Teen Narcotics Abuse
   
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Narcotics


Narcotics Overview
Narcotic refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic substitutes, though some people still refer to all drugs as “narcotics.” A more current term for these drugs, with less uncertainty regarding its meaning, is “opioid.” Examples include the illicit drug heroin and pharmaceutical drugs like OxyContin®, Vicodin®, codeine, morphine, methadone and fentanyl. Narcotics are found in tablets, capsules, skin patches, powder and chunks in varying colors (from white to shades of brown and black), liquids for oral use and injection, syrups, suppositories and lollipops.

Street Names: Hilbilly Heroin, Lean or Purple Drank, OC, Ox, Oxy, Oxycotton, Sippin Syrup

Methods of Abuse
They are swallowed, smoked, sniffed or injected.

Effect on the Mind
Besides their medical use, narcotics/opioids produce a general sense of well-being by reducing tension, anxiety, and aggression. These effects are helpful in a therapeutic setting but contribute to the drugs’ abuse. Narcotics/opioids use comes with a variety of unwanted effects, including drowsiness, inability to concentrate and apathy. Narcotics/opioids create psychological dependence. Long after the physical need for the drug has passed, the addict may continue to think and talk about using drugs and feel overwhelmed coping with daily activities. Relapse is common if there are not changes to the physical environment or the behavioral motivators that prompted the abuse in the first place.

Effect on the Body
Effects depend heavily on the dose, how it’s taken, and previous exposure to the drug. Negative effects include slowed physical activity, constriction of the pupils, flushing of the face and neck, constipation, nausea, vomiting and, most importantly, slowed breathing. As the dose is increased, both the pain relief and the harmful effects become more pronounced. It is important to note that some of these preparations are so potent that a single dose can be lethal to an inexperienced user. However, except in cases of extreme intoxication, there is no loss of motor coordination or slurred speech. Physical dependence is a consequence of chronic opioid use, and withdrawal takes place when drug use is discontinued. The intensity and character of the physical symptoms experienced during withdrawal are directly related to the particular drug used, the total daily dose, the interval between doses, the duration of use and the health and personality of the user. These symptoms usually appear shortly before the time of the next scheduled dose. Early symptoms often include watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, and sweating. Restlessness, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea, tremors, and drug craving appear as the withdrawal worsens. Severe depression and vomiting are common. The heart rate and blood pressure go up. Chills alternate with flushing and excessive sweating. However, without intervention, the withdrawal usually runs its course, and most physical symptoms disappear within days or weeks, depending on the particular drug. Physical signs of narcotics/opioid overdose includes constricted (pinpoint) pupils, cold clammy skin, confusion, convulsions, extreme drowsiness and slowed breathing. Overdoses of narcotics are not uncommon and can be fatal.

Content compiled above is intended for informational use only and it does not endorse or recommend services available in this site.

Information throughout this site is courtesy of:
www.drugabuse.gov
www.samhsa.gov
www.nimh.nih.gov
www.nida.nih.gov
www.cdc.gov
www.teens.drugabuse.gov
www.justice.gov

   
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