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What is morphine?

Morphine belongs to a group of drugs known as opiates. Morphine is derived from raw opium from the poppy plant. Morphine is a painkilling drug and is one of the most effective drugs known for pain relief so is mostly used to treat moderate to severe pain and severe coughs. Morphine can also be used to ease pain before, during and after operations.

What does morphine look like?

Morphine can usually be found in tablet form, a syrup, injection or as a suppository form.

How is morphine taken?

Morphine is usually taken orally via a syrup, tablet or capsule, however, it can come in an injectable form.

What are the immediate effects of taking morphine?

Morphine will provide relief from pain and gives the patient a sense of wellbeing. Opiates in general slow down breathing, heart rate and brain activity and as a result the body’s tolerance to pain is increased. Morphine also suppresses the cough reflex which is why it is used to treat severe coughs. Morphine does have side-effects, two of the most common are constipation and nausea and with higher doses of morphine, additional drugs to relieve or prevent these symptoms may be needed.

What are the long-term effects of taking morphine?

When morphine is prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of pain and are taken in the prescribed dosage, they are safe and there is little chance of addiction. However, when morphine is not used for medical uses and is abused by being taken in excessive doses, addiction can result and so you should never stop taking it suddenly. If you stop taking the drug suddenly withdrawal symptoms can occur. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the amount of drug taken and for how long. Withdrawal symptoms may include uneasiness, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea, chills and insomnia.

What class of drug is morphine?

Morphine is a class A drug, it is only legal for a person to possess morphine if it has been prescribed for that individual. The maximum sentence for unlawful possession is 7 years imprisonment and a fine. The maximum sentence for supplying is life imprisonment and a fine.