Substance Abuse Glossary of Terms

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

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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

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ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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

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

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Amnesia: An impairment to or lack of memory. Antegrade amnesia refers to a lack of memory ...

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Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit s...

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Antisocial personality: See: Antisocial personality disorder.

Antisocial personality disorder: A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the...

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

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A disorder in which a person is unable to contro...

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Binge drinking: The dangerous practice of consuming large quantities of alcoholic beverag...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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Botulism: An uncommon, but potentially very serious illness, a type of food poisoning, tha...

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

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cannabis: Marijuana (Cannibis sativa), a drug derived from the family of plants that inclu...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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

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

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Coma: A state of deep, unarousable unconsciousness. A coma may occur as a result of head t...

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Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Delirium: A sudden state of severe confusion and rapid changes in brain function, sometime...

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Delirium tremens: A central nervous system symptom of alcohol withdrawal that is seen in c...

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

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Ecstasy: 1. A state of rapture and trancelike elation.
2. A street nam...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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

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Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Group therapy: 1) A type of psychiatric care in which several patients meet with one or m...

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Hallucinogen: A drug that causes hallucinations (profound distortions in a person's percep...

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Hallucinogenic: 1. As an adjective: Producing hallucinations. From hallucino- + -ge...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Heart valves: There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the ...

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

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hyperactivity: A higher than normal level of activity. An organ can be described as hyper...

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Inhalant: 1. Generally, any breathable chemical vapor.
2. Specificall...

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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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Inpatient: A patient whose care requires a stay in a hospital. As opposed to an outpatient...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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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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Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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Lung cancer: Cancer of the major organ of respiration - the lung. Lung cancer is one of th...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Malnutrition: A term used to refer to any condition in which the body does not receive eno...

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Mania: An abnormally elevated mood state characterized by such symptoms as inappropriate...

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Marijuana: A common street and recreational drug that comes from the marijuana plant: the ...

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MDMA: Abbreviation for 3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine. See: Ecstasy.

Memory: 1. The ability to recover information about past events or knowledge. ...

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

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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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.

Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Nurse: 1) A person trained, licensed, or skilled in nursing. 2) To feed an infant at the ...

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Nurse practitioner: A registered nurse (RN) who has completed an advanced training program...

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

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Pancreas: A spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about 6 inches long and is located in the ba...

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PCP: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

Peptic ulcer: An ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Peptic ulcers...

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Personality disorder: A disorder characterized by the chronic use of mechanisms of coping ...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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

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Psychiatrist: A physician who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of m...

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Psychosis: In the general sense, a mental illness that markedly interferes with a person'...

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Random: Determined solely by chance.

Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Rehab: An abbreviation for rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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

Resistance: Opposition to something, or the ability to withstand something. For example, s...

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Rohypnol: The trade name for flunitrazepam, which has been abused as a 'date rape' drug. R...

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Roofies: Street term for Rohypnol.

Schizoaffective disorder: A mood disorder that is coupled with some symptoms that resemble...

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Schizophrenia: One of several brain diseases whose symptoms may include loss of personalit...

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Sedative: A drug that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep. Sedatives ge...

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Seizure: Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical conv...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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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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Suicidal: Pertaining to suicide. the taking of ones own life. As in a suicidal gesture, su...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Testosterone: A "male hormone" -- a sex hormone produced by the testes that encourages th...

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Tetanus: An often fatal infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tet...

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

Tiredness: See: Tired.

Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Tremor: An abnormal, repetitive shaking movement of the body. Tremors have many causes and...

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

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

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Veterinary medicine: The medical science concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and preve...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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

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