Drug Education – Narcotics

Drug Dependence

Physical / Psychological

How Used Duration
Opium High / High Oral, Smoked 3-6
Morphine High / High Oral, Smoked, Injected 3-6
Codeine Moderate / Moderate Oral, Injected 3-6
Heroin High / High Smoked, Sniffed, Injected 3-6
Hydromorphone, Dilaudid High / High Oral, Injected 3-6
Meperidine, Promethazine High / High Oral, Injected 3-6
Methadone High / High Oral, Injected 12-24
Tramadol Low-Moderater / Low-Moderater Oral 3-12
Oxycodone, Percodan Oxycontin Low-High / Low-High Oral, Injected 3-12

What are Narcotics?

Narcotic drugs include opium, opium derivatives (morphine, codeine, heroin), and their

synthetic substitutes.


Possible Effects

Effects include reduction of pain, drowsiness, apathy, euphoria, constipation, nausea, vomiting,

constriction of pupils, redness and flushing, difficulty with urination, and respiratory depression.

Non-sterile injection of narcotics may lead to skin, lung and brain abscesses, endocarditis,

hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS.


Symptoms of Overdose

Symptoms of overdose are respiratory depression, unresponsiveness, and death. Vomiting may also be a symptom. Narcotic overdose can be effectively treated in a hospital emergency room.


Withdrawal Syndrome

Withdrawal symptoms are typically watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, yawning, restlessness,

sweating, irritability, loss of appetite, and intense craving to use more drugs. As withdrawal

progresses, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, bone pain, and chills.

Withdrawal last from 5 to 15 days. Hospital emergency rooms and detoxification centers

understand the treatment of narcotic withdrawal.


Indications of Possible Misuse

Lethargy, drowsiness

Constricted pupils and reduced vision

Shallow breathing

Needle or track marks on inner arms or other parts of the body

Redness and raw nostrils from inhaling heroin

Withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, vomiting, chills or other withdrawal symptoms listed above

Use or possession of paraphernalia including syringes, rubber tubing, bent spoons, and eye droppers

Prescription medication used in higher doses than prescribed

Narcotic pain prescriptions from more than one doctor

Frequent trips to emergency rooms or other medical centers that result in prescriptions for pain medicine

Use of pain medicine prescribed to other people