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Morphine Withdrawal: Symptoms + How Long Does It Last?

Morphine is a drug that is used primarily to provide people with pain-relief. It is derived from the opium plant via chemical extraction. It was initially discovered in 1804 and was officially distributed in 1817. When utilized for intended purposes, it is regarded as one of the World Health Organization’s most “Essential Medicines.” Morphine is regarded as being among the most potent analgesics to treat severe pain.

Similar to other opioid drugs such as heroin and oxycodone, it acts directly on the central nervous system to provide pain relief. Although it is a drug that helps many individuals cope with severe physical pain, it is also associated with rapid psychological tolerance and dependence. It also has a high potential for addiction and abuse, which is why it is considered a “Schedule II” controlled substance in the United States.

In addition to taking morphine to help manage severe pain, some people take it on an illicit basis to “get high.” These individuals become addicted to the initial mood boosting properties as well as the anxiolytic effects that the drug typically provides. Regardless of reasons for taking this drug, once tolerance is established and a person becomes addicted and/or dependent on it for daily functioning, withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to cope with.

Factors that influence Morphine withdrawal

Many factors play a role in determining the severity and duration of morphine withdrawal symptoms. These factors include things like: time span over which the drug was taken, dosage, level of tolerance, whether a person is addicted, how quickly a person tapers their dosage, as well as other individual factors such as physiology, social support, etc.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking morphine? Those who are on it for a relatively short duration shouldn’t experience the most extreme withdrawal symptoms. In general, the less time you’ve taken this drug, the lower your tolerance should be.

Those who have used this drug consistently everyday for years will likely have a much more difficult time getting through withdrawal compared to someone who was only on it for a couple months. Time span nearly always influences withdrawal because the longer you’ve been on it, the more your body becomes reliant on the drug’s effects for functioning.

2. Dosage + Tolerance

What dosage of morphine were you taking? Morphine is able to be taken orally via extended-release capsules. Morphine sulfate or MS Contin is prescribed for individuals that require prolonged opioid therapy. In the form of “Avinza” capsules, the maximum daily dose is 1600 mg. In the form of Kadian capsules, a person may take between 100 mg and 200 mg up to 2 times per day.

Other common methods of dosing include subcutaneous and intravenous. Subcutaneous dosing is typically within the range of 2.5 mg to 20 mg every few hours. Intravenous dosing is usually given slowly over an approximate 5 minute window with dose up to 15 mg every 4 hours. If you are at the higher end of the dosing spectrum for whichever type of morphine you use, it is thought that withdrawal symptoms will be more severe.

In people that have built up a significant tolerance to morphine, withdrawal is usually more difficult and longer lasting. An increased tolerance means a person’s nervous system has become accustomed to receiving higher dosages of the drug in order to function. When the drug is discontinued, it can take a significant period of time for the nervous system to make repairs and recover to sober functioning.

3. Addiction

Are you addicted to the effects of morphine? Many people who take this drug become initially addicted to the mood-enhancing effect it has on them. In addition to providing pain relief, the drug can be very relaxing and a way for many to find relief from stress. People taking this drug to “get high” and cope with daily life stressors are going to have a much more difficult time dealing with withdrawal than those using it for its intended purpose: to treat pain.

Regardless of why a person is addicted to morphine, being addicted can make withdrawal significantly more difficult. If a person is addicted, they may be afraid to face the inevitable drop in mood that they will experience when coming off of the drug. Additionally those who had taken it for pain may not want to face the reemergence of pain that they could experience during withdrawal. Those who are addicted may need to work with a psychotherapist and/or a psychiatrist to successfully withdraw from morphine.

4. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

How did you withdraw from morphine? Did you quit “cold turkey” or did you conduct a gradual taper? It is typically recommended to conduct a gradual taper off of any powerful opioid drug like morphine. By conducting a gradual taper, you are giving your nervous system some time to adjust itself to receiving less of the drug. If you quit cold turkey, it is thought that both acute and protracted withdrawal symptoms will be more severe.

For those with limited supply of their morphine, you may want to contact your doctor about tapering. Cold turkey withdrawal is possible, but some of the symptoms that you could experience (depending on your tolerance) may be dangerous and/or extremely debilitating. If you must quit cold turkey, brace yourself for a week of feeling sick. People have toughed out cold-turkey withdrawals, but they are considered the most difficult.

Another option you have if unable to taper is that of opioid replacement therapy. This involves transitioning to taking a less-powerful drug such as suboxone or methadone instead of your morphine. After you have successfully transitioned to a less potent opioid, the goal is to gradually reduce your dosage under doctor supervision. For many people, this is the easiest way to withdraw from their morphine.

5. Individual Factors

It is important to take into account other individual factors that play a role in withdrawal. Although many people can have similar withdrawal symptoms, some people have significantly more difficult withdrawals than others. Many things such as time span and dosage play important roles, but things like environment, habits, whether a person is on other drugs, individual physiology, and social support can also have an influence on recovery.

  • Environment: Your environment can have a major influence on your withdrawal. Those who live in supportive environments may have an easier time dealing with the anxiety and depression during withdrawal. Individuals in high-stress environments may feel overwhelmed trying to cope with withdrawal and may feel as though they have no support.
  • Habits: What are your daily habits? People who eat healthy, get adequate sleep, and light exercise are thought to recover at a quicker rate than those who don’t. Healthy habits are thought to allow the nervous system to heal more quickly.
  • Other drugs: Are you taking any other medications or drugs? Those who take other drugs, whether illicit or prescribed may be influencing the withdrawal. Certain drugs can take the edge off of extreme symptoms and help people manage what they’re going through.
  • Physiology: In many cases individual physiology plays a role in determining how quickly someone recovers. Those who are highly sensitive to medications and drug withdrawals may have a more difficult time coping with symptoms. Everyone’s nervous system responds differently.
  • Social support: Having some sort of social support can go a long way during a withdrawal. Those who have an understanding family and/or close friends to talk with may have an easier time dealing with their experience. A psychotherapist may provide additional positive support to help someone during withdrawal.

Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are a list of possible symptoms that a person may experience when they withdraw from morphine. Keep in mind that you may not exhibit every last symptom on the list and that symptoms may vary in both intensity and duration based on the individual. This is a general list of what you may deal with so that you know A) You are in fact dealing with withdrawal, and B) It’s not all in your head.

