Morphine withdrawal is physical and psychological symptoms which occur as a result of suddenly stopping use of the drug Morphine. Morphine is a narcotic, opiate pain reliever which acts directly on the central nervous system. It is an active ingredient in various prescription medications and is most often used to treat pain but is also used for anesthesia during surgeries or other procedures or for treating shortness of breath often experienced near the end of life, helping the patient sleep, and providing some anxiety relief. Morphine is also commonly administered to treat pain during a heart attack.
Because Morphine is an opiate narcotic it has a high potential for addiction, and tolerance and psychological dependence develop rapidly. The effects of morphine are similar to that of heroin, and the drug is much more likely to produce euphoria and other positive effects when compared to other opioids such as Oxycontin. Tolerance and psychological dependence means that the individual needs to take the drug consistently, and if not they will begin to experience physical and psychological symptoms of morphine withdrawal. Morphine is so addictive, that in controlled studies comparing the physiological and subjective effects of injected heroin and morphine, subjects showed no preference for one drug over the other. Additional addiction studies by the same researchers demonstrated that tolerance developed at a similar rate to both heroin and morphine.
Morphine withdrawal can occur with chronic, legitimate use of the drug and in the case of chronic recreational abuse. The symptoms of morphine withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant, so much so that people start taking the drug again in order to relieve withdrawal symptoms. Morphine withdrawal symptoms are usually experienced shortly before the time of the next scheduled dose, sometimes within as early as a few hours after the last administration.
Early morphine withdrawal symptoms include watery eyes, insomnia, diarrhea, runny nose, yawning, dysphoria, sweating and an intense craving for the drug. As morphine withdrawal progresses, the individual is likely to experience severe headache, restlessness, irritability, loss of appetite, body aches, severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, tremors, and even stronger and more intense drug craving. Severe depression is also very common with morphine withdrawal.
Morphine withdrawal is similar to heroin withdrawal, and the individual will typically experience chills or cold flashes with goose bumps alternating with flushing, kicking movements of the legs and excessive sweating are also characteristic symptoms. Severe pains in the bones and muscles of the back and extremities are common, as are muscle spasms.
Major morphine withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 96 hours after the last dose and begin to decrease in intensity after about 8 to 12 days. Sudden withdrawal by chronic users who are in poor health can be fatal. For instance, blood pressure and heart rate will increase, putting the individual at risk for a heart attack, blood clot, or stroke. This is why it is important that anyone deciding to stop using morphine seeks help to get through morphine withdrawal at a long-term inpatient drug treatment facility where professional and medically trained staff can get them through this process.
Morphine addiction can take its toll on the individual, causing devastating long-term effects. As with other opiate and synthetic opioid narcotics, the psychological dependence associated with morphine addiction can persist beyond the typical physical morphine withdrawal period. Long after the physical need for morphine has subsided; individuals often suffer severe depression, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, forgetfulness, low self-esteem, confusion, paranoia, and other psychological disorders.p>Without intervention, relapse back into morphine use will likely occur. This can happen after morphine withdrawal, when neither the environmental triggers nor the behavioral motivators that contributed to the abuse have been addressed with counseling, therapy and/or drug addiction treatment. Testimony to morphine's addictive properties is its relapse rate. Individuals who abuse morphine and heroin have one of the highest relapse rates among all drug users.
All of this information points to the fact that it is not wise for someone experiencing morphine withdrawal to go through this process on their own. Even if they do overcome the physical side of addiction, psychological morphine withdrawal symptoms can persist for quite some time.
Why live with morphine addiction or constant reminders of addiction to morphine? There is help available today at an inpatient long-term drug rehabilitation facility where trained specialists can help individuals stop their addiction to morphine and help them through the physical withdrawal symptoms and the psychological side of morphine withdrawal that can be so difficult for most to get through on their own without relapse. Contact a counselor at a drug rehab and find out how you can get help through morphine withdrawal today.