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Fact or Fiction: Unveiling Morphine Myths

morphine highlighted in book

Morphine can have many negative connotations, but what is the truth and what is an exaggeration?

Especially if you are given morphine by a doctor, you may be wondering if you will become dependent on the drug. Is morphine addictive when used for pain? Can you get addicted to morphine after one use? Could it end up making you feel worse? At Banyan Philadelphia, we are here to answer all of your questions and reveal the truth about morphine.

What Is Morphine?

Morphine is a potent opioid that is used to relieve pain. It is derived from the opium poppy plant and can come in liquid, pill, or injectable forms. Although it is meant to be prescribed by a doctor and used for medical purposes, like for those recovering from surgery or cancer patients, some people will become tolerant to this drug and an addiction can develop. It is currently a Schedule II drug, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, but is still used for medical purposes.

The Two Biggest Morphine Myths Debunked

It is not uncommon for the general public to know little about a drug except for what they see and hear in the media, but as providers of opioid addiction treatment in Philadelphia, we want to set the record straight. We’re talking misconceptions and myths about morphine.

If I take morphine, I will definitely become addicted to it.
FALSE. While morphine is addictive and one of the more potent opioids, being prescribed this drug does not mean you are doomed to become addicted to it. With the opioid epidemic all over the news, many people worry about becoming addicted and consequently requiring professional help for a prescription pill addiction. In fact, data shows that only about 6% of people with cancer who were prescribed opioids like morphine actually become addicted to the medication.1 While many people have anxiety about becoming addicted to morphine, most do not need to worry.  That being said, it is still important to follow your doctor’s instructions exactly to ensure that you do not become part of that minority.

Morphine has worse side effects than other drugs.
FALSE. No drug is completely side effect free, but the side effects of morphine are not as bad as what you may have been led to believe. Like other opioids, you could experience a plethora of side effects like dizziness, nausea, or constipation. For most people, if you take your prescription correctly these will cause minor discomfort and disappear within a few days. Just like with any drug, some people may experience more severe side effects, but your doctor should closely monitor you in case any problems should arise.

There is no way to know exactly how these morphine myths got started, but it is important to realize that not everything you hear is true. Morphine can be a safe and effective drug for many.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, get help sooner rather than later. Our Philly PHP helps patients overcome these problems and move forward.

To learn more about our various programs and therapies, reach out to us at 888-280-4763.


  1. net - Opioid Use in Cancer Care and the Burden of Cancer-Related Costs: Research from the 2018 Quality Care Symposium
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.