Narcotics – See Related Topics

Understanding what narcotics are is easy if you understand the origin of the word. Going back to the 14th century, the term narcotic was used to mean stupor, deadness, or numbness – all conditions seen with today’s drugs that are classified as narcotics. In the 1920s, the term narcotic began being used to represent any drug that was illegal, but in more recent years, further classification of drugs has happened, and the word narcotic is now used to represent only one class of those drugs – opioids.

Opioids are semi-synthetic drugs made in part from chemicals derived from the opium poppy plant and other man-made chemicals. This class of drugs act specifically on opioid receptors in the brain to produce morphine-like effects that block pain. Different opioid-based narcotic drugs are available through prescriptions however some, like heroin, are illegal.

In the United States, there is currently what is called an opioid epidemic. Narcotic use has increased to such an alarming level that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has put out a public health alert to this fact. At issue is that over time, increased narcotic use can lead a person’s body to develop a higher tolerance to the drug. This then has the user to seeking out more of the substance to achieve the same level of “high” as they once achieved. Tolerance is known to create a physical dependency and that becomes an addiction.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NDA), the narcotic drugs that are currently the most widely abused include heroin, OxyContin, and Vicodin.

If you or someone you know is struggling with narcotic addiction, The Recovery Village can help. Find more with our related topics or call the confidential, toll-free hotline to speak with a specialist to learn more about treatment options.


Narcotics Related Topics

Illegal Narcotics and SchedulesIn the U.S. the term narcotic is often used incorrectly to describe any illegal drug.
Narcotic OverdoseOne key to helping reduce the risk of a narcotic overdose can be understanding how it occurs.
Synthetic Narcotics ListWhile the word “narcotic” is often used in the U.S. used to describe different kinds of illegal drugs, it accurately refers only to opioids.
Narcotics While Pregnant: What You Need to KnowIf you are taking narcotics while pregnant, there are risks to consider with regards to your baby. Some studies have shown no correlation between taking narcotics while pregnant and damage to your unborn child. Specific studies on humans have not been completed in this respect but data has shown taking narcotics as directed to manage pain is relatively safe to do while pregnant