Josh Chandler | February 20, 2018

Understanding Morphine Addiction

While it does have legitimate uses as a painkiller, morphine is extremely addictive and can be rather dangerous when abused. Read on for a complete guide to morphine addiction.

Morphine, when used correctly, is a wonder drug. That’s because it’s a primary chemical component in opium.

It’s highly effective and therefore it’s considered the gold standard of painkillers.

Unfortunately, morphine is also highly addictive. Out of the 1.8 million people who were admitted to a drug treatment facility in 2008, 14.1% got help for heroin addiction. 5.9% sought treatment for other opiates.

We’ve developed this guide to help you understand what morphine addiction is and what you can do if you think you have a problem.

About Morphine Addiction

Morphine is most often given out in hospitals to help patients alleviate extreme pain. The longer a person takes morphine, the higher a tolerance they’ll have against the drug.

This drug is highly addictive. Even people who are using it legitimately can find themselves addicted in as few as two weeks.

That means more morphine is needed to achieve the same desired effect. Long-term use is also known to change your brain patterns. When that happens, a person can then become obsessed with morphine and feel forced to actively seek it out.

Even if you’re taking morphine for legitimate medical reasons, it’s possible to lead to abuse and dependency. This is especially true for those prone to addictions or who suffer from mental health struggles.

It’s also highly dangerous to mix morphine with other prescription drugs, alcohol, or street drugs.

The Side Effects of Morphine

Many people enjoy the additional side effects using morphine brings. A state of euphoria and a reduced feeling of tension makes this drug even more enticing to those suffering from morphine addiction.

However, there are symptoms and side effects of misusing morphine. None of them are pleasant and some may even result in death, especially when used in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

Morphine slows your digestive tract, resulting in constipation. It can also cause nausea and vomiting.

It can also depress your respiratory function, which can lead to asphyxia and death. Cyanosis or a blue tint to lips and fingernails is also a well-known side effect.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Side effects like lowered blood pressure, confusion, and dizziness often accompany this addiction.

Itchy skin, extreme drowsiness, and even a loss of consciousness can happen.

Signs and Symptoms of Morphine Addiction

Long-term use of morphine will result in affecting your physical and mental health. But morphine addiction also goes one step further and affects your relationships with others.

Physical Effects

You’ll find that physically you could alternate between alertness and unconsciousness and experience hallucinations. Suffering from sleep apnea is also not uncommon.

If you choose to use morphine through intravenous methods, your veins might collapse or inflame your circulatory system. As if that weren’t enough, it’s also possible to experience problems urinating and a reduced sex drive.

Mental Effects

Mentally speaking, morphine addiction often causes people to take actions they never would otherwise. Especially if they find it difficult to locate more morphine to get their fix.

When that happens, addicts are not above faking injuries or even harming themselves just so they can see a doctor to get a prescription.

One of the first signs of an addiction is those afflicted stop taking proper care of themselves. They let their hygiene go.

It’s difficult for them to concentrate. They’re willing to spend excessive amounts of money just to buy more morphine. Sometimes, they’re even willing to start stealing just to support their habit.

Social Effects

The social cost of morphine addiction is high. A morphine addicts behavior affects not only their own lives but the lives of those around them.

They might steal from friends, family, and even at their place of work in order to buy more morphine. New friends who are also addicts or who are willing to supply them with morphine are made.

Old friends who are worried, concerned, and often angry at the addict are turned away because they don’t wish to feel judged or forced to confront their own behaviors.

They often withdraw from those they love in order to protect others from their addiction. Others may withdraw to conceal their problem from those who may try to get them to stop.

The Effects of Withdrawal

If you are someone you love has a morphine addiction, do not try to stop cold turkey. There will be withdrawal symptoms that are extremely uncomfortable.

It’s best to quit under the guidance and watchful eye of a physician trained to help those with morphine addictions.

Weaning yourself off of morphine isn’t easy. Even those who are using morphine legally prescribed by a doctor will experience symptoms when they stop.

Typical symptoms include anxiety, chills, and a fast heartbeat and breathing rate. Often people find they have trouble sleeping, lose their appetite, and experience feelings of restlessness.

Physically, they may suffer from diarrhea, cramps, sneezing, and sweating. Joint or muscle pain and feeling weak are also common symptoms.


Morphine addiction has been a problem in American society since the Civil War. Luckily, it’s now more understood and there is treatment available.

There are options an addict can seek such as inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities. Afterwards, they can seek out sober living situations if they feel the risk is too great to return to their old lives.

It’s important to treat not only physical component of the addiction but the underlying mental issues as well. Often, drug abuse is frequently used as a coping mechanism for the mental health issues the patient is struggling with.

The only person who can seek help for their addiction(s) is the addict themselves, although an intervention can help. That means accepting that you are powerless against a narcotic and you need help from others.

This is difficult because many addicts feel isolated, disconnected, and detached. They’re at their most fragile. Asking for help can seem impossible.

If you need help, find a treatment center where you feel safe. Make sure the facility provides you with a thorough assessment to determine your individual needs.

We can help. We have three facilities in California and our experts are ready and waiting. Don’t wait. Contact us now to speak confidentially with one of our expert staff members.

Addiction,Drug Addiction,Drug Rehab,Opiate Addiction,Opiate Rehab,Painkiller Addiction,Painkiller Rehab,Prescription Drug Addiction,Prescription Drug Rehab,Recovery,Treatment,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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