Morphine Detox: Symptoms, Protocol, & Treatment

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Morphine, a member of the opioid family, alters the body’s perception and response to pain. This characteristic makes it a potent prescription pain reliever but it also carries a significant risk of misuse, even when used as directed. Consequently, discontinuing morphine can be challenging, leading to the manifestation of a range of withdrawal symptoms that can be both distressing and hazardous. Read on to learn how to detox from morphine safely and effectively.

How to Detox from Morphine

Detoxing from morphine, a potent opioid, is best managed through a medical detox program under the guidance of healthcare professionals. Here’s what to expect:

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  • Medical supervision: Detoxification should start in a controlled environment, where medical staff can closely monitor symptoms and provide both immediate and continuous care. This supervision ensures safety and comfort, reducing the risk of complications.
  • Tapering off: Instead of abruptly stopping morphine, doctors often recommend gradually reducing the dose to ease the body’s dependence. Tapering schedules vary based on individual needs and the severity of dependence.
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment): Certain medications can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with morphine detox. These may include methadone, buprenorphine, or clonidine, which help stabilize the body without the euphoric effects of opioids.
  • Supportive care: Beyond medications, supportive care including hydration, nutrition, and counseling is a core component of detox. These support systems help address the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.
  • Transition to rehabilitation: Detox is the first step in addiction recovery. Following medical detox, transitioning into a comprehensive evidence-based treatment program can provide the tools and support needed for long-term recovery.

Morphine Detox Symptoms

Like other opioids, discontinuing or rapidly reducing the dose of morphine can lead to a range of withdrawal symptoms, typically categorized as either early or late stage.

Early-stage withdrawal symptoms from morphine may include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Excessive tearing
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Frequent yawning

The late-stage symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

These symptoms manifest as the body reacts to the absence of the drug to which it has become accustomed.

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Morphine Detox Timeline

Although everyone has a unique experience of morphine withdrawal, this is a typical timeline:

6 to 14 hours

Initial symptoms include anxiety, mood swings, and intense cravings for the drug.

15 to 48 hours

The body starts reacting more intensely with chills, sweating, muscle aches, fever, runny nose, sleep disturbances, and nausea with vomiting.

Days 3 to 10

Symptoms usually peak around the fourth day of detox, presenting as mild muscle aches, continued anxiety, and persistent drug cravings.

1 to 3 months

While most physical symptoms may fade, psychological symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and depression can linger for several months. This is described clinically as PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome).

Morphine Detox Program Treatment

Morphine detox program treatments are essential for safely addressing dependence and withdrawal and easing the transition to ongoing treatment. Expect rehab to unfold as follows:

  • Integrated approach: These programs combine medical and psychological support, tailoring treatments to address both physical withdrawal and mental health challenges.
  • Personalized plans: Effective detox programs develop customized plans for each person, considering their specific needs to enhance recovery outcomes.
  • Continuum of care: Detox is the first step, followed by ongoing support through rehabilitation and aftercare, aimed at maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.
  • Supportive environment: Programs provide a safe and encouraging space for detox, ensuring that people have the medical and emotional support needed to initiate and maintain abstinence from opioids.
  • Resource access: Individuals gain access to educational materials and coping strategies, beneficial for managing withdrawal and understanding long-term recovery processes.

Morphine detox treatments are designed to be comprehensive, addressing immediate withdrawal symptoms while preparing individuals for the next steps in their recovery journey.

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Get Treatment for Morphine Detox at California Detox

If you or someone that you know needs compassionate and effective morphine addiction treatment, reach out to California Detox.

Begin your recovery with supervised detoxification at our luxury facility in Laguna Beach, CA. Medications and continuous care streamline the withdrawal process, address physical dependence on opioids, and prepare you for ongoing inpatient treatment.

Due to the unique presentation of all addictions, treatment at California Detox is personalized and targeted. Therapies may include:

Call 949.694.8305 today and begin your recovery from morphine addiction right away.


Although rapid morphine detox exists, this type of detox program carries risks and should only be considered with medical direction.
The safest and most effective way to detox from morphine is through a medically supervised detox program, which includes MAT (medication-assisted treatment) to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and support services to address the issues underpinning addiction.


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