Morphine is a highly addictive opiate alkaloid extracted from the opium poppy.
Named after Morphius, the Greek mythological “King of Dreams,” morphine came into heavy use as a potent painkiller during the American Civil War. Early widespread use of this drug led to the country’s first opioid epidemic, and since then, morphine use has risen and fallen in waves.
In the 1990s, the medical use of painkillers such as morphine rose, coinciding with a drastic nationwide increase in dependency and 1.7 million Americans suffered from treatable opioid abuse disorders in 2017.
Morphine is a Schedule II drug used to treat moderate, severe, and chronic pain. However, it is extremely risky when abused independently and can lead users to progress to more dangerous opioids such as heroin or fentanyl.
Once hooked, morphine’s addictive nature makes it difficult to cease using alone. At Cirque Lodge, our expert staff offers a detox program backed by years of research that will help you leave morphine addiction in the past.
Whether you started taking morphine from a doctor or a dealer, our team is here to help you tackle your addiction at the root cause.
Many genes influence the chemical and electric pathways in the brain’s reward circuits. The OPRM1 gene influences how the brain receives and reacts to opioids and increases the risk of addiction.
Genetics also increase the likelihood of mental health conditions that often occur with substance abuse, such as:
Individual personal history also plays a critical role in the risk of developing an addiction. Men and women with past experience of substance abuse disorder are more likely to become addicted after coming into contact with morphine. Depression, childhood traumas, or neglect also factor into the risk of addiction.
The immediate world around us is a determining factor in the desire and ability to access morphine for nonmedical use. When someone is facing an extreme crisis, the euphoria and numbness morphine offers becomes profoundly tempting. Simply being in an environment where opioids are easy to access sharply increases a person’s risk.
Other environmental risk factors include:
Addiction is complex, and these risk factors may or may not look familiar. Dependency can take hold even without any additional conditions. If they are present, an effective recovery plan helps clients identify and build their resilience with medication, cognitive, and behavioral therapy. At Cirque Lodge, our diagnostic and therapeutic team provides this from day one.
The human brain produces two natural opiates (enkephalin and endorphin) that mildly calm and dull pain.
When morphine, a much stronger chemical, enters the nervous system, it attaches to these chemicals’ receptors and sets off the midbrain reward system. This floods the brain with dopamine, along with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
Dependence sets in when this intensely pleasurable experience leads other areas of the brain to record the details of the moment. Re-encountering similar feelings or situations leads to strong cravings for morphine. With repeated use, the brain builds a new baseline above its natural opiate levels influenced by the new potent chemical, morphine. It starts to need more of the drug to feel high and then just to feel normal.
At the same time, high levels of morphine destabilize a separate set of neurons that maintain normal breathing, blood pressure, and the body’s ability to stay awake. As drug levels rise or drop, these neurons are blocked or overactive swinging the body through pleasurable highs and intense withdrawals.
At Cirque Lodge, we recognize morphine addiction as a physiological condition. The mechanisms of this condition can be slowly reversed with proper medical intervention and involved aftercare.
Even when morphine is prescribed and administered under a doctor’s supervision, it is easy to develop tolerance and dependence.
One in four people who are prescribed opioids as painkillers misuse them during or after supervised treatment. If someone you know has become addicted to morphine, you may have noticed some troubling signs, including:
Alarming changes in health, personality, and lifestyle accompany morphine abuse, and it can be challenging to know how to approach someone you care about. If you notice behaviors like these, you can contact Cirque Lodge for advice on intervention and assessment. We can also provide counseling programs that help families and friends start on the path to recovery together.
Morphine dependence can develop even when taken on prescription. The drug’s potent euphoric effects make addiction possible after only a few doses.
Short-term effects of morphine abuse include:
Extended use of morphine causes side effects to amplify and, as a result, cause more pronounced harm to physical, mental, and social health. A long-term user is more likely to branch into taking more powerful opioids with an even higher risk of overdose.
Other side effects of long-term use include:
As morphine is a depressant that clouds the way we think and feel. Dependency often goes hand in hand with life’s upheavals and social isolation from the community and deterioration in a user’s mental and emotional state is also likely to occur with long-term use. However, no matter how severe the physical, mental, or social effects become, it is always possible to seek help.
When the body has a constant or frequent supply of morphine, it slows or shuts down its production of natural opioids.
When morphine leaves the system “cold turkey,” the body’s chemical systems become drastically out of balance, and this results in some extremely uncomfortable effects, including:
Withdrawal peaks within three to five days, but post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last up to a month. During this vulnerable period, morphine users will likely feel urges to relapse just to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. An assisted detox at Cirque Lodge safely tapers off use, keeping recovering users comfortable through this critical time and enabling them to focus on healing and recovery.
Addiction is a complex condition that requires well-rounded treatment.
We design each treatment plan based on individual assessments to best support each client who comes to stay with us. Our long-term recovery plans have a dual focus; first on providing a comfortable medically assisted detox, and second, on an expert program of continued support that centers on all facets of health.
Our center is a community. Cirque Lodge’s compassionate and knowledgeable staff will be here to assist, listen, and walk with you through every step of the morphine detox journey. Residents of the center can also find strength and comfort in the shared experience of commitment to recovery.