Morphine is a prescription narcotic naturally derived from opium and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Morphine has long been used solely by injection, but today it can be found in a variety of forms. It’s most commonly found in hospitals where doctors use it to treat patients who have undergone surgery, suffered a serious injury, or have had other forms of severe pain.
Morphine is also available from pharmacies where it is available as a generic or under brand names such as MS-Contin, Oramorph SR, MSIR, Roxanol, Kadian, and RMS.
Morphine is addicting. Anyone who uses it for an extended period of time will develop a tolerance of its pain relieving effects, regardless of whether it is used on a prescription or recreational basis. Tolerance quickly leads to physical dependence. Once your body becomes dependent on the presence of morphine, it forgets how to function normally without morphine. That said, if you take it away, your body will respond.
Withdrawal from morphine can be uncomfortable and uncomfortable. During morphine withdrawal, you can expect to feel like you have a bad flu.If youIf you
Most people will experience symptoms 8 to 24 hours after the last dose.
Early symptoms are likely to be sweating, chills, and runny nose. If your withdrawal symptoms worsen, you can expect insomnia, muscle cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.
Of course, the retreat is different for everyone. Some people have relatively mild symptoms while others have severe symptoms. Your withdrawal experience will depend on a variety of factors including but not limited to path You used opioids.
Physical dependence on a drug can quickly lead to psychological dependence and addiction, especially if you’ve misused your prescription. In 2017, national survey data showed that more than 500,000 people had abused morphine in the past year.If youIf you
If you are part of the population of people who take morphine illegally, take larger doses than you should, or take more often than you should, it is possible that your addiction has evolved into a substance use disorder. Substance use disorders can make withdrawal difficult and add strong emotions such as guilt, shame, and hopelessness to an already difficult process.
Signs and symptoms
Withdrawal from morphine can be very uncomfortable. Most people experience a variety of physical symptoms, and their severity can range from mild to severe. Severe symptoms can be uncomfortable but are rarely dangerous.
Common symptoms of morphine withdrawal include:
- Muscle aches and painsIf youIf you
- Flu-like feeling
- Runny nose
- Nausea or vomitingIf youIf you
- Cramps or diarrhea
- Watery eyes
- goose bumps
- Racing heart
- Skin crawling
- Fear or anxietyIf youIf you
- agitationIf youIf you
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
The severity and duration of your withdrawal symptoms will depend on a number of factors, including how long you’ve been taking the drug, how long the drug stays in your system, whether you stop cold turkey, and your general health.
To get a better idea of the range of possible symptoms, take a look at the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS). This is a tool that doctors and nurses use to diagnose people who are experiencing symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Remember, this is for diagnostic purposes so your experience cannot be predicted. You may experience all of the symptoms described here, or just one or two.
Symptoms usually start within 8 to 12 hours of your last dose.If youWithdrawal may be slower if you use an extended-release version or another extended-release opioid. Symptoms progressively worsen over the next two days until they peak around the second or third day. The most severe symptoms should only last about a day. After that, your symptoms will subside before they completely improve on day five.
Morphine withdrawal usually follows a bell curve (which looks like a small, rounded hill) – symptoms progressively worsen, peak, and then decrease.
The acute (immediate) symptoms of opioid withdrawal rarely last more than a week, but that doesn’t mean you are completely out of the woods. There is a longer-lasting withdrawal syndrome known as lengthy withdrawal that affects some people for up to six months after their last dose. Prolonged withdrawal is much less severe than acute withdrawal and more psychological than physical.
Symptoms of protracted opioid withdrawal include:
- depressionIf youIf you
- Low energy levels
- Low load tolerance (short fuse)
- sleep disordersIf youIf you
- The inability to experience joy in anything
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Irritability or movementIf youIf you
Coping and Relief
While it is never easy to stop using morphine, there are many ways you can treat and prevent the symptoms of withdrawal. Trying to finish a cold turkey is never a good idea. It is seldom successful and causes unnecessary suffering. Instead, you should work with your current doctor or an addiction specialist to develop a detox plan.
Rejuvenate your medication
If you have been taking morphine for pain and decide you want to stop, you should talk to your doctor about reducing your dose.
As you reduce your dose of morphine, take increasingly smaller doses over several weeks or months.If youDepending on your situation, your doctor may reduce your dose once a week or every few weeks. By gradually reducing your dose, you are giving your body time to adjust to the absence of morphine.
If you’ve used opioids, shown signs of addiction, or encountered other complicating factors, consider an opioid withdrawal drug such as methadone or buprenorphine. Methadone and buprenorphine (the active ingredient in Suboxone) are long-acting opioids that can relieve withdrawal symptoms without getting high.
Both opioid rejuvenation and opioid replacement therapy can help you avoid the brunt of opioid withdrawal and reduce the risk of relapse. However, they are not a withdrawal cure. It is not uncommon to experience withdrawal symptoms in different places when your dose is reduced.If youWithdrawal symptoms can also occur as your body gets used to a new drug. Fortunately, there are several prescription and non-prescription (OTC) drugs that can be used to directly treat symptoms. These include:
- Loperamide: An over-the-counter medication for diarrhea.
