Narcotics – FAQ

The origin of the term narcotics, dating to the early 14th century pretty much sums up the effects this type of drug has on an individual. Its use over the years has meant numbness, deadness, stupor, or cramp. In 1926, the term narcotic changed to represent the identification of any drugs that were considered illegal. More recently, the word narcotic is used to represent one class of illicit drugs – opioids.

Not to be confused with opiates (naturally-occurring drugs like morphine and codeine derived from the opium poppy plant), opioids are semi-synthetic drugs, meaning they are part opium-based and part synthetic. Opioids act on opioids receptors in the user’s brain to block pain by producing morphine-like effects. Most opioids are made available through a prescription but there are some, such as heroin, that are illegal. In the last few years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a public health alert as the country is “in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.” According to HHs, long-term use of opioids leads to a decrease in their pain-relieving effects and pain can actually increase. This causes the user’s body to develop a tolerance to the drug and from there it can develop a dependence on the drugs. This dependence becomes an addiction and treatment should be sought out.

Narcotics on the watch list that are most commonly abused according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) include heroin, Vicodin, and OxyContin.

Do you know somebody who needs help with an addiction to narcotics? We have ways to assist you. You can learn more by reading our frequently asked questions, contact The Recovery Village by calling the toll-free hotline, or live chat with one of our agents to discuss narcotic addiction and treatment options. Your conversation will be one-hundred percent confidential.