Thursday August 17th 2017

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Physical addiction to morphine

Are you physically addicted to morphine? Help is available. Here, we will review signs of dependence on morphine and how to get help. Then, your questions about morphine use or treating morphine addiction are welcomed at the end.

Physical dependence on morphine

Morphine has a high risk for developing physical and psychological dependence. Chronic use and morphine tolerance can provoke these condition. Though both have the same starting point, physical and psychological dependence are two separate conditions. How?

While the dependence is a state of the body, addiction is a state of the mind, the two conditions affect totally different sections in the human brain. So you can be dependent on morphine, without being addicted to it. People being treated chronically with morphine, for example, for pain associated with terminal cancer may be dependent – if the drug is stopped, they suffer withdrawal syndrome. But, they are not compulsive users of the morphine, and they are not addicted.

How is morphine addiction different? The human brain of a morphine addict registers the effects of the morphine as a benefit, a reward, so that over time, a morphine user can begin to seek out the pleasure of getting the reward. The state in which the user engages in a compulsive behavior is called addiction. Even when faced with negative consequences, a morphine addict will lose control and take morphine again. That is how the drug addiction is psychological; the pathway to getting high is more interesting than the moments of being high themselves.

Physical dependence, on the other hand, is a state in which the human body can function normally only in the presence of certain drugs. Dependence manifests only after the drug is promptly removed, and the appearance of physiological disturbances are called withdrawal symptom.

Physical signs of addiction to morphine

When a person is dependent on morphine, withdrawal symptoms present themselves upon significant decreases in dosing or drug cessation. The physical signs of dependence on morphine can include:

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  • elevation of blood pressure and body temperature
  • involuntary leg movements
  • irritability
  • liquid diarrhea
  • mild depression
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Symptoms start to appear within 45 to 96 hours after the last dose and continue for up to 8 to 12 days after stopping morphine.

Treating physical symptoms of addiction to morphine

Detoxification is the process during which morphine users allow the body to get rid of the drug naturally. Treating physical symptoms of addiction to morphine include managing the effects of withdrawal. The first step is always admitting the presence of the problem and asking for help. After that comes the detoxification.

Methadone, buprenorphine, and/or naltrexone are the most commonly used drugs for morphine and opiate addiction. These medications act in the same brain areas as morphine but can offer relief from cravings and can minimze withdrawal symptoms. Detox from morphine should be next be followed by treatment with a behavioral therapy and psychotherapy for people who want to stay off morphine and suspect addiction.

Physically addicted to morphine questions

After reading, do you still have some questions about morphine addiction? Feel free to ask us anything about physical addiction to morphine, and we will do our best in providing you with a correct, personal, and prompt answer.

Reference Sources: NHTSA: Morphine
NIDA: The Neurobiology of Drug Addiction
NIDA: Treatment approaches to drug addiction

Photo credit: Wiki Media Commons

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11 Responses to “Physical addiction to morphine
10:29 pm September 23rd, 2014

Hello. I’ve been taking 3 x 100mg of morphine er for chronic back pain. Ive had a spine fusion, so theoretically I no longer need the morphine. Whats the best way to get off opiates? (about 2 yrs in some form) Should I taper with the help of my PM dr, or go to a hospital and get it over with? The hosp suggested using methadone for about 3 days.

2:35 pm November 27th, 2014

Hi, I am currently using mxl60 +aueremorph +diazepam,fluoxetine+and anti depressants, all dr prescribed. However I have never taken the full amount prescribed, because I am fearful of the addiction of morphine. My dose is mxl 60 x 1 capsule daily slow release and 5ml aueremorph . 2 fluoxetine 4 x daily paracetamol 2 4 x daily amatrytolene 4 at night.
my usual consumption is: mxl 60ml 1 daily, fluoxitine 2 daily, 5ml aueremorph 2 times daily more often once, paracetamol I take the full dose and amatryptolene i only take 1 tablet at night. I also take stomach protector losec and currently on anti-biotics.for infected heammaroids due to constipation for which I take fybogel or another type of the same idea. needless to say I do get withdrawal symptoms after just 72 hours, as I found out after I forgot to collect my prescription.over a weekend period and I was climbing the walls. however I am on other prescribed drugs as you see which are also addictive and it scares me to death as I had to ask my dr to check my organs to make sure no damage was being done and got a blood test. surely they should be screening me often or at least once per year. I only asked because my dog died of organ failure due to the pain killing drugs he was on for 3 years just under the legnth of time I have been on them. I am 60 years old and suffering from debilitating and painful athritis throughout my body and originally was on patches of morphine which i became allergic to. If ever I get the ops i keep being promised and no longer actually NEED the drugs I know it will be hard for me to come off them even although I have limited myself to the amount I am taking. the damage is done is it not?

6:34 pm February 19th, 2015

will i become addicted after one use of zomorph?

2:04 pm February 20th, 2015

Hi Chloe. No, you your body and brain can’t form addiction to it from one single use. But, if you are not prescribed zomorph, it is considered to be abuse of this medication and that’s illegal.

1:39 am August 17th, 2015

I am an advanced cancer patient and have taken morphine sulphate for 2 years. This was fine until 2-3 months ago when I developed a sensitivity to the drug such that even tiny doses, say 2-3 mls, cause severe cramping in my hands and feet, and sudden losses of consciousness. Sometimes I am stuck in a ” half awake state “, which I find really frightening. These effects lessen as the day goes on, and particularly when I have eaten an evening meal. Are these effects common? And is there anything that might ameliorate them? Its looking as though I will have to come off morphine, though when I tried I got the full range of withdrawal side effects within just 12 hours – particularly agitation.

3:49 pm August 24th, 2015

Hi Jaclin. Please report these effects to your doctor immediately and don’t attempt to do anything on your own.

12:00 pm October 11th, 2016

I’ve been on Ms Contin for about 16 years, due to several chronic pain conditions. Even the my conditions still remain an issue, I am so tired of taking this medication and basically having it control my life. Getting it filled is becoming harder and harder and it puts so many limitations on my life. I rather live with this ungodly pain than continue to be on this medication. My doctor has talked about tapering me off before but i have been so scared to go through the withdrawals that I have not done the tapering off as if yet. There is nothing worse then these withdrawals and it scares me to death. Outside of taking other opiates what can I do so to reduce or even avoid the withdrawals?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:47 am October 21st, 2016

Hi Chris. I suggest that you try with the tapering schedule…withdrawal symptoms are hard, but it’s worth doing it.

2:15 am July 21st, 2017

I know someone who takes 45 mg of morphine per day for referred pain due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I believe she is addicted to it , but on aware of that fact He’s 45 mg of morphine per day a lot, and is it enough to make the user become addicted ?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:11 pm July 31st, 2017

Hi Lee. She may only have developed a tolerance and dependence to morphine, which is a totally different state of being an addict.

3:49 am August 5th, 2017

This is the only site that deals with the physical addiction aspect as a separate entity. Many of us don’t abuse our medications but the physical addiction is scary enough but who needs to hear about the psychological stuff when that was never an issue.

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