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Why doesn't this page give the mechanism of narcotics?

What is the list of recreational drugs and laws regarding them doing here?

Beats me. Very few of them are narcotics.

This page needs a major overhaul. - KneeLess 13:08, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Somebody just cleared out this entire page. Was that for a good reason, or was it just vandalism? I think this page should be a fairly brief one that gives the origins of the word "narcotic", explains how its legal definition is broader than its medical/biological definition, and links to other pages on specific drugs, bashir .g., opioids, etc. - User:Karn 4 May 2005 04:05 UTC

Well, I think it has been very educating. I don't think i would have been able to find such in-depth detail anywhere else! I am pleased that all that information is right here, and it saves me trawling through countless other web-sites. I know my presentaton will now be more interesting-thank you very much! - Elli 14:35, 5 Oct 2005 (UTC)

move the scuba diving disambig bit to the top

Re: move the scuba diving disambig bit to the top. Now done. - User:Dcflyer 07:10, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

List of Narcotics[edit]

Is it possible to get a list of the various kinds of narcotics on this page? I think that would be very helpful. 13:27, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to second this request. It would be helpful to have an illustrative, if not exhaustive, list of opioids/narcotics on this page. I assume this includes opium, morphine, heroin, but am not sure if more should be included.

Include (per the [AMA] letter at Alcohol. Perfect fit.

There is already a huge list of most opioids in the opiate article at the very bottom and alcohol is clearly shown as a narcotic in this article already, so I'm not sure a list is necessary, it would be useful but probably not worth the time it would take.--Bigfootisreal (talk) 07:16, 31 October 2008 (UTC) does not have any list so it should be deleted from external links Boycraft (talk) 16:43, 28 March 2009 (UTC)


The World Health Orginization (WHO) define a drug as

Should this be mentioned? Dfrg.msc File:DFRG. MSC.jpg 02:02, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Very much so, as the definition of a drug is useful information. Nero S. Baudelaire

If you do please don't forget alcohol...alcohol should absolutely be included in the list of narcotics. There's overwhelming proof at this site.

Alcohol is a depressant, not a narcotic, it is similar to a narcotic and though it is yes addictive and yes induces stupor — it does not relieve pain. The Oxford dictionary (IMHO much better than the Marrian Webster dictionary) says that a narcotic is a drug that induces drowsiness and relieves pain. That is always how I have understood the term narcotic. Only the opioids are true narcotics. It is ridiculous that such drugs as LSD are put into the same category as a narcotic. It makes no sense. LSD can certainly be put into the category of an illegal drug, a psychotropic drug, and even a dangerous drug, but it should not be listed as a narcotic. Neither should maryjane as maryjane is not an addictive drug.

This page someone started is a good attempt at sanity about substances..Louis B Summers - (Director of the anti-teen drinking site Alcohol the Narcotic) (talk) 23:06, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually, LSD is put into the category of psychotropic substances as opposed to narcotic drugs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:44, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

The definition of drug is totally irrelevant to the narcotic article. The definition of narcotic most definitely is important but not the definition of drug. --Bigfootisreal (talk) 07:18, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I think this is worth reading[edit]

This article put the multi-billion dollar opium-herion industry into scope in regards to Afghanistan. If you want to learn more about this aspect of Afghansitan and how it ties in with Kosovo, the KLA, and the rest of the world and the world economy read this article.

Christianity link?[edit]

Anyone know why there is a link to Christianity in the "See Also" section of the article? Just want to check to see if there is something I'm missing, before I remove it. --Anietor 21:26, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Definition of narcotic[edit]

I looked at various definitions on and can't see why it's wrong to classify cocaine, marijuana and so on as narcotics, so it would be POV to state it outright. It's etymology is rooted in a substance causing a stupor--same with the word "narcosis." The most strict definitions even make an addition stating that it can be "opiumlike." Also, cocaine and many other drugs classified as "stimulants" do affect opiate receptors. =Nathan J. Yoder 16:38, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

