Morphine Addiction and Abuse

Know morphine addiction and abuse side effects and how to get help

Morphine is the main chemical element of opium and it is prescribed to treat severe pain. There is a high morphine addiction and abuse risk when taking the drug. The body will build up a tolerance to the drug and will require that more of it be taken to produce the same effects. Morphine creates feelings of euphoria and well-being in the user and may reinforce obsessive behavior patterns in the brain causing the user to compulsively want to take more of the drug.

Morphine addiction and abuse can occur even if the drug has been prescribed by a doctor. Taking a larger dosage, or taking the drug more often than what is prescribed can lead to addiction. Illicit morphine street names are morf, dreamer and Mr. Blue.  Combining morphine with alcohol or other drugs can create dangerous health problems that may be fatal. Some of the common morphine addiction side effects include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • A weak pulse and poor circulation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • Constipation
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Itchy skin

Some of the more severe morphine addiction side effects are:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleep apnea
  • Collapsed veins or circulatory inflammation
  • Risk if blood-borne diseases
  • Reduced libido
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma and death by overdose

Morphine addiction and abuse may also create behavioral changes in the addict. The addict may begin to isolate himself from his family and friends and only want to associate with other addicts. He may begin to neglect his personal hygiene and may have a strong body odor from a lack of bathing. Morphine addicts usually do not eat properly and they may begin to lose weight and become malnourished. The morphine addict may injure himself in the hope of acquiring a morphine prescription from his doctor. He may also steal money and other valuables from family and friends and also engage in other criminal activity to get money for his drug. Morphine addicts also find it difficult to concentrate and perform specific tasks. This may result in the addict losing his job or being expelled from school. He may spend most of his money on purchasing morphine and become financially destitute. Morphine addiction and abuse will negatively affect every area of the addict’s life.

The family and friends of a morphine addict may decide to hold an intervention to address the addiction problem with the addict. The goal of the intervention is to get the addict to agree to get help to recover from his addiction. Once the addict agrees to get help, he should immediately be escorted to a drug rehab center to begin morphine addiction treatment. The first step in recovery is a medically supervised detox process to slowly wean the addict off of the morphine. The detox process may be uncomfortable for the addict depending on the severity of the addiction, but medications can be administered to help alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms.

Morphine withdrawal may produce symptoms such as: insomnia, restlessness, bone, joint or muscle pain, rapid heartbeat and breathing, sweating, weakness, runny nose, intense drug cravings, irritability, diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle twitching, depression, disorientation, headaches, chills and flu-like symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur about eight to twelve hours after the last 3-4 mg. dose and will peak between thirty-six to seventy-two hours after the last dose. Morphine withdrawal usually lasts about ten to twelve days. After five days the symptoms usually begin to subside and the addict starts to feel better physically and emotionally.

An in-patient, 90 day morphine addiction and abuse treatment program is considered to be the best recovery treatment. This gives the patient enough time to focus on their recovery as they receive counseling and attend accountability support groups. The addict will also receive other therapies and learn to develop sober living skills. After the patient has completed the recovery program and returns home, he will still have to see his counselor or therapist and attend peer support group meetings. Recovery is a life-long process of maintaining sobriety and learning to live a productive life.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.