What is Morphine?

Morphine is an opiate drug derived from the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. Morphine is a naturally occurring chemical found in many plants and animals. It works by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain, affecting the nervous system. It has been used in medicine since the 19th century and is effective in treating moderate or severe pain relief. Morphine and other opiates and opioid drugs are also commonly abused and have a high potential for addiction and dependence.

Morphine is an opiate. While all opiates are considered to be opioid drugs, not all opioids are opiates. Opiate drugs are directly derived from natural chemicals contained in the opium poppy, while opioid drugs are made synthetically. All opioids, regardless if they are natural or synthetic, work by interacting with opioid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body.
Morphine is clinically used to treat both chronic and acute pain. It can be taken orally, intravenously, or injected directly into the muscle tissue. Morphine can also be used to treat respiratory problems like shortness of breath due to its ability to induce calm breathing. In some cases, morphine is used in replacement therapy for people who are addicted to other opioid drugs and need to manage their withdrawal symptoms. Side effects of morphine include constipation, nausea, vomiting, euphoria, itchiness, and respiratory depression.
Morphine is, like most other opiate and opioid drugs, a common drug for recreational use. People taking morphine will feel sedative and euphoric effects. Recreational use of morphine is very dangerous. Thousands of people die in the United States every year from overdoses of opioid drugs like morphine. Regular opioid use leads to tolerance, causing people to increase dosages over time -which can lead to more intense side effects like respiratory depression. Long-term adverse side effects are also possible. Once someone has become addicted to morphine, it is very difficult for them to stop using.
Chronic misuse of morphine leads to tolerance and physical dependence. Once people start to become tolerant to the drug, they will need to take more and more of it to get the same euphoric effects they were getting with smaller doses. People who become dependent upon morphine will experience increasingly severe withdrawal symptoms when the drug’s effects begin to wear off.

Common symptoms are:

● Agitation
● Irritability
● Sweating
● Nausea
● Anxiety
● Mood swings
● Constipation
● Depression

The high potential for people to become addicted to and dependent upon morphine and other opioid drugs, paired with the large amounts that doctors have been prescribing for years, has led to an opioid epidemic in the United States. In 2014, overdoses from opioid drugs claimed the lives of over 24,000 Americans. One of the main side effects of morphine is respiratory depression. Morphine overdose causes severe respiratory depression, which can lead to death by asphyxiation.

Recovery from morphine or other opioid addiction requires comprehensive treatment. Treatment usually begins with a detoxification process in which an opioid replacement drug is used to help manage withdrawal symptoms during the withdrawal period. Withdrawal symptoms can last for up to a week. After detox, patients are encouraged to participate in other therapies that address various underlying issues that may have led them to abuse drugs. Drug treatment centers offer different options for inpatient and outpatient treatments and cater to a large number of different demographics. With proper treatment and a strong support structure, people who struggle with morphine and opioid addiction can walk the path to recovery.
Is Morphine an Opioid or an Opiate?
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