  • Abdominal cramps: One of the most common symptoms that people experience upon discontinuation is that of abdominal cramping. You may notice cramps in other areas besides your abdominal region, but this tends to be most pronounced.
  • Anger: During withdrawal, it is very common to experience changes in mood. Many people end up having to deal with an array of psychological symptoms, including anger. The anger may be difficult to control, so if you find yourself feeling grumpy, chalk it up to withdrawal.
  • Anxiety: Another very common psychological symptom is that of anxiety. The anxiety may range from being relatively mild to very extreme. Opioids like morphine tend to reduce anxiety, and when discontinued, anxiety can really flare up. Many people find medications like clonidine helpful to cope with it.
  • Appetite changes: You may notice that you have completely lost your appetite upon quitting morphine. Usually within a day or two of your last dose, appetite loss is thought to be at its peak. It may take awhile for your appetite to fully recover, so do your best to continue eating healthy foods.
  • Concentration problems: When dealing with an array of psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms, most people aren’t going to be able to concentrate. You may notice “brain fog” or an inability to think clearly in addition to a general confusion.
  • Confusion: Most people feel confused about how they are feeling and aren’t able to think clearly. Moods are in fluctuation and concentration is poor, which results in confusion. Realize that your normal cognition will eventually return.
  • Cravings: This is a drug with a very short half-life, which can make cravings very intense during withdrawal. Initially a person will crave the drug immediately when they quit. The longer a person remains sober, the more cravings are reduced.
  • Crying spells: It’s common to cry as a result of hopelessness and depression that a person may face when they withdraw. However, it’s also common to cry as a result of “watery eyes” which is very common when coming off of an opiate.
  • Depersonalization: Do you feel unlike your normal self? During withdrawal, some have described their feeling as a “trance-like” state. Some people have mood swings, depression, and feel as if they will never feel “normal” again. This is a combination of nervous system changes, anxiety, and brain function. With enough time, you will experience a full recovery.
  • Depression: The depression that most people experience when they quit morphine is mild to moderate. In some cases, the depression may become severe, but most people notice mood improvements within 10 days of withdrawal. Although it may take significantly longer than 10 days to recover from the depression, you will eventually bounce back to normal mood.
  • Diarrhea: The use of morphine tends to result in constipation. When you stop taking it, the exact opposite occurs and people experience diarrhea. If you are having trouble coping with this symptom, consider purchasing some over-the-counter Imodium.
  • Dizziness: When withdrawing from morphine, it’s very common to feel dizzy. You may feel dizziness throughout the day and/or vertigo. The dizziness is generally more intense for those who quit their medication “cold turkey.”
  • Fatigue: The degree of fatigue and lethargy may be severe. You may find yourself unable to get out of bed in the morning. You may also notice that performing one simple task such as: cooking breakfast, taking the dog for a walk, or doing the dishes – seems impossible. Your energy levels will continue to return the longer you are off of the drug.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Many people have reported their withdrawal experience as being “flu-like.” They experience things such as: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, chills, and aches. The bulk of these flu-like symptoms tend to improve after the first week of withdrawal.
  • Goosebumps: Another thing some people notice when they stop opiates is that they have goose bumps. These are uncontrollable sensations that occur across the skin as a result of nervous system readjustment.
  • Headaches: Morphine can reduce and/or eliminate headaches while a person takes it. However, when they stop taking the medication, a person may notice that they experience headaches. These may range from being mild to full blown migraines. Like other symptoms, these will improve with time.
  • High blood pressure: This drug has a depressant effect on the nervous system, meaning activity slows such as heart rate and blood pressure. When a person quits, they may experience a spike in blood pressure. If you think this may be a problem, talk to your doctor and monitor changes closely.
  • Hormone imbalance: Not all cases of hormonal imbalance are due to opiate usage, but if you were on morphine for a lengthy period of time, it’s likely a contributing factor. During withdrawal your hormones may be imbalanced. Keep in mind that hormonal functioning will eventually normalize if you remain sober.
  • Hot flashes: You may notice that you experience “hot flashes” or “cold flashes” as you come off of this drug. These may be uncomfortable and unexpected, but are one of many reactions people have during discontinuation.
  • Insomnia: Some individuals may have no problem falling asleep at night, while others may be plagued with extreme insomnia. In many cases, this insomnia can be fueled by restlessness and anxiety. In order to best cope with this symptom, consider a melatonin supplement and/or relaxation exercises before bed to lower your arousal.
  • Irritability: Do not be surprised if you become irritable during withdrawal. Many of the symptoms can result in increased stress, which can make even the most calm people have a short fuse. If you feel irritable and as though everyone is getting on your nerves, take a step back and realize that it’s partly due to withdrawal – this will go away.
  • Itchiness: Withdrawal from morphine can result in itchiness and/or itch sensations across the skin. Some individuals end up thinking that this is a rash, when it’s really itching that’s caused by withdrawal. Conducting a slow taper may reduce this symptom, but not in all cases. The itching may be very uncomfortable, but will subside.
  • Mood swings: Don’t be surprised if you notice that your moods are negative and that they constantly change. For example, one minute you may have bad anxiety, the next you may feel hopeless and depressed. Another minute you may have a glimmer of hope that your situation is going to improve. These are difficult to deal with, but eventually your mood will normalize.
  • Muscle aches: While coming off of morphine, you may notice that your muscles ache. Some people report joint pain as well. Part of this pain has to do with your body’s natural endorphin levels being abnormally low as a result of morphine use. As your body readjusts and endorphin levels are reestablished, aches and pains should diminish.
  • Nausea: The nausea some people experience during the first week of withdrawal is extreme. In fact, in many cases extreme nausea is so intense that it leads to vomiting. Some nausea may be an unavoidable part of withdrawal, but it will get better.
  • Panic attacks: If your anxiety become severe, you could have a panic attack. A panic attack is a sensation of severe anxiety that is usually triggered by an event or stimulus. If you begin having panic attacks, do your best to learn some relaxation techniques to lower your level of arousal.
  • Pupil dilation: Since taking this opioid will result in pupil constriction, the exact opposite occurs during withdrawal. If you notice that your pupils appear especially large, just know its caused by withdrawal.
  • Rapid heartbeat: Many individuals notice an increased heart rate when they come off of morphine. The increased heart rate is a result of the body speeding itself back up after being on a depressant for a long period of time. Some people may also note palpitations, or sensations of a pounding or racing heart.
  • Restlessness: Some people feel restless and unable to sit still as they discontinue morphine. This is usually a result of nervous system sensitivity and anxiety. Relaxation techniques may help you keep calm and cope with this symptom.
  • Runny nose: A natural consequence of withdrawal from opiates is that of a runny nose. You may need to keep some extra tissues around to help deal with this symptom. This symptom should gradually improve, but may feel like a bad “cold.”
  • Sleep changes: When you first come off of morphine, your sleep cycle may significantly change. You may find yourself feeling very tired at certain points throughout the day and/or anxious and unable to fall asleep at night. Your sleep patterns may be abnormal for awhile until you further recover.
  • Spasms: Many people report muscle spasms upon discontinuation. These spasms can last for a few days or a few weeks. As more time passes, these usually reduce in frequency and length.
  • Suicidal thinking: In some cases, the depression resulting from withdrawal can be severe. This could lead a person to feel suicidal during their withdrawal period. Although this feeling will eventually pass, it can be difficult to cope with. If you are feeling suicidal and think you may be of danger to yourself, seek immediate professional help.
  • Sweating: Many people report heavy perspiration upon initially quitting morphine. Sweating is thought to be the body’s natural way of responding to drug discontinuation. You may sweat profusely throughout the day and/or notice uncomfortable night sweats.
  • Vomiting: During the acute phases of withdrawal, you may end up getting sick to the point that you vomit. This is usually accompanied by an overwhelming nausea. The vomiting shouldn’t last longer than a few days.
  • Yawning: You may get annoyed with the constant yawning that accompanies morphine withdrawal. Coming off of any opioid can result in yawning that’s completely out of your control. Do your best to put up with it, realizing that the yawns will eventually subside.

