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Morphine Detox Centers

Medically Reviewed By: Benjamin Caleb Williams RN, BA, CEN

Written By: Gary Bowers

Article Updated: 01/24/2021

Morphine detox centers are ready to help! This guide will help you navigate the process of finding the right morphine detox center for you. Selecting the right facility, understanding the intake process, the medications prescribed, and therapy options are all critical aspects of your decision.

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When is a Morphine Detox Center Recommended?

The short answer is ‘almost always’. Withdrawal from morphine can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable experience. Morphine use disrupts nearly all of the body’s natural functions, especially with prolonged or excessive use, and when someone stops taking the drug, their body will go into overdrive as it attempts to regulate itself. Anyone who has used morphine for extended periods is susceptible to the dangers of the drug. When the symptoms are treated by medical staff at a morphine detox center, they are typically managed, and rarely fatal.

Some situations that may indicate a morphine detox is especially recommended may include:

Co-Occurring Health Issues

Anyone with a pre-existing medical condition, including mental illness, should seek the support of medically-assisted detox. Conditions that can complicate morphine detox would be:

  • Heart problems or cardiovascular disorders
  • Diabetes or endocrine disorders
  • Any mental illness including anxiety or depression

The risks of attempting to detox without the care of a professional detox center can be high, especially with an underlying health condition. By selecting a Morphine Detox Center that addresses the physical and mental needs of each patient, it puts safety and long-term recovery first.

Prior History of Relapse

Morphine is a powerful drug that falls under the opioid classification. It is very easy for people to become physically and mentally addicted to morphine, and tolerance builds very quickly. Because of the tight grip morphine can have on people both mentally and physically, it’s not uncommon for people to make multiple attempts to quit. Morphine detox centers have the medical and psychiatric staff on site to help address the many sides of substance abuse. It’s not just about removing the drug, it’s about addressing the needs of an entire person that can help make the biggest impact on lasting recovery. Therapy has been shown to make a significant impact on reducing relapse.

The Intake Process

The intake process at morphine detox centers shouldn’t be too complicated, but this guide will help those unfamiliar with the process. We’ll break it down into 3 stages: Intake, Assessment, Treatment.

  • Intake: During the intake process, the staff will seek to gain information on the patient. The purpose of gathering this information is to understand the patient’s needs and gather important information such as insurance information, emergency contact information, and current medical care providers.
  • Assessment: During the assessment phase, the staff will begin gathering information. An interview will be conducted to find out more about the patient, the extent of their substance use, and any pre-existing medical conditions. In particular, knowing the drug use history can help the staff anticipate the needs of the patient and provide more accurate care. For example, someone who has been injecting morphine could have more serious withdrawal symptoms. Questions on substance use history could include:
    • In addition to morphine, what other drugs – if any – are consumed regularly?
    • How long has someone been taking morphine?
    • What amounts are they taking?
    • How are they taking morphine? (injecting, taking pills, etc.)
    • Previous attempts at sobriety and the duration(s) of morphine abstinence

A preliminary health assessment will be completed as well. This would include vital sign checks (blood pressure, body temperature), physical assessment, and blood work for toxicology. The detox center staff will be checking for any visible signs of withdrawal such as sweating, shaking, and yawning.

The staff will also gather information on pre-existing health conditions, including any co-occurring mental illness. Morphine withdrawal will disrupt the body and brain. Understanding pre-existing conditions can help to reduce risk and ensure comfort.

  • Treatment: The goal will be to initiate treatment as soon as possible. With morphine use, there is a risk of dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea, so staff may begin treatment by simply hydrating and offering nutrition. Medical care and observation will be critical during this time.

In the end, the intake experience is all about gathering the right information to deliver safe and effective care.

Medical Monitoring of Morphine Detox Related Dangers

Medical monitoring can make a world of difference. Many of the painful and dangerous symptoms of morphine detox can be treated with proper observation and care. Morphin Detox Centers will have the right staff, knowledge, and expertise to effectively recognize and treat all aspects of the detox process. The pain of detox can lead people who are attempting to quit to continue using – even when they desperately want to quit. Medical observation, care, and treatment can reduce the risk of serious complications, and improve the chances of lasting recovery.

Medical staff will be observing and treating all aspects of the physical and mental detox process. The most common symptoms are:

  • Painful Flu-like Symptoms
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Body aches and pains
    • Runny nose
    • Watery eyes
    • Vomiting: May contribute to dehydration, which can be dangerous when co-occurring with underlying health conditions.
    • Diarrhea: May contribute to dehydration, which can be dangerous when co-occurring with underlying health conditions.
  • Cardiovascular Issues
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure): This can be very dangerous and can lead to potentially dangerous complications, especially if an underlying heart condition is present. This will be monitored closely and treated appropriately.
    • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Mental Health
    • Anxiety
    • Depression (potentially dangerous due to the increased risk of suicidal ideation)
    • Mood Swings
    • Irritability

Allowing the professionals at morphine detox centers to offer treatment for these issues is a sign of strength and courage. More than that, it’s one step closer toward a healthy life in recovery.

