Coping With Morphine Withdrawal Syndrome
Ever since it was discovered, morphine has proven to be a valuable medication for people experiencing moderate to high levels of pain. Morphine is effective in pain management because it changes how the body perceives pain. Morphine is however an opioid and this puts it in the same class of drugs as heroin and other controlled drugs.
How Morphine Dependency Occurs
Drugs like these are controlled due to the high potential for developing dependency. Dependency occurs when your brain and body become accustomed to having a certain substance around and alter their functions to accommodate their presence. Full blown addiction sets in when the brain and body can no longer function at their optimum in the absence of this substance.
Although morphine doesn’t have the addictive potential of heroin, it should not be underestimated. Many people start using morphine to manage pain but eventually, find themselves unable to stop using it even after the pain stops. Even patients to whom morphine has been prescribed to for an extended period, may undergo withdrawal symptoms after they stop taking the drug.
Characteristics Of Morphine Withdrawal
Whether you’ve been abusing morphine or just using the drug for a long time, there are certain effects that you can expect when you stop taking the drug. These effects include:
Panic attacks and anxiousness Sleeplessness Depression Dizziness Hot flashes Muscle twitching Flu like symptoms i.e. sneezing, coughing, feverishness, nausea and lack of appetite.
How To Detoxify From Morphine
There are different ways with which you can detoxify after a period of prolonged morphine usage. Some people like to quit ‘cold turkey’. This implies cutting yourself off from the drug at once. Unfortunately, this method never works out well for many drug users. Drug dependency, no matter what the drug, usually implies that the brain and body are dependent on the drug. The sudden absence of this drug can be extremely uncomfortable. With certain drugs, death is a possibility. In the case of morphine, you will most likely experience much more acute withdrawal symptoms. This increases the possibility of a relapse.
A better way of quitting morphine is by gradually reducing the dosage. This gives your body’s system time to adjust to the reduced quantities of the drug. However, you shouldn’t expect that this will completely do away with the withdrawal symptoms.
Where To Detoxify
Where you choose to detoxify is just as important as how you choose to do it. The best place is usually a location where you can be monitored by a healthcare expert. A doctor can monitor you to ensure you’re doing well and he may also prescribe medication to counter some of the withdrawal symptoms.
You should also be in an environment where you can get psychological support. In professional rehab facilities, users work with experts who know how to handle people in their position. Such a place may also be far from their triggers or at least provide them with enough distractions to make the detoxification process easier. You can also seek support from family members and friends during this time.