Morphine Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

There’s no universal opiate withdrawal timeline that can be followed for morphine because everyone recovers at a different rate. Some people may experience a normal withdrawal period without any protracted symptoms, while another person may have a severe acute withdrawal and lengthy protracted symptoms. You really won’t know what your experience will be like until you’ve been through withdrawal.

Certain individuals naturally recover at a quicker rate than others. Additionally if someone is receiving psychiatric drugs to help with withdrawal such as: antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and/or clonidine, it may be easier to cope with symptoms. Half life of morphine is 2 to 4 hours, which indicates that the drug is fully cleared from your body in approximately 8 hours. However, just because the drug is fully cleared from the body, doesn’t mean you have experienced withdrawal.

Acute withdrawal symptoms typically begin between 6 to 14 hours after discontinuation. The majority of acute symptoms peak within 3 days of withdrawal, but can last up to a full week. Acute psychological symptoms tend to peak within 6 to 10 days of withdrawal. Following the acute stage of withdrawal can come the “protracted” phase or “PAWS” (post-acute withdrawal syndrome), which can last anywhere from weeks to months.

The protracted phase is characterized by less intense physical symptoms and more psychological symptoms. While going through withdrawal, it is recommended to engage in healthy activities to ensure a steadfast recovery. Getting adequate sleep, some mild exercise (e.g. walking), being as productive as possible, eating healthy, and staying hydrated can go a long way towards helping your nervous system transition back to homeostatic functioning.

Although you may feel as if you are never going to get better, realize that this is merely withdrawal and you will eventually experience a full recovery. If you’ve had to deal with morphine withdrawal, sharing your experience in the comments section below may really help someone else.

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{ 228 comments… add one }
  • Nette September 26, 2018, 4:53 pm

    My treating Dr. decided that he, would “no longer” be providing any care for me. After he had me addicted to morphine and inserted an electronic device in my back (that failed). I was able to get off opioids and the worst of my symptoms were agitation and irritability. I don’t have a great support system so that may have been part of it. I’m 2 years clean!!

  • Julie March 2, 2017, 6:55 pm

    I was on 60 mg Morphine ER for 5 years. I weaned myself off 10/16. To this day I still experience the chills and headaches almost daily. Four months since I stopped. I definitely have better memory. My desire to do anything is still gone. I’ve continued to take Clonidine, Prozac, Norco, Ativan. I had a brain aneurysm clipped 7/11/16. Within a month of stopping the Morphine my heart rate went up to 120 daily so they put me on another blood pressure pill.

    My new doctor also reduced the Norco from 6 per day to 4 per day 10/16. Why are these withdrawal symptoms still affecting me after 4 months? I’m struggling to keep the Norco down to 4/day. It’s horrible! Kaiser took me off my expensive RA meds (Enbrel) and put me on 60mg of Morphine Sulfate ER. Don’t let anyone do this to you!!!

    • Ken March 21, 2018, 2:55 pm

      I am also trying to get from 60mg morphine 2x per day to 15 2x per day and it is tough. I was also cut off of my anti the by insurance! Ken

    • Nette September 26, 2018, 4:58 pm

      The Norco and morphine sulfate are keeping the opioid receptors numb. We have our own natural opioid receptors and we also have CBD receptors. I was on THC/CBD for 6 months and it helped immensely with the excruciating pain. I’m off ALL pain medication and I’m finally getting back to moving forward. I wish all the best for you!

  • Patty January 31, 2017, 3:47 pm

    I am 66 years old I was on prescription morphine for years. I had to go cold turkey 2 months ago. It has destroyed me. I have uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes out of control I hurt all over. It has made realize why I went to a pain clinic. Has anyone had this much trouble for so long? Never go to a pain clinic – they will destroy your life. I have had a migraines every day since Christmas. Any suggestions? I am at my wits end.

    • Justine March 15, 2017, 12:19 am

      Go back to your doctor and tell them. In this day and age there is no need to suffer like this. Plenty of alternatives to take to ease you and your body back into some sort of ‘normality’. Good luck.

  • Sunnee January 11, 2017, 8:52 pm

    Well guys I feel like I was taking lethal doses compared to what I have read. I have been on 600 MG a day of er-morphine plus until 2 years ago was taking 7.5mg perc’s 6-8 pills a day until they got “concerned” and wanted me off the Tylenol content and then put me on MS Contin at the same amount per day. I failed to mention that I have been on these meds for almost 20 years! Yes I said 20 yrs.

    A year ago I told my doc that I did not want to be on this sh-t anymore and that I don’t even know my pain level if any since opioids can actually manifest pain so you will keep taking the drugs, smart receptors we have! I have been weaning for a year now and knocked the Oxys out this last summer and when I took my last morphine they were 15mg twice a day. So I didn’t think I would have a bad withdrawal after weaning down to that amount… WRONG!

    I took my last pill 12 days ago and seriously plotted my death a few times. First 3 days were horrible but the 3rd day was the worst!! I threw up for 2 straight hours with dry heaves, restlessness, crawling skin, paced the floors for days, uncontrolled sneezing and feeling like I have the flu. The worst for me has been, not ever getting warm, and my muscles literally squeezing me (they say ur body does that to try to find any remaining opioid in your body to latch onto, so disgusting!)

    So I feel like I have done extreme exercise including 100 sit ups. I’m past the hardest part but now am dealing with almost more annoying issues, worst anxiety I have ever had in my life, and can’t relax to sleep! I feel so sleep deprived that my eye sockets ache. I wake out of a sleep with the worst anxiety and fatigue that I give up and just get up.

    I can’t even nap 😣. Dr first gave me Clonidine which made my anxiety worse, so then put me on Buspar which has helped a tiny bit. Trazodone at night for sleep… Uh nope hasn’t helped with that either. It seems like everything I try that’s supposed to help me relax is working the opposite!!! I’m so frustrated and over this. I feel like I’m never gonna rest again. 😢

  • Susan January 4, 2017, 11:46 am

    Due to hospital policy, they won’t release you to long term rehab from amputation with morphine. I’d been given morphine 30 mg, three times a day starting in December of 2015, after getting sick and blacking out on the way to the bathroom. I was hospitalized a week and sent to the nursing home for four more.

    It took the nursing home doc 10 days to get my pain under control because the university hospital released me without a Rx for the morphine they had me on. Morphine was a sanity saver. Controlling my pain allowed me to tolerate physical therapy. By April I was feeling much better, so I stopped taking the morphine. I got terribly sick. I figured out it was withdrawal and got back on my dosage.

    My General Practitioner was fine with me on that small dosage as it knocked out my nerve pain from partial foot amputation surgeries. But last spring I had another surgery. I also had to be put on a PICC line. The plan was to convalesce in a nursing facility (better one) for the duration of the PICC line treatment.

    Without even discussing it with me, they discharged me without my morphine Rx, thereby putting me at risk of cold turkey withdrawal on top of foot amputation and a PICC line. The nursing home doc would not go against the hospital doc, as they were affiliated. The nursing home policy forbids use of your private doctor. I was f-cked.

    So I came home, my kids carried me from the hallway to bed and I had home health come deal with me and took my own meds. Now I’m looking at a mid-calf amputation. The doc has already said they won’t continue long term pain management like mine with morphine. I’ll be stuck in a similar situation as last June. So, I decided to taper off starting just before Christmas.

