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How Long Does Morphine Stay in Your System?

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

May 21, 2024

Table of Contents

Morphine, a powerful prescription medication, offers rapid relief for acute pain, but its effects usually last only a few hours. That said, morphine remains in your system for a much longer duration than you might realize.

To avoid adverse health outcomes, including morphine addiction, take morphine only as prescribed by licensed medical professionals. If you are struggling with a morphine addiction, opioid detox is necessary to eliminate all substance traces from your body. Recovery from morphine addiction involves addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. Through addiction treatment and ongoing support, it is possible to achieve and maintain recovery.

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This guide highlights the following issues:

  • How long does morphine stay in your system?
  • What are the side effects of morphine?
  • How to connect with morphine addiction treatment in Southern California.

What is Morphine?

Is morphine an opioid or an opiate? As a naturally occurring substance, morphine is specifically an opiate and is also classified generally as an opioid.

Morphine is widely indicated for its pain-relieving properties. It is derived from the opium poppy plant and has been used for centuries to alleviate various types of pain. As one of the first and most effective painkillers discovered, morphine remains a crucial component in modern medicine for managing pain associated with medical procedures, chronic conditions, and severe injuries.

The drug’s mechanism of action involves binding to mu-opioid receptors in the spinal cord and brain. By interacting with these receptors, morphine blocks pain signals and alters the perception of pain, providing significant relief to those suffering from intense or persistent pain.

Due to its effectiveness in managing pain, morphine is commonly used in medical settings for those recovering from surgeries or experiencing pain associated with cancer treatment. Morphine is also prescribed for individuals with chronic pain condition like severe arthritis or terminal illnesses, to enhance their quality of life and overall comfort.

Besides its role as a painkiller, morphine can also induce feelings of euphoria and relaxation, which has contributed to its potential for misuse and abuse. While it is an invaluable medication when used as prescribed and under medical supervision, morphine carries a strong risk of addiction and dependence when used inappropriately or for non-medical purposes.

As such, morphine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Administration) due to its high potential for abuse, which places it in the same category as other potent opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl

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Half-Life of Morphine

Morphine has a relatively short elimination half-life of between two and three hours. That said, the morphine half-life can vary depending on the method of administration, with intravenous use delivering the shortest half-life. It takes roughly five half-lives for all of a drug to be purged from the system.

So, despite not feeling the effects anymore, morphine can linger in your system longer than expected, potentially triggering a positive drug test result. Various drug testing methods, including blood tests, urine tests, saliva tests, and hair follicle tests are used to detect morphine use.

The detectable duration of morphine in these tests is as follows:

  • Blood tests: Up to three days after use.
  • Urine tests: Up to three days after use.
  • Saliva tests: Up to four days after use.
  • Hair follicle tests: Up to ninety days after use.

Individuals may undergo drug tests for a variety of reasons, such as employment screenings or legal requirements. Among testing methods, urine tests are commonly preferred due to their accessibility and cost-effectiveness. The ability to determine the time elapsed since morphine use depends on the specific test utilized.

If you have concerns about drug testing or need assistance with morphine addiction or pain management, seek advice from healthcare providers who can offer guidance and support.

Morphine Side Effects

While morphine can provide effective pain relief, it is not without side effects. Side effects of morphine use may manifest over the short-term and long-term.

Short Term Effects of Morphine

The short-term effects of morphine use include:

  • Pain relief: Morphine effectively alleviates moderate to severe pain.
  • Euphoria: Some individuals may experience feelings of intense pleasure or euphoria after taking morphine.
  • Relaxation: Morphine can induce a sense of relaxation and calmness.
  • Slowed breathing: Morphine can slow down breathing, which can be dangerous if misused or taken in high doses.
  • Drowsiness: Morphine can cause drowsiness and sedation.

Long Term Effects of Morphine

Prolonged use or misuse of morphine can provoke various long-term effects, including:

  • Tolerance: The body may become less responsive to the drug’s effects, requiring higher doses to achieve the same pain relief.
  • Dependence: Regular use of morphine can trigger the development of physical dependence, and suddenly stopping use can prompt the presentation of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Addiction: Morphine has a high potential for addiction in the form of opioid use disorder, leading to compulsive drug-seeking behaviors and cravings.
  • Respiratory issues: Chronic morphine use may bring about respiratory problems, including difficulty breathing and respiratory depression.


How long does morphine stay in your urine?

Morphine is detectable in urine for up to three days after use, depending on factors including frequency of use, dosage, and metabolism.

How long does morphine stay in your body?

Morphine has a short elimination half-life of two to three hours, meaning that traces of the drug may remain in the body for over 15 hours – it takes 5 half-lives for all of a drug to be eliminated from the system.

How long does morphine stay in system?

Morphine can be detected in the system for varying durations based on the type of drug test. It can be detectable in blood for up to three days, in urine for up to three days, in saliva for up to four days, and in hair follicles for up to ninety days after use.

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Find Morphine Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery

At Renaissance Recovery’s rehab in Southern California, our primary focus is on providing specialized outpatient treatment for all types of addictions and mental health conditions.

Experience the support and structured care you need through our diverse outpatient opioid addiction treatment programs, including:

Our treatment programs at Renaissance offer personalized addiction treatment that incorporates holistic and evidence-based interventions, such as:

The first crucial step towards recovery is within reach. Reach out to our admissions team by calling 866.330.9449 to embark on your journey to healing and transformation.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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