You must have heard of the word morphine quite often. Some of you might even have had a wide range of experiences associated with it.
But how well do you know about morphine? Or, are you worried about not getting over its withdrawal symptoms? Here are the answers to everything that you need to know about morphine.
Morphine is a drug that is primarily used in pain-relief. It is extracted from opium plant by the method of chemical extraction. Initially discovered in 1804 and officially distributed in 1817, Morphine was termed as one of the most “Essential medicines” by the World Health Organization. It is considered to be one of the most important analgesics for the treatment of severe pain.
What Are The Side Effects Of Morphine?
Just like oxycodone and heroin drugs, morphine too works by acting on the central nervous system to provide relief from pain. Though this drug is used to help individuals cope with intense physical pain, it is also linked with dependence and rapid psychological tolerance.
It acts as a substance with high potential for addiction and abuse, for which it is also regarded as a “Schedule II” controlled constituent in the United States.
In addition to pain relief, it is also taken by some people illegally to “get high”. Such people get addicted to the initial mood-boosting properties of the drug as well as the anxiolytic effect that is derived from it. Once a person develops addiction or dependence for daily functioning, it is very difficult to cope up with the withdrawal symptoms.
Factors That Influence Morphine Withdrawal?
There are a number of factors that can determine the duration and severity of its withdrawal symptoms. Such factors include the following:
- Time span: The duration for which you have been addicted to morphine determines the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. The lesser time you have taken morphine, the lower tolerance level you should develop. For the ones who have been addicted to the drug for a long period of time, it would be quite difficult to cope up with the associated withdrawal symptoms, since the longer you have depended on it, your body functioning has become more reliant on it.
- Dosage + Tolerance: If you have been using higher doses of morphine during your treatment, you are more likely to face severe withdrawal symptoms.
With a higher tolerance level, withdrawal symptoms tend to be more severe and longer-lasting. With an increased tolerance, the body’s nervous system gets accustomed to receiving higher doses of the drug to carry out it’s functioning. When the dosage is stopped, it takes a significant time for the nervous system to make repairs and function on its own.
- Addiction: Some people use morphine just to “get high” and relish the relaxing feel that the drug provides, rather than for relieving pain. For such people who use morphine just as an addiction, withdrawal symptoms tend to be much severe than the ones who use it solely for the purpose of pain relief. People highly addicted to it may require guidance from a psychotherapist or psychiatrist to help them successfully withdraw from morphine addiction.
- Cold turkey Vs Tapering: Intensity of the withdrawal symptoms also depends on whether you quit the drug in a “cold turkey” manner or a gradual tapering manner. It is suggested that you quit it in a gradual manner to get rid of powerful drugs like morphine. In such a way, you give your nervous system time to adjust to less of the drug each day.
Since withdrawal symptoms may be dangerous and very difficult for cold turkey, you should consult your doctor regarding the method of moving away from the drug. For severe symptoms, your doctor might prescribe you opioid replacement therapy that uses a less powerful drug such as methadone or suboxone during the transition period.
- Individual factors: Individual factors play a significant role in deciding the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Such factors may include environment, habits, other drugs, physiology and social support.
Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms: List Of Possibilities
Here are some of the withdrawal symptoms that a person may experience when he/she tries to withdraw from morphine. You may not experience each and every symptom, or the intensity and duration of the symptoms may vary within individuals. It is important that you keep these points in the note and talk to a doctor in case you face any of these withdrawal symptoms.
- Abdominal cramps: This is the most common withdrawal symptom, experienced by a majority of people. You may experience cramps on other parts of the body as well, but pain near the abdominal region may be more pronounced.
- Anger: It is very common to experience mood swings during withdrawal. You may also experience an array of psychological symptoms including anger. Anger in such situations may be difficult to control.
- Anxiety: It is also one of the common withdrawal symptoms that may range from mild to extreme. Under extreme cases, your doctor might prescribe you certain medications to cope up with situations of extreme anxiety.
- Appetite changes: You may lose your appetite completely during your withdrawal. Such symptoms of appetite changes usually peak within 1 to 2 days since your last dose. It may take you some time to fully recover from appetite problems; meanwhile, you must carry out eating healthy to cope up with further health problems.
- Problems of concentration: Since you may have to deal with an array of psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms, you might find yourself in a situation of “brain fog” which may not let you concentrate properly.