    As I went from every 8 hours to every 12, I added ibuprofen back into my routine. I’m still taking Vicodin every 6 hours. I had some pretty bad nerve pain and sweats. Then I started stretching the time out by two to three hours each day until I was down to one a day. I did five days of that. Had some really tough nights and days… chills for hours, then sweats that soaked my bedding.

    Crappy appetite. VERY moody. Last pill taken at 10pm on December 30. December 31 evening and night were God-awful regarding chills and sweats. Nerve pain and anxiety off the charts. Broke down and took a lorazepam. New Year’s Day laid in bed waiting for my timers to tell me to take my alternate pain meds. Cried a ton. Still cry very easily. Jittery.

    Chills and sweats, though not as bad or long. No sleep at all this past night… very difficult. My foot has taken a turn for the worse (maybe related to withdrawal? Last springs incident was followed by a flair up of cellulitis) and I was certain that the infection was so bad if I fell asleep, I’d die in my sleep. Thank god a friend was up online and talked me into calming down and.

    Ring ready to go to the hospital if my foot was really that bad. Then I got up and ate a banana, even tho I wasn’t hungry, because I had not eaten since noon. I looked up this website and am so glad I did. The moods, anxiety, chills, sweats, paranoia, crying… it’s all textbook.

    I hope it won’t last much longer. At least I won’t have the battle post surgery if they send me to a nursing home to convalesce… I can’t come home without a foot.

    • Susan January 4, 2017, 11:53 am

      What sucks, is that my general doc runs opiate withdrawal support groups and uses suboxone, but I could not get an appointment before Jan 10 and both she, my therapist and the new surgeon have all been on Christmas vacation. At least if it continues another week, I might get some Rx help…if I’m not already hospitalized and amputated by then. I won’t make my Jan 10 apt.

  • Jerry December 31, 2016, 7:17 pm

    I am on day 5 of a very long-potent use of opioids for chronic pain. I have not seen my doctor about stopping them nor spoke to anyone, it is something that simply needs to happen in my life I believe, but this is harder than I thought. I was taking a very large dose of Morphine IR (180MG a day) and Morphine ER (45MG a day).

    I had been taking almost 300mg a day of oxycodone but was able to steer away from it to the morphine. However, on day 5 now at 11am I still do not feel as well as I thought I would be. I started feeling pretty bad on day 2 to be honest, and day 3 into 4 was the worse, but today I still am very, very out of it and feel sick.

    Any advice/help anyone can give? I cannot see my doctor as it is the holidays and he is gone. Just need to see how much longer I will feel this bad.

  • Holly December 16, 2016, 11:50 am

    I have been on morphine in intrathecal pump for seven years. Before that I was on the patch and before that oral for almost 2 years. I’m now tapering off immediate acting oral morphine. I have several of the side effects listed in the article.

    This is my final minded mood altering medication to taper off of. My tapering journey began five years ago this month. I’m currently taking 3.5 mg in the morning and 7.5 mg at night. The headache is constant. The fatigue is constant. I’m pushing through.

  • David Skeen December 8, 2016, 3:52 am

    I thought I’d comment on this subject because 48 hours ago I went cold turkey from being on 2 x 50grm a day of slow release morphine for many years. Why I did it I don’t really know, I think it was after moving in May, I was starting to get more pain from the two prolapsed discs that I have and I wanted to know if it was because the morphine was stopping working or the discs were getting worse. I do some mad cap things at times.

    But this was not my smartest move. The first 24 hours were an eye opener chronic diarrhea, shakes, sweats, anxiety, goosebumps, and the other usual stuff. But I thought I’d hang in there as I was coping quite well. Then I hit 30 hours, I had actually dropped to sleep in the chair but woke up retching, having to run to the kitchen, before throwing up all over the sink, and that was just the start, constant vomiting and everything stepped up ten fold.

    I was crying, getting into fits of depression, severe panic attacks, my whole body itching, there was no way to continue so I called the doctors for a prescription only to find out they are closed Wednesday afternoons. There was no way I could wait till today I had to call my sister to help me, she called the emergency services and I finally got a prescription filled for my 28 day supply.

    Why did I do it? I’m 60 and have cirrhosis and have had Hep C twice all from a blood transfusion in 1979, and I was starting to feel like a junky taking morphine for all this time. I don’t know why I was feeling this way but I get something in my head sometimes and just go Gung Ho. One good thing has come out of this I realise I need the medication for my back, and life is far better being comfortable then worrying about what people think, but I am going to talk to my doctor because it was obviously bothering me.

    Bravo Anna for your comments they really hit home.

  • Jay harris December 4, 2016, 3:47 pm

    Been taking morphine patch’s for over a year now. 10mg per hour 240mg per day. I got prescribed them by the doctor for arthritis in both shoulders and right hand. It helps with the pain a lot but wasn’t told about the side effects of going cold turkey and just stopping taking the medicine.

    I’m on my 4th day and not slept in 3 nights. Restless legs and arms are killing me and I’m at my white end. I even did a 5 mile walk 2 days ago but didn’t help. Anyone know when the withdrawals will stop. Thanks, Jay

    • Robert Wilcox SR March 30, 2018, 2:10 am

      It depends how long you have been on it. I went cold turkey been on them 37 years from going to a pain clinic. The withdraws can last for years… just take nausea pills and Tylenol for the migraine headaches. If I can do it – so can you. Sometimes sleeping helps too.

  • Sherri November 26, 2016, 7:56 pm

    Ok well they have been giving me 120 time released morphine 3x a day plus 4 Vicodin a day. Lucky for me even though I was in pain from CRPS chronic regional pain syndrome I didn’t like taking the meds. The pain was real. I did take the morphine but almost never the Vicodin. Well I was feeling like life was passing me by.

    Three weeks ago I started taking myself off. I have not taken any for 4 days and the list of symptoms are as listed. They change by the minute hot cold nice mean you name it I feel it. I have the worse headache I have ever had. It’s Christmas time and I can’t believe this is when I’m stopping.

    I’m scared and the pain doc thinks I should continue on them. I guess it’s how he gets paid. I rather take meds as needed and not just to take them. I didn’t want to think of myself as an addict because I had a prescription but the truth is I’m and my nervous system are addicted.

    I can do this but I am scared. I’m going to go see an acupuncturist tomorrow I will post if it helps. I pray anyone looking to quit these nasty drugs can do it. I know I will. It hurts but I really want to live healthy not just exist. Thanks to a great partner I will keep you posted.

    • Susan January 4, 2017, 12:00 pm

      I was also chemically addicted. My doc wanted me to stay on to improve my quality of life with no nerve pain. Like you, I chose to stop during the holidays. At least I haven’t had to miss work. Stay strong!

  • Mel October 17, 2016, 6:35 am

    I’ve found this an extremely helpful read. I’ve been on morphine for 5 weeks. And to be honest, the worst mistake ever was to start on morphine for post op surgery. My doctor has not contacted me once in 5 weeks, to see if I was getting on ok, even the nurse I saw about something totally different didn’t bat an eyelid when I asked about coming off it.

    I’m now day 4 with no morphine and it’s horrendous, I’ve not eaten in 48 hours, barely drinking. As anything I eat and drink just comes back up or out the other end. I’m now sicking up green stuff, and my bowels are bright yellow. Baby pop I call it. The only thing that helps is bathing I spend hours in the bath trying to control the sweating, the hot and cold sweats are the worst.

