Narcotic Abuse


What are narcotics? Narcotics are medicines used to decrease or take away severe pain. Narcotics may also be called opioids. Some common names of narcotics ordered by a doctor are codeine and morphine. Heroin is an illegal street drug that is made from morphine.

What is narcotic abuse? Narcotic abuse is when you continue to use narcotics even though they are hurting you or others. You may have the following ongoing or repeated problems:

What is narcotic dependence? Dependence on narcotics is when using the drugs leads to at least 3 of the following problems within 1 year:

What is narcotic intoxication? Narcotic intoxication usually lasts for several hours. You may have the following during or after you use narcotics:

What is withdrawal? Signs and symptoms of withdrawal occur if you stop using narcotics after using them heavily over a period of time. Signs and symptoms may begin within minutes or days and continue for days or even months. You will have 3 or more of the following signs and symptoms:

How is narcotic abuse, dependence, intoxication, or withdrawal diagnosed? Caregivers will ask you questions about your use of narcotics and the effects that the drug has on you. You may need tests to help caregivers learn more about your signs and symptoms.

What are the risks of narcotics?

How can narcotics harm a pregnant woman and her baby?

How will I know if my child is abusing narcotics? You may see 1 or more of the following signs and symptoms if your child is using narcotics:

Where can I find support and more information?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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