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Narcotics


Definition

Narcotic comes from the Greek word narke, meaning "numbness." Analgesic is from the Greek words an-, meaning "not" and algeo, meaning "to feel pain." Therefore narcotic analgesics are used mainly in the relief of moderate or severe pain. The drugs listed in this category are either opiates-constituents or derivatives of opium-or synthetic narcotics. In addition to relieving pain these drugs suppress cough and control diarrhea.

Narcotic analgesics are highly addictive painkilling drugs that may also produce a euphoric sense of well-being. Some are natural drugs which come from the opium poppy; others are synthetics produced in laboratories. Narcotics, such as codeine and morphine, have valuable medical uses, but when they are used without medical supervision, they are highly dangerous. Because the abuse of narcotics poses serious personal and social problems, these drugs are under the strictest legal control.


Effects

Narcotics initially produce a feeling of euphoria that is often followed by drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Users also may experience constricted pupils, watery eyes, and itching. An overdose may produce slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and possibly death.

Tolerance to narcotics develops rapidly, and dependence is likely. The use of contaminated syringes may result in diseases such as aids, endocarditis, and hepatitis. Addiction in pregnant women can lead to premature, stillborn, or addicted infants who experience severe withdrawal symptoms.


Types of narcotics

1. Heroin


2. Methadone


3. Codeine


4. Morphine


5. Meperidine


6. Opium


7. Other narcotics