- Ondansetron: A prescription drug for nausea and vomiting.If youIf you
- Benzodiazepines: Prescription drugs used to treat symptoms of anxiety and arousal.
- Paracetamol or Ibuprofen: OTC drugs like Tylenol and Advil that can treat muscle pain and headaches.If youIf you
- Antihistamines: OTC drugs like Benadryl (not the non-drowsy types) can help you sleep well.
There are several other drugs that are used to treat opioid withdrawal, reduce food cravings, and prevent relapses. These include:
- Clonidine: A high blood pressure drug commonly prescribed off-label to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It is available as a pill or as a transdermal patch.
- Naltrexone: A drug that prevents relapse in the long term by blocking the euphoric effects of opioids.If youIt is available as a pill or monthly injection.
- Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride): A brand new, non-opioid drug that is FDA approved to treat most opioid withdrawal symptoms. It requires a prescription and can be taken for the first two weeks after your last opioid dose.
If you plan to stop using morphine in the near future, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most healthy adults can be safely detoxified from morphine at home, but some people are better off under the direct supervision of a doctor.
If your health is compromised from cancer, surgery, or chronic illness, consider an inpatient detox program.
The same applies to people with severe mental illness or a history of suicide. With inpatient detoxification, you live all day in a facility for the duration of the treatment (approx. Five days only for detoxification). It can take place in a hospital or a special addiction treatment center. Constant monitoring by healthcare professionals can help prevent complications and alleviate discomfort.
If you became pregnant while using morphine or other opioids, you can also benefit from a supervised detox.If youIf you are planning to continue your pregnancy you need to switch to methadone with caution. Morphine is not safe to use during pregnancy, but withdrawal from morphine is not safe either. A stable dose of methadone during your pregnancy is generally considered to be the safest option for both mother and baby.
If you are interested in inpatient treatment, it is best to contact your insurance company. Most private insurers cover addiction treatment, as do most state and federal insurance programs. Be sure to ask which benefits are covered for how long (three days, three months, etc.). You can find the telephone number of your insurer on the back of your insurance card. If you are not insured, don’t worry. There are many treatment centers that offer a staggered plan for those in need.
One last warning before we go any further. Many laypeople have touted the potential of the botanical medicine kratom as a treatment for opioid withdrawal. There is currently no scientific evidence that kratom helps people overcome opioid addiction.
After collecting the most current scientific research available, the FDA issued a warning against the use of kratom in 2018.If youThey found that kratom is essentially an opioid, meaning it can lead to tolerance and addiction as well. In addition, the potential side effects of kratom are not well understood and the number of deaths caused by kratom is increasing. To be on the safe side, avoid kratom until the scientific community learns more about its safety.
Long term treatment
For some people, recovery from opioid addiction is a long-term, ongoing process. The best long-term treatment for you will depend on a few key factors, namely the presence of the addiction and its severity. Some of the hallmarks of opioid addiction are:
- Continue to use drugs despite the negative effects of your drug useIf youIf you
- Spend excessive time on drugs or recover from their effects
- Spend inordinate time thinking about your next dose or how to get it
- Failure to perform your duties at home, at work, or at schoolIf youIf you
- Experience intense food cravings that are affecting your life
- I try to stop but I can’t
The evidence overwhelmingly shows that rejuvenation without the assistance of medication is ineffective once a moderate to severe opioid use disorder has developed.If youEvidence-based treatment for opioid disorder involves a combination of drugs and behavioral therapy.If youThis means using drugs like methadone or suboxone in combination with talk therapy. Research has shown that the combination of therapy and medication works better than medication alone.If youBe wary of withdrawal symptoms.
The goal of long-term treatment is to prevent relapse. So the best treatment is the one you can commit to.
For the year following your last dose, your treatment plan should be vigilant. You should plan to work with a doctor to get buprenorphine or visit a methadone clinic once a day. This should be combined with counseling therapy and support group meetings.
Your talk therapy can take place with a therapist, addiction counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Some people prefer individual therapy while others enjoy group therapy sessions. Long-term treatment can be in a dormitory or on an outpatient basis.
As you stabilize yourself physically and mentally, you can reduce your treatment. 12-step meetings might work well for you.
While morphine withdrawal isn’t usually life-threatening, it can be intense and uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor if you need help and support while you are going through withdrawal. A rejuvenating plan, medications, and therapies can aid your immediate and long-term recovery. Use this searchable directory to find a doctor near you who is certified to prescribe buprenorphine.
To find a doctor or therapist who specializes in opioid use disorders, you can use this searchable directory from the Agency for Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMHSA) or call the SAMHSA national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
You can find more mental health resources in our National Helpline Database.
Support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can also be helpful. To learn more about Narcotics Anonymous, visit their website. You can find a meeting near you using the searchable directory.
A word from Verywell
Whatever your reason for taking or stopping morphine, withdrawal is inevitable –unless They are looking for treatment. Don’t let shame stop you from reaching for you. Morphine is an incredibly addicting drug and your doctor will understand it. In fact, your doctor will likely be downright delighted that you are feeling well enough to stop your morphine and move on to the next phase of your life.