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Providing the evidence base to reduce harmful AOD use in
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
This section contains a glossary of terms.
|Abstinence||Staying away from using alcohol or drugs |
|Alcohol||Depressant||A liquid produced by fermentation. A depressant drug that slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body.||Booze, charge, grog, piss, liquor, nip||Orally||Liquid |
|Amphetamine||Stimulant||Amphetamines speed up the messages going between the brain and the body. They belong to a group of drugs called stimulants.||Fast, goey, speed, up, uppers, louee, whiz.||Injected, snorted, smoked, swallowed.||Capsules, crystals, powder, tablets
Colour: white-brown sometimes orange/dark purple 
|Amyl nitrite||Inhalant||Amyl nitrite is a vasodilator which means it dilates blood vessels. It is one of the nitrite class of drugs. Others include butyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite and nitrates such as nitro-glycerine. Short term effects are felt within 30 seconds of inhalation and last for about two to three minutes.||Butyl and isobutyl nitrites have been sold under many names including: climax, hear-on, jungle juice aroma, nitrate, nitro, poppers, ram, rush, thrust quicksilver.||Inhales through 'snorts'.||Clear/yellow inflammable liquid. The liquid smells sweet and fruity when fresh but like 'sweaty socks' when stale. Nitrites usually comes as a liquid, contained in small bottles. |
|Anabolic Steroids||Hormones||Most anabolic androgenic steroids are synthetic products based on the structure of testosterone.
Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for the development of masculine characteristics.
Anabolic means tissue building and muscular development and androgenic means male producing, and is responsible for the development of secondary male sex characteristics such as aggression, deepening of the voice and increased body hair.
Anabolic steroids are very different from steroids (corticosteroids) such as prednisone which is used to treat asthma. 
|A's, andro, arnies, balls/bulls, caseys, gym candy, HGH, juice, pumpers, roids, stackers, vets' drugs, weight trainers.||Injected, swallowed, rubbed into skin.||Tablet form, injectable water based or oil based fluids and rub on creams. |
|Analgesic||Painkillers||Medicines which relieve pain. Most analgesics are safe to use when taken as prescribed or instructed by your doctor or pharmacist in conjunction with the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging.||Aspirin, codenin, doxylamine, ibuprofen, paracetamol.||Swallowed, inserted into the rectum.||Capsules/tablets, liquid, soluble powders, suppositories. |
|Audit-C||Screening tool||Three short questions that can be used as part of a routine health check to assess if a person is drinking above the recommended limits .|
|Base||Stimulant||Part of the drug group methamphetamine.||Paste, pure, wax.||Injected but sometimes swallowed.||Damp, oily substance
Colour: yellow/white/brown. Appearances vary. 
|Benzodiazepine||Depressant||A group of drugs called minor tranquillisers. These drugs are prescribed by a doctor to help people with anxiety or sleep problems. There are about 30 different types (generic names) of benzodiazepines. Each one of these generic name drugs may be sold under several different brand names.
Some people inject and/or use them at the same time as the use heroin, alcohol and other drugs. This can be very dangerous and can cause an overdose or death.
|Benzos, downers, rowies, serries, moggies, normies, roofies, seros, sleepers, temazzies, tranks, tranquillisers, V, vals, xanax.||Swallowed.||Capsule/tablet, some available for intravenous use in hospital settings. |
|Binge drinking||Generally refers to drinking heavily over a short period of time with the intention of becoming intoxicated, resulting in immediate and severe intoxication. Drinking at these levels, people may experience physical effects (nausea, brain damage), difficulty with memory, coordination problems, putting themselves in dangerous situations. |
|Blood borne viruses (BBVs)||A virus that is carried in the blood. Blood borne viruses (BBVs) can be transmitted sexually or by direct contact with infected blood such as through sharing drug injecting equipment. BBVs included hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. |
|Buprenorphine||Depressant||Available by prescription as a treatment for heroin dependence.||B, bup.||Chewing/swallowing will make it ineffective. Sublingually (placed under the tongue to dissolve).||Tablet. |
|CPR||Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (e.g. mouth to mouth resuscitation). |
|Cannabis||Depressant, hallucinogen.||The most commonly used illegal drug in Australia. It is made from the dried flowers and leaves of a plant call Cannabis Sativa.||Bhang, bud, bush, choof, dope, ganja, grass, hash, hashish, hemp, home grown, hydro, kif, marijuana, Mary Jane, mull, oobie, pot, resin, wacky weed, weed, yarndi, zero.||Smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints or in water pipes called bongs. Sometimes mixed with food such as cakes and cookies and eaten.||Dried herbs or tea. Sometimes contains seeds or twigs.
Colour: Grey/green/brown. 
|Cirrhosis||Advanced scarring of the liver (e.g. from alcohol or viral hepatitis). A liver with cirrhosis is described as cirrhotic. |
|Cocaine||Stimulant||A drug made from the leaves of the coca plant. This plant is processed in different ways to make different types of cocaine. Cocaine is a stimulant drug.||Blow, Charlie, cocaine hydrochloride, coke, cola, crack, crack cocaine, dust, freebase cocaine, Lello, nose candy, snow, toot, white.||Injected, snorted, rub into gums.||Powder
Colour: white. 
|Cocaine hydrochloride||Stimulant||The type of cocaine most commonly available in Australia.||Snorted or injected. Can not be smoked because burning destroys it. ||White powder.|
|Come down or crash||After stimulant use, the person can experience a period where they feel down and need a lot of sleep. |
|Comorbidity||When a person has a substance use problem and a mental health problem. This is also sometimes called 'dual diagnosis' .|
|Compulsion||A sense that a person needs the drug rather than just wants it .|
|Crack cocaine||Stimulant||A type of freebase cocaine which is less available in Australia at this stage.
People who sell cocaine often mix or cut the powder with other things that look the same to make the drug go further. Some mixed-in substances can have unpleasant or harmful effects. It is difficult to tell what the drug actually contains.
|Cycling||Periods on and off steroids which some people use to try and avoid the worst side effects of steroid use. There is no evidence this actually works .|
|Delirium||Mental confusion e.g. during through severe alcohol withdrawal or head injury .|
|Demand reduction||Strategies and actions which prevent the uptake and/or delay the onset of use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; reduce the misuse of alcohol and the use of tobacco and other drugs in the community; and support people to recover from dependence and reintegrate with the community .|
|Dependence||Describes a condition where a person finds it difficult to control their use of alcohol or other drugs despite their use having harmful effects on their life. The person may also experience withdrawal symptoms.||Hooked |
|Depressant||A drug or medicine that slows down the brain (a 'downer'). In high doses many depressants can slow or stop breathing||Downer |
|Depression||Major depression, also known as clinical depression is a serious illness. It is a collection of symptoms such as feeling low most of the time, losing interest or motivation to do things, having no energy, and difficulty sleeping and eating .|
|Disinhibited||The person says or does the first thing that comes into their mind (impulsive behaviour) .|
|Dopamine||A chemical that is released in the reward centre of the brain that makes us feel pleasure .|
|Downers||Sedatives or depressants such as alcohol, Benzodiazepines or heroin that typically slow a person down and make them feel calmer .|
|Drug||A substance, other than food, which is taken to change the way the body or mind functions .|
|Ecstasy||Stimulant||Methylene DioxyMethAmphetamine (MDMA) - usually called exstasy - is a drug made from different chemicals. It can contain both amphetamine and some hallucinogens.||Disco biscuit, ck, E, eccy, MDMA, pills, scooby snacks, X, XTC||Swallowed, snorted||Pills/tablets, powder |
|Euphoria||A strong sense of happiness, feeling high .|
|Freebase Cocaine||Stimulant||Chemically changed type of cocaine (alkaloid cocaine).||Paste||Smoked||Powder |
|Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB)||Depressant||A depressant drug with sedative hypnotic effects, originally developed as pre-surgery anaesthetic. GHB is an illicit substance.||Blue nitro, fantasy, G, gina, grievous bodily harm (GBH), liquid, liquid E, liquid ecstasy, liquid x||swallowed||Often sold in a liquid form in small bottles. Occasionally sold as a crystal powder.
