Refraining from drug use; being drug-free.
Physical or psychological dependence on a drug. The term drug dependent is preferred. See also Drug dependence.
A disorder that involves a disturbance in mood. There are a variety of affective disorders, such as depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.
A drug that mimics naturally occurring chemicals that stimulate particular receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Examples of agonists include opiates and nicotine. See also Antagonist.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks and weakens the body's immune system, making it a target for infections and diseases. See also HIV.
A liquid produced by fermentation, which is the action of yeast on liquids containing sugars and starches. A depressant drug that slows down activity in the central nervous system.
A clinical syndrome characterised by very heavy alcohol consumption and continued drinking despite severe negative social and physical consequences. See also Drug dependence.
Thought to be associated with substance use (especially of cannabis). Symptoms include apathy, loss of effectiveness, reduced capacity to carry out complex or long-term plans, low tolerance for frustration, impaired concentration, and difficulty in following routines.
A synthetic stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system and speeds up the messages going from the brain to the body. Also known as "speed".
Sold by prescription in tablet form and taken under the tongue as a heart medication. These are not used recreationally and are not "poppers". See amyl nitrate for comparison.
A substance belonging to a group of chemicals called "alkyl nitrites", sometimes used as an inhalant drug referred to as "poppers". Inhalants produce a depressant effect. See amyl nitrate for comparison.
Synthetic substance derived from the male hormone, testosterone. Assist in the growth and repair of muscle. Some anabolic steroids are used to treat medical conditions and are sometimes misused to enhance athletic performance and appearance. See also Performance and image enhancing drug.
A substance that blocks the effects of another drug by binding with the receptor site for that drug in the brain; for example, naltrexone is an antagonist for opioids. See also Agonist.
A psychoactive drug used to treat depression and depressive disorders, for example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac and Zoloft.
A disorder characterised by persistent and unpleasant feelings of fear or apprehension that significantly interfere with daily life. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Specific evaluation methods and tests used in screening, identification, diagnosis and determining suitability for treatment.
Minor tranquillisers that affect the central nervous system by slowing down the body physically, mentally and emotionally. Prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety, sleeping problems, epilepsy, alcohol withdrawal, and muscle spasms.
Also known as Areca nut is the seed of Areca catechu. It is a stimulant similar to nicotine and is chewed in a similar manner to chewing tobacco.
Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterised by recurring and extreme swings in mood and behaviour, from depression and sadness, to elation and excitement. There are several types of bipolar disorder.
Measure of the amount of alcohol in a person's blood. Generally, the more alcohol a person drinks, the higher their blood alcohol content (BAC). See also Alcohol.
A virus that is carried in the blood. Blood borne viruses (BBVs) can be transmitted sexually or by direct exposure to infected blood, such as through sharing drug injecting equipment. BBVs include hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
A type of water pipe used for smoking cannabis. See also Cannabis.
A treatment strategy involving short, structured therapy, which primarily aims to assist an individual to stop or reduce their drug use.
A synthetic agonist/antagonist that can be used in substitution treatment for heroin dependence. It has been used for the short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain. Withdrawal from buprenorphine is milder and the overdose risk is lower than with other opioid agonists. Buprenorphine is sold as
A stimulant that acts on the central nervous system to speed up the messages to and from the brain. It is a substance found in the leaves, seeds or fruit of a number of plant species, such as coffee and tea plants.
A depressant that comes from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. When taken at high doses it can have hallucinogenic properties. Marijuana, hashish and hashish oil come from this plant. The active chemical in cannabis is THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol).
The practice of inhaling vapours from volatile substances. Modes of administration include huffing (saturated material is held against the mouth and/or nose) and bagging (vapours are inhaled from a plastic or paper bag held over the nose and/or mouth). See also Inhalant.
A powerful central nervous system stimulant used to produce euphoria. Most commonly comes in the form of a white, odourless powder called "cocaine hydrochloride". The powder is extracted from the leaves of the coca bush.
Extracted from morphine and sold commercially to treat mild to moderate pain. See also Morphine.
