Drug and Alcohol - Opioid Addiction - Medication-Assisted Treatment

Morphine Withdrawal: Finding Relief From Opioid Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

What is Morphine Withdrawal Like?

Morphine withdrawal can be very unpleasant, but with the right help, it's safer and more comfortable. Learn about morphine withdrawal in our blog.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

Opioid Addiction

Medication-Assisted Treatment

October 19, 2023

Morphine is a potent opioid often prescribed to alleviate extreme pain. Although it can efficiently offer relief, long-term usage can cause physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms after discontinuation.

Withdrawal from morphine can be a stressful and painful experience for those dependent on the substance. Understanding the symptoms and the available treatment options can help make the process of recovery easier.

What Is Morphine Withdrawal Like?

Withdrawal from any opioid can be difficult, unpleasant, and even dangerous. With the right help, however, morphine withdrawal is safe, more comfortable, and far more likely to be successful. Among other things, drug detox makes morphine withdrawal symptoms far easier to bear.

Keeping that in mind, here’s what to expect from morphine withdrawal:

Physical Symptoms of Morphine Withdrawal

Individuals often experience physical withdrawal symptoms after using morphine for a long time. The intensity and duration of these symptoms may vary depending on the individual's dosage, usage pattern, and general health.

Individuals withdrawing from morphine may experience nausea, digestive disturbances, muscle pains and aches, sweating, goosebumps, chills, insomnia or fragmented sleeping patterns, and changes in appetite. Digestion issues such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite can result in electrolyte and dehydration imbalances that require treatment to correct. Musculoskeletal discomforts, such as muscle aches, joint soreness, and generalized pain, can make physical activity challenging and contribute to restlessness.

Morphine withdrawal can also cause excessive perspiration, body temperature changes, hot flashes, goosebumps, and chills that lead to goosebumps and chills. Sleep disturbances, fatigue, and decreased energy may all interfere with daily tasks, and appetite changes, such as an increase or decrease in hunger, may occur as part of this phase.

Seeking appropriate medical support and treatment can alleviate these withdrawal symptoms for a more manageable transition period.

Psychological Symptoms of Morphine Withdrawal

In addition to physical symptoms, morphine withdrawal can significantly impact an individual's mental and emotional well-being. Psychological symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common psychological symptoms experienced by morphine users. Restlessness, nervousness, and worry may be experienced by individuals. The person may feel heightened stress and find it difficult to calm down or relax.

  • Depression: Depression, sadness, and despair are common during morphine withdrawal. Sudden withdrawal of morphine can cause a dysphoric state. Some people may lose interest in the activities they used to enjoy and find it difficult to be motivated or have fun in their daily lives.

  • Mood swings: Morphine withdrawal may cause mood swings. Individuals can experience rapid changes in their emotions. You may be irritable, agitated, and easily provoked. These mood swings are disruptive to relationships and make it hard to maintain a stable emotional state.

  • Cognitive impairments and difficulty concentrating: Individuals may experience cognitive impairments such as memory problems, slowed thinking, and poor concentration during morphine withdrawal. These cognitive impairments may affect work or academic performance leading to frustration and decreased self-confidence.

Behavioral Changes From Morphine Withdrawal

  • Social withdrawal: People experiencing withdrawal from morphine may stop participating in social activities, hobbies, and relationships. In addition to the withdrawal symptoms, the desire to avoid judgment or embarrassment can lead to feelings of isolation and strain in relationships. Decision-making and judgment can be temporarily impaired by morphine withdrawal. This can cause impulsive and risky behavior, affecting personal and professional relationships.

  • Motivation and Productivity: Individuals may experience reduced motivation and productivity during withdrawal. Lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and general discomfort can make performing work, school, or other responsibilities difficult. Some people experiencing morphine withdrawal will seek relief from their discomfort by turning to other substances or engaging in addictive behaviors. It can also lead to other substance abuse disorders or unhealthy coping methods.

Finding Help for Morphine Withdrawal

Medical professionals can monitor the physical and mental health of an individual throughout the withdrawal process. This includes heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. This allows early detection of medical emergencies or complications.

Medications can be administered to manage and relieve the physical and mental symptoms of morphine withdrawal. Medical professionals can prescribe and administer these medications and will tailor the treatment to each individual's needs. Preventing complications and managing severe symptoms. 

