Glossary of Terms

If your loved one is suffering from an addiction and is in need of treatment, it will be very helpful to know and understand the common addiction drug terms and what they actually mean. Supporting your loved one through recovery includes learning about the disease and truly understanding the effects of addiction. Banyan Treatment Center in Pompano provides the common drug terms associated with substance abuse.

Addiction: A repeating activity that continuously causes harm to oneself or others.

Addictive Personality: A set of traits that make an individual more prone to develop addictions to drugs, alcohol or other habit-forming behaviors.

Age at Onset: The age at which one’s addictive behavior began. This is an important factor in assessing an addiction before a treatment plan is developed.

Agonist: A substance that triggers a receptor in the brain.

Antagonist: A substance that can reverse another’s effects (a drug that does not elicit a response). It blocks a biological response by binding to a receptor rather than creating the response like an agonist.

Barbiturate: A drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant, and can therefore produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to total anesthesia.

Benzodiazepine: A group of depressants used to induce sleep, prevent seizures, produce sedation, relieve anxiety, and treat muscle spasms, etc. Also known as benzos.

Biofeedback: The process of gaining awareness of many physiological functions like heart rate, brain activity, etc. Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate, and pain perception. This approach to addiction treatment has been proven effective for many individuals.

Buprenorphine: It can treat pain as well as addiction to narcotic pain relievers. (e.g. Buprenex).

Causal Factors: Various pre-disposed conditions that lead to individual chemical dependency problems (e.g. conditioning, environment, genetics, etc.)

Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS): A scale used to determine the severity of opioid withdrawal.

Codependency: An excessive emotional or psychological dependence on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.

Depression: One of the most frequent types of distress that can result from addiction. It is a mental health disorder characterized by changes in mood, thought, and behavior causing significant impairment in daily life. There are many ways to treat depression.

Detoxification (Detox): The medical process of removing a toxic substance (drugs or alcohol) from the body. This typically involves abstention from any substance until the bloodstream is completely free of toxins. Withdrawals can occur during this process.

Dual-Diagnosis: The term used when an individual has a mental health disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder, as well as an active addiction to drugs or alcohol. The dual diagnosis can be treated together with individualized care.

Enabling: Helping an addicted person do things they can or should be doing for themselves, which causes disease progression.

Evidence-Based Treatment: Scientifically validated addiction treatment studies that have been conducted and extensive research has been documented on a particular treatment, and the treatment has proven to be successful. Drug and alcohol treatment centers provide evidence-based treatment for their patients.

Fentanyl: A powerful opioid used in medical settings that has found its way into many recreational drugs. Produces similar effects to heroin, however it is more potent and can be deadly.

Hydrocodone: An effective narcotic analgesic first developed as a cough medication. Used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Morphine: A pain medication of the opiate type which is found naturally in a number of plants and animals and directly effects the central nervous system to decrease the feeling of pain. Very addictive if misused in a non-medical setting.

Naloxone: Sold under the brand name Narcan among others, is a medication used to block the effects of opioids, especially in overdose situations. It is most commonly sprayed through the nose.

Narcotic: A drug that produces sleep/drowsiness and that also relieves pain. Has a high potential of addiction if misused.

Opiate: The poppy plant’s natural ingredients. Also includes opiates such as opium, morphine, and heroin.

Opioids: Synthetic form of opium.

Recovery: Reducing or abstaining from substance abuse; often followed by one’s personal life being turned around by way of a supportive environment to return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. A journey that leads to complete sobriety that is lifelong.

Relapse: Using drugs or alcohol after a period of sobriety or drug use cessation.

Withdrawal Symptoms: Severe and excruciating physical and emotional symptoms that generally occur between 4 to 72 hours after ceasing to use drugs or alcohol.

Empower yourself to reclaim your life

If you, or a loved one is struggling from drug or alcohol addiction take the first step toward recovery. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our compassionate intake counselors. We're here to help!