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naturally occurring or synthetically produced product that alters perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors when ingested, smoked, or injected

drug addicts

people who are physically dependent on substances and who suffer from withdrawal when not taking the substance

substance-related disorder

inability to use a substance in moderation and/or the intentional use of a substance to change one's thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors, leading to impairment in work, academic impairment in work, academic, personal, or social endeavors

substance intoxication

experience of significantly maladaptive behavioral and psychological symptoms due to the effect of a substance on the central nervous system that develops during or shortly after use of the substance

substance withdrawal

experience of clinically significant distress in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning due to the cessation or reduction of substance use

substance abuse

diagnosis given when a person's recurrent substance use leads to significant harmful consequences, as manifested by a failure to fulfill obligations at work, school, or home, the use of substances in physically hazardous situations, legal problems, and continued use despite social and legal problems

substance dependence

diagnosis given when a person's substance use leads to physiological dependence or significant impairment or distress, as manifested by an inability to use the substance in moderation; a decline on social, occupational, or recreational activities; or the spending of large amounts of time obtaining substances or recovering from their effects


condition of experiencing less and less effect from the same dose of a substance


amnesia for events that occurred during intoxication

alcohol abuse

diagnosis given to someone who uses alcohol in dangerous situations, fails to meet obligations at work or at home due to alcohol use, and has recurrent legal or social problems as a result of alcohol use

alcohol dependence

diagnosis given to someone who has a physiological tolerance to alcohol, spends a lot of time intoxicated or in withdrawal, or continues to drink despite significant legal, social, medical, or occupational problems that result from alcohol (often referred to as alcoholism)

delirium tremens (DT's)

symptoms that result during severe alcohol withdrawal, including hallucinations, delusions, agitation, and disorientation

alcohol-induced persisting amnesic disorder

permanent cognitive disorder caused by damage to the central nervous system due to prolonged alcohol abuse, consisting of Wernicke's encephalopathy and Korsakoff's psychosis

Wernicke's encephalopathy

alcohol-induced permanent cognitive disorder involving mental disorientation, confusion, and, in severe states, coma

Korsakoff's psychosis

alcohol-induced permanent cognitive disorder involving deficiencies in one's ability to recall both recent and distant events

alcohol-induced dementia

loss of intellectual abilities due to prolonged alcohol abuse, including memory, abstract thinking, judgment, and problem solving, often accompanied by changes in personality, such as increases in paranoia

fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

syndrome that occurs when a mother abuses alcohol during pregnancy, causing the baby to have lowered IQ, increased risk for mental retardation, distractibility, and difficulties with learning from experience


drugs that reduce anxiety and insomnia


drugs used to treat anxiety and insomnia that work by suppressing the central nervous system and decreasing the activity level of certain neurons


solvents, such as gasoline, glue, or paint thinner, that one inhales to produce a high and that can cause permanent central nervous system damage as well as liver and kidney disease


central nervous system stimulant that causes a rush of positive feelings initially but that can lead to impulsiveness, agitation, and anxiety and can cause withdrawal symptoms of exhaustion and depression


stimulant drugs that can produce symptoms of euphoria, self-confidence, alertness, agitation, paranoia, perceptual illusions, and depression


alkaloid found in tobacco; operates on both the central and peripheral nervous systems, resulting in the release of biochemicals, including dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and the endogenous opioids


chemical compound with stimulant effects


substances, including morphine and heroin, that produce euphoria followed by a tranquil state; in severe intoxication, can lead to unconsciousness, coma, and seizures; can cause withdrawal symptoms of emotional distress, severe nausea, sweating, diarrhea, and fever


substances, including LSD and MDMA, that produce perceptual illusions and distortions even in small doses

phenylcyclidine (PCP)

substance that produces euphoria, slowed reaction times, and involuntary movements at low does; disorganized thinking, feelings of unreality, and hostility at intermediate doses; and amnesia, analgesia, respiratory problems, and changes in body temperature at high doses


substance that causes feelings of well-being, perceptual distortions, and paranoid thinking

disease model

view that alcoholism (or another drug addiction) is an incurable physical disease, like epilepsy or diabetes, and that only total abstinence can control it

harm-reduction model

approach to treating substance use disorders that views alcohol use as normative behavior and focuses eduction on the immediate risks of the excessive use of alcohol (such as alcohol-related accidents) and on the payoffs of moderation (such as avoidance of hangovers)


first step in treatment for substance-related disorders, in which a person stops using the substance and allows it to exit the body fully

antagonist drugs

drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other psychological symptoms


drug that blocks the positive effects of alcohol and heroin and can lead to a decreased desire to drink or use substances


drug that blocks the positive effects of heroin and can lead to a decreased desire to use it


drug that produces and aversive physical reaction to alcohol and is used to encourage abstinence; commonly referred to as antabuse


opoid that is less potent and longer-lasting than heroin; taken by heroin users to decrease their cravings and help them cope with negative withdrawal symptoms

methadone maintenance programs

treatments for heroin abusers that provide doses of methadone to replace heroin use and that seek eventually to wean addicted people from the methadone itself

aversive classical conditioning

pairing of alcohol with a substance (such as disulfiram) that will interact with it to cause nausea or vomiting in order to make alcohol itself a conditioned stimulus to be avoided

covert sensitization therapy

pairing of mental images of alcohol with other images of highly unpleasant consequences resulting from its use in order to create an aversive reaction to the sight and smell of alcohol and reduce drinking

cue exposure and response prevention

therapy to reduce relapse among alcoholics by tempting them with stimuli that induce cravings to drink while preventing them from actually drinking, allowing them to habituate to the carvings and reduce temptation

abstinence violation effect

what happens when a person attempting to abstain from alcohol use ingests alcohol and then endures conflict and guilt by making an internal attribution to explain why he ir she drank, thereby making him or her more likely to continue drinking in order to cope with the self-blame and guilt

relapse prevention programs

treatments that seek to offset continued alcohol use by identifying high-risk situations for those attempting to stop or cut down on drinking and teaching them either to avoid those situations or to use assertiveness skills when in them, while viewing setbacks as temporary

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