Morphine Withdrawal Timeline

Medications Used By Morphine Detox Centers

Medical therapy is an important part of the process. Understandably, some may be concerned about taking medications while attempting detox from morphine, but the right medication, thoughtfully prescribed by a doctor, and used appropriately can be an essential tool to help someone in their recovery. Morphine use affects brain chemistry and body functions substantially. Medical therapy can address these issues, and help restore the body’s natural functions. Here are some of the most commonly prescribed medications:

FDA-Approved Medications for Opioid Use Disorder: Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone), Lucemyra (lofexidine), and Methadone have been FDA-approved to treat opioid use disorder. These medications would only be prescribed as part of a long-term treatment plan, and may not be necessary in some cases.

  • Suboxone: Suboxone is a combination of the medications buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that can satisfy the body’s demand for opioids but will not produce the intense high associated with morphine use. Naloxone, a powerful medication that will trigger painful withdrawal symptoms if the user attempts to misuse Suboxone, or takes other opioids.
  • Lucemyra: Lucemyra contains lofexidine and was originally a blood pressure medication. It is an α-2 agonist that works to reduce many of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It was approved by the FDA for treating opioid use disorder in 2018 and has so far proven effective. It is the first non-opioid medication used to treat opioid withdrawal.
  • Methadone: Methadone has a proven track record of treating the most serious cases of opioid use disorder. Methadone is an opioid but does not produce the same effect of stronger opioid drugs like morphine. When methadone is strictly administered as part of a long-term treatment plan, it can be a cost-effective and safe treatment approach.

The examples provided aren’t intended to be comprehensive. Doctors in morphine detox centers will prescribe medications as part of an overall treatment plan that is tailored to each individual’s needs. Some other medications that are commonly used may include:

Antidepressant Medications: Morphine detox will result in depressive moods and anxiety. In many cases, this can be attributed to the imbalance in brain chemistry as a result of morphine use. Antidepressant medications address these chemical imbalances in a variety of ways, but the most common antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Well-known SSRIs are Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac. Many antidepressant medications can also be effective in treating chronic anxiety.

Anti-Anxiety Medications: Someone experiencing morphine withdrawal will likely have moments of acute anxiety. There are non-habit-forming medications that can be prescribed to treat these events. Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine that has anxiolytic applications. Buspirone is another medication that has been used to safely treat acute anxiety. It is possible to treat these symptoms with minimal side effects.

Blood Pressure Medications: Hypertension, or elevated blood pressure, is a real concern during morphine detox when the risk of cardiac arrest is slightly elevated. Clonidine is commonly prescribed to help lower blood pressure safely, and also has some anxiolytic properties. Other heart-healthy medications include beta-blockers which have been used not only to lower blood pressure safely, but they are most commonly used to reduce symptoms of anxiety, which can be high during morphine detox.

Sleep Aids: Poor sleep and restlessness are symptoms of morphine withdrawal. Although these symptoms aren’t dangerous, quality sleep is an essential component of overall wellbeing. By treating sleeplessness medically, doctors can help promote healing.

Therapy During Morphine Detox

Therapy is an indispensable part of long-term recovery from morphine use. Medications can help repair the physical damage and help restore balance to the body, but therapy helps to repair the emotional damage caused by drug use. Morphine detox centers will provide access to a variety of forms of therapy.

Here are some examples of the different types of therapy that can help in morphine detox:

Group Therapy

Substance use can lead to self-isolation and self-loathing behavior. Group therapy can help address those issues and more. Group therapy would be led by a licensed therapist who would utilize the group dynamic to address the issues confronted by those in detox treatment. This provides personal growth and helps to remove the stigma and loneliness associated with morphine use. There is something powerful that happens when people come together to confront their struggles as a community. Group therapy can be an essential component of complete recovery from morphine use.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is completed in a one-on-one setting with a therapist. CBT can be administered in a wide range of ways, but essentially all forms of CBT will address the connection between thoughts and behaviors, which can be an important factor in recovering from morphine use. By addressing the thoughts and behavior connection, CBT can help address numerous aspects of addiction including handling cravings, social situations, setting boundaries, and specific personal trends that result in negative outcomes. CBT is evidence-based, and one of the most common forms of therapy used today. Ongoing following detox can be a key part of successful recovery.

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Morphine can have a powerful effect on people, and relapse is possible. Relapse prevention education can help address the issues that those recovering from morphine use face. Relapse prevention education can take many forms. At its core, relapse prevention education will offer fact-based information on the realities and dangers of morphine use. Many detox facilities are using technology to make this education more accessible through online courses, and phone-friendly apps.

Continuing Morphine Addiction Treatment

Following treatment from morphine detox centers, the next step can be seeking continued treatment from an inpatient morphine treatment center. Ongoing treatment is necessary to address the underlying issues surrounding addiction. Inpatient treatment would involve staying in a facility with 24/7 medical monitoring, a structured living environment, and various forms of therapy. Stays at an inpatient facility typically range from 30-90 days. Alternatively, an outpatient morphine detox and treatment center may offer a flexible enough schedule to be more realistic. Regardless of someone’s availability, there are options available to fit anyone’s unique needs and schedules. With the help of morphine detox centers, recovery is always possible!

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