Morphine Addiction

Morphine is a naturally occurring, highly addictive painkiller that is used for moderate to severe pain. It is part of the opioid family and can be prescribed by a physician or obtained illegally on the street or the black market.

Some of the common street names for morphine include M, Miss Emma, monkey, roxanol, and white stuff.

Morphine is a naturally occurring substance extracted from either the opium poppy plant or concentrated poppy straw.

Its chemical makeup is similar to heroin, as they are both derived from the same plant

Although morphine does have a high success rate as a pain reliever, it also has even higher addiction potential. Morphine binds to the mu receptors in the brain, triggering the release of dopamine and endogenous endorphins. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for producing euphoric and pleasurable sensations in the body. Endogenous endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers. When morphine is used for a long time, the body becomes used to the effects, and as a result, more morphine is needed to produce the same level of pain relief; this is known as tolerance.

Additionally, since morphine (and other opioids) produce euphoria via the dopamine pathway, the body continues to crave this euphoric feeling. As a result, the individual feels the strong urge to continue to use morphine, creating massive potential for addiction.

Risk factors for morphine addiction

  • Untreated chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Poor social support

Signs & Symptoms of Morphine Addiction

Morphine is a very dangerous medication when taken or prescribed improperly. It can result in overdose with first-time use and can often be laced with other potent opioids, which can cause overdose without intention, especially if bought on the street. The following are signs and symptoms associated with morphine intoxication:

  • Euphoria
  • Emotional numbness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Poor coordination and balance
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Constipation

Treatment for Morphine Addiction, how we can help

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is when medications are administered to the individual to lessen opioid withdrawal symptoms. 

Medication-assisted treatment is one of the leading treatment regimens that is used to combat the opioid epidemic and to help treat opioid use disorder Withdrawing from opioids without the use of medication, known as unassisted withdrawal, is not life-threatening, but it is uncomfortable and can increase the rate of relapse. 

The medicines that are given to ease the withdrawal effects contain a low-dose and long-acting opioid. Methadone, Naltrexone, and Suboxone are FDA approved medications that are used to help alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms. 

Psychotherapy is also needed to help individuals develop positive coping mechanisms and behaviors to deal with their underlying triggers and stressors.

AKUA Mind & Body Treatment Program

AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for many different populations struggling with Morphine addiction and substance use and mental health disorders. We offer both intensive inpatient programs as well as outpatient treatment. AKUA Mind & Body works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that their depressive disorder treatment plan is specifically tailored to their needs, and not just their disorder. 

Morphine withdrawal timeline

Early withdrawal symptoms usually occur within six to 12 hours after the individual stops using opioids. 

The severity of the withdrawal symptoms depends on the duration of use, the morphine dosage, and the user’s tolerance. 

An individual who has a higher tolerance will most likely experience more severe withdrawal symptoms than an individual who has used opioids for a short time. 

Withdrawal symptoms usually worsen after 24 hours and peak within 72 hours. It may take up to a week before a person notices a significant decrease in morphine withdrawal symptoms.

Early symptoms of morphine withdrawal

The type of opioid makes a big difference when the opioid withdrawal period begins and ends. Morphine is a short-acting opioid with a short half-life. Early symptoms of withdrawal for short-acting opioids usually occur 6-12 hours after the last use. Early symptoms typically last 24-48 hours after onset. Early symptoms of morphine withdrawal include the following:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Agitation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sweating

Late symptoms of morphine withdrawal

Late morphine withdrawal symptoms usually peak within 72 hours of last use and tend to be more severe. They tend to last an average of five days, depending on the severity and duration of the morphine addiction. These late symptoms are what drives the individual to use again. Late symptoms of morphine withdrawal include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Shivering

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If you or a loved one is struggling with a depressive disorder or substance abuse & addiction disorder, AKUA Mind & Body can help. Our helpline is available 24/7 and our Admissions Counselors will help determine which program is right for you.

The AKUA Mind & Body solution

AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for many different populations struggling with codependence disorder and other mental health and substance use disorders. AKUA Mind & Body treats co-occurring disorders and works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that treatment is specifically tailored to their needs, and not just their disorder. 

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