News tagged with narcotics

Related topics: drug


The term narcotic (pronunciation: /nɑrˈkɑːtɨk/, from Greek narkō, “Ι benumb”) originally referred medically to any psychoactive compound with any sleep-inducing properties. In the United States of America it has since become associated with opioids, commonly morphine and heroin and their derivatives, such as hydrocodone. The term is, today, imprecisely defined and typically has negative connotations. When used in a legal context in the US, a narcotic drug is simply one that is totally prohibited, or one that is used in violation of strict governmental regulation, such as heroin or morphine.

From a pharmacological standpoint it is not a useful term, as is evidenced by the historically varied usage of the word.

Statutory classification of a drug as a narcotic often increases the penalties for violation of drug control statutes. For example, although federal law classifies both cocaine and amphetamines as "Schedule II" drugs, the penalty for possession of cocaine is greater than the penalty for possession of amphetamines because cocaine, unlike amphetamines, is classified as a narcotic.

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