First isolated from opium in 1805 by the German pharmacist, Wilhelm Sertürner, morphine is a narcotic analgesic that derives its name from Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Highly addictive, morphine simulates the brain’s reward systems causing intense cravings.
- heart attacks
- rhinorrhea (runny nose)
- yawning and sneezing
- goose bumps
- mydriasis (dilation of the pupil)
- twitching and spasms of muscles
- kicking movements
- severe aches in the back, abdomen, and legs
- abdominal and muscle cramps
- hot and cold flashes
- nausea or vomiting
- increases in body temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate and heart rate
The first stage of treatment for morphine addiction includes a period of detoxification. Because withdrawal can be fatal, detox must be done under medical supervision and self-detoxification or out patient detoxification is not recommended. Following detox, continued treatment can include a methadone prescription to aid in the withdrawal process, followed by long-term residential care that includes cognitive-behavioral therapy and group and individual counseling as part of the rehabilitation process.