Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

When someone has an addiction to morphine, trying to cut back or quit entirely can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, it’s possible to overcome a morphine dependence. One of the first steps is to complete a morphine withdrawal. Learn more about the withdrawal process, the timeline and what comes next once individuals complete detox.

Average Morphine Withdrawal Timeline

The average morphine withdrawal process takes less than a week. Although every client is unique, most individuals follow roughly the same timeline. It starts with the appearance of symptoms, builds to a peak of symptoms and then tapers off until the end of the withdrawal.

The first stage of withdrawal begins roughly 10 hours after the last dose of morphine. These initial withdrawal symptoms are mild, but they are often accompanied by cravings. By this stage, individuals should be under medical supervision. This way, they’re more likely to continue with their plan to complete the full withdrawal.

The second stage is when withdrawal symptoms gradually build in intensity. At the peak of withdrawal, symptoms are at their most uncomfortable. This happens around 48 to 72 hours after the last dose of morphine. Fortunately, medical professionals can relieve a lot of pain or discomfort that people experience at this stage of the detox.

After the peak of symptoms, the taper stage begins. Every hour, patients begin to feel better. Symptoms gradually weaken and lessen in intensity until they’re gone altogether.

Since every patient has a unique history of morphine use, health and addiction, no two people will ever follow the exact same timeline. However, this guide illustrates the most common path through withdrawal.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are physical. These appear because your body wants to continue the drug addiction, thanks to the chemical dependence. Some of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms include sweating, chills, a runny nose, increased blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, muscle pain and stomach pain.

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the worst symptoms of a withdrawal from morphine are psychological, not physical. This is especially true for any patients who suffer from co-occurring disorders. During withdrawal, patients might experience any or all of the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts

After Withdrawal: The Treatment That Comes Next

Withdrawal is just the very first step in overcoming morphine addiction. Once detox addresses the immediate risk of substance abuse, patients can start to make real progress against addiction. This might mean uncovering the factors that caused the addiction, and it will almost certainly mean developing coping mechanisms to avoid relapse.

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, there are several treatment methods that target addiction. Just a handful of the most effective are:

With the right help, you can overcome your addiction. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you’ll access the tools and programs you need to stop using morphine. Take the next step by contacting us at (866) 319-6126.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.