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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.

References[change | change source]

  1. Francis Edmund Anstie (1865). "Stimulants and Narcotics: their mutual relations". Retrieved 2007-06-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "De Furore, cap VI" (in Latin).