Doctor's Notes on Narcotic Abuse
Narcotic abuse is when a person misuses narcotics (a drug or other substance affecting mood or behavior, usually used in the context of illegal substances like heroin, cocaine). Signs and symptoms of narcotic abuse may include
- small pupils,
- bloodshot eyes,
- slurred speech,
- itchy skin,
- flushed skin,
- poor judgment,
- needle marks on the skin,
- respiratory depression,
- coma, and/or
Narcotic abuse is caused by the person's desire for the euphoria and/or sedation that narcotics produce in the central nervous system.
What Is the Treatment for Narcotic Abuse?
Treatment of narcotic abuse (and other drugs and/or addictions) can be a long series of steps the patient may need to take. Help is available at 1-800-662-4357. Treatment plans are long term and individualized. The commonly used treatments involve counseling and behavioral therapies. No single treatment is correct for everyone. Treatments need to include underlying problems, and patients must stay in treatment long enough for them to work.
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AddictionAddiction is possible whenever ingesting a substance causes the basic pleasure and reward circuits in the brain to activate. Addiction is an illness that requires treatment, because people with addictions cannot stop on their own. Symptoms of addiction include a person's inability to stop using the substance, devoting a lot of time and effort toward obtaining, using, and recovering from the substance's effects, discontinuing important social, employment, and recreational activities due to preoccupation with the substance, developing tolerance for the substance, and developing withdrawal symptoms.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.