Glossary of Drug Terms

Here is a glossary of commonly used drug names and terms. For help with drug addictioin, or if you have questions about drug addiction treatment, please give us a call at 561-863-4117. Resolutions Medical Services offers low-cost drug and alcohol addiction treatment in West Palm Beach, Florida.


Ambien addiction is a very serious and sometimes life threatening dilemma. Not only is it difficult for the addict, it is extremely hard on those around them who care about them.


Ativan is the brand name for Lorazepam, an anti-anxiety agent. Ativan is a benzodiazepine and mild tranquilizer, sedative, and central nervous system (CNS) depressant.


A derivative of the opioid alkaloid thebaine that is a more potent and longer lasting analgesic than morphine. It appears to act as a partial agonist at mu and kappa opioid receptors and as an antagonist at delta receptors. The lack of delta-agonist activity has been suggested to account for the observation that buprenorphine tolerance may not develop with chronic use.

This analgesic binds to one of the subclasses of opioid receptors called mu receptors. At very high doses it blocks the effects of heroin but may increase craving for cocaine. Low doses may be an effective treatment for both heroin and cocaine craving. It is also being tested in combination with naltrexone for heroin addiction.


Codeine is a member of the drug class opiates. Opiates include all naturally occurring drugs with morphine-like effects such as codeine and all semi and fully synthetic drugs with morphine-like effects such as heroin and meperidine (Demerol).
Read more on Opiate Detox.


Given darvocet’s similarities to methadone, it’s not surprising that the drug is as addictive as it is. In fact, the medical journal Clinical Pharmacology even argued that darvocet’s “most prominent effect…may be its addictive quality.”


Demerol is a narcotic analgesic (opiate pain medication) prescribed for short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain.


Dilaudid preparations are similar to those containing morphine, but are stronger and have fewer side effects.


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, orquinine. 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.”


Hydrocodone is an effective antitussive (anti-cough) agent, and as an opiate it is also an effective analgesic for mild to moderate pain control.
Read more on Hydrocodone Detox.


Lortab combines a narcotic analgesic (painkiller) and cough reliever with a non-narcotic analgesic for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain.
Read more on Lortab Detox.


Methadone is a (synthetic opiate) narcotic that when administered once a day, orally, in adequate doses, can usually suppress a heroin addict’s craving and withdrawal for 24 hours.
Read more on Methadone Detox.


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.
Read more on Opiate Detox.


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.
Read more on Oxycontin Detox.


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.
Read more on Percocet Detox.


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.
Read more on Percodan Detox.

Subutex and Suboxone

Subutex and Suboxone are medications approved for the treatment of opiate dependence. Both medicines contain the active ingredient, buprenorphine hydrochloride, which works to reduce the symptoms of opiate dependence.

Subutex contains only buprenorphine hydrochloride. This formulation was developed as the initial product. The second medication, Suboxone contains an additional ingredient called naloxone to guard against misuse.

Subutex is given during the first few days of treatment, while Suboxone is used during the maintenance phase of treatment.
Read more on Suboxone Detox.


Valium is a medication for the treatment of anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. First entering the U.S. market in 1963, Valium became controversial as a widely prescribed tranquilizer and widespread abuse.


Vicodin is a semisynthetic narcotic analgesic and antitussive with multiple actions qualitatively similar to those of codeine. Most of these involve the central nervous system and smooth muscle. The precise mechanism of action of hydrocodone and other opiates is not known, although it is believed to relate to the existence of opiate receptors in the central nervous system. In addition to analgesia, narcotics may produce drowsiness, changes in mood, and mental clouding.

Radioimmunoassay techniques have recently been developed for the analysis of hydrocodone (Vicodin) in human plasma. After a 10 mg oral dose of hydrocodone bitartrate, a mean peak serum drug level of 23.6 ng/ml and an elimination half-life of 3.8 hours were found.

The analgesic action of acetaminophen involves peripheral and central influences, but the specific mechanism is as yet undetermined. Antipyretic activity is mediated through hypothalamic heat regulating centers. Acetaminophen inhibits prostaglandin synthetase. Therapeutic doses of acetaminophen have negligible effects on the cardiovascular or respiratory systems; however, toxic doses may cause circulatory failure and rapid, shallow breathing.
Read more on Vicodin Detox.