    And to be honest I smell bad. Well I think I do. Considering the low dose and the length of time I’ve been on it I’m really shocked how bad I am. I’m hoping there’s going to a light at this very long tunnel.

  • Fred October 9, 2016, 2:14 am

    Between calendar year 2000 and 2015, I was prescribed 150 mgs of morphine sulphate daily. In early 2014, I accepted the fact that I was no longer taking this medicine for pain relief; rather, I was taking the drug because I was addicted to it. It was then that I began weaning myself off of this drug very, very slowly over a period of nearly a year.

    By May 2015, I was completely off the drug, and I am firmly convinced that I was successful in getting off this drug by slowly tapering myself off the drug. I believe that anyone committed to getting off of this drug slowly would be best served by getting a pill cutter at their pharmacy and carefully cutting the morphine tablets in halves and in quarters.

  • Sylvia October 8, 2016, 5:21 am

    I had hip replacement surgery and all other narcotics made me very sick. Morphine is the only medication that didn’t make me severely sick. I stopped taking it a day ago because I felt lightheaded. However, I’m still lightheaded and it’s 3 days since I’ve taken it.

    I only take it at night, but can’t pick my head off my pillow or bend down without getting lightheaded and feeling faint. Should I see a Dr.? Or will this go away soon? I plan in going back to work soon and need to be back to normal. What can I do or a Dr. do for me? Any feedback is appreciated.

  • Marianne September 27, 2016, 7:57 pm

    I had two knee replacement operations close together and was on oral morphine for a number of months. As my pain lessened I stopped taking the oramorph. Wow. Horrible withdrawal, I felt so awful. I have two suggestions which may be minor helps. Keep sipping water between trips to the toilet, it helps with the stomach cramps. Get some hemorrhoid cream, it soothes the soreness in the anus caused by the endless loo trips. Great article and reassuring, thanks.

  • Marie September 9, 2016, 7:56 am

    I have been on morphine for 4 years at a dose of 2000mg liquid a month plus 3000mg slow release capsules. I’m currently in withdrawal cold turkey by choice on my 9th day. I urge people not to even start on any form of morphine, withdrawal is hell on earth unbearable evil symptoms.

  • Melm August 30, 2016, 7:05 pm

    I have been detoxing from morphine sulphate er for the past 9 days. I am 44 y/o. I had a cervical fusion 1/15. I recently had a multi level lumbar fusion and discectomy 4/16 after years of therapy, alternative treatments, prescriptions, exercise and 25+ epidural injections. I was prescribed 30mg 2xs a day of er morphine in addition to Percocet for breakthrough pain. The morphine helped quite a bit.

    I have never felt the feeling of being high or misused any of my Rxs over the years and tried not to take my meds unless absolutely necessary. The first 2 weeks post op were the worst. I started physical therapy 1 month post surgery. I found I needed the Percocet if I overdid my activities. Dr adjusted the morphine about 2 months post op to 15 mgs 2xs a day and still prescribed the Percocet for breakthrough.

    I tried to go off the morphine at 3 months post op and I did not withdraw correctly, wow, that was horrible on top of it I was still in a lot of physical pain from the surgery so I remained on it until I saw a pain mngt dr at 4 mths post. He took me off the morphine and even at the lowest dose I had some significant withdrawal symptoms. I asked his medical assistant if I should be on a tapering regiment because the last time I tried to go off I had really bad wd issues and she said no, you shouldn’t have any issues.

    She was wrong and I only share this in the hope of helping someone else, you will have WD symptoms even on the lowest dose, ask for a taper schedule. Also, something that I didn’t know was morphine and other pain meds can effect your hormones and I gained 15lbs overnight after my surgery. I wish I could blame it on being on bed rest and eating too much but that wasn’t the case at all.

    I was walking post surgery as quickly as I could and I was eating very little, I did not have an appetite to eat. I could see 5 lbs but 15? I was shocked. My dr confirmed that these drugs can wreak havoc on your metabolism if you are on them for long periods of time. A few takeaways from my experience – weight gain on pain meds like morphine can happen. Withdrawal symptoms can also happen even on a low dose so make sure you share your concerns with your dr and talk about your options and an appropriate tapering schedule.

    Discuss with your dr during your surgery plans, get it all laid out for you so you can see the big picture, don’t wait until you’re close to the end of your treatment. I am almost 5 months post op and I expect my pain mngt dr to provide me with one more Rx for Percocet maybe 2. He feels I should be off the meds like all the other patients in my condition 4-6 months post op. I don’t disagree but I also don’t like to be lumped into a whole.

    I still experience back pain, my ROM sucks, if I clean my house I pay dearly for all the bending and twisting. Parts of my legs and feet are still numb from the nerve impingement. I’ll never be the same again but the morphine worked wonders on keeping my pain level at a place where I could function and get things done. I also hate hearing from pain management Drs that I am too young to be on narcotic meds long term.

    I function without pain and I’m able to be as close to the person I was prior to my body breaking down on these meds. I do not misuse them, I’ll pee in any cup you ask, I’ll take any psych test you ask, I’m 100% compliant as a patient just don’t use my age against me. Does my quality of life fit anywhere in this equation?

    Good luck out there. I know there are many people that have it worse than I do. I hope that my experience can help you if you find yourself getting ready to withdraw from pain meds and unsure of what might happen.

  • john margetts August 18, 2016, 5:19 pm

    Interesting and accurate article. I have tried many times to come off but after a while miss my old friend so much I give in and off I go again. The withdrawal is awful but life without morphine is too. I feel that if I could make it 6 months I may stand a chance.

  • FREE August 10, 2016, 4:13 pm

    I have been on this garbage for 5 years and decided the pain won’t kill me but this crap will!!! So I went off COLD TURKEY and no it wasn’t easy but now it’s over and I will tell you this never ever again will I listen to a doctor. I really feel that the doctor’s should be made to take this crap for at least a year then take them off it. Perhaps only then these so called professionals will understand how bad this stuff is. Good luck to you all and yes you can do this. Anything worth doing is never easy that’s why only the strong survive!

  • Sue August 6, 2016, 7:43 pm

    Help? I have been on 60mg (30 ER 2x a day for about 40 days). I didn’t think stopping them would be any big deal – WRONG. Almost immediately after reducing (by cutting the ER tabs in pieces) by half -in other words, 30mg a day – I am anorexic, have diarrhea, hot/cold, don’t want to be in public and want to smoke my brains out (or lungs).

    Am I just prolonging the inevitable by reducing or should I just cold turkey it? I live alone (with a chihuahua who does need care) and have a daughter nearby who is disgusted I would even take morphine again (went this route about 10 years ago). She saw the withdrawals and wants no part of them. I’m pretty much alone in this so should I just stock up on gatorade, benadryl, etc. and use the gabapentin I already have (I have valium too) and just bite the bullet?

    I hope all this makes sense but I don’t know if I should taper or just go cold turkey. Thanks – I’ve had 2 massive back surgeries so none of this is by choice… I forgot to add I’m also in a back brace so every time I think about going to the bathroom or jumping in the shower, it’s a BIG DEAL. Take the brace off, don’t bend, don’t move, keep shoulders over hips, etc.