This is straight from
Main Entry: 1nar·cot·ic
Pronunciation: när-'kä-tik
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English narkotik, from Middle French narcotique, from narcotique, adjective,
from Medieval Latin narcoticus,  from Greek narkOtikos, from narkoun to benumb, from narkE numbness
1 a : a drug (as opium or morphine) that in moderate doses dulls the senses, relieves pain, and
induces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, or convulsions
  b : a drug (as marijuana or LSD) subject to restriction similar to that of addictive narcotics
whether physiologically addictive and narcotic or not
2 : something that soothes, relieves, or lulls

It is very clear from the above definition that 1a is the correct definition, and that 1b is based upon legal definition. Cocaine does not induce sleep. --Thoric 15:37, 18 May 2007 (UTC)


Alcohol induces sleep, relieves (by masking) pain, dulls senses, and in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, or convulsions (within de-tox) (APA Criteria handbook) so therefore should be considered in the drug grouping of narcotics. (talk) Lou Summers

What they're not[edit]

Why is the "US legal system"s mistake the most prominent part of this article. They think speed is a weapon of mass destruction, amusing but not relevant. The article on Television isn't prefaced by what the taleban think of it. Why should another bunch of fundamentalist terrorists and their mistaken laws colour this article. 15:15, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

needs work[edit]

It seems like there are a lot of issues with this article, starting with the fact that there are -no- sources. I could see statements like "Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is not a narcotic." being controversial without any citations. Jodamn 02:09, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Legally, marijuana is a narcotic, because it is included on the list of drugs in the UN "Single Convention On Narcotic Drugs, 1961". Obviously, a legal definition, not a scientific definition, which is why the use of the term "narcotic" in this article needs to be clarified, either where the term is used, or in the introduction.
At present, the introduction notes the ambiguity of the term, but no attempt is made to clarify how it will be used in this article218.214.18.240 (talk) 02:41, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, needs work...Please reference this ( to include alcohol. Sorry to seemingly spam but we need to consider this issue. On the main page please scroll down to see the American Medical Association's position on the identity of alcohol. (masked in yellow). I'll await further comments before posting anything else on this issue. Thank you. (talk)Louis Summers —Preceding undated comment was added at 15:18, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Narcotic vs. Opiod[edit]

As evidenced by the debate on this talk page, narcotic is a loose term with an inprecise definition and thus has limited usefulness as a classification. I think this article should limit itself to discussing the word and its different uses, and leave the pharmacological discussion of any drugs to other articles with more precise category boundaries. Specifically, narcotic is often equated with opiod, and this article currently duplicates a lot of content from the opiod article. Information on administration, effects, dependence, toxicity, etc. should be isolated to opiod. This article should discuss that narcotics technically refer to opiods, and should link to that article for users looking for more information on that topic, but also mention that there are broader uses of the term (psychoactive drugs in general) and link to articles appropriate to those uses. Steve CarlsonTalk 08:26, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Agreed--Bigfootisreal (talk) 07:21, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

USA versus Rest of the World[edit]

Why does the article distinguish between USA and "rest of the world"? A very odd and non-neutral weight given to a third world country ... If anything, it should distinguish between a developed country like France or Sweden and the rest of the world. E.g. "In Sweden the term "narcotic" means this ... in the rest of the world, it means ..." --Law Lord (talk) 18:47, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

While I suspect that this is just USA-bashing (which I, as a disgruntled American, support whole-heartedly, but not here on wikipedia), the reason that the US is called out here specifically is because we have a specialized definition for the word narcotic that is not shared by the rest of the world. If Sweden or France used the word differently, then it would be called out similarly. May I suggest you read the article on first-world? Those definitions were created during the Cold War to describe a nation's affiliation with NATO and capitalism (first-world), Soviet Russia (second-world), and countries that chose to remain outside of the conflict (third-world). It has since been distorted to refer to a nation's economic state, but in either case, the US is not a third-world nation. Steve CarlsonTalk 23:44, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
As do several other countries, and for the the same reason. The "Narcotic" laws have been extended to include other drugs. For example, in AUS, Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 [[1]] is based on the United Nations "Single Convention On Narcotic Drugs, 1961" which includes "HEROIN" and "CANNABIS and CANNABIS RESIN" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:45, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

This is not exactly the case. We have to consider that we have an alcohol industry (US) that makes between 16 to 20 billion dollars per year off the sales of their narcotic drug to children. They will do anything to keep us from properly calling alcohol a narcotic. Our government agency the" Food and Drug Administration doesn't even classify alcohol as a drug. That's because the AI pretty much owns the decision making in that regard. So the result is a teen drinking epidemic that's not being addressed.