- Confusion: A number of people complain about being confused about how they are feeling and being unable to think freely. Mood swings and lack of concentration is common which leads to confusions. Such symptoms will be diminished gradually.
- Cravings: Cravings can be very intense during withdrawal. There might be intense craving for the drug immediately as the person withdraws. Cravings are reduced as long as the person remains sober during the withdrawal period.
- Crying spells: Crying is a common symptom that might result out of depression and feeling of hopelessness or because of “watery eyes” that occurs from withdrawing from an opiate.
- Depression: Depression is one of the most common symptoms which may range from mild to severe. Even though depression can be severe in some cases, it may gradually go away within 10 days of withdrawal, as can be seen by an improvement in mood.
- Insomnia: While some people may have no difficulty in sleeping at all, some might experience extreme insomnia. In such cases, your doctor might prescribe you a melatonin supplement and suggest you relaxation exercises to help you cope up with such extreme problems.
Preventing Morphine Overdose
Morphine is an opiate analgesic that works by altering the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. Generally, it is prescribed as a 24-hour pain relief drug, in case other medications fail to relieve pain.
The knowledge of the duration of which morphine remains in the system can prevent accidental overdose of the drug by taking too much of the drug at once.
Symptoms of an overdose of morphine include irregular breathing, loss of consciousness, sleepiness, weak muscles, slow heartbeat, blurred vision, and fainting.
In the case of a morphine overdose, the person should be taken to the doctor immediately.
Will Morphine Show Up In Drug Test?
Yes, morphine has the possibility to show up in your drug test. This varies according to the nature of the test done. Normally, it can be detected by blood test, urine test, saliva test, etc.
A large part of the drug is retained in the hair also. If the blood test is done within 12 hours, the test will prove to be positive. In the case of saliva test, the effect can be traced even after four days. In the case of a urine test, the drug can be traced up to four days after consumption.
How long does morphine stay in your urine?
Morphine stays in urine for a considerable period of time. Morphine takes a lot of time to be detected in urine. Usually, it takes about 3-4 days to be detected after it is taken. However, the strength of the dosage and the internal system of the body can alter this timing. But in normal cases, it can be detected after 3-4 days after the consumption of the drug.
How long does morphine stay in your blood?
Morphine can stay in blood for a long period, and this too depends on the type of drug test that is being done. There are various results that are available at different times after taking the drugs.
The age, hydration level, metabolism and various factors come to play when it comes to determining the results. Although people think that it is needed for treating certain ailments, one should avoid using the drug as it has a lot of side effects in the long run.
How Long Does Morphine Stay In Your Saliva?
This depends on the nature of body metabolism and its rate. However, normally the effect of morphine in saliva stays for a considerable longer period of time, for about 1-4 days. If the test is done within that time, the results are likely to be positive.
How Long Does Morphine Stay In Your Hair?
This is the area where the effect of morphine is maximum. Morphine can remain in hair for up to 90 days. Even if you can test negative in other tests, hair test may show positive results up to 90 days.
How To Get Morphine Out Of Your System?
There is no hard and fast rule to get rid of morphine. People can consult with professional counsellors to get temporary relief. A healthy diet, regular exercise and a lot of sleep are needed to get some relaxation for a long time.
Morphine Withdrawal Duration: How Long Does It Last?
There isn’t any universal timeline that can assess how long it takes to recover from withdrawal symptoms. The recovery rate may vary within individuals.
For some individuals, withdrawal period may be normal without any prolonged symptoms, while for others, withdrawal symptoms may be severe and longer.
It may be easier to cope up with the symptoms if the patient is treated with additional psychiatric drugs that help in withdrawal such as antidepressants, clonidine or benzodiazepines, etc.
Morphine has a half-life of 2 to 4 hours. Therefore it is estimated that it would take approximately 8 hours for it to get completely excreted from the body. However, complete removal from the body doesn’t necessarily mean that you have experienced withdrawal.
Acute withdrawal symptoms usually appear within 6 to 14 hours of withdrawing. Usually, acute symptoms peak within 3 days of withdrawal and may last up to a week. Severe psychological symptoms may peak within 6 to 10 days of discontinuation.
After the acute phase of withdrawal, a person is likely to face a protracted phase or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), which may last up to few weeks to months. Such a protracted phase is characterized by less intense physical symptoms and more intense psychological symptoms.
It is suggested to follow a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits as well as regular workouts, to ensure healthy conditions during the withdrawal phase.