Morphine is a potent opiate, an analgesic drug which is used to relieve severe pain, the name of which comes from the Ancient Greek deity Morpheus, the “shaper of dreams.” Morphine was first isolated by Friedrich Sertürner in 1804, and was distributed in 1817, though it was first sold commercially in 1827. The drug came into wider use after the invention of the hypodermic needle in 1857. It is the most abundant alkaloid found in opium, derived by shallowly slicing unripe seedpods of opium or edible poppy. In clinical medicine, morphine is the gold standard of opioid analgesics that are used to relieve severe or agonizing pain and suffering.
Like other opioids, it acts directly on the central nervous system to relieve pain. It also has a high potential for addiction; tolerance and psychological dependence develop rapidly, though physiological dependence can take several months to develop. Ian Malcolm (at least for a time) became addicted to morphine after it was used to relieve the pain of the injuries he sustained after being attacked by the Tyrannosaurus.