Short-term psychotherapy that seeks to replace poor or counterproductive coping skills with positive skills. Has direct relevance to drug dependence treatment as it claims to identify and neutralise triggers for relapse. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the favoured treatment method in the drug treatment field. See also Treatment.
To experience the gradual wearing off of the effects of a drug after experiencing a "high".
See dual diagnosis.
The section of a bong or pipe into which cannabis is packed. See also Bong, Cannabis.
A substance that is subject to government controls on its manufacture, sale or distribution.
An initiative to divert some people who use drugs away from courts and the criminal justice system into treatment or education programs.
A very pure form of cocaine obtained by heating cocaine salt combined with baking soda (freebasing) and sold in the form of small crystals or rocks. See also Cocaine.
The "down" that typically follows a period of concentrated use of a stimulant drug, such as amphetamine or cocaine, over a period of several days. The "crash" begins when use is discontinued. See also Come-down.
To adulterate or dilute drugs with other substances.
Drug policy whereby possession of a drug for personal use is treated as a misdemeanour rather than a criminal offence. Often applied to substances considered to be less likely to cause dependence.
A false belief not shared by other people, such as a person believing others are plotting against them, or that they are guilty of a major crime. Delusions are often held with conviction despite evidence that disproves them.
Policies or programmes that aim to reduce consumer demand for controlled substances. See also Harm minimisation, Harm reduction and Supply reduction.
A drug that causes the body to slow down and relax. These drugs can also cause drowsiness, slow heart rate and breathing.
A group of illnesses characterised by a depressed mood, low self-esteem and a reduced interest or pleasure in regular activities, over a prolonged period of time, which affects a person's everyday life.
The process of removing drugs from the body by allowing them to metabolise over time. Often the initial stage of drug treatment. See also Treatment.
A cluster or group of symptoms that characterise a particular state of health. For example, an affective disorder is a cluster of symptoms that are associated with abnormal mood.
A brain chemical produced naturally by certain brain cells. Specific drugs may block specific effects of dopamine, act like dopamine at specific receptor sites or increase the availability of dopamine.
The practice of adding alcohol or another substance to a drink without the knowledge of the person who will be consuming it. The effects depend on the type and quantity of the additive used and can include vomiting, loss of consciousness, respiratory difficulties and loss of control.
A chemical substance that affects the processes of the mind or body.
Occurs when a drug is central to a person's life, they have trouble cutting down their use and experience symptoms of withdrawal when trying to cut down. Can be physical or psychological, or both. When a person's body has adapted to a drug and is used to functioning with the drug present, the person is said to be physically dependent upon that drug. When a person feels compelled to use a drug in order to function effectively or to achieve emotional satisfaction, the person is said to be psychologically dependent upon that drug. See also Tolerance.
Diversion of people who use drugs from the criminal justice system into drug treatment. See also Court diversion, Treatment.
Programs, services or other measures designed to prevent harmful drug use. There are three levels of drug prevention: primary prevention (preventing uptake of drug use), secondary prevention (preventing problematic and/or increased drug use) and tertiary prevention (reducing use and harms associated with drug use).
Any harmful consequence of drug use affecting either the person using the drug or the community, such as through death, sickness, violence, accidents, crime or social disruption.
The use of any drug for purposes other than medical or scientific, including use without prescription. The terms drug misuse and illicit drug use are preferred.
Refers to a person diagnosed as having an alcohol or other drug misuse problem in addition to some other diagnosis, usually psychiatric, for example, a depression or schizophrenia. Also known as comorbidity.
A proactive therapeutic strategy that combines early detection of hazardous or harmful behaviour (such as substance abuse) and treatment of those involved. Treatment is offered or provided before the person might present of their own volition and in many cases before they are aware that their behaviour might cause problems. See also Treatment.
Ecstasy is a street term for a range of drugs that are similar in structure to the synthetic stimulant MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine). The chemical structure of MDMA is related to stimulants (amphetamines) and some hallucinogens. Drugs sold as "ecstasy" often contain a range of drugs such as amphetamine, amphetamine derivatives, caffeine, aspirin, paracetamol, ketamine, in addition to, or in place of MDMA. See also MDMA.
