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    Glossary – A

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    Abdominal pain
    pain in the belly (the abdomen). Abdominal pain can come from conditions affecting a variety of organs. The abdomen is an anatomical area that is bounded by the lower margin of the ribs, the pelvic bone, and the flanks on each side. Although abdominal pain can arise from the tissues of the abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity (the skin and abdominal wall muscles), the term abdominal pain generally is used to describe pain originatin from organs within the abdominal cavity (from beneath the skin and muscles). These organs include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.

    Absorption phase
    the time immediately after consumption when blood alcohol concentration rises sharply.

    refraining from drug use or (particularly) from drinking alcoholic beverages. Those who practice abstinence from alcohol are termed “abstainers” or “total abstainers”. The term “current abstainer” is usually defined as a person who has not consumed an alcoholic beverage in the preceding 12 months.

    (drug, alcohol, chemical, substance, or psychoactive substance) A group of terms in wide use but of varying meaning. In DSM-IIIR, “psychoactive substance abuse” is defined as “a maladaptive pattern of use indicated by continued use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, occupational, psychological or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the use [or by] recurrent use in situations in which it is physical1y hazardous”.

    Abuse liability
    the propensity of a particular psychoactive substance to be susceptible to abuse, defined in terms of the relative probability that use of the substance will result in social, psychological, or physical problems for an individual or for society.

    see child of an alcoholic

    Academic success
    Academic success is an academic term, used to describe a person’s individual success in completing a personal, academic accomplishment. Academic Success is achieved in numerous ways, but typically marks a personal benchmark of one’s academic achievement.

    Academic success is a subjective term, and one that is personally unique to the individual student and their academic goals. While one student’s success is based upon whether or not they earn the highest marks in the class, another student’s academic success may mean to achieve simply high enough marks to graduate.

    Whether a person’s personal, academic success is to be accepted into an Ivy League school or earn their GED, one constant factor remains for all of those who earn academic success: It takes hard work. Only those who give their absolute best, day in and day out academically, are those who achieve, true academic success.

    A GABA-related drug for the treatment of alcoholism. Brand name is Campral.

    is a toxic substance, implicated in the alcohol flush reaction and in certain physical sequences of alcohol consumption. It is one of the first products of the body’s metabolism of alcohol. Acetaldehyde is then converted into carbon dioxide and water, which is excreted from the body.

    a neurotransmitter active in the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system, cerebral cortex , and peripheral somatic nerves.

    slang for LSD, a hallucinogenic substance synthesized from Ergot, a fungus which grows on rye. There are no known adverse physical effects, however, it may cause psychological problems and/or flashbacks. It is commonly distributed in liquid form, gel tabs, sugar cubes and blotter-paper.

    Acute toxicity
    the physical or psychological harm a drug might present to the user immediately or soon after the drug is ingested into the body.the physical or psychological harm a drug might present to the user immediately or soon after the drug is ingested into the body.

    someone who likes a particular activity very much and spends as much time as they can doing it

    a strong need that someone feels to regularly take an illegal or harmful drug; a strong need or wish to spend as much time as possible doing a particular activity

    Addiction (1)
    a chronic relapsing condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and abuse and by long-lasting chemical changes in the brain. Addiction is the same irrespective of whether the drug is alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or nicotine. Every addictive substance induces pleasant states or relieves distress. Continued use of the addictive substance induces adaptive changes in the brain that lead to tolerance, physical dependence, uncontrollable craving and, all too often, relapse. Dependence is at such a point that stopping is very difficult and causes severe physical and mental reactions from withdrawal. The risk of addiction is in part inherited. Genetic factors, for example, account for about 40% of the risk of alcoholism. The genetic factors predisposing to addiction are not yet fully understood.

    Addiction (2)
    a maladaptive pattern of substance abuse leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one or more of the following, occurring within a 12- month period: a) recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home; b) recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous; c) recurrent substance-related legal problems; and/or d) continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance.

    Addiction (3)
    a state that involves a physical or psychological dependency on a drug or alcohol.

