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Like sedatives, narcotics depress the central nervous system.  Narcotics are very potent and they activate the opiate receptors in the brain. Basically, narcotics are pain relievers.  Narcotics include opium, morphine, codeine, and heroin.  Narcotics have their place in pain management and have helped many for a long time.  However, narcotics are extremely addictive and cause a lot of bad side effects.  While narcotics all came from the same place, they are used in very different ways for many different reasons, both legally and illegally.

Opioids are where narcotics came from.  Opium is the original narcotic that was produced for many uses both medically and recreationally.  Morphine, heroin, and codeine all come the poppy seed which opium’s main derivative.   Morphine was created mainly for severe pain management.  Still today morphine is the most common pain reliever that is prescribed medically.  Codeine also comes from opium or morphine.  Codeine is less addictive but less effective in pain management than morphine.  Codeine is most prescribed in cough medicine and does have negative side effects.

Heroin is the street drug that also comes from opium.  It is the most powerful narcotic that can be smoked, injected, or snorted.  Heroin causes euphoria and causes major withdrawal symptoms.  Like other opioids, heroin is extremely addictive and once a person is physically dependent they need maintenance doses just to feel normal.   Heroin is only semi synthetic.  That means it partially comes from morphine.  Basically, once it hits the brain it turns into morphine.  The difference is that it crosses the blood brain barrier about 10 times faster than morphine does.  When a person is addicted to heroin they tend to lead a lifestyle that revolves around obtaining the drug to avoid withdrawal.

Intoxication Symptoms

When somebody has taken narcotics their behaviors and feelings may last for several hours.  This includes:

* erratic behaviors

* mood swings

* inability to make a decision

* slowed functioning

* smaller pupils

*slurred speech (sometimes mistaken for being drunk)

* inability to pay attention

* lack of memory

Withdrawal from Narcotics

All narcotics may cause constipation.  A withdrawal from narcotics may start within just a few minutes of taking the drug and can extend into months.  Symptoms of narcotic withdrawals include:

* emotional sadness

* upset stomach

* vomiting, aches

* cold like symptoms such as a stuffiness

* large pupils

* diarrhea

* problems sleeping

People who take too many narcotics at one time can go into a coma and death may occur.

Pregnant Women

Women who are pregnant and go through a withdrawal may have a miscarriage, stillborn, or underweight baby.  It is extremely critical for pregnant to consult their doctor before choosing to withdrawal from narcotics.

If a pregnant woman continues to use narcotics until she delivers, her baby will suffer from withdrawal.  Babies who suffer from a narcotic withdrawal cry a lot, do not want to eat, and are extremely sensitive.  Narcotics do pass through breast milk.