Addiction Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Addiction article.

Abstinence: The voluntary self-denial of food, drink, or sex. Today, abstinence most commo...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Addiction: An uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance such as alcohol or a...

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Alcohol abuse: Use of alcoholic beverages to excess, either on individual occasions (binge...

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Alcoholics Anonymous: A free self-help organization founded to assist people addicted to a...

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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American Medical Association: The AMA. The AMA's mission statement proclaims:

American Psychiatric Association: A medical specialty society with over 35,000 US and inte...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Biochemistry: The chemistry of biology, the application of the tools and concepts of chemi...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Buprenorphine: A prescription medication for people addicted to heroin or other opiates th...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic disease: A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting...

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Cocaine: A substance derived from the leaves of the coca plant that is a bitter, addictive...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Detox: Short for detoxification, usually from an addictive drug such as alcohol or heroin....

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Dopamine: An important neurotransmitter (messenger) in the brain.

Emphysema: is a lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air due to enlargemen...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Family therapy: A type of psychotherapy designed to identify family patterns that contribu...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Hepatitis B: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought to...

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Hepatitis C: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usuall...

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Heroin: Semisynthetic drug derived from morphine. Discovered in 1874, it was introduced co...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Indication: 1. In medicine, a condition which makes a particular treatment or proce...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Institute of Medicine: A nonprofit organization established in 1970 as a component of the ...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Medical profession: A vocation characterized by a specialized body of knowledge of medici...

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Methadone: A synthetic opiate. The most common medical use for methadone is as a legal sub...

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Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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Nicotine: An alkaloid (a nitrogen-containing chemical) made by the tobacco plant or produc...

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NIDA: Stands for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the National Institutes of H...

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NIH: National Institutes of Health.

Opiate: A medication or an illegal drug that is derived from the opium poppy or that mimic...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Precursor: Forerunner. That which precedes or is derived from an available source.

Psychiatric: Pertaining to or within the purview of psychiatry, the medical specialty conc...

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Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission.

Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Suboxone: Brand name for buprenorphine in combination with naloxone.

Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Substance abuse: The excessive use of a substance, especially alcohol or a drug. (There is...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tuberculosis: A highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium called Mycobacteriu...

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Ulcer: A lesion that is eroding away the skin or mucous membrane. Ulcers can have various ...

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Urinalysis: A test that is done in order to analyze urine. Because toxins and excess fluid...

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Voluntary: Done in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of i...

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Withdrawal symptoms: Abnormal physical or psychological features that follow the abrupt di...

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