NARCOTICS: A SERIOUS OBSESSION

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Narcotics are drugs that alleviate physical pain, suppress coughing, alleviate diarrhea, and induce anesthesia. Natural narcotics are derived from the Opium poppy and synthetic narcotics are made to act like the major constituents of Opium (thebaine, morphine, codeine). Legal, synthetic narcotics such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone) are prescribed as pain-relievers but are often diverted for illegitimate uses.

Types of Narcotics:

  • Codeine
    • Codeine is the most widely used, naturally occurring narcotic in medical treatment in the world.
    • Codeine is medically prescribed for the relief of moderate pain and cough suppression.
    • Codeine produces less analgesia, sedation, and respiratory depression, and is usually taken orally.
    • Codeine is made into tablets either alone (Schedule II) or in combination with aspirin or acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol with Codeine, Schedule III).
    • Codeine is also used to a lesser extent as an injectable solution for the treatment of pain.
    • Codeine products are diverted from legitimate sources and are encountered on the illicit market.
      • Symptoms of Codeine include:
        • slow breathing
        • seizures
        • dizziness
        • weakness
        • loss of consciousness
        • coma
        • confusion
        • tiredness
        • cold and clammy skin
        • small pupils.

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Tylenol with Codeine


  • Opium
    • The Opium poppy (papaver somniferum) is the key ingredient for all narcotics.
    • Opium can be called blue velvet or black stuff.
    • Opium is the substance that is directly extracted from the Opium poppy plant.
    • Opium grows in Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and in the Western Hemisphere (Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia).
    • Opium is converted into Heroin in laboratories in the countries where it is cultivated, and then consumed locally or shipped to consumer countries.
    • It takes approximately ten kilograms of Opium to make one kilogram of Heroin.
    • Opium today is sold on the street as a powder or dark brown solid and is smoked, eaten, or injected into the bodie.
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Poppy Plant
      • Common signs and side effects of opium use:
        • Being of similar structure, the opiate molecules occupy many of the same nerve-receptor sites and bring on the same analgesic effect as the body's natural painkillers. Opiates first produce a feeling of pleasure and euphoria, but with their continued use the body demands larger amounts to reach the same sense of well-being.
        • Some of the illnesses associated with addiction are:
          • malnutrition
          • respiratory complications
          • low blood pressure
  • Heroin
    • Heroin, an illegal opiate drug known on the street as smack, junk, brown sugar, dope, horse, skunk and other names is derived from the resin of the poppy plant which grows predominantly in southeast and southwest Asia, Mexico and now in Colombia.
    • Heroin is manufactured in remote laboratories using rudimentary equipment which presses the powder into bricks for bulk shipment to destination countries like the United States.
    • Smaller amounts of heroin are smuggled by couriers who swallow heroin-filled latex balloons before boarding commercial airlines.
    • Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste.
    • Pure heroin is rarely sold on the street; if sold it is usually "cut" with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine.
    • Injection is the most practical and efficient way to administer low-purity heroin.
      • Short-term effects of heroin use:
        • "Rush"
        • Depressed respiration
        • Clouded mental functioning
        • Nausea and vomiting
        • Suppression of pain
        • Spontaneous abortion

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Heroin Kit