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Overview of Morphine detox

We’ve come quite a long way in our understanding and treatment of addiction. We have developed a variety of multidisciplinary treatments that have proven effective in the treatment of addiction; meanwhile, there have been a number of additional substances added to the fray. Today, someone who wants to experiment with dangerous intoxicants can choose from quite a variety of mind-altering, chemical substances, many of which are fairly accessible to the majority of the U.S. population no matter the individual’s age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and so on. While there are several categories, or “classes”, of drugs that remain problematic today, morphine is one of the most concerning substances in a class of drugs known as opiates.

Like other opiate drugs, morphine is an addictive substance derived from the opium poppy. References to substances created from the opium poppy extend as far back as the Byzantine Empire (circa 330 to 1453 C.E.) although the exact formulation used at time is unknown. Considering that morphine is the first active opium alkaloid to be distilled from the opium poppy — occurring in Germany in 1804 — it’s plausible, if not highly likely, that many of the anxiety opium “elixirs” contained significant amounts of morphine. However, it wasn’t marketed to the public until 1817 at which time it was marketed for use as a pain reliever, which remains the drug’s primary use to this day. It was also purportedly used in the treatment of alcohol and opium addiction; the latter had become a major problem due to the export of opium from China into many other parts of the world where it would trigger major addiction epidemics.

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How Detoxing From Morphine works

It wasn’t until after the American Revolution that morphine was discovered to be highly addictive, even more addictive than alcohol and opium. By that point, over 400,000 soldier who had survived the war were suffering from “soldier’s disease”, which was what they’d begun calling morphine addiction. With the synthesis of diacetylmorphine, or heroin, in 1874 — discovered to be up to two times stronger than morphine — there was an increasing focus on the physical dependence people were developing after taking morphine and morphine-like substances. Under the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914, morphine and a number of other opioid drugs became controlled substances, which meant that their use was illegal unless prescribed by a physician for legitimate reasons.

Today, morphine is one of a number of substances derived from opium that continue to pose a major threat to our society. In recent decades, there have been pharmaceutical painkillers of increasing strength and potency released to market, instigating a major way of prescription drug abuse, the effects of which we’re still feeling today. Like other opiates, morphine is an incredibly habit-forming drug and morphine addiction is very difficult to overcome, but there are resources available to help morphine addicts regain their sobriety, beginning with morphine detox.

WHAT DOES THE Morphine DETOX PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

As outlined above, morphine is an opiate drug, which means that it’s derived from the opium poppy. Opiate drugs exist on the depressant end of the drug spectrum rather than the stimulant end, which makes morphine a central nervous system depressant in addition to the drug’s effects on the brain. When a person continues to imbibe and abuse morphine for an extended period of time, the habit causes chemical changes in the brain, which is the mechanism by which physiological addiction occurs. Since a morphine addict will experience unpleasant effects from the abrupt cessation of morphine, it’s necessary for him or her to complete a morphine detoxification so that he or she can progress to more advanced stages of recovery.

In the plainest terms, a detoxification is a form of treatment wherein an addict’s body is cleansed of alcohol, drugs, or any other unnatural or foreign toxins. The purging of the body of morphine and other substances allows the addict to return to a state of physical independence and health; in other words, the detoxification effectively breaks his or her physical dependence on the substance to which he or she is addicted. Depending on the substance, this may or may not begin with a controlled taper, which is an initial period during which the addict’s dose is gradually reduced each day to the point when he or she is no longer taking the drug. A taper typically occurs with more dangerous forms of substance dependency such as benzodiazepines and alcohol; morphine detoxification doesn’t typically warrant a controlled taper.

The typical length of time for a morphine detox is approximately seven days, or one week. This is the amount of time it takes for the body to be flushed of morphine, overcome the period of withdrawal, and achieve a state of stability in which there are no withdrawals and no morphine in the person’s body. During the detox period, the patient is provided with nutritious meals, encouraged to stay hydrated, and afforded his or her own, private quarters wherein to focus on his or her recovery. There may be some type of entertainment provided so the patient can pass the time, whether this be some type of game, books and magazines, music and television, or some other activity. In short, this is meant to be a period of relaxation and healing; the patient won’t be participating in actual treatments until he or she completed the morphine detoxification.

