Is a legal term encompassing those substances covered by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, and the 1972 Protocol Amending that Convention, including opiates, opioids, as well as cocaine and marihuana.
A chemical agent that induces stupor, coma, or insensibility to pain.
The term usually refers to opiates or opioids, which are called narcotic analgesics.
In common parlance and legal usage, it is often used imprecisely to mean illicit drugs, irrespective of their pharmacology. For example, narcotics control legislation in some countries includes cocaine and cannabis as well as opioids. Because of this variation in usage, the term is best replaced by one with a more specific meaning (e.g. opioid).