Morphine addiction is a powerful physical and psychological disease. As the body stops creating its own natural supply of certain “feel-good” chemicals, addicts need a near constant supply of morphine or other opiates in order to function. Morphine also masks symptoms of emotional or psychological distress. This causes the brain to build new neural pathways to keep that relief coming. The brain then craves morphine on a deep emotional level that is much more powerful than rational thought or choice. Because of the dual nature of morphine addiction, the risk of relapse is very high, and relapse can be extremely dangerous or even life threatening.
While the body’s physical need for morphine corrects itself relatively quickly, its psychological dependence can last for months, years or even decades. The key to recovery is for the addict to build new neural pathways that reinforce healthy behaviors and disciplines. Counseling and other types of skill development do this very well and can help an addict cope with temptation, anxiety, loneliness and other triggers without succumbing to the temptation to get high. These new habits and skills must be constantly reinforced, however, as relapse triggers can happen at any time. Anything from a bad day at work to a familiar holiday can send an addict into a drug-seeking pattern. Learning to identify and prepare for these triggers in advance is a critical part of long-term recovery.
When recovering addicts succumb to the temptation to use morphine, they essentially re-activate the neural pathways that drive their addiction. The addicts’ need for the drug overpowers their ability to control emotions and impulses. While relapse is common during recovery and does not necessarily indicate the complete loss of hope for eventual healing, in the case of morphine addiction, it can be particularly dangerous.
The body develops a tolerance to morphine very quickly. This means that addicts need an increasingly large dose in order to feel the desired effects. After physical detoxification and a period of sobriety, most addicts lose much of their tolerance for the drug. When they relapse, however, they may take the same dose that they took when their addiction was active. Their body’s increased sensitivity to the drug makes them highly vulnerable to overdose.
There are several things recovering addicts can do to prevent morphine relapse, including the following:
Relapse is a process that starts with some kind of emotional pain that triggers a craving for relief. There are healthy ways to relieve the pain that causes relapse, and if those ways are pursued early enough, relapse can be avoided.
If you are a morphine addict in need of relapse prevention assistance, please call our helpline right now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to encourage your ongoing sobriety and to connect you with the best relapse prevention and recovery resources available. Don’t sit and think about it, just call. The pattern that leads to relapse is already happening. Stop it in its tracks with our help.
If you have already relapsed, we can help you get back on the journey to freedom from morphine right away. We’re here to help. Call now.