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  1. #1
    michael147 is offline Member
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    Default drug vs narcotics

    What's the difference between drug trafficking and narcotics trafficking; Are they the same thing?

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    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    Quote Originally Posted by michael147 View Post
    What's the difference between drug trafficking and narcotics trafficking; Are they the same thing?
    Yes, for practical purposes.There's a lot of confusions about 'drugs', 'narcotics, 'medications', 'pharmaceuticals' etc. Often it's only the context that tells you what is meant.
    For example, cocaine, and crack and other stimulants are definitely not narcotics from a medical point of view. "Narcotics" are drugs that put you to sleep.

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    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    To add on what Raymott said, they are not only to put you to sleep, but to induce drowsiness or numb the senses. For instance, one does not have to do both to be considered a narcotic. For example, paracetamol. Used to help with pain, but has no sleep inducing properties.


    As a general term, narcotics is widely used to define mostly medication, either legal or illegal, while 'drug' is used for that, as well as including alcohol, and in some cases, cigarettes.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    To add on what Raymott said, they are not only to put you to sleep, but to induce drowsiness or numb the senses. For instance, one does not have to do both to be considered a narcotic. For example, paracetamol. Used to help with pain, but has no sleep inducing properties.


    As a general term, narcotics is widely used to define mostly medication, either legal or illegal, while 'drug' is used for that, as well as including alcohol, and in some cases, cigarettes.
    I always associate narcotics with opiates.

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    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    To add on what Raymott said, they are not only to put you to sleep, but to induce drowsiness or numb the senses. For instance, one does not have to do both to be considered a narcotic. For example, paracetamol. Used to help with pain, but has no sleep inducing properties.


    As a general term, narcotics is widely used to define mostly medication, either legal or illegal, while 'drug' is used for that, as well as including alcohol, and in some cases, cigarettes.
    No, "narcotics" is not a widely used term for legal medications where I live, though in some cases it's a correct term. "Drug" fulfils that function. Alcohol and cigarettes are not usually called "drugs". A narcotic decreases your level of consciousness and has a negative effect on your respiratory drive.

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    In case you did not know, Raymott is a retired medical practitioner. He therefore knows more about this type of language than most members.

  7. #7
    michael147 is offline Member
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, for practical purposes.There's a lot of confusions about 'drugs', 'narcotics, 'medications', 'pharmaceuticals' etc. Often it's only the context that tells you what is meant.
    For example, cocaine, and crack and other stimulants are definitely not narcotics from a medical point of view. "Narcotics" are drugs that put you to sleep.
    Thank you for your answer. I often use 'drugs' to mean what I mean. I'm confused with 'narcotics' because they often mean the same thing in the context of crimes or preventing crimes or something like that.

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    In terms of the police and the law, getting busted for "narcotics trafficking" would be the same as "drug trafficking."

    All narcotics are drugs, but not all drugs are narcotics.

    If the police have a "narcotics" unit, they are also going to arrest people for cocaine and other stimulants, hallucinogenics, etc. The name is an accident of history.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    In the context of crime, they are often used interchangeably as terms for illegal drugs, but in other contexts, like medical ones, this is not the case. A stimulant like amphetamine may be a narcotic to a police officer, but if a doctor thought the same way, they'd be in trouble.

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: drug vs narcotics

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    In case you did not know, Raymott is a retired medical practitioner. He therefore knows more about this type of language than most members.
    Yes, that's true. But I was relying more on my experience as an ordinary citizen in saying that "narcotics" is not a widely used term for legal medications in Australia. Is it anywhere else?


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