When it comeas to addictive opiates, morphine is one of the worst offenders there is. Though it’s been used for decades as a painkiller in hospitals, morphine is also used very sparingly due to how addictive it can become for those taking it. Rarely if ever given to those not in a hospital setting, morphine addiction is an extremely dangerous condition, and not one that should be quit “cold turkey.”
What is Morphine?
Sold under a wide variety of different brand names, morphine is a narcotic pain reliever, as well as an opiate. When dosed, this drug alters the way the brain perceives pain, thus deadening the effect on a patient. This drug is almost never prescribed for pain that results from a surgery or injury. The only exception to this rule is for those who were already taking morphine before the event that led to the pain.
Morphine, as a substance, is one of the more addictive painkillers there is. Similar in its makeup to heroin and other opiates, morphine can quickly lead to dependence physically as well as psychologically. Physical dependence is the major reason why suddenly stopping the use of morphine can be dangerous, and in some circumstances deadly. Morphine addiction treatment must address this concern first before any other symptom of addiction is seen to.
Morphine Addiction Detox
Because of how quickly the body can become dependent on morphine it is important that addicts seek the aid of trained medical professionals. When the body is used to having morphine in its system it has already made concessions and rated these changes as the new normal. A sudden cessation of the drug can lead to all kinds of negative withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, cold sweats, shakes, pain and in some cases serious system shocks. The first step of any morphine addiction treatment is to detox the person in question and make sure that their body is free of morphine in a safe way.
Detox can take a long time, depending on how long the individual has been using morphine and at what dosage level. Users need to gradually step down the dosage, weaning the user off of the drug slowly enough that no extreme withdrawal puts them in physical danger. There will still be symptoms, and unpleasant ones, but a measured and carefully detox treatment can safely get a patient’s body off of morphine.
Therapy and Further Treatment
Once a person has been weaned off of morphine there are still problems to consider. For instance, if that person is still in pain then an alternative method of dealing with that pain needs to be found. If that person was relying on morphine as an escape, or as a way to relive stress and tension then therapy should aim at helping the person cope. One on one therapy, group therapy, faith based programs and alternatives along with a variety of other solutions are all possible avenues, depending on the patient. And all of these solutions can be delivered as both inpatient and outpatient services.
There is no cure for addiction, and there is also no guaranteed way that will help a given addict overcome the temptation to go back to morphine, or to another, similar opiate. That’s why it’s important that those who are addicted to this painkiller be given as many different choices as possible when it comes to therapy and treatment. Sometimes they need to be taken into a facility and kept there until they have the strength to face life on their own terms. Sometimes they need to acceptance and support of others that have dealt with their addictions and won. Sometimes all it takes is a different medication to help the abuser deal with his or her pain. Whatever solution is pursued though, you can’t take anything off the table.