Narcotic Abuse (cont.)
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Narcotic Abuse Causes
Narcotic drugs produce their effect by stimulating opioid receptors in the central nervous system and surrounding tissues.
The abuse of narcotics occurs as a result of the euphoria and sedation that narcotics produce within the central nervous system. Abusers of intravenously injected heroin describe the effects as a "rush" or orgasmic feeling followed by elation, relaxation, and then sedation or sleep.
Narcotics used for short-term medical conditions rarely require weaning since stopping the medication after a brief period rarely produces adverse effects. If circumstances allow, the dose for people using narcotics over an extended period of time for medical purposes is slowly lowered over a few weeks to prevent withdrawal symptoms. The goal is to wean individuals off narcotics so that they are pain-free or able to use a less potent nonnarcotic analgesic.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/31/2014
Mark Zwanger, MD, MBA
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