Narcotics Facts

A Guide to the Different Types of Narcotics

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A narcotic is a natural drug that inhibits pain and increases sleepiness. A narcotic is an illegal substance when used and not prescribed by a doctor nor used for medical reasoning. Narcotics are also at high risk for abuse when not taken explicitly as prescribed by a medical professional.

Types of narcotics:

Opioids These drugs include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and codeine. Opioids are the most commonly used narcotic drug, and they are the most tightly regulated. These drugs are typically prescription medications one receives from a physician for chronic pain management. They are highly abused and are very addictive; so much so, that they are rated as the leading cause of hospital admittances for accidental injuries as well as complications due to overdosing. Opioids have serious side effects when not used properly. Some side effects from using opioids could include constipation and nausea. Others include insomnia and vomiting. There are other serious side effects that occur when using opioids improperly.

Cannabinoids Marijuana and hashish are considered types of cannabis, or cannabinoids. THC, the active ingredient in these drugs lower the perception of pain throughout one’s body. THC is a very potent drug, and it moves quickly through the body to the brain causing it to begin working rapidly just after it is inhaled. Marijuana produces an instant feeling of relaxation and mellowness. It can also cause one to feel light-headed, and one can even experience slight vision changes.

It can enhance the other senses also. Some other more serious side effects include short term memory complications, impaired coordination, issues with learning and diminishing problem solving skills. Furthermore, it can cause feelings of paranoia and cause feelings of panic as well. It has, however, been shown that these types of narcotics have less probability for abuse, and one is less likely to become addicted to marijuana. However, the side effects from this drug cause concern for those who take them.

Hallucinogens The most common hallucinogens are LSD and PCP. These drugs can be extracted from plants or mushrooms or the can be manmade. They can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, brewed, injected or inhaled. These drugs are not as popular as they were about 25 years ago, but they are still being used today. These psychedelic drugs are dangerous because they put the user into a dreamlike state, which could potentially cause the user to harm himself or even someone else.

Hallucinogens alter one’s thoughts and feelings. They can affect one’s mood, cause sleeping problems, change one’s eating habits, alter body temperature, affect one’s sexual behavior as well as functioning and can alter the control one has over her muscles. More short term effects include rapid heart rate and nausea. Moreover, one may experience elevated blood pressure and excessive sweating. Other possible long term effects can be problems with speech, anxiety as well as depression. Flashbacks can also happen due to taking hallucinogens, and can even interfere with daily functioning. Not to mention there is a risk of poisoning from taking these sorts of drugs. They can also cause more serious side effects such as seizures and possibly even death.

Death typically occurs due to accidental injuries while taking the drug or by suicide from the effects of the drug. Their effects can become apparent as soon as 20 minutes after ingesting the drug, and the effects can last up to 12 hours. The effects depend on how much one takes as well as the individual’s brain makeup. Psychedelic drugs have more potential to be abused and have the potential to develop a dependence to them quite easily. Therefore, they are illegal and controlled more heavily by law enforcement. The effects of hallucinogens are highly unpredictable and, therefore, are quite dangerous to ingest.

Stimulants Types of stimulants include diet pills, caffeine, Ritalin, amphetamines and methamphetamines. Stimulants increase alertness and energy. They elevate blood pressure and stimulate quicker patterns of breathing. With stimulants one may also experience lack of appetite, sleep changes and headaches. Compulsive behaviors may also develop as side effect from taking this category of drug.

Also, taking stimulants can increase anxiety in those taking these drugs. In children, stimulants may also cause them to grow at a slower rate. These drugs have a high potential for abuse. Oftentimes when one uses stimulants they become less concerned with things they would normally deem as important because they are more interested in pursuing their next high. Tolerance for these types of drugs can happen quickly and dependence can develop rapidly. One should use caution when using this group of drugs.

If you or someone you know is using narcotics, please seek professional help to aid you in quitting the use of these drugs.

 

 

 

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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