Colour: White/pale coloured. Colorants are used in production to distinguish the substance from water and other liquids .
|Hallucinations||Hallucinogens can make a person see, hear, smell, feel or taste things that aren't really there or are different from how they are in reality||Acid, dots, LSD, magic mushrooms, mescaline (peyote cactus), microdots, psychedelics, tabs, trips||swallowed||Cactus, mushrooms |
|Hallucinogens||Hallucinogens are a group of drugs that work on the brain to affect the senses and cause hallucinations - seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or touching things that do not exist.||Acid, blotter, cids, doses, dots, L, lad, LSD, magic mushrooms, microdot, psychedelic drugs, tabs, trips, zen||Swallowed||LSD, Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) |
|Harm minimisation||A range of approaches to minimise the harm from alcohol and other drug use which include the three pillars of demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction .|
|Harm reduction||Strategies and actions that primarily reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of drugs. |
|Heroin||Depressant||Drug that comes from the opium poppy. It is one of a group of very strong pain-killing drugs called narcotic analgesics or opioids. Heroin is a depressant.
People who sell heroin often mix or 'cut' the powder with other things that look the same to make the drug go further (to sell). Some mixed-in substances may have unpleasant or harmful effects. It is difficult to tell what is actually in the drug.
|gear, dope, dragon, H, hammer, harry, horse, junk, opioids, opium, skag, smack||Injected, smoked, snorted.||Powder
Colour: different colours depending on how refined it is. White= more refined 
|Hormones||There are numerous artificial hormones and hormone stimulating drugs in the PIEDs market.||Growth hormones, Insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1), Mechano growth factor (MGF) selective Androgen Receptor Modules (SARMs)||Injected||Liquid |
|IRIS||Indigenous Risk Assessment Screen||A screening tool used to assess clients for possible alcohol, drug or mental health problems .|
|Ice||Stimulant||Ice is a stimulant drug which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. It is a type of methamphetamine, which is generally stronger, more addictive and has more harmful side effects than the powder form known as speed.||crystal, Crystal meth, glass, shabu, shard||Generally smoked or injected. Can also be swallowed or snorted.||Crystal-like powder with strong smell and bitter taste. It can also come in the form of sheets or clear crystals
Colour: White or brownish 
|Inhalants||Depressant||Inhalants are a range of products that produce vapours which, when inhaled, may cause the person to feel intoxicated or 'high'. Inhalants are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. This means they slow down the workings of the brain, particularly breathing and the heart.||chroming, gas, glue, huff, poppers, sniff||Inhaled through nose or mouth. May be sprayed into a plastic bag, poured into a bottle or soaked onto a cloth/sleeve before being inhaled||Aerosol spray cans, chrome-based paint, cleaning fluid, correction fluid (liquid paper), felt-tipped pens, gas from lighters or barbeques (butane), glue, paint/paint thinner, petrol, nitrous oxide |
|Kava||Sedative||Kave (Piper methysticum) is a shrub belonging to the pepper family, Piperaceae. The root or stump of the shrub contains kavalactones, which have sedative and muscle-relaxant effects.||'ava (Samoa), 'awa (Hawaii), grog (Fiji), kava kava, kawa (Fiji), lewena (Fiji), saku (Pohnpei), yaqona (Fiji), waka (Fiji), wati (New Guinea)||drinking||Capsules, drink, drops, extracts, powder
Colour: Brown 
|Ketamine||Anaesthetic||Ketamine hydrochloride is an anaesthetic drug used by veterinarians and medical professionals. The drug has hallucinogenic effects, which means that it changes thinking, perception of time and emotions and seeing or hearing things that are distorted, or that do not exist at all.||K, ket, kitkat, special K, super K||Injected, snorted, swallowed||Crystalline powder. Can be made into tablets, pills or dissolved in liquid
Colour: White 
|Khat||Stimulant||Khat is a stimulant which speeds up the messages going between the brain and the body.||Chat, kat, qat||Chewed, smoked, taken as a tea.||Leaves and buds of the khat plant |
|Kronic||A synthetic type of cannabis containing a blend of dried herbal plants mixed with chemicals similar to THC .|
|Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)||Hallucinogen||In its pure state, LSD is a white odourless powder. However, it usually comes in squares of gelatine or blotting paper that have been dipped or soaked in LSD. LSD is also sometimes sold as a liquid, in a tablet or in capsules.||Acid, dots, microdots, trips||Swallowed but can be sniffed, injected or smoked||Squares of gelatine or blotting paper |
|Magic mushrooms||Hallucinogen||There are many different types of magic mushrooms. The most common ones in Australia are called golden tops, blue meanies and liberty caps. Magic mushrooms look similar to poisonous mushrooms that can cause a person to become very sick and can result in death.||Blue meanies, golden tops, liberty caps, mushies, shrooms||Often eaten fresh, cooked or brewed into a tea. They are sometimes mixed with tobacco or cannabis and smoked||Dried mushrooms, a powder or capsules |
|Mephedrone||Stimulant||Mephedrone was originally marketed as a plant fertiliser and 'research chemical'. It is a synthetic cathinone, simular to one of the active ingredients of the drug khat. It is structurally similar to other phenylethylamines, such as ephedrine and amphetamine.||Bubbles, drone, kitty cat, m-cat, miaow-miaow, meow, meph, plant food.||Sniffed/snorted, swallowed.||Capsules, crystals, powder, pill form.
Colour: White-Yellowish tinge .
|Mescaline (peyote cactus)||Hallucinogen||Mescaline is the active ingredient of the peyote cactus plant. It is also known to be made synthetically in the lab. The peyote cactus contains 'buttons' that can be cut from the root of the plant and then dried before eating or smoking them.||Cactus, cactus buttons, cactus joint, mesc, mescal.||Eaten, smoked.||In its pure form, mescaline sulphate is a crystal-like powder.
Colour: Pure-white Synthetic mescaline can come in different colours .
|Metabolise||How the body breaks down or changes a particular drug .|
|Methadone||Depressant||Belongs to a group of strong pain-killing drugs called opioids. They include codeine, morphine and heroin.
Mainly used to treat people for heroin or other opioid dependency.
|Biodone, physeptone||swallowed||Syrup |
|Methamphetamine (crystal)||Stimulant||A potent form of amphetamine.||Crack, Chris, Christina, crystal, crystal glass, crystal meth, ice, meth, speed||Injected, smoked, swallowed||Large sheet-like crystals or crystalline powder.
Colour: white, yellow, brown, pink 
|Methylene DioxyMethAmphetamine (MDMA)||Usually called exstasy - is a drug made from different chemicals. It can contain both amphetamine and some hallucinogens.||MDMA||Pills, powder.
Colour: white, various colours
|Naltrexone||Depressant||Naltrexone is a prescribed drug which may be used to help people withdrawn from opioids such as heroin, help people with alcohol dependence and as an experimental treatment during rapid withdrawal from opioids. You can not become physically dependent on naltrexone and it does not produce any euphoric effects.||swallowed||Tablet |
|Neurotransmitters||Chemical messengers in the brain, for example dopamine .|
|New psychoactive substances (synthetics)||New psychoactive substances (NPS) is a general term for substances that are designed to mimic or produce similar effects to common illicit drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.||Aphrodisiac tea, drug analogues, herbal highs, legal highs, new and emerging drugs (NEDs), research chemicals, social tonics synthetic cannabis, synthetic drugs||Herbal highs: Swallowed.
