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The Influence in Dane County WI.
Narcotics are addictive drugs that reduce the user's perception of pain and induce euphoria (a feeling of exaggerated and unrealistic well-being). The English word narcotic is derived from the Greek narkotikos , which means "numbing" or "deadening." Although the term can refer to any drug that deadens sensation or produces stupor, it is commonly applied to the opioids that is, to all natural or synthetic drugs that act like morphine.
The central nervous system in humans and other mammals contains five different types of opioid receptor proteins, located primarily in the brain, spinal cord, and digestive tract. When a person takes an opioid medication, the drug attaches to these opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord and decreases the person's perception of pain. Narcotics do not, however, reduce or eliminate the cause of the pain.
Some of the opioid receptors (known as mu and sigma receptors) influence a person's perception of pleasure. When a narcotic medication stimulates these receptor proteins, the person typically experiences intense sensations of euphoria or well-being. The speed with which these drugs take effect depends on the method of administration; IV narcotics reach their peak effectiveness within ten minutes, while oral narcotics take about an hour and a half, and skin patches take between two and four hours.
Overdoses of narcotics can cause drowsiness, unconsciousness, and even death because these drugs suppress respiration.