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Morphine Addiction and Abuse

Morphine is a naturally occurring, highly addictive opiate with painkilling effects similar to heroin.

Understanding Morphine

morphine addiction pillMorphine is an opiate used to relieve severe pain. Named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, morphine provides a feeling of euphoria oft-described as a dreamlike state. The drug can be taken in the form of a tablet, syrup or injection. In some cases, morphine can even be smoked.

Morphine has the potential to be highly addictive, as tolerance to it develops rapidly. A federally designated Schedule II drug, morphine is used medically for pain relief after major surgeries or for treatment of cancer-related pain. However, morphine also runs a high potential of abuse because of its pleasurable effects and relative accessibility.

Some of the common street or slang names for morphine include M, Miss Emma, monkey, roxanol and white stuff. While morphine is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the opium poppy, heroin is a synthetic drug that is processed from it; the two drugs are very similar. Contact us now for help battling a morphine addiction.

Morphine Effects and Abuse

As a narcotic drug, morphine is often abused for its pleasurable effects. It may also be abused by those suffering from chronic pain, in which case the user increases their likelihood of becoming addicted to morphine.

Common effects of morphine include:

  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Reduced anxiety

Any time someone uses morphine without a prescription, it is considered abuse. Although it is a legal substance when prescribed, it is a heavily regulated one. Possession of morphine without a prescription is a criminal offense, the degree of which varies based on location and amount of the drug in possession.

Those who abuse morphine in high doses put themselves at risk for overdosing. Signs of a morphine overdose include slurred speech, inattention, intense drowsiness and slowed breathing. This is because morphine depresses the central nervous system. Overdosing on morphine can lead to unconsciousness, coma or slowed breathing to the point of death.

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Addiction to Morphine

Addiction to morphine develops when someone consistently abuses this powerful drug. An addiction typically begins with a tolerance — needing larger doses of morphine to feel its effects. Once a tolerance develops, users will experience withdrawal symptoms when they don’t take morphine, making it hard to quit. In many cases, the psychological dependence on morphine develops soon after the physical one.

Someone addicted to morphine will compulsively look for and and abuse it, ignoring the negative consequences.

Morphine addiction is similar to heroin addiction, and is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. Sudden withdrawal from morphine can cause severe trauma; therefore, a medically managed detoxification is the best way to rid the body of the substance. Get in touch with us to find out how to safely detox from morphine.

Morphine and Other Drugs

Mixing morphine with other drugs, especially those with depressant qualities, can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs to use in combination with morphine, because both are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Using them simultaneously can result in extreme sedation and even coma.

Morphine Abuse Statistics

More than half of accidental drug deaths in the U.S. were caused by heroin and morphine. Some other statistics about morphine include:


10 percent of the U.S. population has abused an opiate drug in their lifetime.


The number of morphine addicts admitted to the emergency room increased by 106 percent between the years of 2004 and 2008.


More than 60 percent of morphine addicts admitted to getting the drug from friends or relatives.

Overcoming Your Morphine Addiction

Morphine addiction is one of the most difficult to overcome, but it is far from impossible. Studies have shown that addicts who are able to make life changes dramatically increase their chances of recovery without relapse. Find help now in your fight to overcome morphine addiction.

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Sources & Author Last Edited: January 21, 2016

  1. Confirm Biosciences. (2014). Opiates/Morphine Abuse Facts. Retrieved on March 29, 2014, from:
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2014). Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheet. Retrieved on March 29, 2014, from:
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