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Morphine Withdrawal: Symptoms and Practical Tips

Morphine withdrawal is not as dangerous as those associated with alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawals but it can still be a very huge undertaking for people who would want to kick morphine dependence for good. Morphine was discovered way back in the 1800's and was generally indicated for pain alleviation, which remains to be its primary use to this day. It is a very effective analgesic that acts directly to the central nervous system. But because of its unique chemical structure, it is also one of the most addictive opioids. Its wide use and easy access fuels the addiction of millions all over the world. Morphine addiction is one of the most common pharmacological addictions today and with people hoping to cut corners on chronic pain in the midst of their very hectic lives, the trend can only be expected to go up in the coming years.

The psychological and physiological dependence to morphine is made even worse by the body's tolerance to the pain relief it affords to the body. People who use it for pain management over a long period can develop resistance to it, forcing them to up the dosage over time thus reinforcing the addiction in a progressive manner. There is good news however. Getting off morphine is possible and many addicts have done it over and over again. Needless to say the journey can be long and hard. More than 90% of people who tried getting off morphine relapse in a matter of weeks, even days. It takes a lot of commitment to get off and stay off morphine. Changing one's environment and steering clear of the behavioral "traps" of morphine use is not just an option but a must-do.

Withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can surface in as short as 4 hours after the last dose. Symptoms in the early stage of withdrawal include watery eyes, anxiety, diarrhea, profuse sweating, yawning and irritability. Drug craving can be expected all through the withdrawal period which can stretch up to two weeks depending on the severity of the addiction. Later symptoms can include running nose, crying, and even mild depression. You can also expect elevation of blood pressure which can be fatal in some isolated cases as it can cause strokes and blood clotting. It is important to make sure that you are in good health before pursuing freedom from morphine. People who are weak, those with very low body weight, and those suffering from respiratory problems should inhibit themselves from kicking the morphine habit and the expected withdrawal as it can put a heavy toll on the body which can be too much for some.

Other physical symptoms of morphine withdrawal are muscle spasms and muscle ache in the back and in the extremities. Others have reported severe pain originating from the bones. Gastrointestinal issues are also very common. One of the most severe symptoms can include painful involuntary ejaculation, nausea and vomiting, and running a fever. Appetite can also be affected which can cause problems later on in weight management. Some people end up overweight and some can get severely underweight through and especially after the withdrawal. Most of these symptoms often peak within 48 hours. In some cases the withdrawal period can be as quick as 8 days. The pursuit for morphine freedom is a lifetime effort that demands daily decisions on your part. Drug craving can get the best out of you so it is important that you find ways to mitigate your tendencies to go back to the habit.

Morphine withdrawal in the long term

The physical withdrawal from morphine might go away in a matter of days but the psychological effects of the drug can last for years and can be a recurring problem for many morphine addicts. The persistent psychological consequence of morphine addiction fuels the need of many addicts to get into the habit again. It is important to seek support of family, friends, and even strangers (support groups) that can empathize and understand your morphine-associated psychological struggles. You do not have to be alone in the pursuit to be healthy and free from morphine addiction.
Psychological withdrawal symptoms can include depression which can often progress from being just a minor depression to severe depression. Mood swings, amnesia, and anxiety are also very common. These psychological issues feed on each other making morphine withdrawal very hard in the long run. Other psychological symptoms can include insomnia, paranoia, very low self esteem and a host of other mental disorders.

It is a good idea to seek psychological assistance and/or therapy. However a simple talk with a friend can be enough to source out that person to person talk "therapy". Many people engage themselves in various activities, filling up their schedules, and availing themselves in helping other morphine addicts to overcome their struggles. Helping other people can be therapeutic and does not cost a dime.

Practical tips for surviving morphine withdrawal

Preparing for the physical manifestations of opioid withdrawal is simply not enough to win the struggle for morphine independence. Getting your mind and body ready is the only way to get through the symptoms of withdrawal.

Keeping a journal to record your morphine withdrawal can help you a lot in reminding you of your past successes in fighting the addiction. This can motivate you to push on. Reading feel-good books and watching inspirational movies and materials can also help you combat the negative emotions the withdrawal can cast on your life. Pursuing a new hobby can also help you channel your emotions to the things that you love to do. Getting these positive vibes to your life can help you cope up with the physical, mental, and even emotional turmoil of drug abuse and addiction.

Physical exercise can also help with your emotions. People who feel good about their body are also happier and have better dispositions in life. This can improve your odds to keep off from morphine and steer clear from it for life. Morphine withdrawal might not be a walk in the park but it is very doable. All you need to do is decide and just do it.