    Addiction medicine
    is a medical specialty that deals with the treatment of addiction.

    Addiction treatment
    Addiction treatment is a specialized treatment the assists those who suffer from harmful, self-destructive addictions. Addiction treatment usually referred to as, rehabilitation treatment, is a treatment facility that is staffed by psychiatric professionals. These psychiatric professionals are in charge of assisting addicts in reversing their dangerous, potentially fatal, disease of addiction.

    Like traditional therapy, addiction treatment professionals treat client’s underlying issues that may be the cause of their addictive habits. By treating the problem at the source, addictive treatment specialists can eradicate the addiction permanently.

    Troubled teens are a group of adolescents who typically suffer from some harmful addiction, or habitual practice. For this reason, it is imperative for any parent of an addicted teen to seek therapeutic care for their child.

    Addiction, drug or alcohol
    repeated use of a psychoactive substance or substances, to the extent that the user (referred to as an addict) is periodically or chronically intoxicated, shows a compulsion to take the preferred substance (or substances), has great difficulty in voluntarily ceasing or modifying substance use, and exhibits determination to obtain psychoactive substances by almost any means. Typically, tolerance is prominent and a withdrawal syndrome frequently occurs when substance use is interrupted. The life of the addict may be dominated by substance use to the virtual exclusion of all other activities and responsibilities. The term addiction also conveys the sense that such substance use has a detrimental effect on society, as well as on the individual; when applied to the use of alcohol, it is equivalent to alcoholism. Addiction is a term of long-standing and variable usage. It is regarded by many as a discrete disease entity, a debilitating disorder rooted in the pharmacological effects of the drug, which is remorselessly progressive.

    Addictive personality
    an addictive personality is a trait, or set of traits, that develops in response to habit-forming drugs/alcohol or compulsive behavior (gambling, overeating/underrating, sex). It is not present prior to an addiction. One cannot predict an individual’s predisposition to develop an addiction by looking for an addictive personality.

    Administration (method of route or mode of administration)
    the way in which a substance is introduced into the body, such as oral ingestion, intravenous (IV), subcutaneous, or intramuscular injection, inhalation, smoking, or absorption through skin or mucosal surfaces, such as the gums, rectum, or genitalia.

    Adolescent psychiatric treatment
    Adolescent psychiatric treatments are treatments that are particularly specialized to treat the mental state of teenagers. Since adolescents process information differently than a fully grown adult, it is imperative that they receive treatment that best suits the needs of their mental capabilities as an individual. For this reason, it is crucial for parents to seek adolescent psychiatric treatments for their child if they require professional, psychological care.

    Adolescent psychiatric treatments vary considerably in terms of what types of treatments are offered. There are simple one-on-one therapy sessions for teens who suffer from mild depression and other less severe afflictions, all the way to 24-hour treatment centers for teens who suffer from severe psychological issues.

    Adverse drug reaction (ADR)
    is an expression that describes harm associated with the use of given medications/drugs at a normal dose. In the context of substance use, the term includes unpleasant psychological or physical reactions to drug taking.

    Affective disorder (residual, alcohol- or drug-related)
    alcohol- or drug-induced changes in affect that persist beyond the period during which a direct effect of the alcohol or drug might reasonably be assumed to be operating.

    Affective education
    an approach in substance-abuse prevention programs that emphasized the building of self-esteem and an improved self-image.

    A chemical compound that mimics the action of a natural neurotransmitter and binds to the same receptor on nerve cells to produce a biological response.

    a support and discussion group for the relatives of people suffering from alcoholism usually operated in conjunction with Alcoholics Anonymous.

    Alchoholic cardiomyopathy
    a diffuse disorder of heart muscle seen in individuals with a history of hazardous consumption of alcohol, usually of at least 10 years’ duration. Patients typically present with biventricular heart failure; common symptoms include shortness of breath on exertion and while recumbent palpitations, ankle edema, and abdominal distension due to ascites.

