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    Glossary – P

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    an unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors.

    a fish-shaped spongy grayish-pink organ about 6 inches (15 cm) long that stretches across the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach. The head of the pancreas is on the right side of the abdomen and is connected to the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine). The narrow end of the pancreas, called the tail, extends to the left side of the body.

    an acute or chronic inflammation of the pancreas associated with alcoholism and marked by severe abdominal pain, nausea and fever

    Partial agonist
    A substance that binds to and activates the same nerve cell receptor as a natural neurotransmitter but produces a diminished biological response.

    Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
    a type of program used to treat mental illness and substance abuse. In partial hospitalization, the patient continues to reside at home, but commutes to a treatment center up to seven days a week.

    Passive smoking
    the involuntary inhalation of smoke, usually tobacco smoke, from another person’s smoking. Coined in the 1970s in connection with studies of the effects of such inhalation, the term helped to draw attention to the detrimental effects of smoking on people in the smoker’ s immediate environment. Synonym: environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure

    a cultural-political debate over whether general descriptive terms would give a favorable or unfavorable cast to the experience of mind-changing was conducted in many European and English-speaking countries in the 1960s and 1970s with regard to LSD and similar drugs. The terms ”psychotomimetic” and ”hallucinogen” (the latter became the accepted name for this class of drugs) conveyed an unfavorable connotation, while “psychedelic” and ”psychotic” gave a more favorable cast. ”psychedelic”, in particular, was also used with the same broad scope as “psychoactive” (The Journal of psychedelic drugs eventually changed to “psychoactive” in its title in 1981.) see also: psychotropic

    Effects usually last for 4-6 hours, although residual effects may take several days or longer to clear. During the immediate recovery period there may be self-destructive or violent behavior. PCP delirium, PCP delusional disorder, and PCP mood disorder have been observed. As is the case with the hallucinogens, it is not known whether such disorders are specific drug effects or a manifestation of pre-existing vulnerability. In ICD-10, PCP-related disorders are classed with hallucinogens (F16).

    In illicit use PCP may be taken orally, intravenously, or by sniffing, but it is usually smoked; effects begin within 5 minutes and peak at about 30 minutes. At first, the user feels euphoria, body warmth, and tingling, floating sensations, and a feeling of calm isolation. Auditory and visual hallucinations may appear, as well as altered body image, distorted perceptions of space and time, delusions, and disorganization of thought. Accompanying neurological and physiological symptoms are dose-related and include hypertension, nystagmus, ataxia, dysarthria, grimacing, profuse sweating, hyperreflexia, diminished responsiveness to pain, muscle rigidity, hyperpyrexia, hyperacusis, and seizures

    a nutritional deficiency syndrome caused by lack of niacin (vitamin B 6, nicotine acid) or the essential amino acid tryptophan (which can be converted to niacin) and characterized by confusion, depression, a symmetrical dermatitis affecting light-exposed parts of the body, and gastrointestinal symptoms, especially diarrhea. Pellagra is endemic among the poor in countries where unprocessed maize is the dietary staple. In other countries, it appears mainly in habitual heavy drinkers (alcoholic pellagra). Gastrointestinal symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distension. The mental symptoms are variable and may simulate any type of mental disorder, but depression is probably the most common psychiatric presentation. Disorientation, hallucinations, and delirium may develop, and some patients progress to dementia. Replacement therapy with niacin is effective in reversing most symptoms, although severe mental changes of long duration may not respond completely.

    a synthetic opioid which can induce an acute psychosis characterized by nightmares, depersonalization, and visual hallucinations. Because it has both agonist and antagonist characteristics, pentazocine can precipitate a narcotic withdrawal syndrome.

    Pep pills

    Peptic ulcer
    a hole in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. A peptic ulcer of the stomach is called a gastric ulcer, an ulcer of the duodenum is a duodenal ulcer, and a peptic ulcer of the esophagus is an esophageal ulcer. A peptic ulcer occurs when the lining of these organs is corroded by the acidic digestive juices which are secreted by the stomach cells.

    Peripheral neuropathy
    see neuropathy, peripheral.

    a synthetic opioid. Although the actions of pethidine are similar to those of other opioids, use of the drug is further characterized by a high incidence of dysphoria and irritability, and sometimes myoclonic twitches, seizures, and delirium following prolonged use. Synonym: meperidine

    hallucinogenic buttons from several types of cactus (Lophophora williamsii, Anhalonium lewinii. The psychoactive ingredient of peyote is mescaline. See also: hallucinogen

    Pharmaceutical policy
    the system of regulations intended to affect the availability of and demand for pharmaceutical drugs.

    the branch of science that deals with the study of drugs and their action on living systems.

    a location where prescription drugs are sold. A pharmacy is, by law, constantly supervised by a licensed pharmacist.

