Know the facts about morphine and connect with help and support to keep your child safe.

What are some slang terms?
Duramorph, M, Miss Emma, Monkey, Roxanol, White Stuff

What is it?
Morphine is an opiate, derived from the poppy plant. It is classified as a narcotic and is commonly prescribed to manage pain.

What does it look like?
Morphine is commonly available in the form of a tablet, syrup, injection or as a suppository. Depending on its form, morphine may be injected, swallowed, or even smoked.

How is it used?
Morphine is often used before or after surgery to alleviate severe pain. Morphine and other opioids act by attaching to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. When these compounds attach to certain opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, they can effectively change the way a person experiences pain.

What do young people hear about it?
Morphine use produces initial feelings of euphoria.

What are the risks?
Morphine can produce drowsiness, can cause constipation, and, depending upon the amount taken, can depress breathing. Taking a large single dose could cause severe respiratory depression, coma or death.
Long-term use of morphine also can lead to physical dependence. This can also include tolerance and addiction. Individuals taking prescribed opioid medications should be given these medications under appropriate medical supervision and should be supervised when discontinuing use to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

What are signs of use?

  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Slowed breathing
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

Next Steps

Look for Warning Signs

Do you think your child may be using drugs? If so, have you noticed any of these changes or warning signs?