Signs of Morphine Addiction and the Need for Morphine Detox
People living with chronic pain conditions may need to take frequent doses of morphine to help manage pain symptoms. Morphine does an excellent job at relieving pain, but also carries an extremely high potential for addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As pain can be a strong motivator for continuing a medication treatment, at some point the body will start to depend on morphine effects for reasons that have little to do with its intended purpose. Morphine addiction brings on the same problems as any other kind of addiction. First, the body becomes physically dependent on the drug, soon to be followed by a psychological dependence.
Even though the drug may be serving a legitimate purpose, at some point the negatives will far outweigh the positives. At some point, the need for morphine detox will become painfully apparent once morphine addiction takes over a person’s life.
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Morphine is an opiate drug, made from the same substance as heroin, Oxycontin, opium and Demerol. Though legal when used as prescribed, the potential for morphine addiction exists even when a person takes the drug as prescribed. Opiates, in general, tend to produce unintended side effects, such as feelings of euphoria and calm. These effects account for why many people use morphine for recreational purposes.
When a person starts experiencing withdrawal effects, this is a clear sign of morphine addiction at work. Symptoms of withdrawal typically take the form of:
- Tremors and/or seizures
- Feelings of anxiety
- Problems sleeping
- Loss of memory
- Abnormal blood pressure readings (high or low)
- Brief episodes of loss of consciousness or “nodding out”
The dangerous thing about morphine addiction has to do with how the body readily adapts to the drug’s effects and even develops an ongoing tolerance for greater quantities of the drug. Throughout this process, the body also grows more dependent on morphine’s effects to the point where the brain requires the drug in order to function as it should. In effect, withdrawal symptoms develop out of the brain’s inability to function normally in the absence of needed morphine dosage amounts.
Once a person becomes addicted, breaking the body’s physical dependency on morphine often requires intensive medical treatment, according to the NIDA. Morphine detox programs specialize in treating the types of withdrawal effects that result when a person tries to break a morphine addiction.
Once a person develops a psychological dependence, morphine addiction has taken full form. At this point, addicts believe they need morphine’s effects to make it through the day. This belief drives the drug-seeking behaviors that come with addiction. Other priorities, such as close relationships, work, financial obligations and even self-care practices get pushed aside to make room for drug use.
Signs of psychological dependence include:
- Memory problems
- Compromised moral standards
Morphine detox treatment programs enable recovering addicts to confront the emotional issues that drive morphine addiction and develop the types of coping skills needed to take back control of their lives from morphine’s effects.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Drug Addiction Treatment in the United States.