Morphine, the primary chemical component in opium, is regarded as the gold standard of pain relievers. Named after Greek God of dreams Morpheus, morphine provides a dream-like state and a sudden sense of euphoric rush. Morphine is available in injectable, tablet and syrup form. The drug used to treat severe pain is also known to reduce tension. Like other opiates, morphine use can cause slow breathing, euphoria and a slow heart rate.
Similar to other prescription opiates, morphine can be habit-forming even with regular doses and can lead to dependency and abuse. Tolerance to morphine develops quickly due to its highly addictive nature. When used for a prolonged period, people can become psychologically and physically dependent on it.
Morphine abuse, symptoms and effects
Whether taken according to a doctor’s prescription or without prescription, morphine can become quickly addictive. When taken in large quantities, morphine can cause cardiac arrest, suffocation, coma and even death. Due to its addictive nature, morphine is prone to abuse, tolerance and dependency.
This classic opiate painkiller can be misused in combination with substances like alcohol or other prescription drugs. Morphine misuse can have dangerous side effects and can be fatal. Some of the common side effects of morphine are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Shallow breathing
- Cardiac arrest
In addition to physical symptoms, morphine abuse can also lead to behavioral changes, including poor hygiene, social withdrawal, poor concentration and stealing. When combined with other addictive substances, such as drugs or alcohol, morphine abuse can lead to depressed respiratory function, suffocation and even death. In the long run, morphine abuse can lead to morphine addiction.
When its intake is stopped abruptly, morphine users can experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Some of the withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Appetite loss
- Muscle pain
- Drug cravings
Though the best solution for curbing morphine addiction is to stop it completely, an abrupt discontinuation of the drug can cause severe and sometimes fatal withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, withdrawal from morphine should be done in a controlled medical environment in a morphine addiction treatment center.
Treatment for morphine addiction
A comprehensive treatment for morphine addiction involves detoxification and behavioral therapy. Looking at its addictive nature, severe withdrawal symptoms and a high risk of relapse associated with the drug, treatment for morphine addiction in an inpatient center is considered the best option. In addition, treatment in an inpatient facility offers 24/7 care and counseling services to encourage individuals to complete the treatment plan.
Treatment for morphine addiction starts with initial physical withdrawal from the drug followed by psychological therapy and behavioral treatment. After detoxification, treatment in morphine drug rehab centers involves rehabilitation programs, including behavioral therapy, individual and group therapy. The aim of these support services is to help individuals suffering from drug addiction successfully deal with day-to-day life stressors and to impart valuable life skills for a happy and drug-free life. After the therapy sessions at a morphine addiction rehab center, individuals may also require regular counseling with licensed therapists.
Those who cannot opt for regular treatment at an inpatient facility due to personal and professional commitments, can go ahead for an outpatient facility that offers the same line of treatment, along with increased flexibility of living at home and continuing with normal life routine.