Narcotics is a term used for a group of opioids/opiates, or more generally, painkillers. In addition to relieving pain, they produce a sense of well-being by reducing aggression, tension and anxiety among the users. Though therapeutic, their abuse is common and can cause a variety of unwanted effects, including drowsiness and inability to concentrate.
Narcotics is available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, powder, liquid, syrups or skin patches. It can be swallowed, sniffed, smoked or injected. Some narcotics occur naturally, while some are manmade. The naturally occurring ones, specifically morphine and codeine, are derived from gummy paste extracted from the seedpod of a poppy plant called opium. Others are created by changing the chemical structure of the existing opioids. The manmade ones are prepared using chemicals but they act like opium. Most opioids/opiates are prescribe by doctors to treat severe pain, but the ones like heroin are used and abused illegally.
Following are some of the commonly used narcotic drugs:
How narcotics work
All types of narcotics work by targeting specific opioid receptors called the “mu,” “delta” and “kappa” receptors found in the brain, spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract. With its ability to bind to naturally occurring opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system, narcotic drugs produce euphoria and provide relief from pain. When someone consumes a narcotic, it affects the limbic system, the brainstem and the spinal cord. Opioids decrease the feeling of pain in the spinal cord before it reaches the brain. The brainstem controls things like breathing. So when opioids hit the breathing mechanism, it slows down. Likewise, when narcotics hit the limbic system, they can make the user feel euphoric and relaxed.
Narcotics are often abused owing to their ability to produce strong effects and intense euphoric feelings. Hence, with their increased or frequent use, one develops tolerance to them, thereby, increasing the chance of an overdose.
Narcotic use: health effects
Narcotics are depressants, which slow down the central nervous system and neural activity. Most people take narcotics on prescription, while others may take them recreationally. Prescribed to treat pain, cure diarrhea, suppress a cough or help one in sleeping, narcotics are highly addictive, even when consumed as prescribed. Hence, if a person begins to abuse them, he/she puts his/her life at the risk of developing an addiction.
Whether consumed for pain relief or to simply experience a “high,” following are some of the effects of the use of narcotics:
Decreased sense of pain
Nausea and vomiting
Addiction to narcotics
During initial consumption of the drugs, people feel their full effects. However, with time, they develop a tolerance to the drug and end up craving for an increased quantity of the drug to experience the same effects as before. This is leads to dependence. This is followed by the need to take the drugs to reduce the withdrawal symptoms that may occur during reduced or no consumption. This further leads to narcotic drugs addiction, which is when the brain needs the drug to function normally.
Following are some of the signs and symptoms of addiction to narcotic drugs:
Doctor shopping — obtaining multiple prescriptions from different doctors to obtain more narcotics
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms during reduced or no consumption
An increased reliance on narcotic drugs in order to get through everyday life
Switching from one narcotic to another, such as going from prescription medication to heroin
Abuse of other depressants, including alcohol
Permanent mental impairments
Compulsive seeking behaviors (i.e., addiction), often at the cost of everything else
When people start abusing narcotics or become addicted to them, it can take over their lives. They find it next to impossible to quit on their own, as well as dread undergoing addiction-free, as some of the withdrawal symptoms of narcotics can be discomforting. Thus, it is best to seek addiction to narcotics from certified addiction experts who can make the process less challenging and more rewarding.
Treatment for narcotic addiction
When a person joins a narcotic treatment program, he/she first needs to undergo supervised detox, before moving to the other stages of the treatment process. Owing to discomforting withdrawal symptoms, narcotic detox treatment should be conducted under medical supervision at narcotic rehab centers only, so that a medical professional can treat the patient’s withdrawal symptoms as well as monitor him/her for any life-threatening issues.
Following are some of the withdrawal symptoms of narcotics addiction:
Lacrimation (eyes tearing up)
Inability to sleep
Nausea and vomiting
Dilated pupils and possibly blurry vision
High blood pressure
While the withdrawal symptoms of narcotic drugs are relatively mild compared to other drugs, a person may feel intense cravings for the drug and give up, leading to a relapse. This is averted when the recovering individual is seeking professional treatment at narcotic rehab centers, as in that case, he/she does not get access to the drug.
Post a successful detox program, patients are recommended to undergo therapy or counseling sessions. Therapy can help a person learn about the nature of addiction, the factors that led him/her to addiction, and the skills required for long-term recovery. In addition to treating one’s addiction-related symptoms, the patient should also be treated for any co-occurring illnesses, such as depression, so that there is no hindrance to recovery.
Why choose us?
Licensed by the State of Texas as a substance abuse treatment facility, Texas we offers individualized treatment programs, specifically designed basis the patient’s symptoms and medical history.
Depending on the severity of symptoms and duration of illness, addiction treatment at our state-of-the-art treatment centers may involve supervised detoxification treatment followed by intense behavioral therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), neurofeedback and experiential therapies, such as art therapy and expressive arts therapy. After the initial narcotic addiction treatment, our patients also get to seek supportive care with the help of 12-step meetings, educational events and other activities organized to help them stay motivated toward recovery.
If you or someone you know is addicted to narcotics and is looking for professional treatment for narcotic drug abuse, look no further. A leader in providing top-notch treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, Texas is one of the best treatment centers available in the United States. For more information about our top-notch narcotic treatment programs or to locate the finest narcotic detox centers near you, call our 24/7 helpline and speak with our admissions specialists. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.