    Alchoholic cirrhosis
    a severe form of alcoholic liver disease characterized by necrosis and permanent architectural distortion of the liver due to fibrous tissue formation and regeneratory nodules. Alcoholic cirrhosis occurs mainly in the 40-60-year age group, after at least 10 years of hazardous drinking. Individuals show symptoms and signs of hepatic decomposition such as ascites, ankle edema, jaundice, bruising, gastrointestinal hemorrhage from esophageal varices, and confusion or stupor due to hepatic encephalopathy. About 30% of patients are “well compensated” at the time of diagnosis and report nonspecific complaints such as abdominal pain, bowel disturbance, weight loss, and muscle wasting and weakness. Liver cancer is a late complication of cirrhosis in approximately 15% of cases.

    Alchoholic dementia
    a term of variable usage, most commonly implying a chronic or progressive disorder occurring as a result of harmful drinking, characterized by impairment of multiple higher cortical functions, including memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgment. Consciousness is not clouded. The cognitive impairments are commonly accompanied by deterioration in emotional control, social behavior, or motivation.

    in chemical terminology, alcohols are a large group of organic compounds derived from hydrocarbons and containing one or more hydroxyl (-OH) groups. Ethanol (C2H5OH, ethyl alcohol) is one of this class of compounds, and is the main psychoactive ingredient in alcoholic beverages. By extension the term “alcohol” is also used to refer to alcoholic beverages. Ethanol results from the fermentation of sugar by yeast. Under usual conditions, beverages produced by fermentation have an alcohol concentration of no more than 14%. In the production of spirits by distillation, ethanol is boiled out of the fermented mixture and re- collected as an almost pure condensate.

    Alcohol abuse
    a syndrome characterized primarily by the continued use of alcohol despite the drinker’s knowledge of having a persistent physical problem or some social or occupational difficulty.

    Alcohol abuse (1)
    the continued use of alcohol despite the development of social, legal, or health problems.

    Alcohol abuse (2)
    use of alcoholic beverages to excess, either on individual occasions (“binge drinking”) or as a regular practice. For some individuals-children or pregnant women, for example-almost any amount of alcohol use may be legally considered “alcohol abuse,” depending on local laws. Heavy alcohol abuse can cause physical damage and death.

    Alcohol Addiction (alcohol dependence or alcoholism)
    a chronic disease characterized by a strong craving for alcohol, a constant or periodic reliance on use of alcohol despite adverse physical illness when drinking is stopped, and the need for increasing amounts of alcohol to feel its effects.

    Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)
    an enzyme found in the liver and stomach that helps break down alcohol into substances that can be excreted from the body. Specifically, ADH converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is then converted to carbon dioxide and water.

    Alcohol dependence
    a syndrome in which alcohol abuse involves a variety of significant physical, psychological, social, and behavioral problems.

    Alcohol flush reaction
    flushing of the face, neck, and shoulders after the ingestion of alcohol, often accompanied by nausea, dizziness, and palpitations. The reaction also occurs when alcohol is taken by people receiving treatment with alcohol sensitizing drugs such as disulfiram (Antabuse), which inhibit aldehyde dehydrogenase.

    Alcohol policy
    the aggregate of measures designed to control the supply of and/or affect the demand for alcoholic beverages in a population (usually national), including education and treatment programs, alcohol control, harm reduction strategies, etc. Implying the need for a coordination of governmental efforts from a public health and/or public order perspective.

    Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)
    the more common of two general reactions to the cessation of alcohol consumption in an alcoholic. It is characterized by physiological discomfort, seizures, and sleep disturbances.

    Alcohol-related disabilities
    all problems, illnesses and other consequences secondary to alcohol use, intoxication, or dependence that diminish an individual’ s capacity for physical, social, or economic activity. See also: alcohol-related problem

    Alcohol-related problems
    any of the range of adverse accompaniments of drinking alcohol. See also: abuse (drug, alcohol, chemical. substance, or psychoactive substance) harmful use; misuse, drug or alcohol; problem drinking

    Alcohol-sensitizing drug
    a therapeutic agent prescribed to assist maintenance of abstinence from alcohol by producing unpleasant side-effects if alcohol is taken. The consequent accumulation of acetaldehyde causes a syndrome of facial flushing, nausea and vomiting, palpitations, and dizziness. Examples of alcohol-sensitizing drugs include disulfiram (Antabuse) and calcium carbamide.