But the good news is the hope in the USA of restoring our representation that we're lost since the year 2000 elections.

Narcotic is a Precise Term[edit]

Narcotic is a precise term for chemicals with an established toxicology mode of action, it is not an imprecise definition. The confusion comes from the the incorrect use of the term narcotic to refer to drugs such as opiates which operate by very different modes of action. This incorrect terminology is not only specific to the US. The modes of action of non-narcotic recreation drugs is well established and not controversial. About 80% of organic chemical are thought to have their primary mode of toxicity through a narcotic mode of action. While narcotics are well known to alter the nature of the lipid layer on the outside of cells (most prominently nervous tissue, hence the effects), there are still competing hypotheses of how narcotics work on the cell membrane. The article as written is essentially correct, but could use some mechanistic descriptions of the mode of action of narcotics142.176.56.97 (talk) 01:16, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

The word 'narcotic' is used by different people to mean different things, see for example the UN "Single Convention On Narcotic Drugs, 1961" and all derived legislation. At present this article notes the ambiquity, but then does not make clear which definition will be used. (talk) 02:44, 4 November 2009 (UTC)


At the top of the page the article states that drugs like marijuana and LSD are not narcotics. However, later in the page they are listed as examples. Perhaps someone who is knowledgeable about the subject could edit the list of examples, since obviously at least LSD is a hallucinogen and not a narcotic. (talk) 05:43, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

As pointed out by the top of the article, law enforcement uses the word "narcotic" to refer to just about any controlled substance. Medically narcotics are generally limited to opioids. Historically, the term refers to any substance which is capable of putting someone to sleep (which would certainly rule out cocaine, amphetamines and LSD). Perhaps we just need to make this more apparent in the article -- which substances are historically, scientifically and legally classified as "narcotics". I think a table would prove most useful. --Thoric (talk) 17:37, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
This article has been bugging me for a long time, so I finally went ahead and tried to clarify that the term simply means different things in different contexts - it is not "wrong" per se for law enforcement officials to refer to cocaine as a narcotic, since legally, it is defined as one, however imprecise that may be. This broad legal use is not limited to the United States, so if we could establish a common legal meaning (opioids + cocaine presumably) we could avoid US bias. St3vo (talk) 19:58, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
The list of drugs/substances at the bottom needs to be converted into a table showing in which context they are considered to be narcotics. --Thoric (talk) 22:47, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


I propose making this article a disambugation article. It may refer to - Sedative agent - Narcotic (Illegal drug) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:25, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Why does this article exist?[edit]

It's analogous to having an article entitled "Bad Word" or "Yummy!" (talk) 06:32, 4 January 2010 (UTC) one of ten people —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:49, 12 January 2010 (UTC)


The article mentions effects on the "CNS" without any explanation of what this means. I'm guessing "Central nervous system" but someone who knows for sure could you please add this in? No real encyclopaedia article would introduce an acronym without giving its definition. --LeakeyJee (talk) 05:00, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Glass of wine vs heroin bottle as picture[edit]

somebody reverted my change to a bottle of heroin as the picture to this article to a glass of red wine. why? I think heroin is a more recognizable narcotic and opiates what most people think of when they hear the word "narcotic" Dirtyfilthy (talk) 06:38, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

"non-narcotic" section...[edit]

trying to find _reliable source_ info on fda and pharm companies dubiously marketing drugs as "non-narcotic"... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Narcotic is about a pie?[edit]

I don't understand why this article leads with saying narcotics are a pie. I don't know how to edit it either. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 15 March 2011 (UTC)


Hey, so the pronunciation at the start of the article is the north American pronunciation, but people in the UK, Australia, etc pronounce it /nɑːˈkɒt.ɪk/. I'd change it myself but I have no idea about the whole editting pronunciation thing. Thanks (talk) 14:31, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh btw that was me ^, here's my source

article needs work[edit]

I'd like to call attention to some issues with this article. A few of the sections have random words that need to be removed and are also structured in a non-encyclopedic fashion. For example:

:608 F.2d 1135

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. Decided Oct. 31, 1979. LAY, Circuit Judge.
John Arthur Stieren appeals from....If cocaine is to be reclassified, defendant's arguments should be made to the legislative branch, not the courts.
We hold that Congress had a rational legislative purpose when it classified cocaine as a Schedule II narcotic drug for the purpose of imposing penalties.

