatient programs. You can also use our contact form to send us a message. There’s no time like today to shrug off drug dependence and get back on the road to a full recovery and a brighter, addiction-free future.
Healing begins at RECO Intensive.
Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.