Is someone you know addicted to morphine? Look for these morphine addiction side effects

If you are concerned that a loved one is becoming addicted to morphine, knowing the morphine addiction side effects can help you determine if there is a problem. Morphine is a powerful narcotic analgesic derived from the opium plant. Like all opioid medications, morphine can be highly addictive even when patients take it exactly as directed.  Research by the National Center for Drug Abuse indicates that as many as one in four patients who are prescribed morphine or other opioids for pain will end up suffering through the side effects of addiction. If someone you know is addicted to morphine, treatment in a drug addiction rehab center can help. The first step is learning the different morphine addiction side effects and how to detect them.

Different forms of morphine

Morphine is available as a liquid and in tablet or capsule form, and injection formulations. Extended release capsules and tablets that provide pain relief for 12 or 24 hours are also available for patients who are experiencing pain that continues for a long-term duration. When morphine is taken for long periods of time, tolerance can develop where patients need to take larger doses to achieve the same result. Physical tolerance is not the same as addiction, but patients showing signs of physical tolerance should be carefully monitored to make sure they do not become addicted.  Any sign of the side effects of morphine addiction should be taken as an indication that an individual needs help.

Physical side effects of morphine addiction

There are certain physical side effects that occur when someone is struggling with morphine addiction. One of the most significant side effects is the onset of withdrawal symptoms, which can occur within 6 to 12 hours of taking the last dose of morphine. These withdrawal symptoms can include chills, cramps, muscle aches and pains, and a strong craving for morphine.  Other physical symptoms that indicate an addiction to morphine include:

  • Sleepiness or extreme drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Pinpoint pupils

Psychological and behavioral side effects of morphine addiction

Some of the most obvious indicators of morphine addiction are the changes that occur in the individual’s behavior. These changes can take several months to occur, so you may not notice them at first. Once you step back and compare the person’s attitude and actions in light of their history, any changes that have occurred may be easier to spot. Common behavioral morphine addiction side effects include:

  • Lack of interest in activities that once gave pleasure
  • Compulsive drug taking
  • Obsessive focus on morphine frantically making sure they don’t run out
  • Taking morphine in greater amounts or more frequently than prescribed
  • Filling prescriptions early, engaging in doctor shopping, borrowing and stealing from friends and relatives
  • Lying about morphine use
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Continuing to take morphine after pain is gone
  • Depression
  • Sexual problems including lack of desire to have sex

Morphine addiction treatment

If someone you know is displaying the above morphine addiction side effects, it is time to encourage them to enter morphine addiction treatment at a rehab center. One of the greatest barriers to seeking treatment for morphine addiction is fear of facing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Reassuring addicted individuals that they can choose medical detox, where medications are given to ease cravings and counteract the worst symptoms, can help them find the necessary courage to enter a rehab center.

Once patients complete detox, they embark on an addiction rehab program to learn the necessary strategies to avoid relapses in the future. Treatment programs usually include individual, group, and behavioral therapy, participation in peer support or twelve-step programs, drug addiction education classes, and sessions to learn relapse prevention strategies.

Addicted individuals can choose an outpatient addiction program or an inpatient residential addiction treatment center. In cases where individuals have a severe addiction to morphine, an extended stay of 90 days or longer at an inpatient residential addiction treatment center provides the best chance for long-term recovery success. Recovery from morphine addiction is not easy, but with the help of an accredited addiction rehab center, the chances for a brighter, drug-free future are much higher.

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.