I hope that example makes it obvious. I will do some work to this at some point but for now I just want to call attention to it. The specific sections that need help are: UNODC terminology and information on drugs, Studies on the definition of counterfeit medicines in WHO member states, Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms published by the World Health Organization, United States Code of Federal Regulations, US v Stieren, History.

To sum it up, there are a lot of stray words and the material seems like it was just copy/pasted from another website. Also, the non-narcotic section needs to be expanded on and needs a new link to a main article. Charles35 (talk) 08:10, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Agreed this article is quite a mess. There's clearly argument between the conventional usage of the word, its derivation, and the peculiar US legal definition. The History section only seems to have the history of the etymology, rather than a history of narcotics in general, which is a more interesting subject.Gymnophoria (talk) 14:27, 27 August 2013 (UTC)


I replace "heroin" with "codeine" in the section that talked about strictly controlled drug in the United States. In the U.S., heroin is a Schedule I drug and is not legal in any circumstance except DEA approved research.


It might be best to move the various other meanings to a disambiguation page. While at it a reference to the hit by Liquido should be added. Any objections? 2A02:8109:9340:112C:E4AF:DA3B:A009:A8AD (talk) 00:26, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

This article needs a little work[edit]

 I believe this article needs some minor changes.  Particularly, I feel that the statement:

  • The term [narcotics] is, today, imprecisely defined and typically has negative connotations.

needs to be more closely associated specifically with law enforcement;    and the statement:

  • From a pharmacological standpoint it [narcotics] is not a useful term

is inaccurate and should probably be removed.
 I realize that these statements are sourced; but I have at least a dozen reliable sources which contradict the existing one or two references.  But before I make any changes, I would like to find out how other editors feel.
Richard27182 (talk) 11:14, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


I would like to make a change in the article which would include changing the sentence:

  • From a pharmacological standpoint it is not a useful term,[1] as is evinced by the historically varied usage of the word.


  • In the medical community, the term is more precisely defined, and generally does not carry the same negative connotations.[2][3][4]
  1. ^ Julien, Robert M. A Primer of Drug Action
  2. ^
  3. ^ Oxford Dictionaries (note definition 1.1 (medicine))
  4. ^ Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

I'm not planning on including the following additional references, but I present them here as additional support for my case:

If anyone would have any objections to this change, please let's discuss it here before anything is done to the article itself.
Richard27182 (talk) date=2015-NOV-05 (somehow the date didn't show up, so I'm adding it manually)

FINAL NOTICE:  I'm planning to actually implement my proposed changes in the next 48 hours.  (This will include removing the antiquated text from the 1800's used to back up the statement l'll be replacing.)  If anyone who follows this article objects, please say something now and we'll discuss it.
Richard27182 (talk) 18:09, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

UPDATE: I have made the change to the article. If anyone disagrees with the change or has a problem with it, please don't edit war; we can discuss it here and work out a solution.
Richard27182 (talk) 09:54, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

This is two articles that have been jammed into one[edit]

This article needs to be split in two. It currently contains a mishmash of:

  • Narcotics (legal treatment); and
  • Narcotics (scientific definition).

Strangely, the Narcotics (disambiguation) page that is linked to in the first paragraph does not even refer to this article! Fixed.

Finally, the two articles that result from splitting this will require some major rewriting and formatting changes. I am happy to do some of this, but suggest that the split needs some consensus (e.g. titles) before any definitive change is made - and I do not have the skills or time to create a new Wikipedia article. Yet. Ambiguosity (talk) 07:40, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

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