What Is Morphine Addiction?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), addiction related to morphine can be defined as:
- The use of morphine that results in recurrent failure to meet obligations at work, school, and home.
- Use of morphine in hazardous situations.
- Experiencing repeated legal problems due to morphine use.
- Having drug-related relationship problems with loved ones, family and friends.
In short, addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by continued use of morphine despite negative consequences to the health, social, legal, or financial aspects of your life. A morphine addict will do anything to get the daily dose of morphine even at the cost of losing everything else.
Remember, one thing addiction IS NOT is a character flaw or a personal choice. It can be treated medically…with success.
In this article, we explore the causes of morphine addiction and what’s it like being ‘hooked’. Then, we review the methods doctors use to diagnose and address addiction. At the end, we welcome you to send us your questions in the comments section and do our best to answer all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.
Who Gets Addicted To Morphine?
Anyone who abuses morphine or who uses morphine for euphoric effect can become addicted to it. However, people who are prescribed morphine can also become hooked. Why? As an opiate, morphine it is considered to be one of the most addictive drugs in the world. However, in most cases, there is a complicated interplay of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors that add to a person’s risk of becoming hooked on morphine.
Some of the factors the experts think can cause addiction include:
- Having a family history of substance use disorders, especially in the close family circle.
- Having a personal drug abuse history.
- Being exposed to traumatic events in the past, especially in early childhood.
- Being surrounded by drug use through peers or people in your community.
- Lacking parental support and communication, especially in early childhood and adolescence.
- Suffering from a co-occuring mental health disorder that is not managed adequately.
All these factors can be the underlying issues that fuel addictive behavior. Additionally, many people turn to drug use in the first place as a way to cope with trauma, emotions, and life. This is why addiction treatment for morphine aims to get you safely off the drug, while also uncovering and resolving the root causes of addiction.
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Addiction To Morphine: What’s It Like?
Since morphine is extremely addictive, people of all ages and walks of life can become hooked on it. With repeated use, the drug becomes the most important thing in your life. You start to obsess over obtaining more morphine and compulsively using it. It all feels like one super euphoric and powerful rollercoaster ride that you want to get off of…but find it difficult to succeed.
Now, read these excerpts from the personal story of a former family doctor and a morphine addict in recovery. He shares what it his addiction and need for using morphine felt like:
“But that’s not how my addiction works. After I’ve used, even just a few hours, somewhere deep in my mind, the merest hint of a thought will come to me about using again. The pack of Cylimorph, that wonderful red-and-blue pack, is sitting somewhere, hidden away securely, but it’s calling to me, a whispering siren, eating away at my resistance. Even by the perverted laws of an addict’s world, this makes no sense; I know that the rush won’t be as good because I’ve used so recently, I know the longer I hold off, the greater the rush will be, but knowing my enemy is no advantage to me, and soon the ritual has started again, soon I’m closing the doors, taking out the ampoule and cracking it open and drawing up the drug. Once I even think, even the briefest passing thought, once I think of using again I can’t get it out of my head, and the deal is as good as done, and a pack of five that should have lasted me three days or more is gone in less than twenty-four hours.
Scared and alone, I shiver and sweat, and try to count down the minutes. I drink as much fluids as I can, staying well hydrated can help the symptoms, though I feel nauseated. Some junkies vomit copiously during cold turkey but that’s not how it affects me; neither do I hallucinate, and I don’t have nightmares. I have no appetite, when I do force myself to eat I have no sense of taste. Since I became an addict I’ve lost weight; taking the drug removes my appetite, going through withdrawal removes my appetite. I love reading, but I’m too distracted to concentrate, and my eyes are watering so much my vision is blurred, I look like I’ve been crying, and my emotions are so labile I do burst into tears regularly, great gusts of tears, of self-pity. Don’t feel sorry for me, I don’t deserve it, I am only crying for myself. “
Morphine Addiction Signs and Symptoms
Morphine addiction results in an array of easy-to-detect behavioral and physical symptoms including:
- change in friends/acquaintances
- extreme drowsiness
- loss of consciousness
- memory problems
- poor hygiene
- problems urinating
- reduced sex drive
- weight loss
- weakened immune system
- withdrawal from friends and family
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How is Morphine Addiction Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose morphine addiction by examining your medical history and performing physical examinations during an initial evaluation session. You can also expect to be interviewed by your doctor, so be ready to answer the following questions honestly:
- Do you attempt to or feel a need to cut down on your morphine use?
- Do you end up using more morphine than you initially intend to?
- Do you engage in any risky behaviors (e.g. driving) while high on morphine?
- Do you experience morphine withdrawal symptoms when you lower or stop use?
- Do you feel that you need to use morphine frequently in order to feel and function “normally”?
- Have you attempted to cut down or stop morphine without success?
- Has your work or school performance declined due to morphine use?
- In what frequency and amount do you use morphine?
If you can answer with YES to 2 or more of these questions, it may be time to seek professional help. You can start by discussing your morphine use with your primary doctor, or ask for a referral to a specialist in drug addiction, a licensed drug counselor, or a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Treatment Of Morphine Addiction
The treatment of morphine addiction is consisted of three (3) stages: Detox, Therapy, and Aftercare.
MEDICAL DETOX. The safest way to get rid of morphine from your body is to undergo medical morphine detox at a clinic, under the watchful eye of doctors and nurses. Quitting cold turkey or by tapering doses on your own are not the recommended way to get off of the drug. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous. Plus, there is always the risk of relapsing to morphine just to avoid going through withdrawal hell.
THERAPY. The two standard ways to treat morphine addiction include 1) psychotherapy and behavioral therapy, and 2) medications or pharmacotherapy. The basic morphine addiction treatment consists of:
1. Psychotherapy and behavioral therapy for morphine addiction.
Cogitative behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as rational emotive behavioral therapy called REBT are two effective approaches for addressing beliefs and thoughts connected with morphine use. CBT assists your recovery from maladaptive behaviors, dysfunctional emotions, and cognitive processes through goal-oriented procedures. REBT assists in recovery of emotional and behavioral problems that direct people to be happy and have satisfying lives. Other therapies that can be used during your treatment program for morphine addiction may include:
- 12-step program
- Anger management
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
- Relapse prevention
- Counseling sessions
2. Medication treatments for morphine addiction.
Several medications have been proven very effective for treating morphine addiction. They work by either lowering the carvings for morphine or by blocking the euphoric effects of the drug. A few of the medications that are commonly used in morphine addiction treatments include:
- LAAM (levomethadyl acetate)
AFTERCARE. The process of recovery is ongoing and lasts long after you complete the rehab program. Having an aftercare plan increases your ability to maintain sobriety and stay drug-free long after your initial treatment is over. They usually include:
- Sober-living houses
- Counseling check-ins
- Support group involvement
- Alumni involvement
Got Any Questions?
Did we answer your basic questions about morphine addiction and it’s treatment? If not, please do not hesitate to post them in the comments section below. We value all of our reader’s feedback and try to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.