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    Glossary – N

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    a long-lasting opiate antagonist for the treatment of alcoholism. Brand name is Revex.

    an opioid receptor blocker that antagonizes the actions of opioid drugs. It reverses the features of opiate intoxication and is prescribed for the treatment of overdose with this group of drugs. See also: antagonist

    a pure antagonist for morphine and other opiate drugs. Brand name is Narcan.

    a long-lasting opiate antagonist for the treatment of alcoholism. Brand name is ReVia. Brand names for an extended-release injectable form in Vivitrol.

    a drug that has been effective in the recovery of alcoholism. It blocks the receptions for endorphins, thereby reducing alcohol cravings. Use of the drug in combination with psychosocial therapy improves the effectiveness of treatment.

    a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of addiction to alcohol or other drugs. The term is used particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

    the study and science of phenomena relating to psychoactive substances as well as a medical specialty dealing with such problems. See also: addiction medicine; alcohology; narcologist

    a chemical agent that induces stupor, coma, or insensibility to pain. The term usually refers to opiates or opioids, which are called narcotic analgesics. In common parlance and legal usage, it is often used imprecisely to mean illicit drugs, irrespective of their pharmacology.

    A general term technically referring to opiate-related or opiate-derived drugs. It is often mistakenly used to include several other illicit drug categories as well.

    Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
    see mutual-help group

    Narrowing of the drinking (drug use) repertoire
    the tendency of substance use to become progressively stereotyped around a self-imposed routine of custom and ritual, characterized by reduced variability of dosage and type of substance taken, and of time, place, and manner of self-administration.

    the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought by many causes including, systemic illnesses, such as influenza, medications, pain, and inner ear disease. When nausea and/or vomiting are persistent, or when they are accompanied by other severe symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice, fever, or bleeding, a physician should be consulted.

    National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

    the use of syringes or other injecting instruments (e.g. droppers) by more than one person, particularly as a method of administration of drugs. This confers the risk of transmission of viruses (such as human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B) and bacteria (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus).Many interventions such as methadone maintenance and needle/syringe exchanges are designed partly or wholly to eliminate needle-sharing.

    Negative beliefs
    A negative belief is a thought that negatively impacts the individual and causes them to act in anti-social behavior. While it is safe to say that all humans suffer from at least one negative level of thinking regarding their surroundings, making negative thinking a habit is severely detrimentalal for a person’s emotional, mental and even physical health.

    Negative beliefs limit a person’s overall quality of life and can isolate them from a large portion of society. it is no surprise that troubled teens are a demographic of people who have distanced themselves from society, due to their ignorant level of thinking. While the teen may shrug off this notion as an annoying factor that only authority figures point out, acting in such anti-social behaviors can ultimately destroy their lives. Moreover, it is crucial and absolutely necessary for parents to eliminate any ignorant or self-destructive thought patterns their child may engage in. While it is not always possible to completely intervene, making an effort and being a positive role model is always productive.

    Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)
    NAS occurs when heroin from the mother passes through the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream during pregnancy, allowing the baby to become addicted along with the mother. NAS requires hospitalization and treatment with medication (often a morphine taper) to relieve symptoms until the baby adjusts to becoming opioid-free.

    the neuronal changes associated with both tolerance and the appearance of a withdrawal syndrome. It is possible for an individual to exhibit neuroadaptation without showing the cognitive or behavioral manifestations of dependence. For example, surgical patients given opiate substances to relieve pain may sometimes experience withdrawal symptoms but may not recognize them as such or have any desire to continue taking drugs.

    one of a class of drugs used for the treatment of acute and chronic psychoses. Also known as major tranquillizers and antipsychotics. Neuroleptics include the phenothiazines (e.g. chlorpromazine, thioridazine, fluphenazine) and the butyrophenones (e.g. haloperidol). Neuroleptics have low abuse potential (see abuse of non-dependence-producing substances).

    one of two principal classes of cells in the nervous system, composed of three parts: the cell body, dendrites and axons. Neurons receive and conduct electrical impulses.

    Neuropathy, peripheral
    disorder and functional disturbance of the peripheral nerves. This may be manifest as numbness of the extremities, paraesthesia (“pins and needles” sensations), weakness of the limbs, or wasting of the muscles and loss of deep tendon reflexes. Peripheral neuropathy may be accompanied by disturbance of the autonomic nervous system, resulting in postural hypotension. Poor nutrition, particularly vitamin B deficiency, accompanying hazardous consumption of alcohol, is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy. Other drugs, including the opioids, may–rarely–cause this syndrome. Synonym: polyneuropathy.

    the process by which neurons transmit messages to other neurons, muscle cells, or gland cells.

    a chemical substance that a neuron uses to communicate information at the synapse.

    a natural chemical released by one neuron to influence or communicate with another. Acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, GABA, etc.

    Nicotine (1)
    an alkaloid, which is the major psychoactive substance in tobacco. It has both stimulant and relaxing effects. It produces an alerting effect on the electroencephalogram and, in some individuals, an increased capacity to focus attention. In others, it reduces anxiety and irritability. Nicotine is used in the form of inhaled tobacco smoke, “smokeless tobacco” (such as chewing tobacco), snuff, or nicotine gum. Each puff of inhaled tobacco smoke contains nicotine that is rapidly absorbed through the lungs and delivered to the brain within seconds. Considerable tolerance and dependence develop to nicotine. Because of its rapid metabolism, brain levels of nicotine fall rapidly and the smoker experiences craving for a further cigarette 30-40 minutes after finishing the last one.

    Nicotine (2)
    the main active ingredient of tobacco. Extremely toxic and causing irritation of lung tissues, constriction of blood vessels, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and, in general, central nervous system stimulation.

    stands for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S., whose mission is to “lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction through support and conduct of research across a broad range of disciplines and rapid and effective dissemination of results of that research to improve drug abuse and addiction prevention, treatment, and policy.”

    the National Institutes of Health. The NIH is an important U.S. health agency. It is devoted to medical research. Administratively under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the NIH consists of 20-some separate Institutes and Centers. NIH’s program activities are represented by these Institutes and Centers.

    a semi-stuporous state experienced by heroin and high-dose methadone users after the euphoric effects accompanying use have subsided; characterized by head bobbing, bowed head, and drooping eyelids. Synonym: nodding out

    Non-alcohol beverage
    see alcohol, non-beverage

    Non-medical use (NUPM)
    use of a prescription drug, whether obtained by prescription or otherwise, other than in the manner or for the time period prescribed, or by a person for whom the drug was not prescribed. The term sometimes also covers the use of illicit drugs.

    a neurotransmitter active in the sympathetic autonomic nervous system and in many regions of the brain

    Nucleus accumbens
    the part of the brain related to the limbic system that controls emotions.

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