In some cases, morphine withdrawal may cause severe symptoms requiring immediate medical attention. Medical supervision is essential to ensure patients receive timely interventions to manage and prevent severe symptoms.

Medical professionals have been trained to offer emotional support and counseling. They can help address any fears or concerns that individuals may have and offer guidance throughout the withdrawal process.

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Talking to Addiction Experts About Morphine Withdrawal

Seeking advice from addiction specialists or healthcare professionals with expertise in opioid withdrawal is crucial. Their assistance includes conducting an in-depth assessment to understand an individual's unique needs, medical history, and circumstances to craft a personalized treatment plan that addresses the physical and psychological aspects of morphine withdrawal.

With this tailored approach, individuals will receive the most suitable and effective interventions for managing withdrawal symptoms while working toward long-term recovery.

Why Talking to Addiction Experts About Morphine Withdrawal Is So Important

Consulting addiction specialists and healthcare providers offer access to resources and knowledge specialized for managing opioid withdrawal symptoms. Experts stay abreast of cutting-edge research and treatments to ensure individuals receive appropriate interventions that provide maximum benefit and relevance. They can advise patients on appropriate treatment options based on the severity and needs of their illness, such as:

Healthcare providers and addiction specialists provide continuity of care throughout the withdrawal journey and beyond, such as monitoring progress, making necessary changes to treatment plans, and offering ongoing assistance to help individuals complete their withdrawal journey.

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What Are the Treatment Options After Morphine Withdrawal?

Several treatment options are available for individuals who are going through morphine withdrawal. Treatment options are determined by dependence, co-occurring conditions, and personal preferences.

Here are some of the most common treatment options:

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient treatment programs offer 24/7 medical supervision and support and a structured environment to individuals going through withdrawal. These programs include a mix of medical interventions, group therapy, counseling, and holistic approaches. Individuals with severe addiction, a relapse history, or who require intensive care are advised to enroll in an inpatient program.

Outpatient Drug Rehab

These programs are flexible and allow individuals to receive care while living at home. These programs usually involve regular medical checkups, counseling sessions, and meetings of support groups. Outpatient programs suit individuals who have a milder dependency, a good support system, and can manage their daily obligations.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

This treatment combines medication, such as buprenorphine or methadone, with counseling and behavior therapies. These medications can help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings and stabilize individuals during recovery. The MAT approach is an evidence-based treatment for opioid dependency. It can help improve outcomes and reduce relapse risk. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy, individual therapy, and behavior therapy are essential elements of morphine withdrawal treatments. These therapeutic approaches help address the emotional and psychological aspects of dependence and assist individuals in developing coping skills. They also provide ongoing support during the recovery process.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapies such as acupuncture and yoga can complement more traditional treatments. These treatments promote overall well-being, stress reduction, and self-expression. They also help manage withdrawal symptoms and support individuals' recovery.

Holistic therapy can include:

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture uses fine needles to stimulate specific points in the body. It's believed to stimulate the body's healing process and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and manage pain and discomfort after withdrawal.

  • Yoga and meditation: Yoga incorporates physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to promote mental and physical well-being. Yoga can reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and increase mindfulness and self-awareness. Meditation can be used with yoga or as a stand-alone practice to help people develop relaxation skills, control cravings, and cultivate a healthy mindset.

  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR): MBSR is a structured program that combines meditation, gentle yoga, and group discussions. It is designed to increase self-awareness and reduce stress while promoting emotional well-being. MBSR benefits those experiencing morphine withdrawal by providing tools for coping with discomfort and improving overall resilience.

Therapies for Morphine Withdrawal

In addition to opioid replacement therapies, non-opioid medications can manage specific symptoms of morphine withdrawal. These medications can help alleviate discomfort and support overall well-being. 

  • Sleep aids: Insomnia is a common symptom during withdrawal. Non-addictive sleep aids, such as trazodone or sedating antihistamines, may be prescribed to help individuals get restful sleep and manage sleep disturbances.

  • Anti-anxiety medications: For individuals experiencing severe anxiety during morphine withdrawal, short-term use of anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines may be considered. However, caution should be exercised as these medications can be habit-forming and have withdrawal risks.

