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Drugs of Abuse
The following information was taken from miscellaneous medical reference materials for your use and is not intended to substitute advice or information from any health care person or organization.
Common Terms for Addictions, Substance Abuse, Drug and Alcohol, Disorders, Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Mental Health
Addiction - Dependence on a substance, such as alcohol or drugs. It's usually characterized by impaired control over and preoccupation with the use of the substance, as well as continued use of the substance despite adverse consequences.
Affective Disorder - A type of mental disorder that primarily affects mood and interferes with the ability to function, such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Also called mood disorder.
Alcoholism - A disease in which there's a craving for alcohol and continued drinking despite alcohol-related problems, such as legal trouble. It's also characterized by impaired control over your drinking, a physical dependence on alcohol, and alcohol tolerance — requiring increasing amounts of alcohol to feel its effects.
Anorexia Nervosa - An eating disorder characterized by a morbid fear of weight gain that causes lack of appetite or severe restriction of food intake, resulting in extreme weight loss or starvation.
Anorexia Nervosa - Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by unusual eating habits such as avoiding food and meals, picking out a few foods and eating them in small amounts, weighing food, and counting the calories of all foods. Individuals with anorexia nervosa may also exercise excessively.
Antisocial Personality Disorder - A mental disorder in which there's a disregard for and violation of the rights of others. Behavioral patterns include deceitfulness, lack of conformity to social norms, and reckless disregard for the safety of others or the self
Anxiety Disorders - A group of conditions marked by persistent, extreme or pathological anxiety. They may be manifested by disturbances in mood or emotions, as well as by physiological symptoms, such as elevated blood pressure, rapid breathing and rapid heart rate.
Anxiety Disorders - Anxiety disorders range from feelings of uneasiness to immobilizing bouts of terror. Most people experience anxiety at some point in their lives and some nervousness in anticipation of a real situation. However if a person cannot shake unwarranted worries, or if the feelings are jarring to the point of avoiding everyday activities, he or she most likely has an anxiety disorder.
Binge-eating Disorder - Regular episodes of uncontrolled eating (bingeing) of large amounts of food, without the purging present in bulimia nervosa.
Binge-eating Disorder - Binge-eating is an eating disorder characterized by frequent episodes of compulsive overeating, but unlike bulimia, the eating is not followed by purging. During food binges, individuals with this disorder often eat alone and very quickly, regardless of whether they feel hungry or full.
Bipolar Disorder - Extreme mood swings punctuated by periods of generally even-keeled behavior characterize this disorder. Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. This disorder typically begins in the mid-twenties and continues throughout life. Without treatment, people who have bipolar disorder often go through devastating life events such as marital breakups, job loss, substance abuse, and suicide.
Bulimia Nervosa - Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by excessive eating. People who have bulimia will eat an excessive amount of food in a single episode and almost immediately make themselves vomit or use laxatives or diuretics (water pills) to get rid of the food in their bodies. This behavior often is referred to as the "binge/purge" cycle. Like people with anorexia, people with bulimia have an intense fear of gaining weight.
Compulsion - An uncontrollable, repetitive and compelling urge to perform certain acts, such as hand washing, which has no immediate benefit beyond relief of anxiety. It's the behavioral manifestation of an obsession. See also obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Cutting - A form of self-injury or self-mutilation, done intentionally in an effort to seek relief from escalating emotional pain.
Denial - Refusal to acknowledge some aspect of reality or personal experience.
Dependence, Drug - Compulsive need to take a drug or substance to produce a desired effect or prevent unpleasant effects if use is stopped.
Detoxification - The process of cleansing the body of a drug, such as alcohol or other chemicals.
Dual Diagnosis - Having a substance abuse problem along with another psychiatric disorder.
Eating Disorder - A broad group of mental disorders characterized by abnormal and potentially harmful eating behaviors and habits, such as anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa.
Depression - Depression is a mood disorder characterized by intense feelings of sadness that persist beyond a few weeks. Two neurotransmitters-natural substances that allow brain cells to communicate with one another-are implicated in depression: serotonin and norepinephrine.
Mental Health Problems - Mental health problems are real. They affect one's thoughts, body, feelings, and behavior. Mental health problems are not just a passing phase. They can be severe, seriously interfere with a person's life, and even cause a person to become disabled. Mental health problems include depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and conduct disorder.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a chronic, relapsing illness. People who have it suffer from recurrent and unwanted thoughts or rituals. The obsessions and the need to perform rituals can take over a person's life if left untreated. They feel they cannot control these thoughts or rituals.
Panic Disorder - An anxiety disorder characterized by chronic unexpected episodes of potentially disabling intense fear or anxiety, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat and dizziness.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Researchers now know that anyone, even children, can develop PTSD if they have experienced, witnessed, or participated in a traumatic occurrence-especially if the event was life threatening. PTSD can result from terrifying experiences such as rape, kidnapping, natural disasters, or war or serious accidents such as airplane crashes. The psychological damage such incidents cause can interfere with a person's ability to hold a job or to develop intimate relationships with others.
The symptoms of PTSD can range from constantly reliving the event to a general emotional numbing. Persistent anxiety, exaggerated startle reactions, difficulty concentrating, nightmares, and insomnia are common. People with PTSD typically avoid situations that remind them of the traumatic event, because they provoke intense distress or even panic attacks.
Relapse - Reappearance of disease signs and symptoms after apparent recovery.
Schizophrenia - Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by "positive" and "negative" symptoms. Psychotic, or positive, symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking (apparent from a person's fragmented, disconnected and sometimes nonsensical speech). Negative symptoms include social withdrawal, extreme apathy, diminished motivation, and blunted emotional expression.
Substance Abuse - Misuse of medications, alcohol or other illegal substances.
Suicide - Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming about 30,000 lives a year. Ninety percent of persons who commit suicide have depression or another diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorder. Suicide attempts are among the leading causes of hospital admissions in persons under 35. The highest suicide rates in the U.S. are found in white men over the age of 85. Suicide can be prevented.
Sexual Abuse - Psychological or physical injury of a sexual nature, such as rape, incest, fondling and indecent exposure.
Social Anxiety Disorder - A type of anxiety disorder that causes significant anxiety and discomfort related to a fear of being embarrassed, judged, humiliated or scorned by others in social or performance situations. Also called social phobia.