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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Abuse
The USFDA defines abuse as "deliberately taking a substance for other than its intended purpose, and in a manner that can result in damage to the person's health or his ability to function."
Abuse Potential
A measure of how likely a drug is to be "abused".
Adatuss®
Hydrocodone antitussive.
Administration
The means by which a drug is taken.
Acquirer
A middle man between a dealer (usually) a chipper or another on the outer edge of the heroin scene.
Adulteration
The process of diluting a drug.
Agonist
Any opioid that produces morphine or codeine like effects on the body.
Agonist-Antagonist
Any opioid that produces that has both agonist and antagonist activity at opioid receptor sites. The drug may be primarily one or the other. For example, butorphanol is more an agonist than an antagonist.
AIDS
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
Alkaloid
A molecule that contains nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. All opioids are alkaloids.
Alphaprodine
A short-acting morphine like synthetic analgesic.
Analgesic
A drug which relieves pain without rendering the patient unconscious.
Anexsia-D®
An analgesic soup in pill form consisting of aspirin, caffeine, phenacetin, and Hydrocodone.
Anileridine
A synthetic opioid similar to Demerol®.
Antagonist
A drug that blocks the effects of an opiate. They are used in cases of overdose and to show that a user is an addict, usually for the purpose of allowing him into a methadone program.
Antitussive
A drug that relieves coughing.
Apomorphine
A non-euphoric morphine derivative used to induce vomiting.
Artillery
Works.
Back up
Pull-Back.
Bag
A dose of heroin, usually between $10 and $20.
Balloon
This often refers to a single does of heroin--usually an eighth gram. Heroin is often distributed in small balloons so that it can be stored in one's mouth and swallowed (without loss) should law enforcement appear.
Barbiturates
A class of sedative, hypnotic drugs which depress the central nervous system. The longer acting barbiturates are removed by the kidneys; the short acting ones are removed by the liver.
Beat
To cheat.
Benzodiazepines
A class of minor tranquilizers with lifetimes anywhere from a few hours to a few days. These are removed by the liver.
B & O Supprettes®
An anal suppository containing powdered opium and belladonna extract.
Booting
repeated flushing and pull-back when IV injecting. It is often stated as a means of prolonging the high but seems more often to be mere play.
Bundle
Usually 20 bags of heroin but it depends.
Buprenorphine
A narcotic agonist-antagonist.
Business
All the assorted things that a junkie must do to maintain his habit. It is most commonly used in the phrase "Taking care of business."
Butorphanol
A narcotic agonist/antagonist used as an analgesic.
Burn
To cheat.
Chasing the Dragon
Smoking heroin.
China White
White powder heroin from Asia--usually referring to heroin funneled through France. Not all white powder heroin is China White.
Chip
To use drugs in a non-addictive manner.
Chipper
A non-addicted, casual drug user.
Chiva
This actually means marijuana but for some reason it means heroin in the US.
Cirrhosis
Chronic destruction of the liver.
Clonidine
A blood pressure medication that is highly effective at modulating opiate withdrawal symptoms.
CNS
Central Nervous System: the brain and spinal cord.
Cocktail
A mixture of different drugs taken at once.
Cold Turkey
to detox off of heroin abruptly without medication.
Cold Shot
Heroin dissolved in water without boiling it.
Common Knowledge
Knowledge that everyone has and never questions, but which is usually wrong. Example: "It is common knowledge that heroin is the most dangerous drug."
Connection
dealer.
Cooker
Spoon or other device used to cook heroin for injection.
Cop
To acquire drugs.
Cut
The act of diluting a drug. Also the substance with which a drug is diluted.
Cyclazocine
A narcotic antagonist.
Darvon®
An analgesic soup containing propoxyphene.
Demerol®
Brand name for Meperidine, a synthetic opiate similar to morphine but only about as potent as codeine.
Dextromoramide
A very potent synthetic opiate.
Dihydrocodeine
A semi-synthetic opiate similar to codeine.
Dihydromorphinone
Dilaudid®.
Dilaudid®
A semi-synthetic opiate, about three times as potent as heroin.
Dime
$10.
Diphenoxylate
A mild semi-synthetic opiate used as a anti-diarrhetic.