    I can’t imagine what vomiting will do to the hardware in my upper back…

  • Determined July 12, 2016, 12:26 pm

    These comments are mostly addicts complaining about Walgreens and Dr.s and not getting there drugs. Been there done that. At 38 I ruptured a disc in my lower back which pushed on left my sciatic nerve. Severe pain and I couldn’t walk. I had a discectomy surgery. That first Dr had bottles if Norco in his desk. Didn’t even have to go to drug store. A year later the rest of my disc ruptured.

    Got a second Dr and I had an anterior fusion on the same disc. Any way I graduated from Vicodin 5 to Norco 10s to oxycontin 40, 80, 100mg. Last I was on 100mg morphine and 30 mg instant oxycodone. I was taking about 500mg a day for years. Been on pills 15 years. I have abused my medication in some months in the past and withdrawn for a day or days. I know the hell that withdrawals are.

    Then WC called me an opiate failure this year and stooped paying for Dr and pills I weaned down to 200mg a day for 2 months. Still was difficult to quit. Had most of the symptoms for at least a week. It’s been 23 days. Still have problems sleeping through the night but can feel my nerve ending coming back and muscle tone.Been eating good, drinking lots of water. Working out, sitting in sun and listening to music helps me a lot.

    Other than that feeling better and more normal every day. The bizarre thing is my pain is no worse? So obviously in the end it was not about pain it became about taking mood altering pills every day. I am bound and determined not to be a slave to opiated ever again. Morphine really should be outlawed. Used only in hospitals. It’s the devil. It will kill you. Sooner or later look at Prince.

    Yes it’s hard to stop but if you set your mind to it you can do anything. Don’t plan on being far from a bathroom for a good week. If you have a whinny attitude and think you can’t live without opiates, you won’t stop. Your mind is the most powerful muscle in your body. You can quit if you set your mind to it.. I did. Good luck!!

  • Cathy July 1, 2016, 9:35 am

    I have an implanted morphine pump that has malfunctioned and my doctor is on vacation in Europe for two weeks. I have been on the pump for about 9 years. I am going through withdrawal severely and need some advice for the constant urges to move and can’t sleep. He has put me on OxyContin and oxycodone for pain until he gets back and can replace my pump on the 19th of July.

    This was NOT my decision to go thru this cold turkey. I was told by my doctor that the medicines he left me on were going to help me thru the withdrawal. NOT… any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

  • david June 30, 2016, 12:51 pm

    I have been on morphine sulfate 200mg for 10 years. My doc just dropped my dose to 30 mg. Oh my my. I have been without my meds for 4 days. I haven’t slept for 4 days. I will say that the first 2 days were The worst. I have nocturnal back pain so the pain is bad. Please don’t take this s**t if you don’t need it because I can assure you you will end up without and become so sick you want to die.

    Thank god for my wife she was there for me. I have tried to get my night back pain fixed but every doc says sorry. So come tomorrow I get my meds back only to be trapped in this vicious cycle again. Please think twice before taking this drug.

  • JLW June 24, 2016, 3:51 pm

    I’m gonna tell you all my story….which some might find absolutely UNBELIEVABLE! I’ve been on morphine ER and IRs for the last 13 years. For the last 3 years, my dosage was 400 mg of MScontin every 8 hours, plus 60mg of the IR’s every 8 hours for breakthrough pain…GRAND TOTAL per day, 1380mgs. Yes, that is a very high dosage…but that is what it took to relieve my pain to a level where I could function a somewhat normal life.

    Well, out of the blue, without any warning whatsoever, when I walk into my doctor’s office to get my monthly scripts June 1st, they weren’t there. Then my doctor’s nurse came to the window and informed me that my doctor can’t write out my pain medicine anymore because of the new pain medication rules. You talk about flipping out… I show my ass in front of EVERYONE in that waiting room. I told her if he wants me of this medication, he has to taper me off, not cut me off cold turkey.

    She then said that he knows this, and has set me up with a pain clinic in three days, and she gave me a script for 24 IR’s to get me to that Friday. So, I left before the cops were called & just took enough of the IR’s to help with the withdrawals. Three days later, I go to this “pain clinic” expecting that my doctor for the last 16 years, had already sent my full medical history over to this place. After waiting for almost 3 hours, I finally get called back… another 30 minute wait before the doctor walks in, opens my file that I filled out in the waiting room, saw how much morphine I was on and… get this, he laughs.

    I ask him what’s so funny… his reply, “I wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole”… Needless to say I was highly offended & believe me, I let him have it BIG TIME!! So… after many ER visits & there was no beds available anywhere for a safe place to detox, I decided even if it killed me, I was going to detox on my own at my house. When my primary doctor found out what I was going to do, he called me personally & told me how dangerous this would be by trying to detox myself, esp. with my underlining medical conditions.

    He then ask me to go to the methadone clinic and he would call to inform them I would be there soon. I told him thanks, but no thanks. I was not going to lower myself to that level all because he refused to taper me off all that morphine that HE kept put me on. Well… after we hung up, in less than 30 minutes, I had a social worker at my door to do a well check on me.

    Man ole man, was I about to blow my stack at that very moment when she told me why she was there. She asked could she come in & said no… whatever you need to know about me, ask me right here on my front porch. The first question she asked was why am I going against my doctor’s medical advice. I told her I was not going to live with the stigma of becoming a methadone addict, just because my doctor is running scared from the new guidelines the CDC sent out to every medical board in the country.

    I then politely ask to leave because I was not feeling very well, as expected. LONGGGGG story cut short, I DID IT! Yes, the 1st week had me thinking of putting my 9mm to my head… after the 13th day, no withdrawal whatsoever. Morphine has a very short half life, so the 1st week of detoxing is your body resetting itself. The reward & pleasure receptors in the brain must now rely on the dopamine that’s naturally produced by the body, to start working again.

    After the 1st week, you will round that curve & it’s all a mental issue to that point. I would not advise anyone to do what I did, but rather seek help if it is available. I tried but all the beds were taken in my area and outside my area… which goes to prove how big of a problem this addiction issue has become. I never considered myself as a addict, but rather dependent… BIG DIFFERENCE.

    As for me, I have a appointment with my primary doctor early in July, and I’m gonna lay it out like this… the hell with pain pills, schedule me for surgery to implant a pain pump or I’m gonna turn my attorney loose & let him work out the details of a medical malpractice claim. I’m done letting these doctors control every aspect of my life… that ended the day I finally got off morphine.

    By the way, does anyone here know the history of methadone & who invented it & for what reason? Look it up, then you will find out what is going on in this country. A little hint, when it was first invented, it was call Dolophine… year 1939! Whatever you do, stay away from that methadone if you can help it!!

  • Decades of Pain June 21, 2016, 1:08 pm

    This article has a lot of good information, but I figured I’d throw my $0.02 in. Background: I’m 45 and have been in pain management off and on for 25 years due to fibromyalgia and a myriad of other exciting, painful diseases that I would not wish upon a dog. I currently take 60 mg 3x a day morphine extended release, up to 6 50mg tramadol, and a handful of medications for other issues. I have been tapered off meds by physicians, I have abruptly gone off meds due to physician errors and/or personal choice.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever been addicted, but other than not having cravings, non-addicts really don’t have an easier time with physical withdrawal symptoms than addicts do, so I won’t even address this from an addiction standpoint. One issue I have had is when trying to figure out a medication that worked well to control my pain is realizing after I left a pain management doctor office is availability of medications, particularly is a medication is new, or a new formulation, a less common medication, or a specific manufacturer’s medication is needed. (MS Contin is extremely expensive without my prescription plan and I happen to be allergic to a red/orange dye in the brand, as well as many of the generic equivalents.)

