Morphine Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

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Morphine addiction – clinically described as opioid use disorder – can occur when the opiate is used long-term, even when it is prescribed by a healthcare provider. The rapid progression from legitimate medical use to abuse and dependency is a common concern with morphine and other prescription opiates.

With the U.S. opioid crisis still unresolved, read on to learn more about the addictive potential of morphine and discover how to connect with addiction treatment in Ohio.

Is Morphine Addictive?

Morphine is extremely addictive. It is a potent opioid analgesic and one of the most effective drugs for the management of severe pain. When used for legitimate medical purposes, under the supervision of a healthcare professional, and for a limited duration, the risk of addiction is minimized. That said, when morphine is used improperly or without a prescription, it can trigger the development of physical and psychological dependence.

Repeated use of morphine can lead to tolerance, meaning that greater doses of the drug are needed to achieve the same pain-relieving effects. Some people attempt to counter tolerance by increasing the dose or the frequency of dosage. This form of abusive opioid consumption is liable to hasten the onset of physical dependence. When someone becomes dependent on morphine, they experience intensely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms in its absence. 

The addictive properties of morphine have led to its classification as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States, indicating that it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Use morphine strictly under the guidance of a healthcare professional, adhere to prescribed dosages, and avoid using it for non-medical purposes or without a prescription to prevent the development of addiction and other adverse outcomes.

A woman sits in her room, acknowledging she needs morphine addiction treatment

Signs of Morphine Addiction

Recognizing the signs of a morphine addict can facilitate early intervention and appropriate support. Here are some common signs to be aware of:

  • Changes in behavior and mood: Individuals addicted to morphine may exhibit erratic mood swings, increased irritability, anxiety, or depression. These emotional changes can disrupt relationships and daily life.
  • Secrecy and isolation: Addicted individuals often become secretive about their substance use. They may isolate themselves from friends and family, avoiding social interactions that might reveal their addiction.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Meeting obligations at work, school, or home becomes increasingly challenging for those grappling with morphine addiction. This can result in deteriorating performance and strained relationships.
  • Deceitful behavior: Addicted individuals may resort to lying, deceit, or theft to obtain more morphine. They might conceal the extent of their drug use, even from loved ones.
  • Personal hygiene neglect: Self-care, including personal hygiene and grooming, may deteriorate as addiction takes hold. Appearance and cleanliness often suffer.
  • Financial difficulties: The high cost of obtaining morphine can lead to significant financial troubles. Addicted individuals may spend substantial sums to fuel their addiction, depleting their savings and assets.
  • Borrowing or stealing: Morphine addicts may resort to borrowing or stealing morphine from others, including friends or family members, leading to damaged relationships.
  • Change in social circles: As addiction deepens, individuals may shift their social circles toward those who enable or share their drug use. New friends or acquaintances may be involved in substance abuse.

Recognizing these signs can help identify morphine addiction early, allowing individuals to seek the necessary support and treatment to overcome their dependency and lead healthier lives.

Morphine Addiction Symptoms

The symptoms of opioid use disorder (morphine addiction) are outlined in the latest edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as follows:

  1. Taking more morphine than intended or for a longer duration than planned.
  2. Making repeated unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control morphine use.
  3. Spending excessive time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of morphine.
  4. Intense cravings to use morphine manifesting.
  5. Failing to meet obligations at work, school, or home due to morphine use.
  6. Continuing morphine use despite social or interpersonal problems exacerbated by the drug.
  7. Reducing or abandoning important social and occupational activities due to morphine use.
  8. Ongoing use of morphine in physically hazardous situations.
  9. Continuing use of morphine despite awareness of persistent physical or psychological issues caused or worsened by the drug.
  10. Tolerance developing, resulting in the need for increased amounts of morphine to achieve the desired effect.
  11. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon reducing or stopping morphine use.

Morphine Addiction Treatment

Morphine addiction can have severe consequences, making effective treatment vital for recovery. Several approaches can be utilized to address morphine addiction, including:

Medically-assisted detoxification

Under the supervision of medical professionals, individuals can undergo a safe and gradual withdrawal process to eliminate the drug from their system. Medications may be administered to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

Behavioral therapy

Various forms of therapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), can help addicts and individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with addiction. Therapy sessions aim to develop coping strategies and prevent relapse.

Support groups

Participating in support groups, such as NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or SMART Recovery, can provide valuable emotional support and guidance from individuals with similar experiences.

Inpatient rehab programs

Residential treatment facilities offer around-the-clock care and support to individuals struggling with morphine addiction. These programs often incorporate a combination of therapies and activities to address addiction comprehensively.

Outpatient rehab programs

Outpatient treatment provides individuals with the flexibility to receive therapy and support while maintaining their daily routines. These programs can include individual counseling, group therapy, and other supportive services.

Holistic approaches

Some people may benefit from holistic treatments, including yoga, meditation, acupuncture, or art therapy. These complementary therapies can promote overall well-being and aid in the recovery process.

Aftercare support

Continuing care and support can be key components of maintaining long-term recovery with aftercare treatment for addiction. After completing a formal treatment program, many people can benefit from ongoing counseling, support groups, and follow-up care to prevent relapse.

It’s essential for individuals struggling with morphine addiction to seek professional guidance and support from healthcare providers and addiction specialists. Each treatment plan should be tailored to meet the individual’s specific needs and circumstances, promoting a successful and sustained recovery journey. Here’s how you can connect with science-based opioid addiction treatment in Ohio.

an image of next step recovery, where treatment for Morphine addiction is available

Get Treatment for Morphine Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

Whether you used morphine as a gateway drug before abusing heroin or you have become addicted to morphine after using the medication as directed, we can help you unpack opioid addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers.

Our intensive outpatient programs allow you to remain anchored to your everyday commitments while addressing the physical and psychological aspects of being addicted to morphine.

All Ohio Recovery Centers treatment programs combine holistic, behavioral, and pharmacological therapies for a whole-body approach to addiction recovery.

Call 877-679-2132 today and begin your recovery from morphine addiction tomorrow.


How addictive is morphine?

Morphine is a highly addictive opiate. It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance due to having some medical utility but a strong potential for addiction.

Can you get addicted to morphine after using the medication as prescribed?

Yes, it is possible to become physically dependent on morphine after long-term use. In some cases, this may develop into morphine addiction (opioid use disorder).

Table of Contents

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn