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narcosis

narcosis (närkō´sĬs), state of stupor induced by drugs. The use of narcotics as a therapeutic aid in psychiatry is believed to have a history dating back to the use of opium for mental disorders by the early Egyptians. Prolonged narcosis was employed at the beginning of the 20th cent.; its chief value was the reduction of excitement and tension in the psychotic patient. J. S. Horsley introduced (1936) the term narcoanalysis for the use of narcotics to induce a trancelike state in which the patient talks freely and intensive psychotherapy may be applied. It was used with considerable success in treatment of acute combat psychoneuroses during World War II.

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narcosis

narcosis From the Greek word meaning ‘to benumb’. A soporific or insensible state; a state produced by a narcotic drug. Regrettably the word ‘narcotic’ has been misused, especially in the US, where various narcotic agencies seem to call all drugs of abuse ‘narcotics’, whether they be heroin or cocaine, though the latter produces a state opposite to narcosis.

Alan W. Cuthbert


See analgesia; drug; opiates and opioid drugs.

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narcosis

narcosis (nar-koh-sis) n. a state of diminished consciousness or complete unconsciousness caused by the use of narcotic (i.e. opioid) drugs. The body's normal reactions to stimuli are diminished and the body may become sedated or completely anaesthetized.

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narcosis

nar·co·sis / närˈkōsis/ • n. Med. a state of stupor, drowsiness, or unconsciousness produced by drugs. See also nitrogen narcosis.

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