  • Antidepressants: As mentioned earlier, certain antidepressants can be beneficial for managing depressive symptoms during withdrawal. They can help stabilize mood and improve overall well-being.

  • Gastrointestinal medications: Over-the-counter medications such as antacids, anti-diarrheal, or medications to manage stomach upset can relieve gastrointestinal symptoms associated with morphine withdrawal.

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How Nutrition Can Help Morphine Withdrawal

A healthy diet and regular exercise play significant roles in managing morphine withdrawal symptoms and supporting overall recovery. Here's how nutrition and exercise can contribute to relief:

  • Balanced nutrition: Proper nutrition is crucial during morphine withdrawal, as it can help restore the body's balance and support its healing processes. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide essential nutrients and promote overall well-being.

  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is essential during withdrawal, as many symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, and sweating, can contribute to dehydration. Drinking plenty of water and consuming hydrating fluids like herbal teas or electrolyte-rich drinks can help maintain hydration.

  • Regular exercise: Regular physical activity can have numerous benefits during withdrawal. Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood-boosting chemicals that can alleviate depressive symptoms and improve overall well-being. It can also help manage stress, improve sleep quality, and promote a sense of accomplishment and empowerment.

Self-Care and Coping Mechanisms for Morphine Withdrawal

Self-care plays a vital role in managing morphine withdrawal symptoms and supporting overall well-being during recovery.


As part of your morphine withdrawal treatment, you must prioritize self-care to manage symptoms effectively. This means prioritizing adequate rest and quality sleep by creating a regular sleeping pattern and setting up an ideal sleeping environment.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques before bedtime may also help enhance restful slumber, and maintaining a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can support healing processes in the body. Staying hydrated during withdrawal can help protect against dehydration, so consuming plenty of water throughout the day is strongly encouraged while reducing caffeine and sugary beverages.

Physical Activity

Regular physical activity such as walking, jogging, yoga, or dancing can help manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce stress levels, boost mood, and enhance overall well-being.

Stress Management

Stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, journaling, or engaging in hobbies that promote relaxation and self-expression can help ease withdrawal anxiety while providing a sense of calm during this challenging period.

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Finding Healthy Coping Mechanisms During Morphine Withdrawal

As part of morphine withdrawal, managing stress and cravings is critical, and developing effective coping mechanisms can make a meaningful difference in outcomes.

Strategies for anxiety relief may include deep breathing and relaxation exercises like diaphragmatic breathing or alternate nostril breathing to relieve stress and promote relaxation. Engaging regularly in relaxation exercises may also help alleviate anxiety and cravings. Implementing mindfulness meditation helps people gain awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and cravings without judgment, giving them control over cravings and maintaining emotional equilibrium during withdrawal.

Engaging in activities that divert one's mind from cravings, such as reading, listening to music, watching movies, or engaging in hobbies or creative outlets, provides a practical and healthy solution to distracting attention away from cravings. Reaching out for social support from trusted friends, family members, or support groups during times of hardship is paramount to their emotional support, encouragement, and reassurance that they are not alone.

Finally, engaging in positive outlets for our emotions - such as journaling, engaging in artistic pursuits, practicing yoga or other physical activities, or seeking the advice of a therapist or counselor - allows for the release and management of emotions constructively.

Morphine Withdrawal Can Be Dangerous on Your Own. The Edge Treatment Center Will Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with morphine addiction, the first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem. Once this step is taken, the next crucial decision is to seek professional help for withdrawal and treatment.

Morphine withdrawal can be incredibly dangerous if attempted on your own. The symptoms of withdrawal can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications, depending on the severity of the addiction. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

In severe cases, withdrawal can also lead to seizures or respiratory failure. This is why it is crucial to seek medical supervision during the withdrawal process. At The Edge Treatment Center, our experienced and compassionate staff will provide 24/7 support and monitoring to ensure your safety and comfort during this challenging time.

Moreover, our treatment program is specifically designed to address the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of morphine addiction. Our team of experts will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals for recovery.

In addition to medical support, we also offer various therapies such as individual counseling, group therapy, and holistic approaches to address underlying issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms. We believe that a comprehensive approach is necessary for long-term recovery from morphine addiction.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.