What is Morphine?

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Morphine is considered as the most abundant analgesic opiate that is derived from opium. It acts as a pain reliever for medical purposes and is also taken by drug users for recreation. It is highly addictive and can cause physical dependence and substance abuse.

As mentioned, morphine is derived from opium or the seedpod extract of the poppy plant (Papaver somniferum). It is mainly used in the field of medicine to alleviate the pain experienced by cancer patients and those who experience post-surgery pain. This medication can also be used to relieve the pain of those who have experienced major injuries, except for head traumas. A person who has taken morphine will also lose his hunger and control his cough. Some of the most common brand names for morphine include Roxanol, MS-Contin, MSiR, Kadian, and RMS.

Because of morphine’s euphoric effects, this is also used illegally by drug users. The street names of this drug include Morf, Dreamer, God’s Drug, Mister Blue, Morpho, First Line, Unkie, and MS.

For the past decades, morphine is usually administered through injections. Nowadays, it is commonly taken in the form of a solution, a pill, or a suppository. When this drug enters the bloodstream, the blood will carry it to the brain and the different parts of the body so it can activate the opioid receptors. When morphine activates the μ1 receptors, the person will experience pain relief. On the other hand, when it activates the μ2 receptors, it may lead to respiratory depression and addiction. Lastly, κ receptors are also activated by morphine and produce effects such as sleepiness or sedation.

When used repeatedly and over a long period of time, morphine can cause people to develop drug tolerance. This means that a person will need to take a higher dose of the drug to experience the same effects caused by the smaller dosages taken before. Aside from this, the user may also develop intense physical and psychological dependence on the drug.

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