    Alcoholic beverage
    Liquid that contains alcohol (ethanol) and is intended for drinking. Almost all alcoholic beverages are prepared by fermentation, followed-in the case of spirits-by distillation. Beer and ale are produced from fermented grain (malted barley. rice, millet. etc.) often with hops added. Wines are produced from fermented fruits or berries, particularly grapes. Other traditional fermentation products are mead (from honey), cider (from apples or other fruits) sake (from rice). pulque (from the maquey cactus) and chicha (from maize).

    Spirits vary in the underlying grain or fruit raw material on which they are based: for instance, vodka is based on grain or potatoes, whisky on rye or corn, rum on sugar cane, and brandy on grapes or other fruit. Sherry, port, and other fortified wines are wines to which spirits have been added, usually to give an ethanol content of about 20%.

    Alcoholic brain syndrome
    a general term for a range of disorders due to the effects of alcohol on the brain-acute intoxication, pathological intoxication, withdrawal syndrome, delirium tremens, hallucinosis, amnesiac syndrome, dementia, psychotic disorder.

    Alcoholic fatty liver
    accumulation of fat in the liver following exposure to hazardous levels of alcohol intake, with consequent enlargement of liver cells and sometimes hepatomegaly, abnormal liver function, nonspecific abdominal recurrent pain, anorexia, and-less commonly- jaundice.

    Alcoholic hepatitis
    a disorders of the liver characterized by liver cell necrosis and inflammation following chronic consumption of hazardous level of alcohol. It is a well documented precursor of alcoholic cirrhosis.

    Alcoholic jealousy
    a type of chronic, alcohol-induced psychotic disorder, characterized by delusions that the marital or sexual partner is unfaithful. The delusion is typically accompanied by intense searching for evidence of infidelity and direct accusations that may lead to violent quarrels.

    Alcoholic pancreatitis
    a disorder characterized by inflammation and necrosis of the pancreas, often accompanied by fibrosis and malfunction, related to the consumption of hazardous levels of alcohol. Alcoholic pancreatitis may be acute or chronic. The acute form presents with upper abdominal pain, anorexia, and vomiting, and can be complicated by hypotension, renal failure, lung disease, and psychosis. The chronic form usually presents with recurrent or persistent abdominal pain, anorexia, and weight loss; there may be signs of pancreatic deficiency involving the exocrine functions of the pancreas (e.g. malabsorption, nutritional deficiency) or the endocrine functions (diabetes mellitus).

    Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
    a worldwide organization devoted to the treatment of alcoholism through self-help groups and adherence to its principles, which include absolute abstinence from alcohol.

    Alcoholism (1)
    a term of long-standing use and variable meaning, generally taken to refer to chronic continual drinking or periodic consumption of alcohol which is characterized by impaired control over drinking, frequent episodes of intoxication, and preoccupation with alcohol and the use of alcohol despite adverse consequences.

    Alcoholism (3)
    physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use will bring on withdrawal symptoms. In popular and therapeutic parlance, the term may also be used to refer to ingrained drinking habits that cause health or social problems. Treatment requires first ending the physical dependence, then making lifestyle changes that help the individual avoid relapse. In some cases, medication or hospitalization is needed. Alcohol dependence can have many serious effects on the brain, liver, and other organs of the body.

    Alcoholism (disease, concept of)
    the belief that alcoholism is a condition of primary biological causation and predictable natural history, conforming to accepted definitions of a disease. The concept was rooted in 19th-century medical and lay conceptions of inebriety as a disease.

    Amethystic agent

    a substance taken with the objective of reversing or mitigating the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Such compounds may act by inhibiting the effects of alcohol on the central nervous system or by accelerating the metabolism of alcohol by the liver. Effective drugs of this class are not currently available for therapeutic purposes.

    loss or disturbance of memory (complete or partial, permanent or temporary), attributable to either organic or psychological causes. Anterograde amnesia is memory loss of varying duration for events and experiences subsequent to a causal incident, after consciousness has been regained. Retro- grade amnesia is memory loss of varying duration for events and experiences preceding a causal incident.

