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Morphine Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

image of man representing morphine addiction

Morphine, an opioid mainly used for pain management, works on mu-opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord to alleviate pain sensations and mitigate the emotional response to pain. Prolonged use of morphine can lead to both psychological and physical dependence on the drug, with discontinuation triggering severe withdrawal symptoms.

Morphine is frequently subject to abuse due to its ready accessibility and affordability. Compared to similar drugs used for chronic and severe pain, morphine has one of the highest rates of addiction and misuse. This guide explores the following issues and shows you how to connect with morphine addiction treatment near you:

  • Can people get addicted to morphine?
  • Can you get addicted to morphine after therapeutic use?
  • What are the long term effects of morphine?

Is Morphine Addictive?

How addictive is morphine, then? Like all Schedule II controlled substances, morphine is highly addictive. Tolerance to opioids forms rapidly, even when the drugs are used as directed by a physician. When this occurs, more morphine is required to deliver the initial effects. Increasing the frequency or quantity of dosage will speed up the development of morphine dependence.

When someone is dependent on morphine, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms manifest in its absence. In many cases, psychological dependence on morphine develops in the form of opioid use disorder, although dependence does not always lead to addiction.

Signs of Morphine Addiction

Even when used therapeutically, morphine can lead to unpleasant side effects. Abusing the drug has the potential to alter your appearance, behavior, and overall well-being. Some signs of misuse may be apparent, while others might be concealed or develop gradually.

Untreated opioid addictions tend to worsen over time. Identifying and addressing these warning signs early on in morphine addicts is beneficial, as it may help prevent the more damaging consequences associated with opioid use disorder. Recognizing the early indicators can prompt effective intervention.

Physical signs

  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Inattention
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Itchy skin
  • Nausea

Behavioral signs

  • Shifts in social circles
  • Avoidance of contact with loved ones
  • Repeated lying, dishonesty, or deceit
  • Decline in performance at work or school
  • Mood swings
  • Reduced participation in activities or hobbies
  • Self-isolation and secretive behaviors
  • Neglect of daily responsibilities
imager representing morphine abuse symptoms

Morphine Abuse Symptoms

In addition to the unpleasant side effects experienced – even when using morphine therapeutically – there are specific symptoms indicative of morphine abuse. These signs can vary in intensity and may serve as red flags for potential misuse:

  • Increased tolerance: Individuals abusing morphine may find that over time, they require higher doses to achieve the same desired effects. 
  • Frequent cravings for morphine: A persistent and heightened desire to use morphine, often leading to more frequent and increased dosages, can signify an escalating pattern of abuse.
  • Doctor shopping: Engaging in the practice of visiting multiple doctors to obtain additional prescriptions for morphine, often without their knowledge, is a common behavior among those abusing the drug.
  • Forging prescriptions: Individuals struggling with morphine abuse may resort to forging prescriptions or obtaining the drug through alternative channels.
  • Neglecting consequences: Continued use of morphine despite experiencing negative consequences like health issues, relationship problems, or legal troubles is a clear sign of substance abuse.
  • Craving morphine: Intense cravings for morphine, where thoughts about obtaining and using the drug become a dominating aspect of daily life, can indicate a problematic relationship with the substance.

Recognizing these additional symptoms of morphine abuse can help people seek appropriate support to address the underlying issues contributing to misuse.

Morphine Addiction Treatment

Addressing morphine addiction effectively requires a comprehensive and integrated approach. Supervised medical detoxification is the safest and most comfortable pathway to ongoing treatment. During medical detox, FDA-approved medications may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, while continuous care mitigates complications and relapse.

Ongoing inpatient or outpatient treatment targets the psychological side of morphine addiction. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is a form of psychotherapy or talk therapy designed to address negative thoughts and behaviors, replacing them with more positive and constructive perspectives to promote positive behavioral changes.

REBT (rational emotive behavioral therapy) is an action-oriented therapy targeting behavioral and emotional issues, empowering people to lead  more productive and fulfilling lives.

Group therapy, family therapy, and individual counseling may also form part of an overall treatment plan for morphine addiction. Many rehabs also supplement evidence-based interventions with a range of holistic therapies to promote whole-body healing from opioid addiction.

a man celebrating which represents how to get morphine addiction treatment

Find Treatment for Morphine Addiction at Drug Rehabs Centers

If you have been abusing opioids like morphine, perhaps you have considered engaging with professional assistance but have no idea where to start. Shortcut your search for morphine abuse treatment by reaching out to Drug Rehab Centers in Southern California and we can connect you with reputable rehab centers throughout the state.

Supervised medical detoxification is the safest method of kickstarting your recovery. We can help you locate suitable facilities near you. We can also provide referrals to rehabs and treatment providers offering inpatient and outpatient programs to treat addictions or mental health issues.

Call (844) 739-2005 when you are ready to live substance-free.

Juan Bonnet
Author: Juan Bonnet


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