    As easy as it is to blame doctors, they are not always aware of inventory/availability issues. They know about medications, but it really isn’t realistic to expect them to know about available stock. Not that I am on a stable medication and dosage, there are a few things I do to ensure I am not going to run into a forced abrupt withdrawal situation. First: I use the same pharmacy every time. It happens to be a Walgreens for my morphine, while I use a CVS in my town for everything else.

    My physician knows exactly where I will pick up my medication each time, and I make sure to communicate with them on a regular basis regarding pharmacy and formulation issues. I make sure that I follow my physician’s instructions and remain 100% in compliance with any rules and requests they have. I tend to get fog-brain due to the fibromyalgia, so I keep notes on my cell phone as I think of them during the month. That just works for me.

    A couple days before my appointment, I call the pharmacy to confirm they have dosage and quantity on hand. That gives me lead time to make alternate medication plans with my physician BEFORE I leave the office during my appointment. I’ve never had an issue with the physician OR pharmacy since I have started doing this. It just makes life easier. Pre-planning also keeps me calmer at the doctor office and the pharmacy. The potential of being in an out-of-medication situation can cause anxiety and panic. Not dealing with them in a calm, pleasant manner can also cause distrust by physicians/pharmacies.

    All that said, I have still found myself in abrupt withdrawing situations. Sometimes “sh*t happens”. Withdraw symptoms suck, but I’ve found some things not mentioned that has made it easier for me. Especially if I am withdrawing on my own without medical support. Any medications I list is not meant to be medical advice. It is always best to follow physician instructions. People can be allergic or have unexpected reactions.

    Take it with a grain of salt – this has helped me in the past and it might not work the same for you.

    -Imodium is key. It has has what seems to be a calming, maybe slight muscle relaxing property at about 3x the listed dose. You don’t want to take that much more than 3-5 days. You don’t want to follow up a sucky situation with a bowel blockage.

    -Benadryl also has relaxing properties. it helps me sleep, and also has helped A LOT with the itchy, crawly skin sensations that I get.

    -Showers: you might not feel like getting out of bed, but a nice lukewarm (not too hot) shower can do amazing things for one’s outlook! It helps wash off all the icky-sick sweat and will help regulate your temperature. Figure out what shower temp feels best for you, and know it will likely change hour by hour while detoxing. In between showers, try a warmish washcloth (microwave a damp washcloth for 15-30 seconds but ensure you don’t burn your face or skin). Put it over your face and breathe deeply between showers/baths. For extra relaxation, try a few drops or lavender, peppermint and/or rose aromatherapy drops, or whatever your favorite calming scent.

    -Don’t forget to change your sheets and have plenty of “comfy” clothes. It sucks to get your body clean then crawl into dank, damp clothes and/or sheets. As a rule, I always use a laundry detergent with aromatherapies, even when I am not sick.

    -Try to stay in a place where you can regulate your temperature. I hate cold, but in those situations I keep the temp colder than normal. That way, I can also wear light-weight yoga-type pants and a long light-weight t-shirt. The skin creepy-crawlies get worse when things tough my skin or blow on me, so it allows me to have a light barrier that is consistent and not irritating me. Also, when feeling bad, it is always easier to cover up with a blanket than be too hot.

    -Keep some “minor” pain relievers on hand, such as tylenol, motrin and/or aspirin. DO NOT take more than suggested amount – they can be very hard on your system. Too much aspirin can cause bleeding, tylenol can shut down your liver, etc. You don’t want to make a bad situation even worse..

    -Find something to do to keep your mind off of how horrible you feel. Reading or doing something “active” with your mind helps. It is easier to “forget” how awful you feel if you are too busy to remember.

    -Try also to do something “active” with your body. Exercise releases the body’s endorphins. Free, natural, non-toxic pain relief! It also helps increase your metabolism to speed up the process of detox a little. If you have energy, go swimming. That helps activity and temperature regulation (like showering). Also, people are expected to look sweaty when exercising, so there is less of a feeling of stigma of looking “ill”.

    -Gatorade and pedialyte help. Stay hydrated as much as possible. I’ve tried to mix either of them with water to cut down on the sugar intake, but keep enough electrolytes and flavor to ensure I will actually drink it. If you like hot tea, herbal teas can be handy. You can often find herbal teas which are easy on your stomach and help with nausea. Try to stay away from caffeine and alchohol, which can leave you dehydrated. (Although, alcohol in moderation can be relaxing and make you forget how bad you feel).

    -Finally, try to keep a support group of friends/family that want you to succeed around. Detoxing is a hard enough process, and supportive people can go a LONG way toward helping the process be as painless as possible.

    I’m likely forgetting a bunch of stuff, but hopefully this can help folks. I just kind of stumbled on this post – hadn’t really thought about detoxing in a while.

  • Stacy June 18, 2016, 12:53 pm

    I had back surgery 3 months ago. I have a low tolerance for pain and since it was severe the doctor put me on muscle relaxers, nerve meds and morphine(30 mg every 4-6). Based on other posts this seems to be a low dosage? I am running out and so tried to stop taking the morphine for three days(I was only taking it at night to help me sleep because of the back pain).

    I have been experiencing mood swings, diarrhea and restless legs and arms(this wakes me up a couple times a night so I can’t sleep). It’s an absolutely horrible sensation! I feel like I’m going to go crazy :(. I’ve read this will go away? I decided to take a pill last night to see if it was the morphine and guess what… slept like a baby. So now I know!

    I’ve only been in Morphine for 3 months and already my body is physically addicted. I am not an addictive type person but this has proven me wrong. I’ve decided to half my remaining pills as long as they last and then talk to my doctor about an even lower dose after that. My symptoms may not be nearly as bad as other people’s but I can’t stand this!

  • gary June 16, 2016, 3:30 pm

    Hey all I know is there ain’t a easy way to get off these damn pills. I had to go find a new doctor and explain that I have been taking a high dose for 6 years and wanted him to wean me off them. I was on 60 mgs Morphine a day and 100 mgs of oxycodone also and 12 mgs of dilaudid too. I just pray that I will be strong enough to get the hell off the things and not be too sick and give up and just be a slave to them! So here I go yippee!!!!!!!! #@?*$!! LOL.

  • vicki May 27, 2016, 6:59 pm

    I severely injured my spine at 32 years of age. Before this I never had to take any pills. After many back surgeries, machines, physical therapies, and all kinds of different pain pills plus anything else they could think of to give me to keep me out of the hospital constantly from mind boggling pain I found a pain doctor that put me on 90mg Avinza and 30 mg a day of morphine sulfate (fast acting).

    This only took 13 yrs to put me on something where I could stand to survive! Then my pain doctor for quite a few years suddenly quit me for no reason. It took a long time to get into another doctor. I found out even though I never overtook my meds and wouldn’t take them unless pain was severe, that law was after doctor due to drug addicts misuse.