Almost every chemical intoxicant is associated with withdrawal symptoms to one degree or another. Some of those substances produce withdrawal symptoms that can potentially become so severe as to be life-threatening, but that’s not the case with morphine. Although opiate withdrawals are considered to be extremely unpleasant at times, it’s rare for opiate withdrawals to be so severe as to put a patient’s safety at risk.

Morphine withdrawal symptoms, like other opiate withdrawal symptoms, consist of a series of stages. The first stage occurs at approximately four hours after the last dose of morphine and will continue to about fourteen hours after the last dose; during this stage, the individual experiences cravings, perhaps some light sweating, and a general sense of dysphoria, or feelings of psychological unwellness. The next stage lasts until about the eighteenth hour after the last dose and entails heavy perspiration, yawning, headaches, runny nose, depression, more pronounced dysphoria, and the feeling of being in a trance or stupor.

At the twenty-four hour mark, the previous symptoms will become more severe. Additionally, the patient will be experiencing intermittent hot flashes and cold chills, dilated pupils, twitching muscles, and intestinal cramping. Upon reaching approximately thirty-six hours, the patient is likely to also be experiencing involuntary leg movements, diarrhea, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and restlessness. Between thirty-six and seventy-two hours is considered the peak of morphine withdrawal, entailing the greatest severity of all aforementioned symptoms. After seventy-two hours, the symptoms begin to subside.

Morphine Detox Withdrawals

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Almost every chemical intoxicant is associated with withdrawal symptoms to one degree or another. Some of those substances produce withdrawal symptoms that can potentially become so severe as to be life-threatening, but that’s not the case with morphine. Although opiate withdrawals are considered to be extremely unpleasant at times, it’s rare for opiate withdrawals to be so severe as to put a patient’s safety at risk.

Morphine withdrawal symptoms, like other opiate withdrawal symptoms, consist of a series of stages. The first stage occurs at approximately four hours after the last dose of morphine and will continue to about fourteen hours after the last dose; during this stage, the individual experiences cravings, perhaps some light sweating, and a general sense of dysphoria, or feelings of psychological unwellness. The next stage lasts until about the eighteenth hour after the last dose and entails heavy perspiration, yawning, headaches, runny nose, depression, more pronounced dysphoria, and the feeling of being in a trance or stupor.

At the twenty-four hour mark, the previous symptoms will become more severe. Additionally, the patient will be experiencing intermittent hot flashes and cold chills, dilated pupils, twitching muscles, and intestinal cramping. Upon reaching approximately thirty-six hours, the patient is likely to also be experiencing involuntary leg movements, diarrhea, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and restlessness. Between thirty-six and seventy-two hours is considered the peak of morphine withdrawal, entailing the greatest severity of all aforementioned symptoms. After seventy-two hours, the symptoms begin to subside.

List of Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Intestinal cramping
  • Dysphoria
  • Hot flashes
  • Cold chills
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Aggravation
  • Strong cravings
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of appetite
  • Twitching muscles
  • Involuntary leg movement

Can you detox from Morphine at home?

There are forms of outpatient detoxification available, but addiction treatment professionals strong advise against pursuing those outpatient detox options for a number of reasons. For one thing, detoxing at a detox facility ensures that a person will receive a variety of treatments — both practical and medicinal — to alleviate the severity of his or her withdrawal if they were to become painful. This means that he or she won’t be tempted to relapse due to the unpleasantness of withdrawal and, in turn, makes him or her more likely to have a successful morphine detox. Additionally, detoxing under the professional medical supervision of a team of rehab staff affords a level of safety that a person wouldn’t have if he or she was attempting to detox alone at home.

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How long does it take to detox from Morphine

Everyone in need of treatment for morphine addiction has different needs, and the same thing goes for morphine detox. There are a number of factors that can influence the types of treatments a person will need and the length of time he or she will need them. Some of the most essential factors include the length of time the individual spent in active addiction, whether he or she was a poly-drug addict or only addicted or morphine, the severity of his or her habit, whether or not there have been previous treatment attempts, and so on. However, the typical amount of time a person will need to complete a morphine detox is between seven and ten days.

  • According to statistics, at least 10 percent of the U.S. adult population has abused an opiate drug like morphine at least once over the course of their lives.
  • Recently, the number of morphine addicts admitted to the emergency room increased by an astounding 106 percent over just a four-year period.
  • Studies have shown that out of all the individuals who abuse or are addicted to morphine, no less than 60 percent obtain the drug from family members or close friends.