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Heroin Treatment Options: Glossary

To return to “Introduction to Heroin Abuse and Addiction” then Click here

Heroin Treatment Options: Glossary

Addiction: A chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use and by neurochemical and molecular changes in the brain.

Agonist: A chemical compound that mimics the action of a natural neurotransmitter to produce a biological response.

Analog: A chemical compound that is similar to another drug in its effects but differs slightly in its chemical structure.

Antagonist: A drug that counteracts or blocks the effects of another drug.

Buprenorphine: A mixed opiate agonist/antagonist medication for the treatment of heroin and opiate addiction.

Craving: A powerful, often uncontrollable desire for drugs.

Detoxification: A process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug while managing the symptoms of withdrawal; often the first step in a drug treatment program.

Fentanyl: A medically useful opioid analog that is 50 times more potent than heroin.

Meperidine: A medically approved opioid available under various brand names (e.g., Demerol).

Methadone: A long-acting synthetic medication shown to be effective in treating heroin addiction.

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.

Rush: A surge of euphoric pleasure that rapidly follows administration of a drug.

Tolerance: A condition in which higher doses of a drug are required to produce the same effect as during initial use; often leads to physical dependence.

Withdrawal: A variety of symptoms that occur after use of an addictive drug is reduced or stopped.

Click here to return to the first part in the series, “Introduction to Heroin Abuse and Addiction.”

The above information is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Research Report Series – “Heroin Abuse and Addiction”. The report is also available at NIDA’s website at

Pat Moore Foundation’s drug & alcohol detox and alcohol & drug addiction treatment programs are licensed and certified by The State of California. We provide non-medical and medically managed detoxification (using Suboxone, Subutex, and Buprenorphine when appropriate) and primary residential treatment. Our individual homes are on a unique co-ed campus where we offer gender specific treatment. We are located in Costa Mesa, in Orange County, Southern California, close to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, and only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. To speak with a counselor, please call us 24-hours at (888) 426-6086 or if you’d like us to contact you, send a confidential message online by filling out our online form.

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