Narcotics are drugs which belongs to the opiate family, drugs that are derived naturally from the seedpods of the opium poppy (papaver somniferum), or are produced unnaturally and have opiate like effects. Narcotics decrease pain and create a state of happiness. With the use of narcotics, an immediate effect can be experienced on the body. In addition to the instantaneous healing effects of narcotics, the drugs create numerous potentially negative short and long-term effects. Those who take narcotics may experience sleepiness, nausea, and vomiting soon after taking a drug. Most narcotics are extremely addictive, and misusing of narcotics may lead to complications as it is not easy for the body to unaddict itself.
How do Narcotics work?
Narcotics work on the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord. They work by reducing or numb a patient's awareness of pain, change his/her psychological response connected with pain, stimulate weariness or sleep. Morphine is the standard or measure by which other narcotics are assessed. Those who are under the influence of narcotics typically experience a considerable reduction in their ability to feel physical pain. The immediate effects of narcotics also include enjoyable, overjoyed feelings, relieved from nervousness and fears, and sleepiness.
Which drugs are considered as Narcotics?
I. According to the U.S government agencies, the following drugs are considered as Narcotics:
Synthetic drugs chemically related to the opiates and coca drugs.
Marijuana and LSD is considered dangerous drugs but not narcotics.
II. According to Doctor’s and Physicians, the following are Narcotics:
Opium and its derivatives (morphine, codeine, oxycodeine, Hydrocodone, thebaine, heroin, and other opiates). Doctors commonly prescribe narcotics such as morphine, codeine, and oxycodone to help patients deal with chronic pain. They may be given intravenously or through oral capsules, and works immediately to relieve pain and uneasiness.
III. Narcotics are also known as:
Brown sugar, Chasing the dragon, China White, Crank, Dope, DXM, Eight ball, H, Horse, Junk, Skag, Smack, Speedball, Whitehorse, etc
Narcotics are also used in chronic pain, illness or for pain management after a surgical procedure.
Apart from their therapeutic use, narcotics create a general sense of well-being by reducing tension, anxiety, and aggression. These effects are helpful in a therapeutic setting but add to their mistreatment.
What are the common side-effects of Narcotics?
Headache and Fatigue : Headache and fatigue are common side effects of narcotic medications. A person who took narcotics may feel very sleepy and weak than normal. Headache and fatigue should reduce eventually as the body regulates to the medication.
Dizziness and Drowsiness : One may experience dizziness and drowsiness while taking a narcotic medication. Several people may also feel dizzy. These side effects will also diminish after a while as a person’s body regulates to the medication.
Nausea and Vomiting : Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of narcotics. Users may take the medication with food or milk to decrease gastrointestinal effects. Small dietary alterations may influence these side effects. The evasion of spicy or fatty foods and eating smaller meals, spaced during the day, may help relieve nausea and vomiting.
Constipation and sweating : Users may experience constipation while taking narcotic medications. A narcotic makes the gastrointestinal tract sluggish, making it easier to become constipated. Adding fruits, vegetables and fiber into the diet and drinking at least eight to 10 glasses of water each day may help relieve constipation. Also, a person who takes narcotics may experience severe sweating.
Tolerance and addiction : Tolerance and addiction may happen as a side effect of narcotic use. When narcotics are used for a long time, the body might get used to them and require large quantities to relieve pain. This is known as "tolerance." The longer a person takes the medication, the higher the probability that he will build up tolerance. In addition, some people become addicted to narcotic pain medication. They are more likely to develop an addiction to their medication if they have had a problem with medication addiction in the past.
Other side effects : hallucinations, Unsteadiness, confusion, Loss of appetite, upset stomach, dry mouth, Loss of menstrual cycle in women, Infectious diseases HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, Speech abnormalities, Fluid in the lungs, pneumonia, Intestinal slowdown, liver dysfunction, Inability of brain to produce the bodies natural painkillers (endorphins), etc
What is the frequency and occurrence of Narcotic abuse?
A survey taken by National Household Survey, in 1999, on Drug Abuse documented that roughly 15,000,000 people in the United States use illegal drugs.
Just about 1% of the adult population in the United States mistreats or abuse narcotics.
A number of evidence depicts that about 5% of adults aged 18 to 25, use or have used narcotic drugs like heroin. Additional approximations increase this number.
Men in the United States use illegal drugs somewhat more than women.
Narcotic mistreats among non-Caucasian people is allegedly highest, particularly in urban regions.