What is morphine?


Morphine is an opiate alkaloid extracted from the opium poppy plant (Papaver somniferum) and is one of the most potent and commonly prescribed opioids for moderate to severe pain. It has a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Historical context

Morphine was first isolated in 1804 by German pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner and has been used for pain relief since the early 19th century.

Medical formulations

Morphine is available in various formulations, including oral tablets, oral solutions, injectable forms, and extended-release formulations (e.g., MS Contin®️, Kadian®️).

How long does morphine stay in your system?

Morphine has a half-life of about 2 to 4 hours, depending on the formulation. It can take about 10 to 24 hours for the drug to be completely eliminated from the body.

Street names

M, Miss Emma, Monkey, Dreamer, Emsel, First Line, God’s Drug, Hows, MS, Mister Blue, Morpho, Unkie, White Stuff


Morphine pills come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, depending on the manufacturer and dosage. They may be round, oblong, or capsule-shaped and can be white, blue, purple, or green. Pills may be imprinted with the dosage and the manufacturer's logo. 

Common pills 

  • Round, white pill with "15" imprinted on one side (15 mg immediate-release tablet)
  • Purple, round pill with "30" imprinted on one side (30 mg immediate-release tablet)
  • Gray, capsule-shaped pill with "60" imprinted on one side (60 mg extended-release tablet)

Warning: Consuming illicit drugs, including pressed pills, may result in unintended fentanyl exposure, leading to potentially fatal consequences. Exercise caution and consider using fentanyl testing strips to identify the presence of this dangerous substance in street drugs.

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