Research chemicals: swallowed, smoked, injected, taken anally.
Synthetic cannabinoids: smoked, drunk as tea
|Herbal highs: Pills or small bottles of liquid.
Research chemicals: capsules, crystals, powder.
Synthetic cannabinoids: dried herbs 
|Opioids||Opioids are medicines that reduce pain. They can make people feel sleepy and cause a strong sense of happiness ('euphoria'). Opioids can be found in opium poppies (morphine, codeine). Opioids are also made in laboratories, for example, some naturally occurring opioids are altered to create other drugs (heroin), while others are made from chemicals (methadone, oxycodone, buprenorphine)|
|Peptides||Hormones||Peptides stimulate the release of human growth hormone, which has an important role in muscle and bone growth. Peptides have become increasingly popular among professional and amateur athletes as they are hard to detect due to how quickly they are absorbed by the body.||injected||Fluid |
|Performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs)||Hormones||Substances taken by people with intention of improving their physical appearance and to enhance their sporting performance.||Anabolic steroids, hormones, peptides,||injected |
|Prevention||Ways to try to stop a person ever starting to miuses alcohol or drugs .|
|Psilocybin (magic mushrooms)||Hallucinogens||Is the hallucinogenic chemical that occurs in some mushrooms. In It its pure form, psilocybin is also a white powder, but usually sold as dried mushrooms or in substances made from mushrooms.
Some people eat poisonous mushrooms thinking they are mushrooms containing psilocybin. This can be very dangerous as some poisonous mushrooms can cause death or permanent liver damage.
|Cubes, liberties, liberty caps, magic mushrooms, mushrooms, sacred mushrooms, shrooms||Swallowed||Dried mushroom, powder (pure form).
Colour: White 
|Psychoactive drugs||Mood altering drugs which affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts.|
|Psychosis||A state of mind where the person becomes out of touch with reality. They may hear voices or think people want to control or harm them .|
|Quick onset of effect||Drugs whose effect comes on quickly |
|Relapse||Returning to harmful alcohol or drug use after a period of not using .|
|Relapse prevention||Ways to prevent a person going back to problem alcohol or drug use |
|Route of use||How a drug is taken e.g. swallowed, injected, snorted, sniffed |
|Screening||Ways to pick up a problem before the person comes to ask for help (e.g. for alcohol, drugs or mental health) |
|Sedative||A drug that makes you feel sleepy or calm e.g. benzodiazepines |
|Social determinants||The conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These conditions include income, housing, education, employment and social support networks which in turn are shaped by broader forces such as economics and social policies .|
|Speed (methamphetamine)||Stimulant||Methamphetamine drug which is typically 10-20% pure.||g-ee, rev, uppers, whiz||Injected, snorted, swallowed||Capsule, powder, pills, tablet.
Colour: White/yellow 
|Stacking||Is the practice of using various amounts of different steroids together to try to produce specific effects. There is no evidence this actually works and the more steroids taken at any one time, the higher the risk of side effects .|
|Stimulant||A drug or medicine that speeds up the brain. In high doses some stimulants may cause seizures or problems with heart rhythm||Upper |
|Supply reduction||Strategies and actions which prevent, stop, disrupt or otherwise reduce the production and supply of illegal drugs; and control, manage and/or regulate the availability of legal drugs .|
|Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)||THC is the chemical in cannabis which makes you feel high. This means you experience a change in mood and may see or eel things in a different way.
Some parts of the plant contain a higher level of THC. Eg, the flowers or buds have more THC than the stems or leaves .
|Tolerance||The person needs more of the drug to feel the same effects .|
|Withdrawal||When someone who is dependent on alcohol or other drugs first stops using they may feel unwell or have sleep or mood changes for a period of time.||Experience known as 'withdrawal' |