class of psychoactive drugs with numbing, sedative, and analgesic properties (distinct from the legal category)
(Redirected from Narcotics)

A narcotic is a drug that causes a loss of feeling, or paralysis. The name narcotic was probably first used by the Greek physician Galen. Galen listed mandrake root or poppy juice among the main examples for such substances.[1][2]

Today, the word narcotic is mainly used for illegal drugs, which do not necessarily have these properties. Marijuana and cocaine are considered to be narcotics, even they do not have the medical properties described.


  1. Francis Edmund Anstie (1865). Stimulants and Narcotics: their mutual relations. ISBN 9780405135682. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
  2. "De Furore, cap VI" (in Latin).