Narcotics

Codeine:  It's been estimated that 33 million Americans use codeine and other opiate medications for non-medical purposes each year.

These drugs can be used medicinally to relieve pain but also have a high potential for abuse. They cause relaxation with an immediate "rush" but also lead to restlessness and nausea. Includes substances such as heroin and codeine.

Heroin

OTHER NAMES

Smack, Horse, Mud, Brown Sugar, Dope, Mud, Black Tar, Big H, Thunder, Hell Dust

HOW USED

Injected, smoked, or snorted

CATEGORY

Narcotic

GENERAL INFORMATION

Heroin is an opiate made from morphine, a chemical obtained from the opium poppy. Heroin was originally used as a painkiller in the 19th century until doctors realized its highly additive quality.

Heroin is extremely fast acting and within a few seconds even a small dose will give the user an instant feeling of well-being, surge of euphoria, accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth, and heavy extremities. Following this the user alternates between a wakeful and drowsy state. Mental functions become clouded due to the depression of the central nervous system.

Because of its highly addictive nature, use can quickly lead to physical and psychological dependence. Users find themselves taking more and more just to feel normal.

The purity of street heroin can vary widely. The drug is illegal and expensive so dealers typically mix it with other white powders such as chalk, flour, talcum powder, and baking soda. The impurity of the drug means it's often difficult to gauge the strength of the dosage.

Heroin is generally injected which can cause serious damage to the veins. It also puts the users at risk for contracting HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and other diseases transmitted via used needles.

IMMEDIATE SYMPTOMS

  • Slowed, slurred speech
  • Slow gait
  • Constricted pupils
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Impaired night vision
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

LONG-TERM RISKS/POSSIBLE DAMAGE

  • Collapsed veins
  • Abscesses
  • Infection of heart lining and valves
  • Cellulites
  • Liver disease
  • Pulmonary complications
  • Depression of central nervous system
  • Cloudy mental functioning

INDICATIONS OF USE

  • White to dark brown powder or tar-like substance
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Needle tracks (punctures or wounds to skin)
  • Rubber tubing
  • Increased spending

Codeine

OTHER NAMES

Acetaminophen, Guaifenesin or Promethazine with Codeine Fiorinal, Fioricet, or Tylenol with Codeine

HOW USED

Orally or injected

CATEGORY

Narcotic

GENERAL INFORMATION

Codeine is the most widely used, naturally occurring narcotic in medical treatment throughout the world.  It is one of several opium derivatives and is available by prescription.  Most codeine used in the U.S. is produced from morphine.  Compared to morphine, codeine produces less analgesia, sedation and respiratory depression and is frequently taken orally.

Codeine is medically prescribed for the relief of moderate pain.  It's manufactured in tablet form, either alone or in combination with aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol).  Codeine is an effective cough suppressant (antitussive) and is found in a number of liquid preparations.  Codeine products are also used to a lesser extent as an injectable solution for the treatment of pain.  Codeine products are encountered on the illicit market frequently in combination with glutethimide (Doriden) or carisoprodol (Soma).

Because everyone's body reacts differently, even as much as a half a pill when combined with other depressants can lower respiratory functions enough to cause death.

IMMEDIATE SYMPTOMS

  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Constricted pupils
  • Nausea

LONG-TERM RISKS/POSSIBLE DAMAGE

  • Physical tolerance
  • Psychological dependence
  • Kidney or liver damage

INDICATIONS OF USE

  • Prescription bottles

Learn more about how to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol.