Acid: Another name for the hallucinogen, LSD.

Addict: A term indicating a person who has a physical and/or mental dependence on drugs or alcohol.

Addiction: The chronic state of craving, seeking and using drugs or alcohol, with extreme reactions physically and mentally resulting when trying to stop.

Alcohol abuse: The excess use of alcoholic beverages to excess. Any use by children or pregnant women may be termed “alcohol abuse.” When heavy, alcohol abuse can result in physical harm and sometimes death.

Alcoholism: The state of having a physical dependence on alcoholic beverages, with withdrawal symptoms coming into play when trying to abstain from drinking.

Amphetamine: A synthetic stimulant that can be addictive when abused. Also called “speed.”

Angel dust: Another name for the hallucinogen, PCP.

Anxiety: Feeling of fear or apprehension, usually accompanied by physical symptoms like sweating, feeling stressed and having heart palpitations.

Barbiturates: Drugs which are derived from barbituric acid and are used to induce sleep and/or calm nerves.

Benzodiazepine: Depressants which are used medically to relieve anxiety, help induce sleep or stop muscle spasms or prevent seizures. These drugs are often used recreationally.

Binge drinking: Drinking very heavily within a two-hour or so period, normally to accomplish intoxication quickly. This is a pattern where men have five or more drinks and women have four of more drinks within a very short amount of time.

Buprenorphine: An opioid drug used for pain relief and in the treatment of heroin addiction.

Cannabis: Marijuana (see definition of marijuana)

Cocaine: A drug that used to be used as an anesthetic, now a highly addictive and dangerous illegal drug.

Codeine: A derivative of the opium poppy, used for cough relief. It is commonly abused and is addictive. Even those taking it legitimately for pain can become addicted.

Crack cocaine: The crystal form of cocaine, which is much stronger and more potent than when in powder form.

Craving: The strong and very powerful desire for a drug or drugs. This often uncontrollable desire is a symptom of addiction.

Cutting Agents: Different powders used to dilute heroin, cocaine and other drugs. Some examples are lactose and mannitol.

Demerol: A synthetic narcotic which acts like heroin or morphine.

Denial: A person’s refusal or failure to admit their state of addiction or to admit the harm it can cause.

Depressants: Sedative drugs that act on the central nervous system to depress it.

Detox: Short for detoxification. See below.

Detoxification: The act or process of detoxifying or removing toxic substances from the body.

Dextromethorphan: A cough suppressant used in many over-the-counter cough medicines. It is often abused and used recreationally.

Dilaudid: A partly synthetic opiate drug that is similar to morphine.

Dual diagnosis: The action of diagnosing someone with both an addiction and a co-existing mental condition.

DUI: This is an acronym for “driving under influence” and means driving when under the influence of an illicit drug or alcohol.

DWI: This is an acronym for “driving while intoxicated.”

DXM: A street name for the drug dextromethorphan.

Ecstasy: A stimulant and hallucinogenic drug which is illegal, but sometimes used at parties by young people for its effects.

Fentanyl: A potentially addictive narcotic which is used medically for pain management. It is an opioid which is extremely potent, more so than even heroin.

Hallucinogen: A drug that produces disturbances in judgment, memory and emotion, creating hallucinations, delusions or distortions in perception.

Hashish: Cannabis prepared from the flowering tops of the marijuana plant and which is more potent than marijuana.

Hashish Oil: The usually dark and sticky oil that is extracted from the marijuana plant.

Heroin: A powerfully addictive drug derived from morphine.

Hydrocodone: A narcotic drug first used as cough medication, now marketed under the brand names such as Vicodin, Lortab, Dicodid and Hydrococet. It is an opioid with many of the same side effects, including sedation and euphoria. It is a commonly abused drug in the United States.

Ice: A form of methamphetamine. This abused drug is smokable and reacts on the body more quickly.

Illegal/Illicit Drugs: Any drugs which are illegal to make, sell and use.