    Phencyclidine (PCP)
    a psychoactive drug with central nervous system depressant, stimulant, analgesic, and hallucinogenic effects. It was introduced into clinical medicine as a dissociative anesthetic but its use was abandoned because of the frequent occurrence of an acute syndrome consisting of disorientation, agitation, and delirium. It appears to be of value in treatment of stroke. PCP is relatively cheap and easy to synthesize and has been in use as an illicit drug since the 1970s. Related agents that produce similar effects include dexoxadrol and ketamine. See also: PCP

    a long-acting barbiturate drug, usually marketed in generic form.

    Physical dependence
    An adaptive physiological state that occurs with regular drug use and results in a withdrawal syndrome when drug use is stopped; usually occurs with tolerance.

    Physical dependence
    a condition in which the presence of a drug or alcohol is required to maintain normal functioning of the central nervous system. Physical dependence is caused by changes in the relationships among nerve cell membranes, neurotransmitters and their receptors, and the reward pathway.

    a pharmacologically inert substance that may elicit a significant reaction entirely because of the mental set of the patient or the physical setting in which the drug is taken.

    Placebo effect
    any change in a person’s condition after taking a drug, based solely on that person’s beliefs about the drug rather than on any physical effects of the drug.

    Poisoning, alcohol or drug
    a state of major disturbance of consciousness level, vital functions, and behavior following the administration in excessive dosage (deliberately or accidentally) of a psychoactive substance. (See overdose; intoxication). In the field of toxicology, the term poisoning is used more broadly to denote a state resulting from the administration of excessive amounts of any pharmacological agent, psychoactive or not.

    Polydrug abuse
    the abuse of two or more drugs at the same time, such as CNS depressants and alcohol.

    Polydrug use (abuse)
    see multiple drug use.

    a trait, such as alcoholism, whose expressions is influenced by more than one gene.

    see neuropathy, peripheral.

    see multiple drug use.

    the property of a synergistic drug interaction in which one drug combined with another drug produces an enhanced effect when one of the drugs alone would have had no effect.

    in a metabolic sequence of reactions, a compound that gives rise to the next compound: for example, chorine is the precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine

    to make susceptible, such as to certain health problems or to alcohol dependency. For examples, the presence of certain gene combinations or environmental conditions can predispose an individual to develop alcoholism.

    Prefontal cortex
    the part of the frontal lobe of the brain that relates to pleasure.

    the state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. This condition can be indicated by positive results on an over-the-counter urine test, and confirmed through a blood test, ultrasound, detection of fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long.

    a physician’s order for the preparation and administration of a drug or device for a patient.

    Prescription drugs
    medicinal drugs available to the public only when approved by a medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.

    Prescription drugs
    a controlled drug available only by the order of a licensed physician, P.A. or nurse Practitioners’ prescription.

    primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary prevention is an active assertive process of creating conditions and or personal attributes that promotes the well-being of people. Secondary prevention is early detection and intervention to keep beginning problems from becoming more severe. Tertiary prevention is the effort to rehabilitate those affected with severe disorders and return them to the community.

    Primary prevention
    a type of intervention in which the goal is to forestall the onset of drug use by an individual who has had little or no previous exposure to drugs.

    Proactive mindset
    A proactive mindset is one’s ability act proactively as opposed to reactively. A person who is proactive will do what needs to be done in the moment they see an obstacle, as opposed to letting that obstacle deter them in the future. A proactive person makes decisions that will provide positive repercussions in their future.

    A proactive mind will control a situation by doing something about it, rather than waiting for them to take place. A proactive mind is always thinking of the future. If an individual has a proactive mindset, they will prepare and work on ways in which they can improve their future.

    the prospect of recovery as anticipated from the usual course of a disease.

    Pseudo-Cushing syndrome
    an endocrine disorder, induced by alcohol, in which there is excessive production of corticosteroids by the adrenal glands. It is manifested by a bloated and reddened face (similar to that of true Cushing syndrome), obesity, and hypertension, and distinguished from true Cushing syndrome by the more ready suppression of cortisol levels by administration of dexamethasone, and by resolution of the biochemical abnormalities after cessation of alcohol use.

    Is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms

    one of the naturally occurring hallucinogens found in over 75 species of mushrooms of the genera Psilocybe, Panaeolus, and Conocybe, which grow throughout much of the world. Psilocybin is the major hallucinogenic constituent of the mushrooms and psilocin is present in small amounts. After ingestion, however, psilocybin is converted to psilocin by the enzyme alkaline phosphatase; psilocin is about 1.4 times as potent as psilocybin. See also: hallucinogen

    Mind-manifesting group of drugs producing a mental state of great calm and intensely pleasurable perception.

