Doctors prescribe morphine to help patients deal with pain issues. That is exactly why manufacturers manufacture the drug. The problem with opiate substances is they make people feel too good. It makes them feel so good that they want to use it again and again. Unfortunately, opiates like morphine are highly addictive and will not take prisoners when someone loses the ability to stop abusing the drug.
For all of its good intentions, morphine in the hands of the wrong people will leave of trail of collateral damage. It will destroy the user’s physical health, financial stability, and emotional wellbeing. In the wrong hands, it will also destroy families and eventually push the user to the edge of life. All of this is a poor tradeoff for a few minutes of euphoria.
As bad as all of this is, morphine can do just as much damage to someone who finally decides to stop using it after months or years of drug abuse. After the user’s body builds up its dependence on the drug, the body loses the ability to tolerate not getting another dose. Within hours of not getting what it wants, the body will revolt. Experts call this revolt morphine withdrawal symptoms.
In the sections below, the following information is going to be directed towards morphine withdrawal symptoms, medically monitored detox programs, and the goal of addiction treatment.
What Determines the Extent of Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms?
In all likelihood, someone who abuses morphine for a week or two won’t fall victim to morphine withdrawal symptoms. On the flip side, someone who has been abusing morphine for months or years could be subject to some rather severe withdrawal symptoms. What scientists and doctors know is there is a correlation between an addict’s drug-using behavior and the extent of withdrawal symptoms they will likely encounter when they decide to stop using.
Here are the criteria that will have an effect on what a user’s morphine withdrawal symptoms might look like:
- The length of time they have been abusing morphine
- The amount is taken per dose
- The frequency of the drug abuse
- The way their body metabolizes opiates
Details About Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms
Everyone needs to understand that the repercussions of extended opiate addiction will always lead to some kind of withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms will come within hours of the addict taking their last pill or injection. What happens when that time comes? Here is an abbreviated list of the morphine withdrawal symptoms an addict is likely to encounter:
- Respiratory problems
- Circulatory issues with blood pressure/fast heartbeat
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
- Nightmares that adversely affect sleep
- Cramping, convulsions, and body tremors in the extremities
- Great difficulty controlling thoughts and motor function
- Sweating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideology
After looking at this list, everyone should have a better understanding of why doctors recommend people don’t try to quit using morphine on their own. It’s simply too dangerous to do so. The best alternative to quitting on one’s own is going through a medically monitored detox program.
Finding a Medically Monitored Detox Program
Using the aforementioned criteria related to the predictability of morphine withdrawal, people should know the likelihood they are going to encounter morphine withdrawal symptoms. Instead of risking their health trying to go it alone, they should take a safer path. That would be seeking help by way of a medically monitored detox program. Where would someone find that kind of treatment option?
If someone is seeking a detox program, they have two options. They can enlist the services of a dedicated drug/alcohol detox facility or find an addiction treatment center that offers detox services. Anyone who chooses the former option will later need to find a rehab facility to independently provide them with counseling.
About the Medically Monitored Detox Programs
The goal of any good detox program is to provide a safe environment for clients to go through withdrawal. While in a detox facility, there should be medical professionals on hand to monitor each client’s progress. In a perfect world, a morphine addict would be able to go through withdrawal without a need for medical intervention. Unfortunately, people with a morphine addiction don’t live in a perfect world.
In the real world, a client will start to detox. Meanwhile, medical staffers will be monitoring their progress. When a client starts to show signs of real discomfort, there would be a doctor standing by to intervene. Most of the time, they intervene by prescribing relief medications for pain and sleep. They do whatever is necessary to keep clients safe.
How Long Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms Will Last
Again, the extent of someone’s addiction will play a role in determining the severity of the morphine withdrawal symptoms they will encounter.
Morphine withdrawal will usually start about 6 to 8 hours after the user’s last hit. In the next 24 hours, they will start to feel poorly, similar to how they would feel with the flu. Heading into the second day of detox, the drug user will start to feel unstable, experiencing symptoms like sweating, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. By the third day, everything starts falling apart. This is when the addict starts experiencing tremors, convulsions, cramping, and hallucinations, all of which could last two or three days.
If the individual can get through the first five days, they should start feeling better. After about a week, the average person should able to deal with counseling. Warning: a person with a severe morphine addiction problem may need longer to clear their morphine withdrawal symptoms. They might need a doctor to prescribe Suboxone or another tapering medication to help them safely wean off the morphine.
After clearing their morphine withdrawal symptoms, it’s time for the addiction sufferer to have a reckoning. They need to spend some time in therapy on a mission. The mission is to figure out exactly why they have been feeling the need to hide behind the cloak of morphine.
In almost every case, it’s not the physical pain that drove their need to self-medicate. For most people, it’s the desire to hide from mental/emotional pain that keeps them wanting the morphine as a hiding place. They need to know what emotional/mental pain is causing the problem.
If and only if they can get to the root causes of their addiction, they will have a target for therapy. They can begin working on a very specific set of life and coping skills. It’s these life and coping skills that will help them deal with temptations and the triggers they will continue to encounter. Avoiding temptation and triggers could mean avoiding relapses.
Here’s a recommendation for anyone who is ready to stop abusing morphine. Knowing they are going to encounter significant morphine withdrawal symptoms should serve as adequate motivation to get help with the detox process.