Alcoholmd Glossary Page - P

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P Definition
Parkinson disease

A progressive, degenerative disease characterized by tremor, bradykinesia, and abnormalities of posture, probably caused by endogenous and exogenous neurotoxins, oxidative stress, and possibly genetic predisposition. Parkinson disease is believed to be caused by a deterioration of the brain cells producing dopamine.


Partners of alcoholics often suffer an array of problems such as anxiety, depression and a strong sense of guilt. They play a key role in the outcome of the treatment of alcoholism, and can be instrumental in its success or failure. See also Alcohol and partner , Family.


Phencyclidine is a synthetic psychoactive substance originally developed as an anesthesic but with heavy side effects. PCP is only used in some cases of veterinary care such as a hypnotic for large, wild animals (elephants); in humans, it may induce psychosis, agitation, hallucination and has a stimulating action by several neurotransmitter systems especially glutaminergic, dopaminergic and serotoninergic.


Inflammation and deterioration of the peripheral nerves primarily in the legs caused by a lack of B vitamins as a result of long term alcohol use associated with malnutrition.


Permits are required by law for anyone involved in the business of alcohol. ATF is the administration in charge of issuing and enforcing the alcohol permits.

Pet scan

Positron Emission Tomography scanner. A test allowing the clinician to locate and assess the levels of certain substances in the brain.


Treatment by drugs, See also medications, treatment, naltrexone, disulfiram, acamprosate, ondansetron.


Place of business where prescription and OTC (Over the Counter) drugs can be purchased


Major tranquilizers; antipsychotic drugs, used in the management of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.See also: Pharmacological Management of alcohol Withdrawal


An anti-convulsive drug used in the prevention of seizures. Sometimes used in the treatment of alcoholic withdrawal syndrome. Trade name: Dilantin. See also: Phenytoin in the management of alcohol withdrawal


Alcohol intake impairs pilots ability to fly airplanes. See also: Flying


A medicinal preparation having no specific pharmacological activity given in place of a medication to a group of patients usually for comparing to the effectiveness of a pharmacological agent on another group, by eliminating the bias of psychosomatic effects.


Harmful effect of a substance on one or several organs. See also intoxication


Set of rules established by a given entity on a particular topic.

Polydrug dependence

Concomitant use of two or more psychoactive substances in quantities and with frequencies that cause the individual significant physiological, psychological and/or sociological distress or impairment.


Alcoholism has very detrimental effects on pregnancy. Alcohol puts both the mother and fetus at risk by passing the placental barrier and can trigger spontaneous abortion, premature labor, still births, malformations and retarded physical and mental development. See also: Fetal alcohol syndrome, fetus.


Used in association with "alcohol use", indicates excessive, focused attention given to the drug alcohol and to its effects or its use (or both). The relative value the person assigns to alcohol often leads to energy being diverted from important life concerns.

Press release

Public statement issued by an entity (private company, government agency) for use in the press.


Frequency of occurrence within a defined population.


Social, economic, legal, medical and/or psychological measures aimed at minimizing the use of potentially addicting substances, lowering the dependence risk in susceptible individuals, or minimizing other adverse consequences of psychoactive substance use. Primary prevention consists of attempts to reduce the incidence of addictive diseases and related problems. Secondary prevention aims to achieve early detection, diagnosis and treatment of affected individuals. Tertiary prevention seeks to diminish the incidence of complications of addictive diseases.

Primary alcoholism

Refers to the nature of alcoholism as a disease entity in addition to and separate from other patho-physiologic states that may be associated with it. It suggests that as an addiction, alcoholism is not a symptom of an underlying disease state


Period of time during which a convicted felon (e.g. drunk driver) is allowed to go free while being closely monitored by the police

Problem drinker

A person who drinks at a hazardous level or experiences adverse consequences from their drinking.

Problem drinking

An informal term describing a pattern of drinking associated with life problems prior to establishing a definitive diagnosis of alcoholism. Also, an umbrella term for any harmful use of alcohol, including alcoholism. ASAM recommends that the term not be used in the latter sense.


A government policy, making sale of alcoholic beverages illegal


Antidepressant drug. Fluoxetine Hydrochloride, is an antidepressant chemically unrelated to tricyclic, tetracyclic or other available antidepressant agents. Fluoxetine is a serotonin reuptake-inhibitor antidepressant. This drug has been reported to reduce drinking in heavy drinkers in some studies. See also medication, treatment, antidepressant


A branch of medicine that deals with the science and practice of treating mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders especially as originating in endogenous causes or resulting from faulty interpersonal relationships.

Psychosocial intervention

See also: Psychotherapy. Treatment of mental or emotional disorder or maladjustment by psychological means especially involving verbal communication (as in psychoanalysis, nondirective psychotherapy, reeducation, or hypnosis). Any alteration in an individual's interpersonal environment, relationships, or life situation brought about especially by a qualified therapist and intended to have the effect of alleviating symptoms of mental or emotional disturbance. Because of the nature of alcoholism, psychotherapy is often used as a treatment, usually in conjunction with medication.


From AlcoholMD, "Psychotherapy is used here to refer to verbal interactions between a therapist and a patient intended to alter the patient's emotions, maladaptive beliefs or behavior." Don Wesson, MD

Psychotic disorder

Hallucinations occurring during withdrawal mainly auditory with voices either pleasant or distressing and threatening, lasting few weeks.

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