Narcotic are powerful habits forming drugs that temporarily dull the senses and produce sleep. They are so named because many of them produce narcosis or sleep. Narcotics are highly addictive. These are also known as psychotropic drugs. Some examples of narcotics are opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) and marijuana. Among these, heroin is the most widely abused narcotic.
Heroin is prepared from morphine, which in turn is prepared from opium. These substances when eaten, inhaled or injected to the blood distort the sensory perceptions by depressing the central nervous system. Use of narcotics poses a serious danger as they are very highly addictive.
They are capable of causing one of the strongest forms of drug dependence. A person who takes these drugs repeatedly becomes addicted to them. Although alcohol and tobacco are also habit forming but they can be given up easily if there is a strong will to do so.
However, addition to narcotic drugs is rather hard to resist. Narcotics are especially dangerous drugs to abuse because once a person becomes addicted to them he not only has a desire for the drugs that keeps returning but also requires higher and higher dose of drug each time. A long time addict may be using such amounts of narcotics which may be lethal (deadly) for a normal person. Large amount as of these drugs have a long lasting damaging effect on the health of the individual.
Some of the adverse effects of narcotics are given below:
1. Narcotic drugs damage the nervous system.
2. Narcotic drugs have adverse effects on vision, hearing and the cardiovascular system.
3. Overdoses of narcotics can cause death.
4. Use of narcotics leads to spread of AIDS virus when an infected addict shares needles with and uninfected addict.
5. Drug addicts have poor social relations and are sometimes responsible for many unlawful activities. Drug addicts commit crimes to get money for purchasing drugs, which are available at very high prices.
6. Drug addicts have generally very poor health. They do not eat well.
Narcotic drugs are sometime used in exceptional circumstances to treat certain diseases. Narcotics reduce the activity of central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), the person feels drowsiness, and sleep takes place.
For a person who is in serve pain (during surgery, due to burns or some other reason) narcotics provide much needed relief. Recently chemists have developed some synthetic narcotics, which have pain-killing effects, but are less habit forming. For example, methadone, darvone, etc.
The manufacture and distribution of narcotic drugs are stringently controlled by the government. They can be sold legally on prescription from a medical practitioner. In spite of stringent controls, narcotic drugs such as morphine, methadone, etc. are illicitly sold by some unsocial elements at exorbitant prices. Some unscrupulous group as even initiate innocent young people into taking these drugs and once they become addicted to them, they exploit their weakness to make illegal profit.
Unfortunately, many young people become addicted to drugs for no other reason than the desire for a fun or because someone has dared them to try some drug. Soon they become addicted or ‘hooked’ to these drugs and become slave of these drugs. Drug addiction destroys their physical as well as mental health. Parents, teachers and friends can help in controlling drug addiction by creating an awareness of the dangerous consequences of these drugs among the young people.