    Amnesic syndrome (alcohol- or drug-induced)
    chronic, prominent impairment of recent and remote memory associated with alcohol or drug use. Immediate recall is usually preserved and remote memory is less disturbed than recent memory. Disturbances of time sense and ordering of events are usually evident, as is impaired ability to learn new material.

    Amotivational syndrome
    a constellation of features said to be associated with substance use, including apathy, loss of effectiveness, diminished capacity to carryout complex or long- term plans, low tolerance for frustration, impaired concentration, and difficulty in following routines.

    one of a class of sympathomimetic amines with powerful stimulant action on the central nervous system. The class includes amphetamine, dexamphetamine, and methamphetamine. Pharmacologically related drugs include methylphenidate, phenmetrazine, and amfepramone (diethylpropion). In street parlance, amphetamines are often referred to as “speed”. Symptoms and signs suggestive of intoxication with amphetamines or similarly acting sympathomimetic include tachycardia, pupillary dilatation, elevated blood pressure, hyperreflexia, sweating, chills, anorexia, nausea or vomiting, insomnia, and abnormal behavior such as aggression, grandiosity, hyper vigilance, agitation, and impaired judgment.

    In rare cases, delirium develops within 24 hours of use. Chronic use commonly induces personality and behavior changes such as impulsivity, aggressivity, irritability, suspiciousness, and paranoid psychosis (see amphetamine psychosis). Cessation of intake after prolonged or heavy use may produce a withdrawal reaction, with depressed mood, fatigue, hyperphagia, sleep disturbance, and increased dreaming. Currently, prescription of amphetamines and related substances is limited principally to the treatment of narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Amphetamine psychosis
    A disorder characterized by paranoid delusions, frequently accompanied by auditory or tactile hallucinations, hyperactivity, and lability of mood, which develops during or shortly after repeated use of moderate or high doses of amphetamines. Typically, the individual’s behavior is hostile and irrational, and may result in unprovoked violence. In most cases there is no clouding of consciousness, but an acute delirium is occasionally seen after the ingestion of very high doses.

    Amyl nitrite
    one of the aliphatic nitrites, a volatile inhalant that is irritant to the respiratory mucosa and is also a strong vasodilator. It is used non-medically-as a “popper”-at or near the point of orgasm to enhance and prolong sexual pleasure.

    Anabolic steroids
    drugs patterned after the testosterone molecule that promote masculine changes in the body and increased muscle development. The full name is “anabolic-androgenic steroids.”

    a substance that reduces pain and may or may not have psychoactive properties. See also: opioid

    Analgesic abuse
    See abuse of non-dependence-producing substances. Analgesics that may be purchased without medical prescription, such as aspirin and acetaminophen.

    a substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness. A local anesthetic causes loss of feeling in a part of the body. A general anesthetic puts the person to sleep.

    Angel dust
    an anesthetic drug, C 1 7 H 2 5 N, used as an animal tranquilizer: also widely used in several forms as an illicit hallucinogen. Also called PCP.

    lack or loss of appetite for food, accompanied by a noticeable weight loss if it is chronic.

    Anorexia nervosa
    An eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of body weight.

    A drug that binds to the same nerve cell receptor as the natural neurotransmitter but does not activate the receptor, instead blocking the effects of another drug.

    Anti-epileptic drug
    One of a group of therapeutic agents prescribed for the treatment of epileptic disorders. These agents are commonly prescribed for alcohol withdrawal fits, though there is no good evidence of their efficacy for either primary or secondary prophylaxis.

    Synonym: anticonvulsant drug

    one of a group of psychoactive agents prescribed for the treatment of depressive disorders; also used for certain other conditions such as panic disorder. There are three main classes: tricyclic antidepressants (which are principally inhibitors of noradrenaline uptake); serotonin receptor agonists and uptake blockers; and the less commonly prescribed monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Tricyclic antidepressants have a relatively low abuse liability, but are sometimes used non-medically for their immediate psychic effects. Tolerance develops to their anticholinergic effects but it is doubtful whether a dependence syndrome or withdrawal syndrome occurs.

