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Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Morphine withdrawal symptoms can develop when someone who has been taking the drug suddenly stops using it. Morphine is an opioid medication, similar to heroin, codeine, and oxycodone. It is commonly prescribed as a treatment for severe pain. Even legitimate users of the drug can become physically dependent on morphine. Addicted individuals often develop tolerance to morphine, so they need more and more of the medication to produce the same effect.

Legitimate users generally take morphine in pill form, while drug abusers may crush the morphine and snort or inject it. These methods of delivery provide a more intense and rapid high, but they are also more dangerous than taking morphine orally.

Symptoms and Signs of Morphine Withdrawal

When a morphine user stops taking this drug, withdrawal symptoms may begin within hours or days. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. During morphine withdrawal, the onset of severe anxiety and restlessness is common. Physical withdrawal symptoms can also occur, including sweating, chills, tremors, goose bumps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pain, bone pain, a runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. Insomnia can be another symptom of morphine withdrawal.

Some users develop hallucinations after quitting morphine. Many users also develop strong cravings for morphine when they stop using it. The severity of morphine withdrawal symptoms depends on how long and how often the person has been using morphine. Suddenly stopping the drug produces more symptoms than gradually tapering off bit by bit.

Withdrawing from Morphine Treatment: Methods and Options for Help

Detoxification from morphine should always be medically supervised because of the potential severity of withdrawal symptoms. For many people, the easiest way to detoxify is checking in to a residential rehab program at an inpatient clinic or hospital. This type of program provides a safe environment with on-call medical staff who can help the recovering addict manage withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, a morphine user who has been taking low doses of the drug may be able to detox on an outpatient basis.

Morphine withdrawal is usually accomplished in a gradual fashion, with a doctor supervising the administration of reduced doses over time until the person is eventually weaned completely off the drug. In some cases, morphine withdrawal treatment may involve the use of other medications that reduce withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is commonly used to reduce symptoms during opiate withdrawal, including withdrawal from morphine. Another drug that a doctor may prescribe to help curb withdrawal symptoms is buprenorphine.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery

Once detoxification from morphine is complete, further treatment is necessary to ensure full recovery from morphine addiction or abuse. This follow-up treatment may also be completed on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Most follow-up treatment programs focus on counseling and behavioral therapy to treat the addiction or abuse. During this type of treatment, the individual learns how to live a normal, drug-free life and how to avoid temptations or situations in which a relapse may be likely.

In some cases, the doctor may prescribe the drug naltrexone to help prevent a relapse. Even when this drug or the withdrawal drugs methadone or buprenorphine are used, counseling is typically also included in the treatment program. Family counseling is an option for patients with family members who want to be part of the recovery process and who need help learning how to deal with the recovering addict. In some cases, the former user is encouraged to join a 12-step program during the recovery process.

Another option for long-term treatment is holistic recovery, which involves alternative medicine or therapies to help detoxify and recover from the addiction. Some holistic drug rehabilitation facilities also use methods such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and nutrition therapy. In some cases, withdrawal from morphine may take place simultaneously with the follow-up therapies, especially if the detoxification process is long and drawn out. If the addicted person is also addicted to other substances, including alcohol or other drugs, treatment for these addictions must take place simultaneously along with the morphine addiction treatment.

In some cases, the patient must also be treated for pain, since the cessation of morphine use can leave room for the return of the initial pain that morphine was prescribed to treat. Morphine withdrawal and recovery can be successful even if you have relapsed in the past. However, following a relapse, it is necessary to restart the process by going through gradual detoxification again.

Morphine Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name Variations: Morphine Sulfate
  • Chemical Name: N/A
  • Brand Name: N/A
  • Brand Name Variations: Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin, MSIR, Oramorph SR, Roxanol
  • Cost/Price: $35-$40 for 100mg (street price)
  • Used to Treat Addiction? Suboxone
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Pain relief
  • Function or Use at High Dose: Euphoric high
  • Chemical Makeup: C17H19NO3
  • System: N/A
  • Duration of Action: 3-6 hours
Form, Intake and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Capsule, liquid, powder
  • Administration Routes: Smoking, snorting, injection, oral, rectal
  • Dosage: 5-30mg every 3-4 hours (adult dosage)
  • Overdose: 60-200mg
  • Alcohol Interaction: Severe side effects and/or death
  • Illicit Drugs: N/A
  • Prescription Medications: MAO inhibitors
  • Contraindications: Respiratory depression, renal failure, chemical toxicity, intracranial pressure
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: constipation, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dizziness, headache, anxiety, memory problems, insomnia
  • Long-Term: Mental impairment, decreased appetite, decreased or eliminated sex drive, fatigue, chronic constipation
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: High – physical and psychological dependence builds quickly
  • Signs of Abuse: Chills, drowsiness, dizziness, anxiety, depression, double vision, hallucinations, needle marks, agitation, slurred speech
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: N/A
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: watery eyes, insomnia, diarrhea, runny nose, sweating
  • Tolerance: The more it’s used, the more tolerant the body becomes
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: Lasts 7-10 days
  • Psychological Dependence: Much stronger and lasts much longer than physical dependence
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule II


Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How long do morphine withdrawals last?

If left untreated, the timeline for morphine withdrawals can last for 5-7 days. The duration of withdrawal depends on your dependence on the drug and the length of time you were using it.

Do you have a list of popular terms or slang terms for morphine?

Other common names for morphine are M, Number 13, glad stuff, happy powder, Vitamin M, Emma, Lady M, white lady, cube, mo, morph, Miss Emma, white hop, white merchandise, Uncle Morphy, big M, Murphy, gold dust, etc.

What are common misspellings?

Morphene withdrawl, morophine withdrawls, morpine withdrawel, moraphine withdrawels, moriphine, morphin, and morephine.

Are there any home remedies for getting clean safely?

Though a home remedy might seem like a good natural option, most provide sporadic relief from withdrawal pains and can be dangerous. While certain drugs may be used to help ease and relieve the effects of morphine withdrawal, these should be prescribed and administered under a trained medical professional’s care. Your safest alternative is to seek help.

How long does it take to detox from morphine?

The process of morphine detox may vary from person to person depending on their length of use and how their system reacts. With the assistance of a detox program, this process can be easier and you are less likely to relapse. Please see our web options or call us at 1-888-935-1318Who Answers?.

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