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Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment

by Nick

The withdrawal symptoms associated with morphine and other opioids can make it difficult to work on recovery. While morphine withdrawal symptoms do not cause immediate harm, they create severe discomfort. Learn more about morphine withdrawal and how to manage your symptoms below.

The Science Behind Morphine Tolerance, Addiction and Withdrawal

Opioids like morphine change the way that the brain handles pain and stress. This phenomenon can make opioids effective painkillers under supervision, but it can also lead to dependence. Morphine can become so addictive because:

  • Your brain creates more opioid receptors as you take morphine: When you take more opioids than your opioid receptors can take, your brain makes more receptors. As a result, you start to feel fewer effects with the same amount.
  • The chemicals in opioids start to replace your natural chemicals: As you develop a dependence on morphine, your brain begins to rely on opioids instead of the chemicals it creates itself. A person dependent on morphine experiences withdrawal symptoms when the brain doesn’t have these substances.
  • Morphine and other opioids create dopamine surges: Opioids trigger a release of two to 10 times as much dopamine as their equivalent brain chemicals. The increased amount of dopamine results in feelings of euphoria that can become difficult to resist.

Addiction professionals consider opioid use disorder a disease because it changes the brain’s fundamental functions. With the right care and treatment, a person with a morphine addiction can work toward recovery.

Symptoms of Morphine Withdrawal

Discontinuing morphine use after building a dependence can trigger unpleasant effects. Withdrawal from morphine can cause symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Agitation

You may also experience symptoms in the later phases of withdrawal that include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils

Most people don’t develop morphine withdrawal symptoms unless they stop taking it after weeks on the drug. If you experience the above problems after discontinuing morphine, ask a medical professional for help.

Morphine Withdrawal Complications

Morphine withdrawal does not cause immediate harm for most people. Symptoms such as muscle aches and a runny nose can feel uncomfortable, but they don’t put the patient in danger. However, certain symptoms can lead to dangerous or even lethal complications. For example, vomiting can lead to pneumonia when someone inhales the vomit. Diarrhea and vomiting can both cause dehydration when the patient doesn’t pay attention to staying hydrated.

How to Recover From Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms

If you experience withdrawal when you stop taking morphine, you could have an opioid dependence or addiction. An opioid use disorder treatment center can provide care that reduces your withdrawal symptoms. During medication-assisted treatment (MAT), you take medicine that satisfies your brain’s need for opioids with a doctor’s supervision.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) at Health Care Resource Centers

HCRC specializes in providing MAT to New England patients. Our clinic staff provides care in a compassionate, judgment-free environment free from stigma. We encourage anyone looking for help to contact our team online or call us at 866-758-7769.

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