    One of a group of therapeutic drugs used in the treatment of allergic disorders and sometimes, because of their sedating effects, to allay anxiety and induce sleep.

    Pharmacologically, antihistamines are classed as H1 receptor blockers. These drugs are occasionally used non-medically, particularly by adolescents, in whom they may cause sedation and disinhibition. A moderate degree of tolerance develops but no dependence syndrome or withdrawal syndrome.

    Antipsychotic drugs
    medications used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.

    a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress . Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. These disorders fill people’s lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are chronic, relentless, and can grow progressively worse if not treated.

    anti-anxiety drug. See sedative/hypnotic.

    Appetite suppressant
    an agent used to reduce hunger and diminish food intake in the treatment of obesity. Most such drugs are sympathomimetic amines, whose efficacy is limited by associated insomnia, dependence phenomena, and other adverse effects Amphetamines were formerly in medical use for their appetite suppressant effects.

    Assessment (pyschosocial)
    interviewing a client to obtain the sociological background, psychological makeup, educational and work history, family and marriage difficulties and medical issues to better assess a client’s need for treatment. Information is gathered and weighed carefully against specific criteria that determine the prevalence of a chemical dependency problem.

    At-risk teens
    At-risk teens are demographic used to describe teenagers who develop negative behavioral patterns and suffer in their daily life due to their life’s choices. At-Risk Teens are also referred to, perhaps more commonly, as troubled teens.

    The parents of teens at risk will usually notice multiple changes in the child. Changes in the at risk teen’s behavior may vary from academic struggles, knowingly drawing attention to their emotions and behaviors and arguing with any and all forms of authority. The parents and other loved ones of at-risk teens may feel helpless, afraid, frustrated and sometimes guilty due to the troublesome behaviors of the child. Treatment may be very beneficial for at-risk teens when provided with tools like therapy, appropriate disciplinary structure, and professional guidance.

    At-risk teens display out of control behaviors, and that can create a hostile environment for their entire family’s living conditions. Due to the hostility and self-sabotaging tendencies of at-risk teens, it is crucial for parents to seek immediate treatment for their child.

    Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
    A chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

    An attitude is A manner of thinking, feeling, or behaving that reflects a state of mind or disposition.

    A person’s attitude is their overall outlook and feelings on a specific matter. Moreover, a person’s attitude towards something, will consequently effect the way that individual behaves towards a certain situation. For instance, if a person has a negative attitude towards their occupation, that individual is less likely to act on diligence, or any behavior that will promote productiveness regarding their specific job title.

    Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial for those who desire to reach success, in any area of life. However, this does not mean an individual needs to necessarily like, or enjoy, every facet of their life. Moreover, a successful individual maintains a positive outlook, in spite of their feelings of dislike, or lack of comfortability.

    Aversion conditioning
    a form of behavior therapy that is used to reduce the occurrence of undesirable behavior, such as sexual deviations or drug addiction. Conditioning is used with repeated pairing of some unpleasant stimulus with a stimulus related to the undesirable behavior. An example is pairing the taste of beer with electric shock in the treatment of alcoholism. Currently, aversion therapy is seldom used.

    Aversion therapy
    a treatment that suppresses undesirable behavior by associating a painful or unpleasant experience with the behavior. The term refers to any of several forms of treatment of alcohol or other drug dependence directed toward establishing a conditioned aversion to the sight, smell, taste, or thought of the misused substance. Generally the stimulus is a nauseant drug, such as emetine or apomorphine, administered just before an alcoholic drink, so that immediate vomiting occurs and absorption of the alcohol or other substance is avoided. Other stimuli involve an electric shock given in association with an alcoholic drink or with visual suggestions of drinking (bottles, advertisements), administration of a drug that causes brief paralysis of breathing, or verbal suggestion with or without hypnosis.

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