Monday, August 13, 2007

Jargon: Drugs Glossary

Addiction - A condition that occurs when a person needs to take drugs to survive from day to day; also called dependence.

Cold turkey - Term used to describe the physical withdrawal symptoms experienced when suddenly coming off a drug; commonly used in connection with heroin withdrawal.

Comedown - How a person feels as the effects of a drug wear off.

Cut - Term used when dealers mix or "water down" drugs with other substances, for example, sugars like glucose and lactose.

Dance drugs - Stimulant drugs, such as ecstasy, that are commonly taken at clubs and raves.

Depressant - A drug that dulls the central nervous system, slowing down heart and breathing rates and making the user feel relaxed and drowsy.

Detoxification - The process of coming off a drug and getting it out of the body.

Flashbacks - A side effect of taking an hallucinogen whereby the hallucinations that occurred during a trip are relived some time later.

Hallucinogen - A drug that affects the brain and causes the user to "hallucinate", i.e. see, hear and feel things that aren't there.

Hit - The first dizzying sensation when a drug reaches the brain, common with the first cigarette or the first alcoholic drink.

Joint - A hand-rolled cigarette containing tobacco and cannabis; also referred to as a spliff.

Munchies - The hunger pangs that are experienced after smoking cannabis.

Narcotic - Drug that causes sleepiness, dizziness, numbness and possibly unconsciousness.

Opiate - A drug that dulls sensations and causes sleepiness. A natural opiate is opium, prepared from the opium poppy.

Over-the-counter - A drug that can be bought in a chemist without a prescription.

Psychoactive - Term used to describe the action of a drug that affects mood, perception and behaviour.

Rush - The first feeling of nervousness and anxiety from taking a stimulant.

Sedative - A drug that affects the brain, slowing down bodily functions and inducing sleep.

Serotonin - A chemical found in the brain that regulates mood.

Set - The mood a person is in when taking a drug.

Setting - Where a person is and who they are with when taking a drug.

Sledging - A life-threatening condition brought on by certain drugs or cocktails of drugs whereby the user is unable to move or talk, and may fall into a coma and die.

Snort - When a drug is lined up and then sniffed up through a nostril via a tube or rolled banknote.

Speedball - The practice of mixing heroin and cocaine, with potentially very dangerous side effects.

Spiked - When food or drink has had a drug added to it without the knowledge of the user.

Stimulant - A drug that affects the central nervous system, increasing heart-rate and blood pressure and making the user feel pumped up and energetic, and act loud. These drugs are also known as uppers.

"Street" name - Colloquial name for a drug.

Trip - The experience undergone under the influence of an hallucinogenic drug such as acid - sensations are intensified and perceptions altered. A trip can be "good" or "bad".

Withdrawal - The unpleasant symptoms a person experiences when they stop using a drug they're dependent on.

Works - Term used to describe the equipment needed to inject drugs.

Wrap - A carefully folded piece of paper that contains drugs like heroin, cocaine or amphetamine; also called a bag or deal.

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