NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Glossary

Glossary

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  • Receptor: A large molecule that recognizes specific chemicals (normally neurotransmitters, hormones, and similar endogenous substances) and transmits the message carried by the chemical into the cell on which the receptor resides. [5]
  • Relapse: In drug abuse, relapse is the resumption of drug use after trying to stop taking drugs. Relapse is a common occurrence in many chronic disorders, including addiction, that require behavioral adjustments to treat effectively. [5]
  • Reuptake: The process by which neurotransmitters are removed from the synapse by being "pumped" through transporters back into the axon terminals that first released them. [5]
  • Reuptake pump (transporter): The large molecule that actually transports neurotransmitter molecules back into the axon terminals that released them. [5]
  • Reward: The process that reinforces behavior. It is mediated at least in part by the release of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens. Human subjects report that reward is associated with feelings of pleasure. [5]
  • Reward system (or brain reward system): A brain circuit that, when activated, reinforces behaviors. The circuit includes the dopamine-containing neurons of the ventral tegmental area, the nucleus accumbens, and part of the prefrontal cortex. The activation of this circuit causes feelings of pleasure. [5]
  • Route of administration: The way a drug is put into the body. Drugs can enter the body by eating, drinking, inhaling, injecting, snorting, smoking, or absorbing a drug through mucous membranes. [5]
  • Rush: A surge of pleasure that rapidly follows administration of some drugs. [3]
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