Technische Universität München

The Entrepreneurial University

Narcotics are substances causing pain relief and mood alteration. The definition of narcotics is generally limited to analgesic narcotics (opioids) which refer to all natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic substances that behave pharmacologically like morphine. The primary medical application of morphine is to decrease the pain. The use of pain killers is frequent in sports, especially among athletes engaged in violent sports. Additionally, narcotic analgesic may reduce anxiety, possibly enhancing performance in sport events in which excessive anxiety could affect fine motor control adversely, such as pistol shooting and archery. Opioids work through endorphins - encephalins and dynorphins, modulating reactions of central nervous system to the pain stimuli. Heroin and morphine bind to the same receptors as those endogenous opioids leading to reduced excitability of neurons, the likely source of the euphoric effect. The euphoric effect can be enlarged by involvement of GABA-inhibitory neurons of the ventral tegmental area influencing the increase of dopamine release. The main biomedical effects of analgesic narcotics on central nervous system are euphoria, lethargy, apathy and inability to concentrate.