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Drug Information - Morphine

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What Is Morphine?

Morphine sulfate occurs as white, feathery, silky crystals, cubical masses of crystals, or white crystalline powder; it is soluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol. Morphine has a pKa of 7.9, with an octanol/water partition coefficient of 1.42 at pH 7.4. At this pH, the tertiary amino group is mostly ionized, making the molecule water-soluble. Morphine is significantly more water-soluble than any other opioid in clinical use.

Morphine was first isolated in 1804 by the German pharmacist Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner, who named it "morphium" after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. But it was not until the development of the hypodermic needle (1853) that its use spread. It was used for pain relief, and as a "cure" for opium and alcohol addiction. Its extensive use during the

Morphine Addiction

American Civil War resulted in over 400,000 sufferers from the "soldier's disease" (addiction), though some believe this to be erroneous.

Morphine's Effects

Morphine, a narcotic, directly affects the central nervous system. Besides relieving pain, Morphine's effects impair mental and physical performance, relieves fear and anxiety, and produces euphoria. Morphine's effects also decreases hunger, inhibits the cough reflex, produces constipation, and usually reduces the sex drive; in women it may interfere with the menstrual cycle. Morphine's euphoric effects can be highly addictive.

Morphine effects include but are not limited to:

  • - Relief of pain
  • - Impairment of mental and physical performance
  • - Relief of fear and anxiety
  • - Euphoria
  • - Decease in hunger
  • - Inhibiting the cough reflex

Another one of morphine's effects is addiction. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence to morphine's effects develop quickly.


Withdrawal symptoms from morphine (lasting up to three days):


  • - Nausea
  • - Tearing
  • - Yawning
  • - Chills
  • - Sweating


Morphine crosses the placental barrier, and babies born to morphine-using mothers go through withdrawal.

Morphine Addiction

Morphine activates the brain's reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus his or her activities around taking morphine. The ability of morphine to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and its ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems can produce an addiction. Morphine effects also reduce a person's level of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.

Morphine Abuse


Morphine is a narcotic analgesic. Morphine was first isolated from opium in 1805 by a German pharmacist, Wilhelm Sertürner. Sertürner described it as the Principium Somniferum. He named it morphium - after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Today morphine is isolated from opium in substantially larger quantities - over 1000 tons per year - although most commercial opium is converted into codeine by methylation. On the illicit market, opium gum is filtered into morphine base and then synthesized into heroin.

Morphine was first used medicinally as a painkiller and, erroneously, as a cure for opium addiction. Morphine quickly replaced opium as a cure-all recommended by doctors and as a recreational drug and was readily available from drugstores or through the mail. Substitution of Morphine addiction for alcohol addiction was considered beneficial by some physicians because alcohol is more destructive to the body and is more likely to trigger antisocial behavior. Morphine was used during the American Civil War as a surgical anesthetic and was sent home with many wounded soldiers for relief of pain. At the end of the war, over 400,000 people had the "army disease", Morphine addiction. The Franco-Prussian War in Europe had a similar effect.

Morphine Detox

Self detoxification from Morphine can be extremely dangerous. Morphine addiction withdrawal can cause physical and emotional trauma including stroke, heart attack, and even death. Methadone is often used to ease the pain from Morphine addiction withdrawal. The outcome from methadone treatment typically ends with the individual acquiring an addiction to methadone, and continued Morphine use without detoxification from either substance.

Morphine Drug Addiction

Home or out-patient Morphine detox rarely succeeds in breaking the cycle of Morphine addiction. The addict can expect a long list of Morphine addiction withdrawal symptoms to occur as they attempt their Morphine detox. The worst case scenario for Morphine detoxification is an additional addiction to depressants; this is known as a "mixed addiction". It has been found the best way to get off, and stay off, Morphine is to go drug-free (ending use abruptly without the aid of other drugs or medications) at an in-patient drug rehabilitation center. Inpatient drug rehab centers help to keep the addict away from the normal stresses of living as well as the routines of their Morphine addiction. The environment of recovery is crucial, since there are many factors that greatly inhibit the addicts' ability for a successful recovery.

Source: NIDA



Narconon has an effective methodology and professional staff to ensure a safe, natural and effective detox and rehabilitation from Morphin addiction. Get on the road to recovery, call .

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