Used to relieve severe or chronic pain, Morphine is an opiate which provides a feeling of euphoria, sometimes described as a dreamlike state; this is believed to be why it was named Morpheus the Greek god of dreams.

Typically consumed as a tablet or as an injection, Morphine can also be smoked. It’s sometimes referred to as M, Monkey, White Stuff, Roxanol, or Miss Emma. Morphine has a similar chemical makeup to heroin as it’s derived from the same Opium poppy plant.

As with many pain relief medications, Morphine has the potential to become highly addictive, particularly because your tolerance to Morphine rapidly develops in comparison to other drugs. It’s also relatively accessible and produces strong pleasurable effects, making it even more desirable to an addict.

Addiction to Morphine doesn’t always begin with illicit use, it can often begin with a prescription which can lead to tolerance or dependence on the painkiller drug. Many people start to require a higher dosage to feel their desired effects as their tolerance for Morphine strengthens.

How Does Morphine Affect the Brain?

Abused for its pleasurable effects, Morphine is a Narcotic drug, often abused for the feeling of euphoria. It’s possible that those who are using Morphine for relief from chronic pain can potentially misuse their medication, significantly increasing the risk of developing a Morphine addiction.

Morphine is a heavily regulated drug, only intended for prescribed use, therefore, any consumption outside of your prescription is considered abuse. The most common effects of Morphine are pain relief, relaxation or feeling calm, sleepiness or unexpected drowsiness, reduced anxiety, euphoria, and a false sense of well-being.

If you’re suffering from an addiction to Morphine, this is a highly dangerous situation to be in. Particularly, those who inject Morphine are at an increased risk of contracting hepatitis B or hepatitis C. The risk of developing severe mental health problems is also very high when abusing Morphine.

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Signs of Morphine Abuse

Drug addiction to Morphine can develop extremely quickly, sometimes just after a few uses of the drug. Some of the most common signs of Morphine abuse include being unable to control your consumption, spending a lot of your time preparing and consuming Morphine, building up a tolerance for Morphine, and prioritising Morphine abuse over spending time with friends or family or participating in activities you once enjoyed.

Suffering an overdose from Morphine abuse is fairly common. Signs of a Morphine overdose include: inattention, intense drowsiness, elevated blood pressure, lower back or side pain, fever, slurred speech, slowed breathing, muscle cramps, stiffness, spasms, lack of movement, lack of responsiveness, and swelling of the face and extremities.

Morphine depresses the Central Nervous System which means an overdose can lead to a coma, unconsciousness, or fatally death.

What Happens During Withdrawal?

When treating any addiction, medical drug detox is often the first step to cleansing your body and mind of harmful toxins. This can be a very dangerous process so it’s essential that you have expert support by your side throughout. With the guidance of addiction specialists at a professional rehab centre, you should be able to successfully complete a medically assisted detox.

Withdrawal symptoms are very likely to occur during detox. Some of these symptoms can be quite mild such as nausea, headaches, or feeling dizzy, however, it’s also possible that you experience more severe withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, seizures, or delirium.

The severity of these withdrawal symptoms can vary significantly depending on each person, therefore, it’s imperative to always have professional support by your side.

Many people attempt to detox at home alone which we strongly advise against. These attempts can be extremely dangerous and are unlikely to be effective in removing your physical dependence on Morphine.

Treating Morphine Addiction

Once you’ve completed your medical detox, it’s recommended that you immediately begin your psychological and well-being therapies to succeed in your long-term recovery from Morphine addiction.

Some of the most recommended addiction treatment services include motivational interviewing, group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), relapse prevention, dual diagnosis treatment, stress management, and aftercare support.

To treat Morphine addiction, you can choose between inpatient or outpatient rehab and between private or NHS-funded treatment options. The main difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment is that as an inpatient you remain overnight at the rehab centre for the duration of your treatment plan, whereas outpatients will visit the rehab centre daily to undergo their therapy sessions.

Most people will naturally be more attracted to the option of NHS-funded addiction treatment as it’s usually low-cost or even free. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for you and your recovery. Because the NHS are so restricted with time and resources, they’re unable to offer a personalised treatment plan or a fast admission process.

Waiting for such a long time to receive a generic treatment plan to follow usually isn’t the most effective way to overcome your battle with Morphine addiction. Some people may go down this route if they have a much milder addiction and are able to get the support they need as an outpatient with generic needs.

For more serious addictions, a private drug rehab centre is certainly the best value and where you’ll find a much higher success rate of recovery. Here, they’re able to tailor each person’s treatment plan to completely suit their individual needs, providing a much more effective service.

Get Help for Morphine Abuse with Ocean Recovery

In addition to seeking out support from a recognised rehab centre, we also recommend finding local support groups in your community as there can be very beneficial in helping you to stay motivated and to avoid a relapse. You don’t need to face your rehabilitation alone, overcoming an addiction to Morphine is an extremely challenging task, but it’s one that we’re here to help you with every step of the way.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 22, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Robert Lutaaya - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: November 24, 2023

MBChB, MSc Psych

Dr Robert Lutaaya qualified in 1995 from Worclaw Medical University as MBChB, and obtained a MSc Psych from the University of Manchester in 2014. Dr Lutaaya has previously worked for the CGL Substance Misuse Service and as an on-call doctor substance misuse Doctor for 17 years before joining Ocean Recovery. Dr Robert Lutaaya is committed to helping those struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.