Morphine addiction is common in America, as morphine is one of the most popular opioids around. A scientist named Freidrich Wilhelm Adam Serturner first discovered this drug in the 18th century. He isolated this organic alkaloid compound from the opium poppy, and named it after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, because of its ability to put a person to sleep. Morphine is indeed an opium derivative, and is actually a metabolite of heroin. It has similar effects and properties.
Since then, morphine has been used as a painkiller to treat moderate to severe pain. It’s highly effective, and also highly addictive. As a result, a prescription is needed for morphine. This drug comes with a high risk for addiction and dependence even if it is used as prescribed. In high doses, it can cause both respiratory and cardiac distress.
With a rising opioid epidemic in America, it’s a good idea to take a look at the details of an addiction to morphine.
Top Brand Names for Morphine
Ever since 1805, morphine has been used for medical purposes. It’s an incredibly effective painkiller. Over the years, it has been marketed under many brand names. Some of the most common and current brand names for morphine include:
- Arymo ER
- Infumorph P/F
- Kadian ER
- Morphabond ER
- MS Contin
- Morphine Sulfate ER
- Oramorph SR
Prescription morphine comes in many forms. Some brands offer the drug in an immediate-release form, while others offer it in an extended-release form. Extended-release medications have a delayed onset, but offer a longer duration of action.
Common Street Names
Due to the highly addictive nature of morphine, it is also often found on the black market. Patients who are cut off by their physicians may choose to purchase the drug illegally to support their habit. Drug dealers often mark up the price of these opioid medications by over 500% of the wholesale price. Some of the most common street names of morphine include:
- Aunti Em
- White Stuff
Different regions will have unique street names for this drug. In some cases, these drugs may even be buffed with other illicit substances.
Dangers of Mixing Morphine with Alcohol
It’s incredibly dangerous to mix morphine and alcohol together. Both substances are depressants that act on the central nervous system (CNS). When used concurrently, their effects are magnified. As a result, they exacerbate symptoms of intoxication. This makes the consumer much more likely to experience an overdose. Dangerous side effects, like cardiac and respiratory depression, are much more likely to occur. The two substances also increase the risk of experiencing seizures or coma when taken together.
The combined use of morphine and alcohol will enhance the cognitive function disruption. They cause judgment impairment. People who take morphine and alcohol together are more likely to feel confused and experience a loss of coordination.
Side Effects of Morphine Abuse
The short-term side effects of morphine use and abuse is similar to the short-term side effects experienced with all opioid derivatives. Morphine targets the central nervous system, the cardiac system and the respiratory system. Common short-term side effects include:
- Constricted pupils
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of consciousness
- Profuse sweating
- Slowed breathing
- Urinary retention
In most situations, the intensity of these side effects will dissipate with time. If these side effects worsen with time, it’s best to speak with a medical professional as soon as possible.
Continued or long-term abuse can result in not only physical dependence and tolerance, but it can also have damaging effects on the body and mind. Some of the most common long-term side effects of morphine abuse include:
- Cold flashes with goosebumps
- Muscle and bone pain
- Sleep problems, like insomnia
Those who abuse this drug for long periods of time will also likely build tolerance. They become much more likely to overdose. They are also more likely to isolate them from friends and family in favor of drug use. Those who inject morphine will have an increased risk of contracting blood-borne diseases.
How Long Does Morphine Stay in Your Body For?
Compared to heroin, morphine is not a fast-acting drug. Its effects tend to linger around for a much longer period of time. With that said, the detection period for both of these substances are quite similar.
Although the effects of morphine will usually peak within 60 minutes, the metabolites remain in the body for much longer. Different types of drug tests will have various detection windows for this drug.
It’s possible to detect morphine within 12 hours after last use using a blood test. A urine test can detect the metabolites for up to 3 days, and a saliva test can detect morphine for up to 4 days. Hair drug tests offer the longest detection windows. They can detect morphine use for up to 90 days.
Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms
Drug abusers and patients who abuse or misuse morphine for over 2 weeks are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when quitting. Morphine is highly addictive. It can easily cross the blood-brain barrier to change a user’s brain chemistry. Upon quitting, it takes a while for the brain to relearn how to function without the drug.
In most cases, morphine withdrawal symptoms are similar to flu symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms to look out for include:
- Anxiety, irritability and agitation
- Fever and headaches
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure
- Runny nose
- Sleep problems, like insomnia
- Watery eyes
The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will differ from person to person. The withdrawal timeline and the symptoms will also differ for each person. It will depend on the length of the drug use, each person’s biological makeup, among many other factors. In general, withdrawal symptoms for morphine are not usually life-threatening. With that said, they can still be very intense and difficult to overcome.
The withdrawal process will vary in length from person to person. The psychological withdrawal symptoms tend to last much longer than the physical ones. While the withdrawal symptoms may not necessarily be life-threatening, they can be incredible intense. Getting through the morphine withdrawal process can be difficult. Here’s an approximate withdrawal timeline.
6 to 24 hours after the last dose: The initial symptoms will begin to kick in after quitting these painkillers. These symptoms tend to involve mood swings, anxiety and drug cravings. The withdrawals are usually not too bad yet. They’re still manageable and tolerable.
15 to 48 hours: The withdrawal symptoms that kick in at this point mimic flu-like symptoms. Morphine users begin to experience muscle aches, chills, fever and runny noses. Depending on the severity of the addiction, some morphine abusers will also feel disoriented and have trouble sleeping. Many addicts will begin to experience nausea and vomiting towards the end of this stage.
Days 3 to 5: Most physical symptoms will usually begin to fade by this time. The drug users tend to feel less nauseous and healthier. With that said, the psychological symptoms may still persist.
Day 6 and beyond: The physical symptoms will usually have long subsided. This means that patients tend to feel healthier and more at ease. With that said, some psychological withdrawal symptoms will linger behind. These symptoms include anxiety, irritability and depression. Some morphine abusers may still struggle with drug cravings for some time.
Withdrawing from morphine can be stressful and difficult. For the best shot at a full recovery, most experts advise morphine users to seek help from an addiction treatment facility. We offer a bunch of drug or alcohol addiction treatment options and programs.
Treatment for Morphine Addiction
Much like with any type of opioid addiction, a morphine addiction can be difficult to deal with. Withdrawal symptoms can easily get very uncomfortable. A drug rehab facility can help patients with a morphine detox.
In most situations, the doctors will try to slowly taper down the amount of morphine that each patient was taking. Some of the more intense withdrawal symptoms can be alleviated via medical detox. The medications used will block opioid receptors. Methadone and buprenorphine are two of the most common options available. They have a mechanism of action similar to opioids, but are less damaging to the body. The dose of the medications is adjusted to fit the needs of each patient.
Medical detox for opioids is also known as Opiate Replacement Therapy (ORT). Basically, doctors replace the strong opioids with weaker ones. These medications help curb cravings and reduce the risk of relapse.
What’s Involved with Morphine Addiction Treatment?
Although medical detoxification is effective, it, alone, cannot facilitate a successful recovery. To heal and remain sober, patients must build new habits and behaviors. They must learn how to break free from damaging and negative thoughts. They must also learn how to resist temptations.
To help patients achieve success, most rehab centers will recommend an array of behavioral therapies and counseling sessions. Some common options available include:
- Family therapy
- Group counseling
- One-on-one counseling
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Motivational Interviewing (MI)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Each type of behavioral therapy offers distinct and unique characteristics. For example, EMDR is ideal for patients struggling to cope with PTSD and other types of traumatic events.
Patients also learn independent living skills. Some rehab centers may teach patients how to manage finances, whereas others may teach them how to cook. The goal is to help patients learn how to re-enter society with ease.
Get Help for an Opioid Addiction
An addiction to morphine can be difficult to kick. Much like with many other opioids, the withdrawal symptoms can easily become overbearing. To make sure that you have the best shot at recovery, seek addiction treatment help from professionals.
Here, at The Evergreen at Northpoint, we have everything you’re looking for. Not only can we point you towards the right resources, but we can also provide you with a free phone assessment to gauge the severity of your addiction.
Leave everything to us. Contact us today and we can verify your insurance information for you, as well as deal with all the paperwork. Sobriety is just one step away.