Morphine is a powerful painkiller that has been used to treat moderate to severe pain, such as that which follows surgery or injury, for over a century. It is highly effective but also carries a significant risk of abuse and dependence. Withdrawal from morphine can be extremely uncomfortable and even life threatening.
The brain uses a complex and intricate system of chemical responses to send various signals throughout the central nervous system. When a person experiences acute or chronic pain, the brain releases natural substances that bind to the chemical receptors in the nervous system that are involved in the sending and receiving of pain signals. Morphine blocks these same receptors as it courses through the bloodstream. As it does, it also blocks feelings of emotional distress or pain. This gives the user a euphoric high that the brain will crave in a powerful way as it fades.
The following are some of the most common morphine dependence symptoms:
While it is unlikely that someone with no history of substance abuse or addiction will have a problem with morphine right away, it is possible. Up to one third of patients who use morphine for more than a few days will develop a tolerance to it. When supplies of morphine become more difficult to secure, it is not uncommon for morphine addicts to turn to more readily available street opiates such as heroin or opium.
Millions of people develop an addiction to morphine after doing nothing more risky than taking medicine given to them by their doctor. As a result, many addicts struggle to come to grips with the idea that they have a drug problem.
When morphine is present the body stops producing its own natural supply of pain managing substances. If and when a person stops using the drug, he will likely experience any of a wide range of withdrawal symptoms. The fear of the following withdrawal symptoms is enough to keep most morphine addicts from seeking help:
These symptoms fade as the body re-establishes its proper chemical balance. This can take anywhere from a few days to more than two weeks.
Morphine addiction’s secret weapon is the way it alters the user’s psychological functioning. The drug blocks negative emotions and feelings as it blocks physical symptoms. The brain recognizes this relief and uses every tool at its disposal to keep the euphoria coming. Effective and lasting morphine addiction recovery thus requires both physical and psychological care. A combination of counseling, physiological treatment, emotional care, education, and skill development is needed in order for comprehensive recovery to be successful.
If you would like more information about morphine addiction treatment, please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night for immediate, confidential answers and access to the most effective treatment program for your specific needs. With the right help you can end your morphine dependence. We can help. Call now.