Morphine Addiction and Treatment
Morphine is a prescription opioid, used to treat moderate to severe pain, such a surgical or cancer related pain.3 But like other opioids, morphine can be addictive and is commonly misused. In the United States in 2020, 9.3 million people aged 12 and older misused prescription pain medicines, including morphine. This works out to about 3.3% of the national population.1
The percentage of people in Nevada misusing prescription opioids between 2018 and 2019 (the latest year for which we have data) was slightly higher than the national average, at 3.87%.2
Side Effects of Morphine
Even if you take morphine or other opioids exactly as your doctor says, it can lead to some common side effects such as:3
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Feeling sleepy (drowsiness).
- Anxiety or depression.
- Dry, itchy skin.
Serious Side Effects of Morphine Abuse
Some rare but more serious morphine side effects include:3
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Extremely low blood pressure.
- Slowed or stopped breathing (respiratory depression), which can be life-threatening.
If you inject morphine or other opioids, you increase your risk of the following:6
- Hardened veins.
- Skin infections.
- Heart infections.
- Hepatitis C, HIV, or other bloodborne diseases.
Regular morphine use or misuse can also lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
- Dependence means that your brain and body has gotten so used to a substance that without it, you may have withdrawal symptoms.4
- Tolerance is when your body needs more and more of a substance to get the same desired effects.4
- Addiction is defined as a chronic and relapsing disorder that includes compulsive drug-seeking behaviors, continued use of the drug despite negative outcomes, and long-lasting changes in the brain.4,8 Morphine addiction is known as an “opioid use disorder,” or OUD.
Overdose is another serious risk of morphine use. In 2019, nearly 38 people died each day from prescription opioid overdose, totaling more than 14,000 deaths.7 The number of overdose deaths related to morphine and other prescription opioids vary from state to state. In Nevada, for example, the overdose death rates decreased between 2018 and 2019.7
Remember, that when you are dependent on morphine or other opioids, you may go through withdrawal if you suddenly reduce your dose or stop taking the drug. Common withdrawal symptoms include:9
- Trouble falling and staying asleep (insomnia).
- Runny nose.
- Teary eyes.
- Muscle aches and bone pain.
- Diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
- Dilated (enlarged) pupils.
Morphine withdrawal symptoms can begin 8 to 24 hours after your last dose and can last for 7 to 10 days.10 Withdrawal symptoms can be so intense that some people start using morphine again to make them stop.6 But the good news is that substance abuse treatment can help ease the burden of withdrawal and make the process more comfortable.
Types of Treatment for Morphine Addiction
There are many evidence-based treatments for treating morphine addiction. Treatment varies and is tailored to each person’s unique recovery needs. For many people, medical detox is a crucial first step in the recovery process.9 During detox, doctors and other clinical staff help you safely withdraw from morphine or other opioids.10 This may include giving prescription medicines, such as buprenorphine and methadone, to help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.5,9
By itself, detox doesn’t help you address the underlying thoughts and behaviors that led to an opioid use disorder. For this reason, many people continue treatment after detox. Some common treatments include:4,5,9,10
- Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) help you learn about and change harmful thoughts and behaviors related to your opioid use.
- Inpatient rehab, where you live onsite for the length of treatment. The length of stay depends on the treatment center and insurance coverage and can last from a few days to 3 months or more.
- Outpatient rehab, which lets you live at home while you go through treatment.
- Medication for addiction treatment (MAT). MAT for opioid use disorders uses prescription medicines—buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone—to help reduce or prevent cravings, relapse (return to opioid use after a period of not using), and overdose. These medicines can be taken short-term or long-term and may be started in rehab or by talking to a certified doctor.
- Peer support groups, such as SMART Recovery, Narcotics Anonymous, or other 12-step programs.
Finding Morphine Addiction Treatment in Las Vegas
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of morphine rehab and detox in the state of Nevada and across the United States. AAC staff works with you to develop treatment plans tailored to your exact recovery needs. We are dedicated to your recovery and helping you every step of the way. Call our free and confidential helpline at to learn about your treatment options. Admissions navigators are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Does your insurance cover treatment at Desert Hope in Las Vegas?
Check your insurance coverage or text us your questions to learn more about treatment by American Addiction Centers (AAC).