Morphine Vs Fentanyl: Which Opioids Are Most Dangerous?

Both Fentanyl and morphine are painkillers, however, they each have different effects on the body. There are several differences and effects when it comes to morphine vs fentanyl. Both morphine and fentanyl are among the most common and potent forms of opioids in modern hospitals today. 

While fentanyl and morphine can be essential to some surgeries and procedures, when abused, they can end up leading to addiction and overdose. Over the past decade or so, fentanyl overdoses, in particular, have skyrocketed. When it comes to understanding morphine vs fentanyl, it’s important to know that each can end up leading to dangerous situations and addiction if abused. If you or a loved one is dealing with fentanyl, morphine, or opioid/opiate addictions, Miracles Recovery is here to help.

Understanding Morphine Vs Fentanyl

Regardless of their differences, both morphine and fentanyl have high potency and potential for addiction. Both morphine and fentanyl are extremely powerful and fast-acting. According to a recent study, it was found that nearly 80% of heroin users began their abuse through prescription opioids. 

It is for this reason that it’s important to use morphine and fentanyl as prescribed by a medical professional. With the potency of both, it can become easy to misuse and become addicted/tolerant. When dealing with morphine vs fentanyl, while they may differ, they are very similar in many ways and should be used carefully and as instructed at all times. 

What are Opioids?

Both morphine and fentanyl are considered opioids. Opioids are categorized as a type of drug that is found in opium poppy plants. They affect the brain in a variety of ways, specifically relieving pain from the user. Opioids range from prescription medications to illegal drugs like heroin. Both morphine and fentanyl are considered opioids. 

Common types of opioids include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Morphine Sulfate
  • Buprenorphine
  • Carfentanil

What is Morphine?

As one of the first opioids ever used (chemically isolated), morphine is usually used for severe cases of pain. Due to its long history of usage, morphine typically serves as the benchmark for other opioids as far as strength is concerned. Morphine works like all other opioids in the sense that it floods dopamine into the brain (specifically the reward center). This creates an intense high in the user.

It does not take long for a person’s brain to become tolerant of these effects. Those addicted to opioids might turn to more heavy opioids to reach the same effect/high.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl on the other hand is similar to morphine in the sense that it is highly addictive and is increasing dopamine in the brain. Fentanyl is mainly used for extreme chronic pains and those who have gotten a tolerance to other pain medications. When looking at morphine vs fentanyl, fentanyl is much more potent than morphine.

Fentanyl is more potent because it is created synthetically while morphine is derived from poppy plants. Fentanyl is typically used for the most severe cases of pain relief due to its extreme level of potency.

Which is Stronger? – Morphine Vs Fentanyl

When it comes to comparing morphine and fentanyl, fentanyl is hands down more potent than morphine. It is considered to be one of the most dangerous opioids used today. While both are potent, fentanyl is more so and just a small amount can end up leading to an overdose or even death. Of the two, morphine is considered safer – however, it is still potent and can still lead to addiction or overdose if the person is not careful. 

It is said that fentanyl is around 100 times stronger than morphine and other opioids that are used. Due to its extreme potency, those who abuse it are opening themselves up to a high risk of overdose. Unfortunately, those who get drugs on the street like heroin may not be aware that they are taking fentanyl as well. Illicit heroin is sometimes laced with fentanyl to maximize profits (and fentanyl is cheaper even though it is much stronger than heroin). 

Morphine Vs Fentanyl Side Effects

Both morphine and fentanyl tend to have the same symptoms and side effects for the most part. There are a few differences to note and it’s important to understand that fentanyl is much more powerful and dangerous. When taken at high doses, more intense symptoms can occur in the body and mind like respiratory depression and other effects.

Morphine side effects include some of the following:

  • Pain relief
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Improved anxiety
  • False sense of well-being
  • Relaxation/calm

Fentanyl’s side effects include some of the following:

  • Euphoria
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness/sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Pain relief

These side effects vary in intensity and other more intense symptoms can arise when used at higher doses. It’s important to always follow the instructions of a medical professional and take opioids or all drugs as advised.


Opioid Addiction Signs

While morphine and fentanyl are both used for pain relief and can be prescribed by doctors, they can still leave the patient open to addiction. Due to their potency, opioids can cause a person to become tolerant and addicted, even if that isn’t the person’s intention.

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of possible opioid abuse. It is better to act sooner than later to avoid worse consequences down the line. At Miracles, we provide quality treatment to all our clients. Some telling signs of opioid/opiate addiction may include the following:

  • Stealing money (from friends, family, etc.)
  • Being unable to control opioid usage, even when they have a desire to
  • Weight loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Cravings (uncontrollable)
  • Decreased libido
  • Worsened hygiene
  • Exercise pattern changes
  • Financial/legal problems

If you or a loved one are suffering from these symptoms, they may have an addiction to opioids. When it comes to more potent and dangerous opioids like fentanyl or morphine, it is crucial to get help sooner than later.

What Causes Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction can be developed even if it wasn’t the person’s intention from the start. Opioids, in general, tend to create artificial endorphins in the brain. These endorphins work to minimize pain but they also create a high in some cases. Over time the body becomes dependent on these endorphins.

After repeated use, the brain can stop producing natural endorphins. This happens with the long-term use of opioids. Over time, this ends up leading to tolerance to opioids. This means that a person requires more of a drug to reach the desired effects. Apart from being abused, a person will need to use more to relieve the same amount of pain as before. This can end up leading to addiction and other negative effects (especially with opioids like fentanyl).

Getting Help for Opioid Addiction

Rehab centers like Miracles Recovery can create a safe and effective environment to overcome addiction. Opioid addiction can impact several aspects of a person’s life, even their relationships, and professional life. There are many options available at Miracles, each with its personalized approach to addiction recovery. Opioid addiction treatment includes:

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

When it comes to opioid addiction, it’s important to have the right support by your side, during and after treatment. Partial hospitalization programs, or PHP, allow a person to live at their home while attending weekly sessions at a facility. These sessions occur 5-7 days a week for a few hours every day. This can be a great transition and start addiction treatment. Miracles allow you or your loved ones to attend sessions to become familiarized with the process before jumping in.

Outpatient Program

Similar to PHP, our premier outpatient program (OP), offers addiction and co-occurring disorder treatment for people in all parts of the recovery journey. Outpatient programs work similarly in that they don’t require a person to stay in a rehab center. Outpatient programs are best for those who don’t need to reside in a facility but still need a set structure. 

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs offer the same level of flexibility as other outpatient programs and can be great for a person’s transition into life. IOPs are often used in tangent with an inpatient program or other treatments. IOPs are best for those who don’t require full-time care like a residential program.

Start the Journey to Recovery Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, Miracles Recovery can help. We provide several treatment programs with you in mind. We also encourage growth through a specialized structure and access to professionals with you in mind. Don’t wait to get help, give us a call today and let us help you towards a better life, free of addiction.