Morphine is an alkaloid derived from the unripe seedpods of opium poppy, and the World Health Organization has called it the “gold standard” for treating severe and agonizing pain, particularly in cancer patients. Morphine is one of the first opiate-based medicines, and modern opioids now include drugs such as the following:
Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
Hydromorphone (Palladone, Dilaudid)
Morphine treats pain by acting directly on the central nervous...