Morphine is a pain medication of the opiate class. It is the most abundant alkaloid found in opium and the prototype of the naturally occurring class of compounds known as opiates. Although it was first isolated over two centuries ago, its therapeutic use only began in earnest in the mid-19th century. By the early 21st century, morphine was being used in clinical medicine worldwide. With its medical history, one may wonder, “is morphine addictive?” Its widespread use as an analgesic has been matched by its abuse potential; however, there are still many misconceptions about just how addictive morphine can be.
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What Is Morphine?
Morphine is a pain reliever that belongs to a class of drugs called opioids. Opioids are derived from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. Opium has been used for centuries to relieve pain and induce sleep; however, it wasn’t until 1803 that morphine—named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams—was isolated from opium by Friedrich Sertürner.
Morphine was initially used as a cough suppressant and to treat pain; however, its addictive potential soon became apparent. In 1898, Bayer began marketing it under the brand name “MS Contin” as a treatment for everything from dysentery to chest pain. By World War I, it was being used extensively to treat battlefield injuries; however, its abuse potential led to it being replaced by less potent analgesics during World War II.
Despite its well-documented history of abuse, morphine continues to be used clinically for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is available in oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intrathecal, and epidural forms; however, its intravenous form is most commonly used in hospital settings. In 2014, the World Health Organization listed it as an “essential medicine” because of its wide therapeutic window and low risk of adverse effects when used appropriately.
Is Morphine Addictive?
Is morphine addictive? Morphine is considered a highly addictive substance with a high potential for abuse and overdose. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), anyone who takes opioids can develop an addiction; however, certain factors may increase your risk, including:
- A family history of addiction
- A personal history of mental health disorders
- A history of substance abuse
- Access to large amounts of opioids
- Taking opioids for extended periods of time
- Using opioids in higher doses than prescribed or taking them more frequently than prescribed
Anyone who takes opioids for extended periods of time is at risk for developing an addiction; however, those who abuse them are more likely to develop one sooner. Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and use despite negative consequences. People who are addicted to opioids will continue using them despite experiencing problems at work or home, financial difficulties, social isolation, and legal issues.
Find Treatment for Morphine Abuse at BoardPrep Recovery Center®
Morphine is an incredibly addictive substance, and once morphine abuse begins, it can be hard to break the cycle alone. That is why getting professional help can be vital to recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opioids, BoardPrep Recovery Center® can help. We offer evidence-based treatment programs that have helped countless people overcome addiction and start on the road to recovery. Contact us today at 866.796.4720 to learn more about our program or schedule a consultation with one of our expert providers. A brighter future is possible.