Dolene®
An analgesic soup containing propoxyphene. Dolophine Hydrochloride®
Done
Slang for Methadone, as in "meth-a-done."
Duragesic$reg
Fentanyl transdermal system.
Dysphoria
A withdrawal symptom that distinguished by feelings of uneasiness and malaise.
Endocarditis
A bacterial infection of the inner lining of the heart.
Endorphins
Compounds produced by the body which are used to regulate pain and create a sense of well-being. They are very similar and act in the same ways are opioids.
Enkephalins
Short chain amino acids that act as opioids. They are a form of endorphins.
EMIT
An acronym for "enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique." It is common system used for detecting drug use from urine samples.
Fentanyl
An extremely potent opioid, roughly 100 times as powerful as morphine.
Fit
Syringe.
Front
a loan of drugs.
GC/MS
Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. This is a device that is used for many valid application that can also be used to to do drug screening tests. These tests are expensive, so employers and bureaucracies don't like to use them but they are the only tests that are reasonably accurate (99.98%). They are also the only tests that can distinguish between morphine and a poppy-seed bagel.
Gimmick
syringe.
Golden Crescent
An important area in the production of opium. It encompasses Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Golden Triangle
An important area in the production of opium. It encompasses Thailand, northern Laos, and eastern Burma.
Halflife
The amount of time it takes for half of the amount of a drug in the body to be removed.
Hardness
A mostly meaningless measure of a drug's dangerousness. Drugs like caffeine are considered "soft" while drugs like heroin and cocaine are considered "hard".
Hepatitis
Inflammation of the liver.
Heroin Slag
First, I'll give you the ones I've actually heard. Brown, black tar, China White, chiva, dope, H, horse, junk, Mexican, rock, scag, scar, shit, smack, tar, white. I've collected a number of slang terms from books. Some of these are so silly that I sometimes wonder if a playful junkie wasn't just pulling some clueless sociologist's leg: big H, blanco, blanks, boy, brother, brown sugar, caballo, ca-ca (counterfeit), cat, chick, Chinese red, cobics, crap, cura, dogie, doojee (duji), flea powder, goods, hard stuff, Harry (hairy), Henry, joy powder, ka-ka, Mexican mud, poison, red chicken, schmeck, snow, stuff, sugar, tecata, thing, white stuff. You can find localized references to heroin in just about any word starting with an "H"
Hit
To inject.
Hycodan®
An antitussive containing hydrocodone mixed with homatropine methylbromide.
Hycomine®
An antitussive containing hydrocodone mixed with Phenylpropanolamine.
Hydrocodone
A codeine derivative which is roughly six times as potent. It has the same chemical formula as codeine but a different geometrical structure.
Hydromorphone
Dilaudid®.
Hypnotic
A drug that induces sleep.
Hypodermic
Syringe.
Imodium®
The antidiarrhetic medication Loperamide.
IM
Intramuscular.
IV
Intravenous.
Jones
To desire heroin.
Joypopper
Chipper.
Kick
to stop using or withdraw from a drug.
Kicking Down
using less than your normal dose of heroin to reduce your tolerance; a limited form of withdrawal.
Kit
works.
LAAM
Levo-alpha-acetylmethadol. It is a synthetic opiate with a three day halflife which has been used instead of methadone in maintenance programs.
Laudanum
A tincture of opium.
LD50
Lethal dose in 50% of the sample.
Levallorphan
A narcotic antagonist.
Levo-Dromoran®
This is basically pure levorphanol in pill or injectable form.
Levorphanol
A long acting synthetic opiate with fewer side effects than morphine.
Lomotil®
An antidiarrhetic containing the synthetic opiate diphenoxylate.
Loperamide
An non-euphoric opioid that can be used in detox.
Lorfan®
Levallorphan.
Mainline
Intravenous injection.
Mark
a person who is easily tricked or cheated.
Meperidine
A synthetic opiate commonly known as Demerol®.
Methadone
A synthetic opiate with a long halflife.
Mixed Agonist-Antagonist
an agonist-antagonist.
MPTP
A "designer drug" with effects similar to morphine which can produce permanent systems resembling those of Parkinson's disease.
Nalbuphine
A narcotic agonist/antagonist.
Nalorphine
A narcotic antagonist derived from morphine.
Naloxone
A narcotic antagonist.
