Orange County, CA Morphine Addiction Treatment
Table of Contents
What is Morphine?
Morphine is an opioid pain medication that occurs naturally in plants and animals, including humans. Like all opiates, it acts on the central nervous system by blocking certain receptors in the brain, thus reducing or eliminating the body’s ability to feel pain. First approved by the FDA in 1941, it is prescribed for chronic (long-term) and acute (short-term) pain relief. With a simple chemical structure, this compound has been recreated in synthetic forms for many years, resulting in several patented versions approved by the FDA.
Morphine is potent and highly addictive. As such, many physicians tend to shun prescribing it. However, opioids continue to provide excellent pain relief in circumstances when other analgesics are ineffective. It is used in the treatment of injuries, cancer, recovery from surgery, and other circumstances. Typically, it is favored for acute situations (injuries, etc.), as the patient will be less likely to become addicted when taking it for a shorter duration.
What is Morphine Used For?
Morphine is a prescription drug typically used to help patients deal with moderate to severe pain. Morphine adjusts the chemistry in your brain to change how your body reacts to and feels pain. Your prescribed dosage of Morphine is traditionally based on your medical condition, how much pain you are experiencing, and your overall response to any treatment. It’s extremely important to take Morphine in a consistent manner as directed by your doctor or physician and not as needed or in an increased dose before speaking with your doctor. It is ok to take Morphine with or without food, usually once daily for the duration of your prescription.
Morphine Effects and Abuse
Like all opiates, Morphine forces the body to adapt to its presence by building up a tolerance. When this occurs, the user may be tempted to take the drug more frequently, or in greater doses. Over time, the body compensates for the drug’s presence, which results in dependency. Once a person develops an addiction, the cravings for the drug can be quite intense. The user will go to great lengths to continue using, or else face significant withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of Morphine Abuse and Addiction
In addition to pain relief, people tend to feel calm or relaxed when taking Morphine or one of its derivatives. Morphine can generate a feeling of euphoria or elevated sense of well-being, which can reduce anxiety. Morphine can also cause sleepiness.
When a user becomes dependent on Morphine or abuses it, they can begin to experience more severe symptoms, such as these:
A morphine addict will often experience disruption to his or her lifestyle as well. Addicts tend to neglect their daily responsibilities, and can become isolated from friends and family. They can become involved in legal trouble, and will often shop around for doctors, hoping to convince them to write new prescriptions for more pills that they may continue to abuse.
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Signs of a Morphine Overdose
Combining Morphine and Other Drugs
In general, when receiving a prescription for Morphine (or any opiate), the patient must be careful to notify the doctor of any other drugs he or she may be taking (whether prescribed or illegal). Morphine can interact well with certain medications. However, many drugs can lead to disastrous consequences when consumed while on Morphine. Here are some examples.
Morphine and Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines (e.g. Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax) are tranquilizers that have a similar sedative effect on the body as opioids. When taken while on Morphine, its effects are magnified, most notably the decrease in respiration. Taking both at the same time is almost never prescribed, and quite deadly, as it can lead to respiratory arrest.
Morphine and Alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant, and will magnify the effects of Morphine. Slurred speech, double vision, loss of coordination, and irregular heartbeat are some of the dangerous symptoms that can occur when both are present in the body. Also, the combination can cause confusion and impaired judgment. One should always avoid alcohol while on Morphine.
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Overcoming Your Morphine Addiction
Addiction to Morphine is a mental health condition which requires treatment. The most important step in overcoming such a potent opiate is an evaluation from a licenced mental health care professional. The right provider will know how to assess the severity of the addiction and construct a viable plan. When the patient understands the exact nature of his or her affliction, the process of recovery becomes very clear.
Drugs and Tapered Dosages
One option for breaking a dependency to Morphine is to ask one’s physician to taper the dose, so that little by little the body can adjust to not having it. This will significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms, although it may take a while to get off of the drug completely. Prescription medications designed to treat a person coming off of opioids like Morphine are also available, such as Methadone or Buprenorphine. These too are opioids, and are prescribed to mimic the function of Morphine in the body during withdrawal, without getting the patient high. Whether using a tapered dose or replacement medication, the patient may still experience side effects during withdrawal. Physicians may opt to prescribe other pharmaceuticals to handle specific symptoms.
Outpatient Morphine addiction treatment
There are many reasons for checking into a treatment facility when passing through the physical phase of withdrawal. Some withdrawal symptoms are quite serious, and it is best to have the assistance of staff who can help keep the patient hydrated and clean, and provide moral support. Also, the staff are able to control many of the variables that might contribute to a relapse. This is critical because most relapses occur during the physical portion of withdrawal. Intensive outpatient treatment may be recommended for those who need to maintain their daily lives and responsibilities but still need help recovering from Morphine addiction.
Once a patient is past the physical withdrawal, the true recovery begins. Once a person has been on Morphine for a while, they may not be used to facing normal emotions and experiences. As a result, many of life’s disappointments may trigger a relapse, if the patient is not prepared for them. Psychotherapy comes in many forms, but the goal is always to give the patient the confidence and tools necessary to navigate through the challenges of life without relapse. With the right mental health care provider serving as a strong mentor, an enduring recovery is a realistic and likely outcome.
Call Dr. B for Morphine Addiction Treatment
Dr. B continues to serve the community of Orange County as a skilled addiction recovery specialist. Over the years, many have come to him seeking recovery from addiction to Morphine and other opioids. If you are taking pain killers and are having difficulty quitting, call our office to schedule an evaluation. Opioid addiction is very serious and requires professional help. We know what you are going through is hard. Don’t leave your life to chance. Contact our office today, and we will give you the helping hand you need.