The Effects of Morphine Use

  1. Table of ContentsPrint
  2. Is Using Morphine Bad for You?
  3. Morphine Short-term Effects
  4. Side Effects
  5. Long-term Effects of Morphine
  6. Morphine Dependency
  7. Morphine Withdrawal Treatment

Itchy skin

Morphine, an opiate narcotic painkiller, is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for abuse. It can be a great option for patients in pain; however, when used recreationally or in inappropriately high doses, morphine can quickly develop a hold on the user that can be difficult to escape.

Morphine Effects question 1

Is Using Morphine Bad for You?

When misused or mixed with other drugs, morphine can be dangerous and result in a fatal overdose.

You are more prone to morphine addiction and the associated dangers when:

  • You have a history of substance abuse.
  • You suffer from a mental illness.
  • You take it solely for recreational use.
  • You take more morphine than prescribed.
  • You mix morphine with other drugs.

Because of its potency, and its reinforcing actions with the brain's reward pathways, morphine has a very high potential for addiction. It is possible for tolerance and psychological dependence to develop very rapidly in a user, making morphine a frequently abused drug.

Morphine abuse is especially dangerous because of the potential breathing problems it can induce. The risk of life-threatening respiratory problems increases when the drug is mixed with alcohol or other substances.

If you are caught in a cycle of abuse and addiction that you cannot get yourself out of, call 1-888-744-0069Who Answers? to learn how treatment can help you find recovery and take back your life and your health.

Morphine Effects question 2


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Morphine Short-term Effects

A morphine high gives the user feelings of euphoria, intense relaxation, and decreased perception of pain.

Morphine is available in a number of forms, including a variety of tablets for oral or rectal administration, and solution form for IV administration. The effects of the many oral forms of morphine may be intensified by ingestion of the drug via an alternate method, which can include crushing pills to then smoke or dissolving them in solution for injection. Users who do this subject themselves to serious side effects and overdose.

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Side Effects

Morphine use can cause a range of side effects, ranging from mild to fatal. These side effects can include:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Constricted, or pinpoint pupils.
  • Urinary retention.
  • Constipation.
  • Shallow or slowed breathing.

  • Altered or irregular heart rate and rhythm.
  • Chest pain.
  • Cyanosis (blue tint to skin, lips, fingernails, etc.)
  • Dizziness.
  • Confusion.
  • Agitation.
  • Seizures.


Signs of Morphine Overdose

If you recognize any of the following signs and symptoms of morphine overdose in yourself or another, call for emergency treatment immediately:

  • Uncontrolled vomiting.
  • Breathing difficulties / respiratory arrest.
  • Bradycardia (slowed heartbeat) / cardiac arrest.
  • Convulsions.
  • Loss of consciousness.

If you see any of the signs of overdose, it's important to get help right away. Learn more at our blog, Taking Action: How to Intervene During an Overdose.


It's extremely important to get help right away if you think you may be experiencing or witnessing a morphine overdose situation. Opiate overdose can lead to coma or death.
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Long-term Effects of Morphine

The main risk associated with long-term use of morphine is the development of addiction. Opiate addiction can ravage your life and that of your loved ones. Morphine addiction can cause you to:

  • Lose interest in family, friends, and work obligations.
  • Prioritize the finding and using of morphine above all else.
  • Ignore your health, even if many of the health problems are related to morphine use.
  • Develop financial problems as a result of spending to get the drug.
  • Steal from others/become involved in criminal activity.

As your use continues and addiction worsens, you will also experience very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you are not using.

Injecting morphine may also lead to the development of Hepatitis-C, HIV-Aids and other infections from using dirty needles.


Morphine Dependency

drugabuse_istock-40744286-sad-guy-against-wallOver time, your body will develop a dependency to morphine. This can be very dangerous to your health as an opioid addiction can wreak havoc on a bodily system.

As you build a tolerance to the drug, you will have to take more and more of it to achieve the same high, placing you at high risk of respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, as well as increasing the likelihood of damage to a number of vital organ systems. Dependence also begins to control your life, causing issues such as those listed above.

A change in the way one's mind works can accompany a physical dependency to a drug like morphine; continued access to the drug consumes your thoughts and acts as a detrimental force in your life, causing you to abandon your interests and responsibilities. Eventually, you may end up alone with nothing but an addiction.

Morphine Effects question 5


Morphine Withdrawal Treatment

If you would like to get treated for your morphine addiction, the first thing you should do is to seek the assistance of an addiction treatment professional or other qualified substance abuse treatment provider. Many find the help they need after being admitted to a drug rehabilitation center. After you are evaluated, you will start a detoxification process, which is the flushing of all drugs and harmful chemicals from your body.

Morphine withdrawal symptoms you may experience during detox include:

  • Extreme drug cravings.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irritability.
  • Sweating.
  • Runny nose.

  • Diarrhea.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Cramping.
  • Vomiting.
  • Chills.

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Withdrawal from opiates is not typically life threatening, but many find it difficult to accomplish this process on their own, as the experience can be quite unpleasant and accompanied with intense urges to continue use of the drugs. For these reasons, many benefit from a structured period of withdrawal and detox with the help of a medical professional and/or in a treatment center.

You'll be monitored through the process and checked for the appearance of depression and other mental illnesses that may show up during withdrawal.

The Road to Recovery

Inpatient treatment will offer benefits such as group or individual therapies that may address the root problem under your addiction and attempt to get you started towards a clean and sober lifestyle.

If you or someone you know is struggling with morphine addiction, please call 1-888-744-0069Who Answers? today to discuss treatment options.

Don't be afraid to call for a friend, family member or anyone else who you are worried about - you could help them get their life back.