Naltrexone
A narcotic antagonist.
Narcan®
Naloxone.
Numorphan®
Oxymorphone.
Noscapine
An opium alkaloid used as an antitussive.
OD
Overdose.
One and One
Heroin and cocaine sold together in a single bag.
Opiates
Technically, morphine and codeine and any drugs derived from them. It is often used to refer to any substance with opium-like effects.
Opioids
Synthetic opium-like drugs.
Opium
The dried juice from an unripe seed pod of the flower Papaver somniferum. The word "opium" is thrown around very loosely but the definition is very specific.
Oxycodone
A semi-synthetic morphine derivative, about half as potent.
Oxymorphone
A semi-synthetic morphine derivative, about ten times as potent.
Outfit
syringe.
Pantopon®
Quite literally, opium in a syringe. This contains all of the alkaloids of opium in a purified form. It is no longer produced.
Papaverine
A non-euphoric alkaloid of opium which is widely used in the creation of semi-synthetic opiates.
Paraphernalia
Works.
Paregoric
An opium tincture with a high alcohol content.
Parenteral
Injection in any of its many forms.
Patch
Transdermal System
Pentazocine
A mild narcotic antagonist which is also an analgesic.
Percocet®
Oxycodone mixed with Acetaminophen.
Percodan®
Oxycodone mixed with Aspirin.
Phenergan
An injectable drug for the treatment of many things, including nausea and vomiting.
Propoxyphene
A weak synthetic opiate (~1/10 as strong as morphine) which is the primary ingredient of Darvon®.
Pull-Back
Pulling the syringe plunger back so that the syringe will fill with blood if the needle is inside of a vein.
Pusher
a drug dealer. This is a misnomer based on the idea that dealers get users started.
Quinine
A bitter tasting alkaloid commonly used to cut heroin.
Reinforcing
A measure of how driven one is to use a drug after using it the first time.
Relapse
An NA word meaning to become unaddict to abstinence.
RIA
Radioimmunoassay. It is common system used for detecting drug use from urine samples.
Ritalin
A form of amphetamine used paradoxically to help hyperactive children.
Roll
When a vein moves to the side as it is being injected into so that the needle does not enter the vein.
RoxicodoneTM
Unadulterated oxycodone.
Rig
Syringe.
Run
A period of constant use. With heroin this is generally a period of time addicted.
SC
Subcutaneous
Score
to acquire drugs.
Script
A prescription.
Sedative
A drug that depresses the central nervous system and causes drowsiness.
Shoot Up
Inject.
Skin Pop
Subcutaneous (under skin) injection.
Slam
To inject, especially intravenously.
Sniff
To inhale a liquid or solid through the nose.
Snort
To inhale a liquid or solid through the nose.
Speedball
This is heroin and cocaine mixed.
Stadol®
A narcotic agonist/antagonist used as an analgesic.
Step On
The act of mixing a drug with an inert substance to make it seem to be a larger amount--the same as cut.
Straight
A non-drug using person.
Strung Out
Addicted to heroin.
Subcutaneous
The layer of blood vessels just under the skin.
Sublimaze®
Fentanyl.
Syringe Slang
Fit, gimmick, hypodermic, outfit, rig, works.
Talwin®
Pentazocine.
Taste
An archaic method of determining the purity of white powder heroin. With it, the user literally tastes a small amount of the drug; if it is bitter, the sample is assumed to be fairly pure. It fell out of use when the bitter tasting alkaloid quinine became a widely used adulterant. A "taste" can also be a small amount.
Thebaine
An alkaloid of opium used to make several narcotic antagonists as well as codeine.
Tie
Tourniquet.
Tolerance
The capacity of the body to become less responsive to a substance with repeated use; the necessity to ingest more of a drug on subsequent episodes to achieve the same effect.
Transdermal System
A patch places on the skin that administers a drug at a constant rant.
Tracks
Repeated needle entry scars along a vein.
Tussionex®
An antitussive that contains hydrocodone.
Vicodin
A medication widely used for moderate pain which contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
Works
A syringe or other device for administering heroin into a vein.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

[Editorial Note: The basis for this glossary is the book Heroin User's Handbook. Additions and corrections have been made to it since its publication--one of the many advantages to online publishing.]

by Dr. H © 2001


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