Morphine withdrawal and detox

Morphine is a powerful opioid painkiller that can provide relief to those suffering from severe pain; however, it also has the potential to lead to physical and psychological dependence. This makes detoxing from morphine a challenging and sometimes uncomfortable process, but with the right support, it is certainly manageable. If you are ready to take this necessary step towards recovery, Banbury Lodge can help you to successfully tackle morphine detox and withdrawal.

Morphine detox

What is morphine detox?

When you stop taking morphine, your body will naturally begin to purge all traces of the drug from its system. This is known as the detox phase of recovery, and it is the first hurdle you face as you begin your journey to sobriety.

At Banbury Lodge, you will be fully supported by our medical team during your morphine detox. We will ensure you remain comfortable, relaxed and safe the entire time. Our doctors will taper your morphine doses in such a way as to minimise withdrawal symptoms, closely monitoring you and providing supportive care throughout.

Why do I get morphine withdrawal symptoms?

Morphine binds to opioid receptors in the brain, resulting in the drug’s pain-relieving and euphoric effects. When you use morphine regularly and in large doses, the brain adapts to the drug’s presence, and over time becomes less responsive to the effects of morphine. This tolerance means that you will need to take higher doses of the drug to achieve the same effects.

With continued use, the brain becomes totally reliant on the presence of morphine. When you stop or significantly reduce your intake of morphine, the brain must adjust to its absence and this leads to a range of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

What are the symptoms of morphine withdrawal?

The severity of your morphine withdrawal symptoms may vary depending on the amount and frequency of morphine use, as well as other factors like your overall health and whether other substances have been consumed alongside morphine.

Some of the most common morphine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps and chills
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Intense cravings for morphine

These effects on the body can cause complications, including dehydration or dangerous swings in body temperature. It is therefore advised to undergo morphine detox under the supervision of professionals.

Morphine detox - abdominal cramp

Morphine detox timeline

Everyone’s experience with morphine detox is unique, with the timeline depending on the level of your morphine addiction. You can typically expect to see the following morphine detox timeline:

    • One to three days after your last dose: The first few days of morphine detox are usually the most challenging as withdrawal symptoms can be severe. These may include flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle aches and excessive sweating.

Four to seven days after your last dose: By the fourth day of morphine detox, many of your physical symptoms will start to improve, although psychological symptoms such as depression and morphine cravings may still be present.

One to two weeks after your last dose: By this time, most of your physical symptoms should have dissipated and you may start to feel more like yourself again. However, psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety could still be present, and you may continue to experience morphine cravings.

Is it safe to detox from morphine at home?

Many people wonder if it is safe to detox from morphine at home, but without guidance from a doctor, it can be difficult to manage withdrawal symptoms safely. While opiate detox is not generally considered life-threatening, complications can and do arise. For example, persistent vomiting and diarrhoea can lead to severe dehydration, which can pose a very real danger to your health.

Attempting to detox from morphine at home can also increase the risk of relapse, as for many, withdrawal symptoms can be too much to bear alone. The home environment can leave you exposed to triggers and easy access to morphine, so it can be challenging to resist cravings or temptations. The most effective way to detox from morphine is to do so at a reputable and experienced detox facility.

Common fears about morphine detox

It is totally natural to have some fears and anxieties about the morphine detox process, however, you should not let these fears hold you back from getting the help you need. Knowing what to expect can help you to feel more relaxed about entering into morphine detox.

Fear of intense withdrawal symptoms…

It’s common for individuals to worry that they will experience severe withdrawal symptoms during the morphine detox process. While withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, medical professionals can manage them with medications and other treatments to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.

Fear of relapse…

You may be worried about relapsing after completing morphine detox, however, inpatient rehab offers resources and services to help you maintain your sobriety in the long term. Relapse is often part of the recovery process and should not be viewed as a failure, but instead as a learning curve.

Fear of stigma…

It is common to experience a fear of the stigma associated with treatment and detox, with many feeling embarrassed about getting help. The truth is that seeking treatment is a brave and proactive step towards recovery. Banbury Lodge offers a supportive and non-judgmental environment where you can receive the care and guidance you need without fear of stigma or shame.

Fear of the unknown…

Not knowing what to expect from the morphine detox process can feel incredibly daunting. It is a good idea to combat this fear through education and by fully preparing yourself for what lies ahead.

The benefits of morphine detox

As your body begins to restore itself to optimum health, you will notice significant benefits penetrating through to your everyday life. Some of the benefits of morphine detox include:

  • Vastly improved physical health
  • Better mental health, with decreased issues such as anxiety or depression
  • Better overall quality of life
  • Reduced risk of overdose
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem
  • Opportunity to focus on self-care

On top of these benefits, you will feel an immense sense of pride and accomplishment after completing morphine detox and overcoming the first stage of recovery. This achievement sets you up for success as you continue morphine rehab.

What happens after morphine detox?

While morphine detox is an essential step towards recovery, it is important to recognise that the process does not end here. It is vital that you address the emotional and psychological aspects of your morphine use through therapy.

Therapy can help you to understand the underlying causes of your addiction, develop coping strategies and learn how to manage triggers and cravings. Therapy can also address co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and trauma, which can contribute to morphine misuse.

By continuing with a treatment programme after morphine detox, you can lay a strong foundation for your onward recovery and develop the necessary skills to maintain your abstinence. Ongoing support and guidance can also help you to prevent relapse and manage any challenges that may arise during the recovery process.

If you would like to take part in a prescription drug detox at Banbury Lodge, give our admissions team a call today.

Frequently asked questions

How can I support a loved one going through morphine detox?
To support a loved one going through morphine detox, you should provide emotional support and let them know you will be there for them if they need you. You can also offer to transport them to any appointments and create a safe and nurturing environment for their recovery. It is also important to prioritise self-care and seek support for yourself during this challenging time.
Can I do anything to ensure my morphine detox is successful?
There are several things you can do to ensure a successful morphine detox. These may include surrounding yourself with a support network of family and friends, adopting a healthy lifestyle that supports physical and mental well-being and engaging in a comprehensive treatment programme.
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Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0203 553 3757