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Morphine Abuse & Addiction | Effects, Overdose, & Treatment Options

Published on October 8, 2020
vile of morphine

Morphine is sometimes used for pain relief, such as for severe pain, but it also has a high risk of abuse. 

The effects morphine causes can easily lead to addiction if this drug is used too much or taken over a longer period of time than recommended. 

Treatment programs for morphine addiction can help you overcome opioid use disorder and improve your quality of life.

What Is Morphine?

Morphine is a type of opiate that healthcare providers use to relieve pain. However, morphine uses for pain relief must be done cautiously, since this opioid can lead to addiction. 

Morphine is only used to directly ease pain in a low number of cases. It’s sometimes processed for use in other types of pain relievers like codeine.

Other things you should know about morphine include:

  • Common street names for morphine include Dreamer, First Line, Mister Blue, Morpho, and Unkie.
  • Morphine is used for pain relief in different forms, including injections and oral extended-release and immediate-release capsules and tablets, such as morphine sulfate 15mg
  • Morphine addiction typically involves injections, since this puts the drug directly into the bloodstream for more immediate effects
  • In terms of morphine vs fentanyl, morphine is naturally occurring, while fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is estimated to be 100 times more potent.

Effects Of Morphine Use

Morphine is known to cause feelings of euphoria when taken as a street drug or as a pain reliever. This euphoric feeling becomes harder to obtain with continued morphine use, which can lead people to take more and more of it. 

In addition to pain relief and euphoria, morphine can cause a decrease in appetite and inhibit cough reflexes. 

Those who use morphine on a chronic basis can become psychologically and physically dependent on this opiate. When this happens, morphine adverse effects can occur and increase the risk of severe health problems and overdose.

Morphine Addiction Symptoms

Knowing how to recognize signs of morphine addiction is important so you or your loved one can seek treatment for it. Addiction can happen when you need to take morphine in larger doses or use it more frequently to experience euphoria, pain relief, and other effects. 

Morphine addiction can cause physical and behavioral symptoms that may include:

  • pupil dilation
  • slurred speech
  • itching
  • aggressive behavior; irritability
  • lack of personal hygiene
  • poor decision making or judgment; trouble focusing or confusion
  • mood swings
  • frequent changes in healthcare providers in order to continue obtaining morphine
  • anxiety and depression
  • weakened immune system
  • constipation
  • sleep changes, such as sleeping less or more than usual
  • avoiding responsibilities or loved ones

Morphine Overdose Signs

A morphine overdose can occur if you take a high dosage of this opiate. Since morphine overdoses can become life-threatening in a short amount of time, it’s essential to seek emergency medical care right away. 

Some of the symptoms of a morphine overdose include:

  • irregular breathing
  • breathing that is shallow or slow (respiratory depression)
  • nausea
  • slow heartbeat
  • blurry vision
  • small pupils
  • unconsciousness
  • kkin that feels cold to the touch or clammy
  • muscle weakness
  • drowsiness

Learn more about Morphine Overdose

Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms & Detox

Morphine withdrawal can occur when you stop taking this drug, since your body and brain have become used to it. 

Early symptoms of withdrawal from morphine may include:

  • sore muscles
  • trouble sleeping
  • frequent yawning
  • anxiety
  • watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • restlessness
  • sweating excessively

Symptoms of morphine withdrawal that occur later may include:

  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting and nausea
  • pupil dilation
  • blurry vision
  • high blood pressure
  • goosebumps
  • rapid heartbeat

Detox programs are an important part of getting through morphine withdrawal safely. When you’re in a professional detox program, you’ll have access to medical care as needed, which can help ensure that you receive prompt treatment if you experience severe symptoms. 

You’ll also have support from healthcare professionals and addiction specialists. These programs are often a first step toward learning to overcome an addiction to morphine.

Learn more about Morphine Withdrawal

Morphine Addiction Rehab & Treatment Options

With morphine being an opioid, treatment programs often include medication that can help ease your withdrawal symptoms and lower your chance of having a relapse. 

Since morphine addiction has a high risk of relapse and serious withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to seek professional care through a rehab program, which may include a combination of the following:

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT uses medication that mimics morphine without putting you at risk of addiction or relapse. Using this medication can help your body and brain adjust to being without morphine in a safe manner. MAT programs also use a behavioral therapy component along with medication.

Residential/Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient or residential treatment includes a stay at a rehab facility where you’ll have support at all times. Inpatient facilities offer safe places for those suffering from addiction. These programs have a structured schedule that might include group therapy and other treatment components.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is typically part of a treatment program for morphine addiction. This kind of therapy helps you work on developing healthier habits while also learning to change your thinking and behavior to lower your risk of relapse.

If you or a loved one struggles with morphine addiction, please contact Ark Behavioral Health to learn more about our rehab programs.

Morphine FAQ

How Is Morphine Abused?

Morphine can be administered and abused in a variety of ways, each of which impacts the dose’s potency, the speed at which its effects are felt, and the potential danger and health risks involved.

Common routes of abuse include:

  • oral use
  • injection
  • smoking
  • snorting 
  • plugging

Learn more about the Dangers Of Morphine Abuse

How Long Does Morphine Stay In Your System?

You can expect morphine to stay in your system for 7.5 hours to over 3 days. This amount of time will depend on many different factors as well as the drug test used.

Read How Long Does Morphine Stay In Your System to learn more

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

American Academy of Family Physicians - Opioid Addiction
Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration - Morphine Fact Sheet
Medline Plus - Morphine

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