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Morphine Addiction Treatment

What is Morphine?

Morphine is a member of the class of powerful narcotic drugs known as opiates, naturally occurring or semi-synthetic substances derived from the opium poppy plant. More specifically, morphine is referred to as an alkaloid, a naturally occurring compound extracted from the poppy plant.

Morphine is most commonly known for its analgesic effect and is often used to alleviate moderate to severe pain in patients. The drug also can be used to induce or maintain anesthesia during surgery and also has been used in severe cases of diarrhea. The effects of morphine include drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and, depending upon the amount of drug taken, depress respiration. Heroin, another powerful opiate, is synthesized from morphine.

The Addiction

Taken as directed under proper medical supervision, morphine can be used to manage pain effectively. However, morphine has an extremely high potential for addiction: tolerance and psychological dependence can develop rapidly, and physical dependence occurs with long-term, repeated use or abuse. Like other opioids, morphine works by attaching to specific receptors located in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract, consequently blocking the perception of pain. Morphine also can induce euphoria by affecting the brain regions that mediate pleasure. This kind of “reward” mechanism often results in the abuse of morphine or causes the user to overdose in order to overcome the loss of the medication’s effect after long-term use.

Help and Treatment

Individuals who abuse or are addicted to morphine can be treated through several pharmacological options. However, before proceeding with long-term treatment, they may first be required to undergo medically supervised detoxification to help reduce withdrawal symptoms including restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goosebumps (“cold turkey”), and involuntary leg movements. Behavioral treatments, usually combined with medications, have also been proven effective.

Currently used medications are:

  • Methadone is a synthetic opioid that eliminates withdrawal symptoms and relieves craving has been used successfully for decades to treat people addicted to heroin as well as other opiates.
  • Buprenorphine, another synthetic opioid, is a more recently approved medication for treating addiction to heroin and other opiates. It can be prescribed by certified physicians in an office setting, is long-lasting, is less likely to cause respiratory depression than other drugs, and is well tolerated.
  • Naltrexone is a long-acting opioid receptor blocker that can be employed to help prevent relapse. It is not widely used, however, because of poor compliance, except by highly motivated individuals (e.g., physicians at risk of losing their medical license). It should be noted that this medication can only be used for someone who has already been detoxified, since it can produce severe withdrawal symptoms in a person continuing to abuse opioids.
  • Naloxone is a short-acting opioid receptor blocker that counteracts the effects of opioids and can be used to treat overdoses.

Morphine Rehab Centers

Morphine rehab centers offer care and treatment for patients who are battling through addiction. Detoxification programs provide assistance in easing withdrawal symptoms in a safe and controlled setting. To learn more about morphine addiction and treatment, please visit to our discussion forum on morphine and connect with others who have their own experiences with the drug or are also on the road to recovery.


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