Morphine Withdrawal & Detox

Morphine is an opioid-based pain medication that works by blocking sensations of pain in the central nervous system and triggering the release of endorphins. While this medication can be enormously helpful for pain management, the feelings of euphoria it causes can become addictive over time.

When a person uses morphine for its pleasurable effects, the body develops a tolerance to the drug, meaning that the individual needs to ingest more of the drug to experience the same high. Over time, the body becomes so used to the presence of morphine that withdrawal symptoms arise when a person discontinues use. Because withdrawal symptoms can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening, it’s crucial that anyone experiencing them undergoes morphine detox at a professional detox center.

Morphine Withdrawal

Those who misuse morphine over long periods often experience withdrawal and cravings when they stop taking the medication. Dependence occurs when morphine is misused continuously and suppresses parts of the neurological system. When this happens, the neurological system becomes used to operating in a state of suppression. When morphine use stops, the neurological system is no longer suppressed and becomes hyperactive until the body adjusts to the absence of morphine. This hyperactivity is responsible for the majority of morphine withdrawal symptoms.

Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms

The symptoms associated with morphine withdrawal can be different for everyone depending on how much morphine they use and other health factors. Some of the most common morphine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increased respiration rate
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stomach cramps
  • Goosebumps
  • Tremors and twitching
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

These symptoms are not life-threatening but may cause extreme discomfort depending on how much morphine the individual used regularly. During morphine detox, professionals can manage these withdrawal symptoms to decrease the discomfort associated with them.

Morphine Detox Timeline

The symptoms that occur with morphine withdrawal may start within four hours of the last dose. Symptoms tend to peak in severity within 48 to 72 hours and subside after about a week. Some minor withdrawal symptoms may still be present for up to six to twelve months after discontinuing morphine use.

Find a Morphine Detox Center in Washington

The best chance of success when undergoing morphine detox is using a professional detox center, such as The Recovery Village Ridgefield. Detox centers like the Recovery Village Ridgefield have medications and treatments that can reduce the physical symptoms experienced during morphine withdrawal. If you or a loved one is ready to take the first step toward recovery, reach out to a representative at The Recovery Village Ridgefield today to get started.  


National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings.”  2009. Accessed March 11, 2019.

Dixon, David W. “Opioid Abuse.” June 21st, 2018. Accessed March 12th.

O’Mally, Gerald F. & O’Mally, Rika. “Opioid Toxicity and Withdrawal.” Merck Manuals. March 2018. Accessed March 8th, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.