What are the Pros and Cons of Morphine Use?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2019
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The pros and cons of morphine use depend on how morphine is used. In a controlled medical situation, where long-term abuse is not likely or possible, certain negative features like addiction and risk of overdose can be eliminated. There are still, however, other negative effects of morphine. On the positive side, when morphine is prescribed for a medical reason, pain relief is a necessity, and morphine is very effective in this area. While it is a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of morphine use independently, there are very few medical situations in which a patient might want to decline the use of morphine if it is prescribed to him or her.

Among the positive effects of morphine use, pain relief is the most important. Morphine is very good at relieving severe pain, and while there are other drugs that might do the same thing, physicians usually have a good reason for prescribing morphine rather than another substitute. The precise reasons vary from case to case. There are a number of other uses for morphine, which may all be positive features depending on the case.


On the negative side, there are a number of qualities that make morphine unpleasant or even dangerous to use. Morphine is known to be highly addictive, which can be problematic when use is unsupervised. People also build up tolerances to morphine relatively quickly, leading to yet more morphine use. These considerations must be discussed with a doctor when taking morphine over long periods of time or outside a hospital.

The more direct negative effects of morphine include constipation, headaches, and nausea. Some people experience anxiety, while others experience euphoria. In almost any situation in which morphine is prescribed for pain, these side effects will be significantly more bearable than the pain itself. When morphine is recommended for other purposes, the side effects may be more striking and intolerable.

Morphine use is considered negative for reasons almost entirely unrelated to medicine, but this association places medical use of morphine under suspicion. Many people who are prescribed morphine for medical reasons, particularly those relating to pain, never develop the psychological symptoms of addiction, although they do develop physiological dependence. The relationship between morphine and heroin makes many people suspect that they will be unable to handle morphine, even when supervised by a medical professional. It is important to recognize that medical use of a drug and abuse of a drug are very different, and the way someone might determine whether to take a drug recreationally does not apply in a medical context.


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