Morphine addiction

Morphine is an extremely popular pain relief medication which is used to treat severe discomfort. It is classified as a controlled drug, meaning that a prescription is required to obtain it. Despite its intended use for legal purposes in the UK, it is still a drug that is abused, and unfortunately, many patients have become addicted to morphine. In fact, the number of drug-related deaths related to morphine overdose has been steadily increasing year on year since the nineties.

The fact that morphine is a legal prescription medicine can often make its risks neglected, but prescription drug addiction is still very common. For more information about the signs of morphine addiction, as well as how to begin recovering from this substance, look to the page below.

Morphine addiction needle

Safe use of morphine

Morphine can be safe to use in small, controlled doses administered by a medical professional. It is the responsibility of the medical practitioner to prescribe and, at times, administer morphine, keeping it under tight control. When used safely, morphine blocks pain receptors so that the nerves are deactivated when pain occurs. However, this numb feeling can become addictive, putting patients at risk of developing an addiction. Medical professionals will consider this prior to prescribing the drug, weighing up the relief it can provide against its risk of addiction.

Morphine misuse and addiction

As morphine is a type of opioid, this can make addiction to the substance particularly dangerous. This is because opioids target pain receptors, creating feelings of euphoria which, when the drug first meets the brain, can leave users feeling a sense of pleasure like they have not experienced before. After prolonged use, this euphoric reaction induced by morphine reduces, leading some people to take more of the drug to feel the same effect. Unfortunately, when your tolerance to morphine increases, it can also alter the effect it has on your body, including your body’s ability to function without the drug. This is how morphine addiction develops.

How to spot morphine addiction in a loved one

It can be difficult to spot signs of opiate addiction in a loved one because it is used for pain relief. However, it is important to distinguish whether someone is using the drug as intended (to treat pain) or if they are abusing the drug for its effects. As with all addictions, you may notice changes to a loved one’s behaviour if they are abusing the drug. Morphine addiction can lead to negative consequences to an individual’s personal, financial and professional life; therefore, it is crucial that you are aware of some of the symptoms associated with morphine addiction, which include:

  • Drastic changes in mood
  • Changes to social circle, only associating with people who abuse opiates
  • Frequently visiting medical professionals to obtain more morphine
  • Becoming fixated on obtaining, taking, or coming off morphine
  • Appearing drowsy or less responsive
  • Finding it difficult to stay on top of responsibilities, such as work or education

Morphine addiction woman struggling at work

How to spot morphine addiction in yourself

If you have been using morphine for a long time and have started to take a higher dose than intended by your doctor, you may be suffering from morphine addiction. If you feel that you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, you should seek help for morphine addiction as soon as possible:

  • You are still taking morphine even though your health condition and level of pain have improved.
  • You are hiding the level of morphine that you are taking from your doctor and loved ones.
  • Each day is focused on ensuring that you have enough morphine to last you the day.
  • You have tried to stop taking morphine in the past, but have failed to do so.

Detoxing from morphine safely.

Opioids are some of the strongest medications, and with that comes more severe withdrawal symptoms. As the body can become so used to functioning with morphine in its system, the sudden change to chemicals during a morphine withdrawal makes it dangerous to complete a morphine detox alone. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with morphine detox include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Cravings
  • Cold sweats
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety

Morphine addiction man with depression

If you are addicted to morphine, a medical detox may be necessary to help ease the withdrawal symptoms, including a tapering regimen from a professional, steadily reducing your morphine dosage until the drug has totally left your system. A medically assisted detox is included in our morphine detox programme at Liberty House, as well as twenty-four-hour support and monitoring for all clients who require assistance. Detoxing from morphine in a professional environment is a much safer alternative to detoxing at home, making it easier to focus on recovery, free from lifestyle distractions that may prompt a relapse.

How long does morphine detox take?

How long morphine detox takes can vary, depending on the amount of time you have been abusing morphine, as well as how much of the substance you are taking on a regular basis. For some, withdrawal symptoms during morphine detox can last for a few weeks, but this can extend to several months depending on the level of morphine addiction. However, withdrawal symptoms will not last forever for anybody; they will always come to an end and there is ample support available at a professional rehab facility to help you through this.

How is morphine addiction treated at Liberty House?

There are many facilities for rehab treatment that are well-equipped to treat morphine addiction. At a professional centre like Liberty House, we are well-staffed, with a team dedicated to helping you overcome your dependence in a safe and welcoming environment. We employ a holistic approach to care, which means that we cater to all aspects of our clients’ wellbeing – mental, physical, and spiritual.

At Liberty House, both the physical and psychological symptoms of morphine abuse are treated collectively. First, we address the physical side of your morphine addiction with a detox. This is where you abstain from taking morphine until there are no more traces of the substance in your body. When you are feeling healthy and capable enough, the psychological aspects of your condition will be addressed through a range of therapies and workshops on a group and individual basis. Some of the addiction therapies we provide at our centre include:

  • Group therapy – To explore all aspects of your morphine addiction, surrounded by other residents who are experiencing similar hurdles. We have found that this collective approach to treatment can give clients the motivation to see through their recovery journeys.
  • Family recovery – Liberty House is an inpatient facility, meaning that patients are required to stay at the centre for the duration of their treatment. However, we always involve family and close friends in our client’s treatment journeys wherever possible. Through family therapy, loved ones can begin to rebuild, understanding more about morphine addiction and how to transition back to everyday life after having left our centre.
  • Aftercare – You will not be left alone once their rehab treatment is completed, as we also provide access to aftercare programmes for ongoing support during the rehabilitation back to life free from addiction.

Morphine addiction group therapy

Start healing today.

We hope we have raised greater awareness about the realities of morphine addiction. If you are concerned about your own morphine intake, or a loved one who is addicted to morphine, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible in starting on the road to recovery. While this first step might seem challenging, it is important to remember that recovery is possible, and we have seen countless residents leave the doors of our centre, free from their dependencies, with hope for their futures. For any more information about getting well with Liberty House, contact our admissions team today for advice and support on how to begin recovering from morphine addiction.

Frequently asked questions

How can I help a loved one addicted to morphine?
You should talk to your loved one about your concerns. At first, they may reject your opinion, but it is important that you keep the communication and relationship open and let them know you are there for them. You cannot force somebody to get help for addiction, but explaining why you are worried about the risks to their mental and physical health can encourage them to seek help. You can show them this information page for more information, encouraging them to be open and honest with those around them about their morphine abuse.
What is the best morphine addiction treatment?
Inpatient rehab offers the best chance of recovery from morphine addiction. Morphine has a large impact on your health, which will require the support of medical professionals to overcome. At Liberty House, our inpatient rehab centre offers around-the-clock support from professionals who specialise in supporting people through their morphine addiction recovery.
Is morphine addiction dangeropus?
Yes, morphine addiction can be highly dangerous. For one, higher doses of morphine cause your heart rate to decrease and slow your breathing. This can create a high risk of death, and cause the brain chemical, noradrenaline, to work harder. Noradrenaline is responsible for increasing your heart rate and breathing, so it has to release a higher amount of the chemical to counteract this. When you cut down, or stop taking morphine, it can cause you to release too much noradrenaline which can result in withdrawal symptoms. It is also extremely dangerous to take morphine alongside other medications without first consulting your doctor.