    For days my joint and back pain was so severe I almost drowned and back hurt so badly as it used to that I didn’t even know what world I was in. Only could feel pain so severe I wanted to die. Finally months later new doctor who had promised to put me back on morphine that’s only thing ever worked didn’t even look at my spine and all my surgery scars and told me he was leaving me off all meds.

    I walked (limped) out bent over as usual and crying. He called me back and said he would put me back on meds and ween me off depending on pain levels. After 8 months of huge doses of acetaminophen with little oxycodone and temazepam and requip and wellbutrin…just like before tried on so many meds its unreal that didn’t help with pain, I am back to suicidal thoughts because of mind-boggling pain.

    All he did is switch one opioid for many that even kill your liver. I am so tired of not being able to survive because our government is hurting ones that can’t live with pain due to drug addicts and pushers. It shouldn’t be this way.

  • Cliff Linney May 24, 2016, 12:52 am

    I have had 2 failed lower back surgeries in the year 2000. I have been on 200 mg morphine per day for about 15 years. My doctors want me off this stuff. They only gave me 3 weeks of there wean-off program which was 30 mg twice per day. After that was done I was taking nothing. The addiction is very strong.

    The sleepless nights straining my muscles from withdraws was so terrible. I am starting my 4th week and I feel worse. If you are thinking about trying this drug, the best advice I can give is don’t do it. This is evil in its purest form. I will say more after I am clean until then I hope I am helping someone.

  • Tina May 20, 2016, 2:11 am

    I was run over by a 32-foot motorhome. I had severe leg and knee injuries, almost lost my leg and had a shattered pelvis. I have been in a nursing home for 3 months. I have been on time released 25 mg of morphine – twice daily. The order lapsed and a paperwork mistake was made and so I went 3 days without. I had about 6 of the symptoms. At that point I wanted off them. I was so sick. The doctor said he would rather me come off gradually. I am now taking 25 mg once a day for the next 6 days. Now I can relate to what an addict goes through!!

  • Tessa May 17, 2016, 6:16 pm

    I started to come off slow release morphine whilst on holiday for 2 weeks, started last week April & finished 1st week in May. I went down from 90mg in the morning & 60mg at night to 30mg in the morning & 22mg at night. I didn’t seem to suffer any withdrawal symptoms hardly until I came home. After the 1st week at home, they hit me. I’ve decided to come off altogether now with the help of this mega vitamin C. I took 20g this evening & will take more tomorrow… will see how much I need. Will keep you posted.

  • Tia May 9, 2016, 9:43 pm

    Ok… so I’m going Cold Turkey doing this alone without my Dr or anyone at all knowing… Useful but terrifying to read this article and these comments. 10 years ago I had a bad injury and about 6 operations over 2 years. I was put on morphine by my Dr and didn’t think anything of it – I was in so much pain I would have taken anything he gave me.

    The pain never went away though so I kept being prescribed it and as my pain got worse the doses went up – I have a few medical issues – my joints dislocate regularly causing chronic pain, I have a brain tumor which is benign but can’t be removed and it affects how my body functions causing collapses and horrendous pain. I also have arthritis and other things.

    Anyway, with all this I took morphine every day for just over years now and I know the hospital wants to put me on ketamine to reduce my pain and make me “comfortable”. It made me think. I’m young. Am I just expected to be on opiates until I die? I don’t feel any psychological cravings for morphine, I’m on over 200mg a day with top up doses in between yet I’m still in enormous pain.

    I thought to myself, why put these chemicals in my body when they don’t reduce my pain? Where does it end? I’m already given pure heroin intravenously when I go into hospital (regularly)… what happens when I start tolerating that? Will there be a point when there is no pain relief at all that takes the edge off? After thinking a lot about it I decided I want to know how my body really feels and I don’t want to cause permanent harm by taking opiates for life.

    I halved my dose for a week and felt a little rough but nothing major – just more pain. I thought I’d “quit” and then tell my Dr I don’t want it if my pain is just the same without it. I’m on day 3 and I’m going through HELL! I had no idea that I was addicted. I didn’t feel addicted but my body obviously is. I’ve had (and am still experiencing) sweats and chills, aches and pains, restless legs, insomnia, nausea, projectile vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, headaches, a rapid pounding heartbeat, severe weakness, depression to the point where I felt suicidal last night and had to call an anonymous number as I literally wanted to end my life – but the worst thing is the psychological anxiety and terror.

    It’s a physical sensation of total panic and fear as if I’m about to die and it comes in waves like my other symptoms. I can “tough it out” when it comes to physical symptoms (I hope) but the anxiety and fear I feel for no reason (I know it’s a withdrawal symptom) is horrible. So bad I’m wondering whether to just go back on the stuff.

    I really want to quit and I keep telling myself I can’t have gone through 3 days of utter hell for no reason and that if I stick it out I’ll suddenly feel better in a day or two. I honestly thought I’d cope. Im drinking loads of water (when I can – sometimes it’s hard when I’m vomiting) I’m resting and I’ve told people I must have the flu or a bug.

    I’m desperate to prove to myself and my Dr that I’m better off without painkillers. I don’t want to be on them forever (and that seems to be the plan). I’m really struggling. Is day 3 or 4 a “hump” day? I know everyone is different but will things get easier from here? I don’t think I can take an entire week of this but I keep saying “don’t quit now”. I want to do this so badly.

    I hope that the symptoms will ease off but I can’t even imagine feeling like this for much longer. I wish I’d never been given the stuff. I wish my Dr hadn’t kept increasing the dose. I don’t know how 10years has gone by without him or anyone else suggesting a plan, or tapering off. I don’t want to be put on ketamine.

    If he does prescribe that I won’t take it so I’d have to go cold turkey anyway as I would only have a prescription for ketamine not morphine. Any advice from people who’ve been on morphine for years and managed to stop? Will these withdrawal symptoms ease off soon?

  • David May 3, 2016, 2:40 pm

    I’ve been on morphine for the last 7 years and was up to 150mg of it a day + Oxycodone after having some toes amputated… I’m now on day four of withdrawal, cold turkey. Puking my guts out and just trying to get something done… eating is difficult.

    No energy, haven’t made it to the office yet. This is seriously no fun and to be honest, I’m not sure how this is going to work out, as I was taking it for a reason. I’m just sick of feeling like junk on it as it doesn’t “seem” to help as it did before. Between the cramps and vomiting, I’m exhausted.

    No sleep for two days now…. L-rd help me! Persevering, moment by moment.

  • Shannon April 26, 2016, 11:31 am

    I’m 22 years old & am currently tapering off morphine after a 2 & 1/2 year struggle with addiction that my GP happily scripted for me after an ankle surgery, previous to that I was abusing oxycontin tablets and codeine for about 2 years also, but not daily. I was managing pain wise for quite some time but enjoyed the euphoria too much, as any addicts realize that good feeling doesn’t last long after a while.

    Getting off it is hard yeah, but it’s a short path compared to what morphine or any opioids will do to your body long term. My immune system practically died and I was constantly fatigued and sick. I was practically going through withdrawal symptoms before I even started withdrawing. I do not feel 22 that’s for sure.

    Well worth the effort to get off. Sadly I’m also tapering off my antipsychotic medication at the same time so my symptoms may vary from others.

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