While morphine can be used safely when taken therapeutically, if it is consumed in large doses or abused, a physical and psychological addiction can occur.

Morphine stimulates the brain’s reward system, motivating the user to abuse the drug time and time again. This can lead to morphine tolerance and dependence. The user will then rely on the drug to feel normal.

When an addict stops using morphine, they experience withdrawal as the brain relearns how to function without the drug. The symptoms and duration of withdrawal are different for each individual but are generally physically and psychologically distressing.


Addiction to morphine can destroy your life and have a profound effect on the lives of those around you. Without treatment, your addiction will continue to deteriorate. As your body becomes less responsive to the effects of the doses you consume, you’ll need greater quantities to experience the initial high. The more morphine you consume, the greater the risk of overdose.

It’s important to seek help as soon as possible and detoxification is the first, essential step on the road to recovery. The purpose of detox is to remove all traces of morphine from your system while controlling any withdrawal symptoms.

To be able to move forward in the recovery process, it’s essential to be free from the drug.

Like many other substance addictions, morphine addiction is difficult to overcome. Many addicts have multiple drug dependencies or suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder. Addiction is complex and treatment and recovery require a high level of personalised care.

While detox addresses the physical dependency, it’s not sufficient alone to address the accompanying psychological addiction.

Following successful detox, various therapies can be integrated into a comprehensive treatment and aftercare plan to address the thoughts and behaviours surrounding morphine use and addiction. This type of holistic approach offers a greater chance of successful recovery.

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The duration of the morphine detox process is different for every user.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with morphine addiction can be intense and, in some cases, potentially dangerous. A medically-monitored detox via residential rehabilitation is the safest way to kickstart treatment for morphine addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms generally last between five and seven days. They usually begin within hours of discontinuing or drastically reducing morphine use. Symptoms will peak but generally dissipate after around two weeks. Some psychological symptoms can linger for several weeks.