Sense of elation commonly sought by people who use drugs.
The recurrence of an hallucinogenic experience without recent use of an hallucinogen. See also Hallucinogen.
An umbrella term used to describe a range of birth defects and child developmental disorders that may occur from exposure of the foetus to alcohol. Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) includes foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
Slang term for the base form of cocaine, as opposed to the salt form of cocaine hydrochloride. It is extracted from cocaine and smoked. See also Cocaine.
Gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a drug that has a depressant effect on the brain and central nervous system. It was originally developed as an anaesthetic but was withdrawn due to unwanted side effects. GHB is used as a "party drug" and has been used to facilitate sexual assault.
A drug or chemical that changes perception, affecting all senses and sometimes causing hallucinations. A hallucination is a false perception through one of the senses that makes a person see, hear or feel something that is not there. See also Psychoactive substance.
A form of drug prevention that works to reduce or minimise the harms to the individual and the community relating to drug use. Harm minimisation acknowledges that abstinence is the most effective way to avoid harms related to drug use but that this is not always possible in individual circumstances. It operates through three approaches: demand reduction, harm reduction and supply reduction. See also Demand reduction, Harm reduction and Supply reduction.
Aims to reduce the impact of drug-related harm within society, at an individual and community level. It includes reducing the physical and social harms associated with drug use, encompassing the prevention of disease, death, incarceration and isolation, without necessarily reducing the underlying drug use. See also Demand reduction, Harm minimisation and Supply reduction.
A thick, oily liquid extracted from the cannabis plant using a solvent, such as acetone or methanol. See also Cannabis.
A type of cannabis that comes from the resin of the plant. The resin is dried and pressed into a solid lump. Hash is added to tobacco and smoked, or baked and eaten in foods. See also Cannabis.
Inflammation of the liver caused by viruses A, B, C, D and E.
One of a group of drugs called opiates, which are derived from the opium poppy. A depressant that affects the brain by slowing down the activity of the central nervous system and messages going to and from the brain. See also Opiate.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the blood borne virus that causes AIDS. HIV can be contracted by having vaginal or anal intercourse with an infected person without using a condom, or by sharing needles and other equipment for injecting drugs with an infected person. Transmission can be prevented by practising safe sex (such as using condoms or dams), and not sharing needles or injecting equipment. See also AIDS.
A depressant drug that acts on the central nervous system and can induce hypnosis or sleep. See also Sedative.
Street name for crystalline methamphetamine. It is a powerful, synthetic stimulant drug that is more potent than other forms of amphetamines. It is more pure than the powder form of methamphetamine ("speed"). See also Methamphetamine.
An illegal drug. See also Licit drug.
One of a
Includes needles and syringes, spoons, filters, swabs, water and tourniquets.
A condition that follows the administration of a sufficient amount of a psychoactive substance and which results in behavioural and/or physical changes. The capacity to think and act within a normal range of ability diminishes.
Within a vein.
A drink prepared from the roots of the shrub Piper methysticum, widely used in the South Pacific both ceremonially and socially. It produces mild euphoria and sedation.
An hallucinogenic dissociative anaesthetic that is used in surgery and veterinary medicine. It causes amnesia (memory loss) and analgesia (pain-relief). Low doses produce stimulant effects; medium to high doses produce possible out-of-body or near death experiences.
A stimulant derived from the leaves and buds of an East African plant, Catha edulis, which are chewed or brewed as a beverage. The active components of khat are cathinone and cathine.
Fungi that contain psychedelic substances, such as the hallucinogen psilocybin.
The dried greenish-brown leaves or flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. The most common form of cannabis. Smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes (joints) or in a pipe (a bong). See also Cannabis.
Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) is an amphetamine similar to ecstasy. It is more hallucinogenic than MDMA and its effects last almost twice as long.
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as "ecstasy", is a synthetic stimulant and has hallucinogenic properties.
