Morphine is a non-synthetic narcotic with a high potential for abuse and is the principal constituent of opium. It is one of the most effective drugs known for the relief of severe pain. Street names include Dreamer, Emsel, First Line, God’s Drug, Hows, M.S., Mister Blue, Morf, and Morpho. Morphine is marketed under generic and brand name products, including MS-Contin®, oramorph SR®,MSiR®, Roxanol®,Kadian®, and RMS®.

Traditionally, morphine was almost exclusively used by injection, but the variety of pharmaceutical forms that it is marketed as today support its use by oral and other routes of administration. Forms include oral solutions, immediate-and sustained-release tablets and capsules, suppositories, and injectable preparations. Those dependent on morphine prefer injection because the drug enters the blood stream more quickly.

Morphine’s effects include euphoria and relief of pain. Chronic use of morphine results in tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. Morphine use results in relief from physical pain, decrease in hunger, and inhibition of the cough reflex. Drugs causing similar effects to morphine include opium, codeine, heroin, methadone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and oxycodone.

Overdose effects include cold, clammy skin, lowered blood pressure, sleepiness, slowed breathing, slow pulse rate, coma, and possible death. Morphine is a Schedule II narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act. In the United States, a small percentage of the morphine obtained from opium is used directly for pharmaceutical products. The remaining morphine is processed into codeine and other derivatives.