Morphine addiction is a powerful physical and mental disease. This drug, which is chemically related to heroin and opium, changes the way the brain works. Recovery requires comprehensive treatment that unravels the many layers of the disease and establishes new, healthy, patterns and habits. Several successful treatment facilities offer specialized programs that help their clients replace morphine abuse with positive, constructive activities that promote health and wellness.
The key to morphine’s addictive power is the impact it has in the pleasure center of the brain. As with all narcotics, morphine produces a highly elevated supply of the naturally occurring chemical dopamine in the central nervous system. Dopamine is a “feel-good” chemical the body uses to reinforce positive experiences and activities. Things like exercise, healthy eating, accomplishing an important goal, relationally connecting with a good friend, or even the enjoyment of music, art, or a roller coaster, all produce small bursts of dopamine. In addition to providing a feeling of contentment or pleasure, dopamine also blocks negative feelings (anxiety, nervousness, depression) as well as physical pain. For a healthy person this process is designed to reinforce positive activities.
Morphine, heroin, opium, and other prescription painkillers cause massive spikes of dopamine to impact the pleasure center of the brain. Any negative thoughts or feelings are obliterated, along with any physical discomfort, leaving the user in a short-lived state of bliss. Once the brain experiences that kind of intense pleasure, it uses every psychological tool at its disposal to keep it coming, including the following:
While morphine is present the brain stops producing its own natural supply of dopamine. This means that if and when the addict stops using the drug he or she will experience potentially debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Simply put, while caught in the throes of addiction, the human brain is unable to feel pleasure without the drug.
One of the most important goals of morphine rehab is to help the addict find new ways of feeling pleasure without using the drug. While safe detoxification is the first important step, the process of promoting psychological recovery includes the following elements:
It is critical to the recovery process for morphine addicts to develop new, healthy ways of experiencing pleasure while sober. The following are just a few examples of healthy activities that can replace morphine for addicts:
Even things as simple as music, books and film can produce great feelings of pleasure in the brain. While it can be difficult for the addict to imagine, with the proper treatment he or she can cultivate new ways of experiencing pleasure.
If you have questions about morphine treatment and healthy activities please call our toll-free helpline today. We are standing by all day and all night with free, confidential advice and instant referrals to the most effective and healthy morphine treatment programs available. Call now.