What Is The Morphine Withdrawal Timeline?

morphine withdrawal opioid

A key consideration for those with a morphine use disorder and other opioids is how to beat the opioid withdrawal process. A user may feel that since he is the one who fell into an opioid use disorder, then he should be solely responsible for taking steps to getting off the drugs and choosing to live drug-free.

But this solitary stance goes against any supportive practices that could help. Friends, family, patient centers, and others should try to help the person with an opioid use disorder through the morphine withdrawal process. That’s because acute physical withdrawal from an opioid use disorder can be a terrifying part of the withdrawal process.

There’s also the next step in morphine withdrawal—the psychological issue. This may affect some people with an opioid use disorder even more than the physical withdrawal.

Let’s walk through the timeline for how those with a morphine use disorder can come out on the other side, with a brighter light.

How Those With A Morphine Use Disorder Go Through Withdrawal

When opiates like morphine are withdrawn from the user, the sudden effects of the absent drug can take on a variety of stages for the user. The user can become sick with a variety of symptoms and they might get strong cravings for the drug.

Here are the three main time periods faced during morphine withdrawal:

Period One – Initial Symptoms (1-5 days)

During the initial withdrawal from morphine use disorder, a user will start to feel withdrawal symptoms about ten hours after their last fix. A person with a morphine use disorder will likely feel symptoms of convulsions, muscle and bone aches, stomach cramps, vomiting, cold sweats, and more.

Period Two – Body Changes (5-10 days)

In period two of a morphine withdrawal, the person with a morphine use disorder may still feel chronic pain, although they may be able to stand the pressure a bit better. Diarrhea and vomiting can cause someone in withdrawal to become severely dehydrated. During detox, it’s important for the patient to be given water on a constant basis. The desire to eat solid food is very low as well during this period. Goosebumps, chills, and fevers are still common.

Period Three – Power Through (5-8 days)

In this crucial withdrawal stage, the user may need help to ‘power through’ the withdrawal. For some, this may involve using anti-withdrawal medications. One drug—clonidine—can help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms in patients. Clonidine works well in reducing the intensity of physical symptoms, like muscle aches and pains, anxiety and sweating, runny nose or watery eyes.

For someone with a morphine use disorder going through withdrawal, the best place for a full recovery is a substance use disorder treatment center. Being in a recovery center will prevent can aid in dealing with the psychological withdrawal that can occur during morphine detox. Additionally, the comfort level of a recovery center can do wonders for the physical and mental stability for someone going through morphine withdrawal alone.

Post-Acute Withdrawal

The symptoms described above are the main, or ‘acute’, withdrawal symptoms. In opioid use disorders involving heroin, morphine, and painkillers, there can also be post-acute withdrawal. This is the stage after the initial physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

Post-acute withdrawal can occur immediately after the initial physical withdrawal or kick in some days later. It’s the stage in which the person with a morphine use disorder’s body is trying to come back to a normal state, but emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms are continuing. It’s a tough period for those with a substance use disorder, as their brain chemistry is trying to recover from the opioids, but the psychoactive chemicals are still causing imbalances in behaviors, thoughts, moods and other emotional states. This is why a proper treatment center program for morphine withdrawal is highly encouraged. Someone with a substance use disorder can receive not only the necessary medicines and personal safety during withdrawal, but also counseling, care, and support.