Inhalants: Substances whose vapors are intoxicating and are commonly abused. Some examples of inhalants would be modeling glue, liquid whiteout and magic markers. Inhalants are extremely dangerous to those who use them recreationally.

Inpatient Drug Rehab: A drug rehabilitation center where those who participate in the program stay full time within the facility, sometimes in dorm-like accommodations.

Ketamine: A drug that is abused and has mind-altering effects. It is sometimes put secretly into someone’s drink so that person can be sexually assaulted and not remember anything about the incident.

LSD: D-lysergic acid diethylamide, a synthetic drug which is a powerful hallucinogen.

Marijuana: A recreational drug that is made from the marijuana plant. It affects mood with a light euphoric effect and heightens perceptions.

MDMA: An abbreviation of the chemical that is the illegal drug called Ecstasy.

Mescaline: A hallucinogenic chemical found in the Peyote cactus.

Meth: Short for methamphetamine. (See below)

Methadone: A synthetic opiate medication which is used in treating heroin addiction. This drug is also abused and is addictive.

Methamphetamine: A stimulant drug which is addictive. When prescribed by a doctor, the prescription cannot be refilled. It is commonly made in illegal “labs” in the US and neighboring countries.

Morphine: A drug found in opium which is a sedative and pain reliever.

Opiate: The natural ingredients of the poppy and the derivatives of such. Used both as a medication and an illegal drug, opiates depress the activity of the central nervous system.

Opioids: The synthetic form of opium.

Outpatient Drug Rehab: Someone attending a drug rehab but coming in to the center for treatment on a daily or weekly basis rather than living there.

Oxycodone: The active ingredient in OxyContin, an opioid medicine used for pain relief. This is a commonly abused drug.

OxyContin: A prescription painkiller that is now being abused and is a dangerous recreational drug.

PCP: Phencyclidine, an anesthetic that is abused for its mind-altering effects.

Physical dependence: A state of physiological dependence on a drug. When physically dependent on a drug, the body has adapted to the use of the substance and withdrawal symptoms appear when a person tries to stop taking it.

Prescription drug: A drug which requires a doctor’s order to purchase and consume.

Psychological Dependence: A person who has the compulsion to take a drug to experience the effects of the drug.

Rapid Detox: A detoxification to allegedly get someone easily and quickly through withdrawal. An anesthesia is used as well as other drugs. The theory is that the person will wake with most of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms gone. It has not worked out that way and this procedure can be very dangerous.

Recovery: Ceasing substance abuse; no longer being addicted. (Many rehab programs believe that “reduced” use of substances can be termed recovery and that relapse is part of recovery, but here we define it as a true or lasting recovery.)

Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol recover and leave drugs behind.

Relapse: Returning to the use of drugs or alcohol after stopping for a period.

Robo: A street name for the drug dextromethorphan.

Rush: A surge of euphoric pleasure following the administration of a drug.

Sedative: A drug that eases anxiety or agitation in a person, allowing him or her to sleep. Sedatives can be abused and dangerous if combined with other drugs or alcohol.

Side Effects: Usually undesirable secondary effects from taking a drug.

Stimulants: Drugs which act on the central nervous system, making a person more wakeful, excited and alert.

STP: A synthetic hallucinogen which is less potent than LSD but lasts longer in its effects.

Suboxone: An opioid medication that uses a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone and used to treat people who have an opiate addiction. Suboxone is addictive but is thought to be easier to withdraw from than heroin or other opiates.

Substance abuse: Excessive use of a substance that leads to detrimental effects on a person both mentally and physically.

Tolerance: The condition where higher and higher doses are needed of a drug in order to produce the same effect that the person experienced with its initial use.

Withdrawal: the numerous symptoms that occur when someone reduces or stops the use of an addictive drug or of alcohol. These symptoms are varied depending on the substance, but can include sweating, vomiting, insomnia, shaking and muscle pain.

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