A mental state of wellbeing in which a person can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and make a contribution to his/her community.
A clinically diagnosable cognitive, emotional, social or behavioural disorder that interferes with the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. Some examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
A synthetic opiate often used to treat heroin dependence. When given in an adequate dose to opioid dependent individuals, methadone tends to reduce desire to use heroin and other opiates, eliminates opioid withdrawal, and blocks the euphoric effects of the other opioid drugs. See also Heroin, Opiate.
A stimulant drug, also called speed or amphetamine. Most commonly it is found as a colourless crystalline solid, sold under a variety of names, such as crystal meth, crystal or "ice". See also Amphetamine, Ice.
Major sedative and pain-relieving drug found in opium. See also Opium.
A counselling and assessment technique that follows a nonconfrontational approach to questioning people about difficult issues like alcohol and other drug use and assisting them to make positive decisions to reduce or stop their drug use altogether.
Naloxone is a narcotic antagonist that reverses the respiratory, sedative and hypotensive effects of heroin overdose. It can be injected intramuscularly, intravenously or subcutaneously. Sold in Australia under the trade name Narcan. See also Antagonist.
A drug that antagonizes the effects of opioid drugs. Its effects are similar to those of naloxone, but it is more potent and has a longer duration of action. It is prescribed to help people maintain abstinence after they have withdrawn (detoxified) from heroin or other opioids. See also Antagonist, Opioid.
A chemical agent that can induce stupor, coma, or insensibility to pain. The term usually refers to opiates or opioids, which are sometimes referred to as narcotic analgesics.
Supply of needles to intravenous drug users to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases by the repeated use and sharing of needles.
The main psychoactive substance in tobacco. People who use tobacco can develop tolerance for and become physically dependent on nicotine.
An anxiety disorder characterised by unwanted recurring thoughts, ideas or images (obsessions) or repetitive behaviours (compulsions) that interfere with daily life.
One of a group of alkaloids derived from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) with the ability to induce analgesia, euphoria, and, in higher doses, stupor, coma, and respiratory depression. The term opiate excludes synthetic opioids such as heroin and methadone.
The term applied to alkaloids derived from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) and synthetic drugs that interact with the same specific receptors in the brain. These substances have the capacity to relieve pain, and produce a sense of well-being (euphoria). Heroin, methadone, codeine, morphine and opium are opioids.
The coagulated juice of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Contains a number of alkaloids, such as morphine, codeine, and papaverine.
Engagement with individuals or groups not effectively reached through existing services or traditional health education channels, with the overall aim of improving health and reducing risk or harm.
Drug that can be sold or administered without a prescription. Can be used by illicit drug users for self-medication or psychoactive effects.
When the amount of a drug taken exceeds the body's ability to cope with the drug resulting in acute adverse physical or psychological effects, including stupor, coma, respiratory depression or death.
A disorder characterised by unpredictable but recurring attacks of severe anxiety (panic).
Phencyclidine (PCP) is a drug that has both hallucinogenic and dissociative properties. The dissociative effects of PCP leaves users feeling removed from their body and their environment. This effect produces a trance-like state. It also has strong anaesthetic effects, which produces amnesia (memory loss) and analgesia (pain-relief). Also known as "angel dust".
Programs that involve training same-age or same-background people to educate a target group about issues relating to a particular topic, such as alcohol and other drug use, or mental illness.
A system of giving and receiving help or treatment that focuses on developing communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem.
A drug, such as an anabolic steroid, growth hormone or reproductive hormone, that can increase muscle strength or influence body shape. See also Steroid.
An over-the-counter or prescription drug available through a pharmacy. See also Over-the-counter drug.
Therapy to treat drug dependence by prescribing a substitute drug that is similar to the drug of dependence (for example, methadone and buprenorphine).
Paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA) is a particularly toxic amphetamine, often sold as ecstasy. See also Amphetamine.
Two or more drugs used at the same time.
Interaction between two or more drugs where the effect is greater than the responses to the individual substances' effects combined.
