Addiction Treatment Glossary


Alcohol is a depressant used in liquid form. Different types include beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is absorbed by the stomach and immediately enters into the bloodstream. The first and most common side effect is the loss of inhibitions, allowing the drinker to “relax” and feel “comfortable” in various social situations. When too much alcohol is consumed, the user experiences dizziness, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, and most dangerously it impairs judgment and coordination. Alcohol is related to many traffic fatalities, as many users do not realize the full extent of their loss of ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Frequent use of alcohol over a long period of time can lead to addiction characterized by extreme cravings. When alcohol use is suddenly stopped, withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Long-term alcohol use can produce severe damage to the brain and liver. When a pregnant mother consumes alcohol, fetal alcohol syndrome can occur. The child may suffer from mental retardation and physical abnormalities. If you are in the grips of alcoholism, our Synergy’s Florida alcohol addiction treatment can help.


Zolpidem tartrate, is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic of the imidazopyridine class and is available in 5mg and 10mg strength for oral administration. It is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders.


Ativan is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). Ativan affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety. Ativan is used to treat anxiety disorders.

Club Drugs

A drug as MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, Rohypnol, Ketamine, Methamphetamine, and LSD that is used by young adults at all-night dance parties such as “raves” or “trances”, dance clubs, and bars.

Frequent use of alcohol over a long period of time can lead to addiction characterized by extreme cravings. When alcohol use is suddenly stopped, withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Long-term alcohol use can produce severe damage to the brain and liver. When a pregnant mother consumes alcohol, fetal alcohol syndrome can occur. The child may suffer from mental retardation and physical abnormalities.

Use of club drugs can cause serious health problems and, in some cases, death. No club drug is benign. Chronic abuse of MDMA, for example, appears to produce long-term damage to serotonin-containing neurons in the brain. Because some club drugs are colorless, tasteless, and odorless, they can be added unobtrusively to beverages by individuals who want to intoxicate or sedate others. In recent years, there has been an increase in reports of club drugs used to commit sexual assaults.

Cocaine and Crack

Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, creating a quick, intense euphoria, accompanied by a decrease in hunger, indifference to pain and fatigue, and illusions of great physical strength and mental capacity. Crack is an extremely addicting form of cocaine that is smoked. Cocaine causes dramatic changes in the way brain cells operate. As a powerful stimulant, it causes the activity of the brain to speed up. The result can make the brain inoperative, unable to send its life supporting messages to the heart and lungs. A violent seizure and death will follow. Cocaine can also kill through heart attacks brought on by the extra strain forced on the heart. Cocaine constricts the blood vessels of the user placing a tremendous stress on the heart and circulatory system. Death can also occur by severe irregular heartbeat, a stroke or a brain seizure. Cocaine is a profound producer of mental depression. Cocaine causes other psychological problems including:

  • Anxiety Attacks
  • Intense Irritability
  • Acute Paranoia
  • Violent Behavior
  • Suicide

Other deaths are caused by suffocation brought on by an unnaturally deep sleep or unconsciousness resulting from a cocaine binge. The anesthetized tissues in the back of the throat may block breathing. Cocaine is often mixed with other drugs, particularly alcohol, which increases the user’s risks dramatically.If you or a loved one suffer from the addictive use of crack or cocaine, Synergy’s South Florida rehab has individualized drug treatment programs that can help you attain freedom from addiction.


A synthetic narcotic drug (trade name Demerol) used to treat pain.


More commonly known today by the street name Ecstasy, MDMA (Systematic name:3,3-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) is a synthetic drug of the phenethylamine family whose primary effect is to stimulated the brain to secrete large amounts of serotonin, causing a general sense of openness, energy, euphoria, and well-being. Tactile sensations are enhanced, making general physical contact with others more pleasurable, but contrary to popular mythology it generally does not have aphrodisiac effects. Its ability to facilitate self-examination with reduced fear has proven useful in some therapeutic settings, leading to its 2001 approval by the United States FDA for use in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Though there are no known overdoses from MDMA specifically, acute dehydration is a risk among users who are highly physically active and forget to drink water, as the drug may mask one’s normal sense of exhaustion and thirstiness. Another danger comes from other more dangerous chemicals (such as PMA or methamphetamine) which are often added to ecstasy tablets to increase manufacturer profits. Long-term effects in humans are largely unknown and the subject of much controversy.


Known in Europe as Gamma-OH, this is gamma hydroxybutyrate, a colorless and odorless drug used illicitly for “recreational” purposes and for “date rape”. GBH is a central nervous system depressant. It tends therefore to increase sociability and function as something of a transient antidepressant. Some persons who have sustained adverse effects of GHB have reported being given the drug surreptitiously (e.g., having it slipped into their drink), while others have admitted to intentional use.


Hallucinogens, or psychedelics affect a person’s perceptions, sensations, thinking and emotions. They include drugs such as LSD, mescaline, DMT and peyote. They are used in various ways from tablets to smoking to eating mushrooms. They cause intense physical and psychological effects on the body and mind. Heavy users develop brain damage such as impaired memory and attention span and confusion. Other effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, tremors and sleeplessness. Bad trips may result in panic, confusion, suspiciousness, and feelings of helplessness and loss of control. Flashbacks of experiencing the effects without taking the drug can occur. Mood swings and sense of time and self can change causing panic. Mental or emotional problems that were not apparent can be unmasked with use.


Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug. It is both the most abused and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as “black tar heroin”.

Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is “cut” with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Street heroin can also be cut with strychnine or other poisons. Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at risk of overdose or death. Heroin also poses special problems because of the transmission of HIV and other diseases that can occur from sharing needles or other injection equipment.

Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Street names associated with heroin include “smack,” “H,” “skag,” and “junk.” Other names may refer to types of heroin produced in a specific geographical area, such as “Mexican black tar.” If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin dependence, please inquire about our Florida heroin addiction treatment program.


Inhalants are breathable chemicals that produce mind-altering vapors. They include amyl and butyl nitrate, solvents such as glue and lighter fluid and aerosol products. They produce effects similar to anesthetics. High doses can cause unconsciousness. Inhalants can cause nausea, lack of coordination, loss of appetite, decreased heart and breathing rate, and tiredness. Loss of self-control, violent behavior, losing touch with one’s surroundings and unconsciousness can result from deep breathing of vapors or using a lot over a short period. Death from use is not unusual. This can be caused by suffocation, depresses central nervous system response or aspiration from vomiting. Long-term use can result in weight loss, nervous system damage, liver, kidney, and blood and bone damage.


The marijuana smoked in the United States consists of the flower and dried top level of the flower and dried top leaves of the plant cannabis sativa. Unlike alcohol, relatively simple chemical, marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, 60 of which are unique to the marijuana plant. Marijuana, when lit, causes an additional 1,600 chemicals to be formed. As the pot smoker inhales, these chemicals invade every cell of the user’s body. The ingredient that creates the “high” is Delta-9-THC, commonly referred to as THC. Like alcohol, marijuana is a central nervous system depressant. Pot, like most other drugs, wears down the motivation of users. It erodes the will to perform. Ambition is lost. The chronic marijuana user no longer cares about success and achievement. In addition to the unknown short- and long -term dangers of so many chemicals entering the user’s body, THC has a particular characteristic that increases its harmfulness. THC is soluble in fat; THC is not soluble in water. Since our body gets rid of its waste through a water system using urine, feces, sweat and blood, THC cannot escape. It stays trapped in the body. In addition, THC finds its resting place in fatty parts of the body. The most sensitive and critical are: the brain, the lungs, the liver and the reproductive system.


Amphetamine used in the form of a crystalline hydrochloride; used as a stimulant to the nervous system and as an appetite suppressant.


Morphine, a narcotic, acts directly on the central nervous system, besides relieving pain, it impairs mental and physical performance, relieves fear and anxiety, and produces euphoria.


A medication or illegal drug that is either derived from the opium poppy, or that mimics the effect of an opiate (a synthetic opiate). Opiate drugs are narcotic sedatives that depress activity of the central nervous system, reduce pain, and induce sleep. Side effects may include over sedation, nausea, and constipation. Long term use of opiates can produce addiction, and overuse can cause overdose and potentially death. Given the epidemic of overdoses caused by opiates, people are more commonly seeking OxyContin and Roxicet addiction treatment.


OxyContin contains oxycodone, a very strong narcotic pain reliever similar to morphine. OxyContin is designed so that the oxycodone is slowly released over time, allowing it to be used twice daily. You should never break, chew, or crush the OxyContin tablet since this causes a large amount of oxycodone to be released from the tablet all at once, potentially resulting in a dangerous or fatal drug overdose. This is why our OxyContin addiction treatment in Florida helps restore people’s lives.


Percocet’s active ingredients are oxycodone, a narcotic (opiate) pain medication (analgesic). And acetaminophen (a non-narcotic pain medication), which relieves pain better than either medication taken alone. Oxycodone acts on the central nervous system and smooth muscle tissue, slowing the central nervous system. It is not clear exactly how acetaminophen works to ease pain.


Percodan is a narcotic drug. When a narcotic is injected, the user feels a surge of pleasure, then a state of gratification into which hunger, pain, and sexual urges do not intrude.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs cause a special danger to chemically dependent people. Often the abused drugs are taken initially for legitimate medical reasons: for example, to assist in reducing pain from chronic illness such as arthritis or headaches. Dependence on prescription drugs can occur over a few weeks or several years. Denial, because of the nature of the initial use, can be very high. When the patient attempts to stop using the prescription drug, the initial problem appears to re-emerge and new problems are often added. The addictive cycle has begun.

Chemically dependent people in recovery must take responsibility for monitoring the prescription drugs they use. Any mood-altering drug can lead to relapse and a return to chemical abuse. Your chemical dependency must be stated to your physician and pharmacist. Even then, a careful self-monitoring of prescribed medicines is important.If you or a loved one need help overcoming addiction to prescription drugs, Synergy’s prescription drug addiction treatment in South Florida can help you begin your journey into recovery.


Drugs used to relieve swelling and inflammation.


Suboxone (buprenophine/naloxone) is a partial opioid (e.g. Oxycodone or heroin) agonist used for the treatment of opiate dependence in both the office-based and outpatient treatment setting. Suboxone has the ability to complement opiate treatment programs by decreasing illicit opiate use and improving treatment compliance. If you are addicted to opiates like heroin, Roxicet and OxyContin, Synergy’s south Florida rehab offers Suboxone treatment.


Valium is a medication for the treatment of anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. First entering the U.S. market in1963, Valium became controversial as a widely prescribed tranquilizer and widespread abuse.


This is a prescription drug used to treat anxiety. It is a central nervous system depressant, and can therefore have a negative impact on coordination and mental alertness. Side effects typically include drowsiness and/or mood changes.

If you or a loved one is struggling with any of the aforementioned substances, Synergy Group Services can help at our South Florida rehab center.

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