Drug Rehab Glossary

Acid: Common street name for LSD.

Addiction: A chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use and by neurochemical and molecular changes in the brain.

Agonist: A chemical compound that mimics the action of a natural neurotransmitter.

Analog: A chemical compound that is similar to another drug in its effects but differs slightly in its chemical structure.

Angel dust: Common street name for PCP.

Antagonist: A drug that counteracts or blocks the effects of another drug.

Buprenorphine: A mixed opiate agonist/antagonist medication for the treatment of heroin addiction.

Cerebral cortex: Region of the brain responsible for cognitive functions including reasoning, mood, and perception of stimuli.

Craving: A powerful, often uncontrollable desire for drugs.

Detoxification: A process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug while managing the symptoms of withdrawal; often the first step in a drug treatment program.

Dissociative anesthetic: Compound, such as phencyclidine or ketamine, that produces an anesthetic effect characterized by a feeling of being detached from the physical self.

Dopamine: a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation and feelings of pleasure.

DXM: Common street name for dextromethorphan.

Fentanyl: A medically useful opioid analog that is 50 times more potent than heroin.

Glutamate: A neurotransmitter associated with pain, memory, and response to changes in the environment.

Hallucinogen: A drug that produces hallucinations – distortion in perception of sights and sounds – and disturbances in emotion, judgment, and memory.

HPPD: Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder; the spontaneous and sometimes continuous recurrence of perceptual effects of LSD long after an individual has ingested the drug.

Ketamine: Dissociative anesthetic abused for its mind-altering effects and sometimes used to facilitate sexual assault.Locus ceruleus: Region of the brain that receives and processes sensory signals from all areas of the body.

Levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol (LAAM): An FDA-approved medication for heroin addiction that patients need to take only three to four times a week.

Meperidine: A medically approved opioid available under various brand names (e.g., Demerol).

Methadone: A long-acting synthetic medication shown to be effective in treating heroin addiction.

Narcolepsy: a disorder characterized by uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep.

Neurotransmitter: Chemical compound that acts as a messenger to carry signals or stimuli from one nerve cell to another.

NMDA: N-methyl-D-aspartate, a chemical compound that reacts with glutamate receptors on nerve cells.

PCP: Phencyclidine, a dissociative anesthetic abused for its mind-altering effects.

Persistent psychosis: Unpredictable and long-lasting visual disturbances, dramatic mood swings, and hallucinations experienced by some LSD users after they have discontinued use of the drug

Physical dependence: An adaptive physiological state that occurs with regular drug use and results in a withdrawal syndrome when drug use is stopped; usually occurs with tolerance.

Psychosis: a mental disorder characterized by symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations that indicate an impaired conception of reality

Robo: Common street name for dextromethorphan.

Rush: a surge of euphoric pleasure that rapidly follows administration of a drug

Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that causes a very broad range of effects on perception, movement, and the emotions by modulating the actions of other neurotransmitters in most parts of the brain.

Tolerance: a condition in which higher doses of a drug are required to produce the same effect as experienced initially; often leads to physical dependence.

Toxic: temporary or permanent drug effects that are detrimental to the functioning of an organ or group of organs.

Withdrawal: a variety of symptoms that occur after use of an addictive drug is reduced or stopped.

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