Drugs that affect a person's central nervous system; they alter brain activity, and can change the way a person thinks, feels or behaves. See also Hallucinogen.
Any significant mental disorder that is characterised by a loss of contact with reality. See also Schizophrenia.
A group of drugs that affect the central nervous system and can produce euphoria, a sense of well-being, wakefulness and alertness. Prolonged use or high levels of use can produce behavioural disturbances.
Cell in the brain that is sensitive to a particular substance or drug, for example, the effects of heroin are experienced when the drug attaches itself to the opioid receptor in the brain.
A recurrence of harmful drug use after a period of abstinence or stability in treatment. Relapse is common among people who are drug-dependent when they are attempting to stop drug use. See also Drug dependence, Treatment.
Policies or programs (including treatment) that focus on reducing the risk of harms associated with drug use.
A powerful benzodiazepine that induces sleep. See also Benzodiazepine.
A mental illness characterised by psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations), as well thinking difficulties and reduced motivation and emotional expression.
Testing a person to determine for example their use of drugs.
Depressant drug that acts on the central nervous system to lessen anxiety and induce calmness and sleep. See also Hypnotic.
Voluntary group dedicated to recovery from drug dependence through cooperative counselling.
A neurotransmitter that has a prominent role in sleep regulation and mood. It is affected by a number of psychoactive substances. Its synaptic concentration is increased by stimulants, for example, ecstasy (MDMA) and its release is inhibited by opioid receptors. See also Opioid, Receptor.
Ingesting powdered drugs through the nose.
Volatile substances such as petrol, glue and aerosols.
Another name for amphetamine or methamphetamine.
Model developed by Prochaska and DiClemente to describe the stages involved in changing a behaviour or problem.
A drink that contains 10 grams of ethanol (pure alcohol). See also Alcohol.
One of a group of naturally occurring or synthetic hormones that affect the chemical processes in the body, growth and sexual and other physiological functions. Anabolic steroids are misused by athletes with the aim of increasing strength and performance.
A drug that acts to stimulate certain chemicals in the brain. Stimulants increase alertness, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Examples of stimulants include caffeine, amphetamines and nicotine.
Consumption of a substance despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance. See also Drug abuse.
A disorder where alcohol and/or other drugs are used to the extent that they cause disturbances in behaviour or thinking.
Policies or programs usually involving law enforcement agencies designed to reduce the manufacture and/or distribution of illicit drugs. See also Demand reduction, Harm minimisation and Harm reduction.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive agent in cannabis. See also Cannabis.
A residential environment where an individual with a drug-related problem undergoes rehabilitation through abstinence and community participation. Therapeutic communities are often specifically designed for people who are drug-dependent; they operate under strict rules, are run mainly by people who have recovered from dependence, and are often geographically isolated. See also Drug dependence.
Any preparation of the dried leaves of Nicotiana tabacum or Nicotiana rustica. The main psychoactive ingredient is nicotine. See also Nicotine.
Tolerance to a drug means that the body becomes used to a drug being present and more of the drug is required in order to achieve the same effect felt previously with smaller amounts. See also Drug dependence.
Prescription drugs used for their calming effect.
A widely used method of treatment, originally implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the 1930s. The twelve steps are to be approached sequentially as a way to stop addictive or dysfunctional behaviours.
A substance that vaporizes at ambient temperatures. Some volatile substances are inhaled for psychoactive effects (also called inhalants). Inhalants include the organic solvents present in many domestic and industrial products (such as, glue, aerosol, paints, industrial solvents, lacquer thinners, gasoline or petrol, and cleaning fluids) and the aliphatic nitrites such as amyl nitrite. See also Inhalants.
Stopping or reducing heavy or prolonged drug use. Usually accompanied by a set of symptoms ranging from mild to severe, which depend on the person and the drug they are withdrawing from.
A term commonly associated with strict policing measures, based on the belief that activities associated with illegal drugs should not be tolerated at any level. This approach emphasises the law as the main method of dealing with drugs and drug issues.