Stopping Morphine Addiction While Reducing The Withdrawals
A man in Bradford, Pennsylvania was arrested and charged after his 13-month-old daughter accidentally consumed his morphine tablets. The child was rushed to a nearby medical facility, with medical practitioners saying she almost died from an opiate overdose. This incident reflects the grim nature of opiate abuse in the United States. Millions of Americans report having used morphine or other opiates for recreational purposes every year. A good number have developed a dependency on these drugs, with many of them reporting that they can’t function without the drugs.
Morphine is prescribed for moderate to severe pain in patients who have acute or chronic pain. It is sometimes prescribed for labor pains under special circumstances. Morphine is also commonly used as an anesthetic, cough suppressant, and treatment for some types of diarrhea.
Mechanisms of Addiction and Dependency
One can become addicted to morphine in a variety of ways, the most common one being when someone uses the drug as a legitimate painkiller. One can begin abusing morphine when using a cocktail of drugs that include other opiates. The pathway to morphine addiction and dependency follows the same sequence as other addictive opiates. Morphine binds on to receptors along nerves in the central nervous system that are involved in the transmission of pain signals to the brain. They mimic the action of naturally produced endorphins, which naturally reduce pain and are involved in the induction of the body’s happy hormone, dopamine.
When you continue using larger doses of morphine for a longer time than prescribed, the body gradually shuts down the production of endorphins. At this stage, your addiction will have developed and you will find it extremely hard to skip your daily morphine dose.
Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms
When you skip your daily dose of morphine, your body reacts naturally against the endorphin deficiency in the system. These manifest as terrible withdrawal symptoms that may start showing as early as 10 hours after your last dose. In the early stages, you may start experiencing general body pains and muscle cramps as your body starts rebelling from the lack of morphine or endorphins. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, stomach aches, nausea, fatigue, and cold-like symptoms such as hot and cold sweats will begin showing a short while later.
In advanced stages of the withdrawal, typically after 72 hours, you will begin experiencing symptoms such as confusion, anxiety, agitation, mood swings, depression, and in some cases, hallucinations. Despite the severity of these symptoms, it is possible to overcome them and beat your morphine addiction without being extremely afflicted by their severe nature.
Reducing the Impact of Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms
The fear of withdrawal symptoms is among the leading causes of relapse and the reason why many people are reluctant to stop their morphine addiction, despite the negative impact it has had on their lives. There are several practical steps you can take to ensure your withdrawal symptoms are less severe. First and most importantly, it is important to have the right state of mind. Make the decision to quit a personal one, after a careful analysis of the damage and impact the addiction has had on your job, family, friends, and everything else around you. With the right frame of mind, you have the mental power to overcome the nastiest withdrawal symptoms that may come your way.
Secondly, choose the right program to stop your morphine addiction. Some people, including seasoned healthcare practitioners encourage abrupt stoppage of doses, otherwise known as going cold turkey. This has the benefit of enabling you to quit the drugs within a few days but with the worst forms of withdrawal symptoms. Choose to taper your doses by reducing your morphine dose by around 5-10% every few days until you can comfortably stop taking them. With this method, you will experience only mild withdrawal symptoms and you will have a better chance of staying off the drugs for the rest of your life.
For your morphine taper, you can use a variety of readily available items and procedures to further reduce the impact of any withdrawal symptoms. These include:
Opiate Withdrawal Aids
Withdrawal aids are supplements that contain essential nutrients to help your body in the rebuilding process. CalmSupport is one of the most efficient aids out there, using the most bioavailable amino acids and active vitamins. CalmSupport is packed with organic herbs that help withdrawal symptoms backed by clinical evidence. CalmSupport may allow you to maintain some level of function throughout the withdrawal process by helping improve mood, mental clarity, and lessen stress. CalmSupport should be taken at least 7 days before you plan to begin your taper to prepare the body for the expected distress.
Fluids and healthy Food
Fluids should make up an important part of your withdrawal regimen, mainly because dehydration will be one of the most severe side effects of withdrawal. Always carry around water, sports drinks, or fruit juice to help keep your electrolyte levels up. You could also take peppermint tea and ginger ale for the stomach aches and dark chocolate to help kick-start the endorphin production process.
You should also remember to eat healthy food such as fruits and vegetables accompanied by light meals at different times of the day. This will help keep you energized during this stressful period.
Non-Opiate Painkillers and other Medications
When you speak to your doctor about your intended morphine taper, they will most likely prescribe medications that will help to manage most symptoms. For instance, Ibuprofen is prescribed for muscle and leg cramps while Loperamide is typically used for nausea and diarrhea.
It is recommended that you take part in some form of exercise during this period, which is thought to rejuvenate stressed body cells. Walking or lightly jogging for at least thirty minutes every day will be very helpful for your body.
If you are still working, request for some time off to relax to avoid additional stressors. Develop a calm and relaxed environment in your own home by making subtle changes in your environment. Get some good form of entertainment, learn the guitar or practice yoga to keep your mind off the situation. If the muscle cramps become unmanageable, get a heating pad to help with the pain.
Morphine withdrawal symptoms will usually last anywhere between 7 and 21 days, depending on a variety of factors. However long they last for you, ensure you maintain a strong mental resolve, eat a healthy diet, and join your local support group that will surely help you deal with your withdrawal symptoms.