    Psychiatric drugs
    medications used to treat forms of mental illness.

    person with a degree in medicine (MD) with additional training in psychiatry; the study of mental disorders

    Psycho pharmaceutical
    a pharmaceutical that is a psychoactive drug.

    Psychoactive Drug
    any chemical substance that alters mood or behavior as a result of alterations in the functioning of the brain.

    Psychoactive drug or substance
    a substance that, when ingested, affects mental processes, e.g. cognition or affect. This term and its equivalent, psychotropic drug, are the most neutral and descriptive terms for the whole class of substances, licit and illicit, of interest to drug policy. “Psychoactive” does not necessarily imply dependence-producing, and in common parlance, the term is often left unstated, as in “drug use” or “substance abuse”.(See also drug.)

    Psychoactive substance use disorders
    A shortened version of the term used in ICD-10— Mental and behavioral disorders associated with psychoactive substance use. The term encompasses acute intoxication, harmful use , dependence syndrome, withdrawal state, withdrawal state with delirium , psychotic disorder, and amnesic syndrome. For a particular substance these conditions may be grouped together as, for example, alcohol use disorders, cannabis use disorders, stimulant use disorders. Psychoactive substance use disorders are defined as being of clinical relevance; the term “psychoactive substance use problems” is a broader one, which includes conditions and events not necessarily of clinical relevance. See also: alcohol-related problem; drug-related problem

    Psychological dependence
    a compulsion to use a drug for its pleasurable effects. Such dependence may lead to a compulsion to misuse a drug. A craving and compulsion to use a drug that is psychologically rather than physiologically based, e.g., compulsive gambling is a purely psychological dependence: a similar effect may come from drug use.

    the study of the effects of drugs on mood, sensation, consciousness, or other psychological or behavioral functions

    in the general sense, a mental illness that markedly interferes with a person’s capacity to meet life’s everyday demands. In a specific sense, it refers to a thought disorder in which reality testing is grossly impaired.

    involving both social and psychological behavior.

    drugs that have an effect on the function of the brain and that often are used to treat psychiatric/neurologic disorders; includes opioids, CNS depressants, and stimulants.

    the treatment of emotional or behavioral problems by psychological means, often in one-to-one interviews or small groups. Modern psychoanalysis and cognitive therapies concentrate on the patient’s beliefs. Other therapies, such as those within humanistic psychology, attend to the patient’s emotional state or sensitivity. The distinction, however, is not clear-cut, as all these therapies involve intense exploration of the patient’s conflicts, and most rely on the emotion generated in therapy as a force in the patient’s recovery. In contrast, behavior therapies derive from the view that neurosis is a matter of maladaptive conditioning and concentrate on modifying patients’ behavior.

    Psychotic disorder, alcohol- or drug-induced
    a cluster of psychotic phenomena that occur during or following substance abuse but not as a result of acute intoxication alone and not as part of a withdrawal syndrome. The disorder is characterized by hallucinations (typically auditory, but often in more than one sensory modality), perceptual distortions, delusions (often of a paranoid or persecutory nature), psychomotor disturbances (excitement or stupor), and abnormal affect (such as intense pain, psychotic depression, or ecstasy). The sensorium is usually clear although some degree of clouding of consciousness may be present. Such entities as alcoholic hallucinosis, amphetamine psychosis and persistent alcohol- or drug- induced psychotic state are included within this category. “Alcoholic psychosis” has been used loosely in a mental hospital context to mean any mental disorder (including alcohol dependence) related to alcohol use. In ICD-I0, substance use psychotic disorders are distinguished from residual and late-onset psychotic disorders.

    Psychotic disorder, residual and late-onset, alcohol- or drug-induced
    alcohol- or drug- induced changes in cognition, affect, personality, or behavior that persist beyond the period during which a direct drug-related effect might reasonably be assumed to be operating.

    in its most general sense, a term with the same meaning as “psychoactive”,

    i.e. affecting the mind or mental processes. Strictly speaking, a psychotropic drug is any chemical agent whose primary or significant effects are on the central nervous system. Some writers apply the term to drugs whose primary use is in the treatment of mental disorders— anxiolytic sedatives, antidepressants, antimanic agents, and neuroleptics. Others use the term to refer to substances with a high abuse liability because of their effects on mood, consciousness, or both—stimulants, hallucinogens, opioids, sedatives/hypnotics (including alcohol), etc. In the context of international drug control, “psychotropic substances” refers to substances controlled by the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

    Psychotropic drug
    drug that acts on psychic mood behavior or experience.

    Psychotropic medication
    an alternative term for psychiatric drugs.

    Public health
    the approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community as a whole. Public health is community health. It has been said that: “Health care is vital to all of us some of the time, but public health is vital to all of us all of the time.”

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