How to treat morphine addiction

Morphine addiction is both physical and psychological. Treatments include detox, the use of medications such as methadone, LAAM, buprenorphine and naltrexone, as well as behavioral interventions. More on how to treat morphine addiction here.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Juan Goecke, M.D. Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D.

Are you addicted to morphine (or know someone who is)?

Given its powerful effects, morphine is highly addictive. To treat morphine addiction, you must address both physical and psychological dependence on the opiate drug. The powerful euphoric feeling of the pain relieving drug is difficult to compete with. And because morphine stays in the system for a few hours, addicts return again and again for similar effect.  Furthermore, addicts will experience many aches and pains upon trying to quit. Here, we explore treatments for morphine addiction. There is a section at the end for your questions.

Am I addicted to morphine?

If you like use morphine to get high, you are more likely to develop a morphine addiction than someone using morphine for pain relief. But how can you tell the difference between therapeutic use and addiction?

Simple. Addiction is characterized by drug craving, compulsive use, the loss of control, and continued use despite negative consequence. On the other hand, regular users may become physically dependent on morphine and experience withdrawal when they stop or cut back doses…but the psychological elements of addiction ARE NOT PRESENT in a non-addict.

Treating morphine addiction

There are two principle ways to treat morphine addiction. The first is through psychotherapy. The second is by using medications to help address cravings. In fact, several medications for morphine addiction treatment which are best used in combination with psychological therapies. The main treatments for morphine addiction include:

1. Behavioral treatments for morphine addiction

Behavioral treatments for morphine addiction are best introduced after morphine detox has occurred. Specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) can help address thoughts, beliefs, and patterns related to morphine use. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps to address dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes through goal-oriented systematic procedures. Rational emotive behavior therapy, on the other hand, revolves around resolving emotional and behavioral problems that lead to people being happier and leading more fulfilling lives. Addicts work with a therapist or counselor in this case and establish a collaborative therapeutic working alliance based on the REBT education model. The first step to successful behavioral treatments such as CBT and REBT are accepting emotional responsibility and having the determination to change. Other behavioral treatments for morphine addiction include:

  • 12-step Facilitation
  • Anger Management
  • Community Reinforcement Plus Vouchers
  • Contingency Management/Motivational Incentives
  • Matrix Model
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

2. Pharmaceutical treatments for morphine addiction

Pharmaceutical treatments are often used in drug detoxification programs for opiate or opioids like morphine. Pharmacotherapeutic medications for morphine addiction include medications known as Methadone, LAAM, buprenorphine (Subutex), nuprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone) and naltrexone. These medications either address cravings for morphine or block the euphoric effects of morphine. These medications have proven to be effective for morphine addiction and can be prescribed by a doctor.

Treatment for morphine addiction

So where can you go to receive treatment for morphine addiction? The first place to seek help is in your own community. Consult with your family doctor, a trusted friend, or a spiritual/religious leader. Clinical social workers can also refer you to addiction treatment services in your area. The main centers to receive treatment for morphine addiction are:

Morphine Detox Clinics – Morphine withdrawal is necessary for nearly everyone who becomes addicted to morphine. During morphine detox, addicts will often experience insomnia, chills, sweating, weakness, stomach cramps, and high heart rates. However, there are medications that can be used to help aid in lessening these symptoms. Morphine detoxification should always be monitored by licensed professionals and never attempted at home. Morphine detox usually completed within just a few days.

Morphine Addiction Treatment Centers – Treatment centers are designed specifically to help those with addiction and provide specialized care for morphine addicts. Treatment centers may provide detoxification and therapy after the detox to help the addict live a drug free life. Additionally, morphine addiction treatment centers may be inpatient and require 28+ days of residential treatment, or outpatient, which requires daily or weekly group and individual therapy meetings.

Morphine Addiction Support Groups – Support groups for morphine addiction can be provided by local 12-step programs at rehab centers or online with self-help groups like SMART Recovery. It is recommended that you join a support group to become part of a community you can relate with.

How to treat morphine addiction questions

With willingness and determination, morphine addiction can be successfully treated so that you can lead a healthy and productive life. Do you have any questions about morphine addiction? If so, please leave a question below and we will try our best to answer each query promptly.

Reference Sources: NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse: Medical treatment for opioid addictio
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Goecke is a medical doctor and general surgeon with personal experience of...
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

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