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Withdrawal From Morphine: Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment

Withdrawal From Morphine: Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment

Morphine is a pain reliever that’s part of the opioid drug class. While this drug is generally safe when taken as prescribed by a physician, it has a high potential for abuse and addiction like other drugs of its class. Unfortunately, due to its ability to produce a euphoric high, some people may abuse morphine by taking it in large doses, which can quickly lead to physical dependence or addiction. Withdrawal from morphine occurs in people who are physically dependent on the drug when they attempt to stop taking it. If you’re looking to start morphine detox, keep reading to get a better idea of the process.  

Side Effects of Stopping Morphine 

Morphine affects the brain by stimulating the release of the chemical dopamine. Not only does this chemical produce euphoria, pleasure, and a sense of well-being, but this process also motivates the user to continue abusing the drug.  

Long-term morphine abuse eventually leads to developed tolerance, requiring the individual to use higher doses of the drug to experience the same effects. Eventually, the brain and body become dependent on the drug to feel normal.  

If a person with morphine dependence suddenly quits taking morphine, they’d experience withdrawal symptoms as their brain learns how to function without the drug. Withdrawal from morphine can be very uncomfortable, especially for heavy and chronic users.  

Morphine withdrawal symptoms may vary in intensity depending on the user’s tolerance, overall health, metabolism, frequency and duration of their use, and the dosage of morphine they’d normally take. Generally, those who take high doses of morphine and abuse the drug for a long period will experience more severe and long-lasting withdrawals.  

Common signs and symptoms of withdrawal from morphine include:  

  • Agitation 
  • Anxiety 
  • Cravings for morphine  
  • Depression 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Disorientation 
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as chills, fever, or body aches 
  • Headaches 
  • Increased blood pressure 
  • Insomnia 
  • Nausea 
  • Runny nose 
  • Sweating 
  • Vomiting 
  • Watery eyes 

In rare cases, morphine withdrawals can be life-threatening. Severe dehydration is among the most life-threatening symptoms of withdrawal, especially in cases of cold-turkey opioid withdrawal. The best way to avoid life-threatening complications when detoxing is to undergo medically monitored withdrawal treatment at a professional facility, such as our California detox center. 

How Long Does Morphine Withdrawal Last? 

Usually, morphine withdrawal begins within 6 to 14 hours after the person’s last use, and withdrawal symptoms can last up to 10 days. Peak withdrawal symptoms normally occur 24 hours to five days after the person’s last use.  

Psychological symptoms called Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) may last longer, often lasting weeks after the person has completed detox. Common PAWS include anxiety, anhedonia, depression, irritability, mood swings, low energy, poor concentration, and insomnia or trouble sleeping.  

Morphine Withdrawal Timeline 

  • First 614 hours: Withdrawal from morphine usually begins within 6 to 14 hours after stopping the drug. Anxiety, mood swings, and cravings for morphine are usually the first symptoms to present. 
  • From 15 – 48 hours: Around a day or two after stopping morphine, patients may experience flu-like symptoms like sweating, chills, muscle aches, fever, and runny nose. Insomnia, rapid heartbeat, and irritability are also common symptoms in this stage of morphine withdrawal.  
  • Days 3 – 10: Nausea and vomiting usually begin at this stage of withdrawal from morphine, which increases the risk of dehydration. Symptoms of withdrawal may also peak at this stage, specifically around day four.  
  • Days 10+: At this point, most physical symptoms subside, but PAWS like anxiety, irritability, depression, and morphine cravings may persist for several weeks to months. 

How to Stop Taking Morphine (Safely) 

As challenging as detoxing from morphine seems, our Banyan Palm Springs rehab offers safe treatment options that can help clients get through withdrawals and move forward with recovery. For those with morphine addictions, our facility offers professional opioid withdrawal treatment as well as addiction treatment to aid in long-term sobriety.  

Our opioid addiction treatment programs incorporate detox, psychotherapy, and even aftercare services to ensure clients have all they need to physically and psychologically recover from drug abuse. Don’t wait to get started.  

Call Banyan Treatment Centers Palm Springs today at 888-280-4763 for more information about our California addiction treatment. 


Related Reading: 

Demerol vs. Morphine 

Effects of Morphine on the Body 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Withdrawal From Morphine: Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment
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