Have a question about drugs? Click on Substances below.
Have a question about Gender Expression? Click on LGBTQIA below.
Finally, if you have a question about consent, click on sexual health below.
A chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and abuse and by long-lasting chemical changes in the brain.
Stimulant drugs whose effects are very similar to cocaine. Amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, and their various salts are collectively referred to as amphetamines. In fact, their chemical properties and actions are so similar that even experienced users have difficulty knowing which drug they have taken. Methamphetamine is the most commonly abused.
A group of medications that reduce pain. Some of these medicines are also used just before or during an operation to help the anesthetic work better. Codeine and hydrocodone are also used to relieve coughing. Methadone is also used to help some people control their dependence on heroin or other narcotics. These medicines are available only with your medical doctor’s or dentist’s prescription
Drugs that fall under the depressant category and are used medicinally to relieve anxiety, irritability, and tension. They have a high potential for abuse and development of tolerance. Depressants produce a state of intoxication similar to that of alcohol. When combined with alcohol, the effects are increased and risks are multiplied. Other drugs that fall under the depressant category include methaqualone, tranquilizers, and chloral hydrate.
Poor quality methamphetamine; methamphetamine produced in bathtubs.
Marijuana; opium; methamphetamine.
Small, mobile, labs used to produce methamphetamine
Marijuana; heroin; methamphetamine
Chemicals that help control mental and physical processes when produced naturally by the body and that produce intoxication and other effects when absorbed from marijuana. There are also now synthetic cannabinoids.
The botanical name for the plant from which marijuana comes.
Crack Cocaine; amphetamine; methamphetamine
A wide variety of drugs being used at dance clubs, bars, and all-night dance parties (“trances” or “raves”). Because many of these drugs are colorless, tasteless, and odorless, they can be secretly added to beverages by individuals who want to intoxicate or sedate others. The most widely used club drugs are; ecstasy, rohypnol, ketamine, GHB, and LSD. Research has shown that club drugs can have long-lasting negative effects on the brain, especially on memory function and motor skills. When club drugs are combined with alcohol, the effect is intensified, and they become even more dangerous and potentially fatal.
A powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Cocaine has been labeled the drug of the 1980s and ’90s, because of its extensive popularity and use during this period. It is one of the oldest known drugs. The pure chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, has been an abused substance for more than 100 years, and coca leaves, the source of cocaine, have been ingested for thousands of years. There are basically two chemical forms of cocaine: the hydrochloride salt and the “freebase”. The hydrochloride salt, or powdered form of cocaine, dissolves in water and, when abused, can be taken intravenously (by vein) or intranasally (in the nose). Freebase refers to a compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. The freebase form of cocaine is smokable. Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder, known as “coke,” “C,” “snow,” “flake,” or “blow.” Street dealers generally dilute it with such inert substances as cornstarch, talcum powder, and/or sugar, or with such active drugs as procaine (a chemically-related local anesthetic) or with such other stimulants as amphetamines.
Heroin; amphetamine; hypodermic needle; methamphetamine
Drugs that cause hallucinations – profound distortions in a person’s perceptions of reality. Under the influence of hallucinogens, people see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. Some hallucinogens also produce rapid, intense emotional swings. Hallucinogens cause their effects by disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin. Distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord, the serotonin system is involved in the control of behavioral, perceptual, and regulatory systems, including mood, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, muscle control, and sensory perception. LSD is the drug most commonly identified with the term “hallucinogen” and the most widely used in this class of drugs. It is considered the typical hallucinogen.
A highly addictive drug, and its use is a serious problem in America. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Street names for heroin include “smack,” “H,” “skag,” and “junk.” Other names may refer to types of heroin produced in a specific geographical area, such as “Mexican black tar.”
Amphetamine; high quality methamphetamine; marijuana; methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA); marijuana grown in water (hydroponic)
Cocaine; crack cocaine; smokable methamphetamine; methamphetamine; methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA); phencyclidine (PCP)
Breathable chemical vapors that produce psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. Inhalants fall into the following categories: Solvents: Industrial or household solvents or solvent-containing products, including paint thinners or solvents, degreasers (dry- cleaning fluids), gasoline, and glues, Art or office supply solvents: including correction fluids, felt-tip-marker fluid, and electronic contact cleaners. Gases: Gases used in household or commercial products, including butane lighters and propane tanks, whipping cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets), and refrigerant gases. Household aerosol propellants and associated solvents: items such as spray paints, hair or deodorant sprays, and fabric protector sprays. Medical anesthetic gases: such as ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) Nitrites: aliphatic nitrites, including cyclohexyl nitrite, which is available to the general public; amyl nitrite, which is available only by prescription; and butyl nitrite, which is now an illegal substance.
The act of administering a drug or combination of drugs by nasal or oral respiration. Also, the act of drawing air or other substances into the lungs. Nicotine in tobacco smoke enters the body by inhalation.
A method of administering a substance such as a drug into the skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscle, blood vessels, or body cavities, usually by means of a needle.
A central nervous system depressant that produces a rapid-acting dissociative effect. Ketamine is often mistaken for cocaine or crystal methamphetamine because of a similarity in appearance (NCADI, 2000). Also known as K, Special K, Vitamin K, Kit Kat, Keller, Super Acid, and Super C, Ketamine is available in tablet, powder, and liquid form. The drug is so powerful that when injected, there is a risk of losing motor control before the injection is completed. In powder form, the drug can be snorted or sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana and smoked (Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2000). The effects of Ketamine last from 1 to 6 hours, and it is usually 24-48 hours before the user feels completely “normal” again.
Open scabs and skin lesions due to methamphetamine abuse
An hallucinogenic drug that acts on the serotonin receptor. It is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. LSD, commonly referred to as “acid,” is sold on the street in tablets, capsules, and, occasionally, liquid form. It is odorless, colorless, and has a slightly bitter taste and is usually taken by mouth. Often LSD is added to absorbent paper, such as blotter paper, and divided into small decorated squares, with each square representing one dose.
A green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of a plant. You may hear marijuana called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are more than 200 slang terms for marijuana. Sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah; it’s a Spanish word), hashish (“hash” for short), and hash oil are stronger forms of marijuana. All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. In other words, they change how the brain works. They all contain THC (delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. They also contain more than 400 other chemicals. Marijuana’s effects on the user depend on the strength or potency of the THC it contains.
A drug that is used to treat an illness or disease according to established medical guidelines.
Methamphetamine combined with heroin
A powerfully addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system. Methamphetamine is commonly known as “speed,” “meth,” and “chalk.” In its smoked form, it is often referred to as “ice,” “crystal,” “crank,” and “glass.” It is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. The drug was developed early in this century from its parent drug, amphetamine, and was used originally in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers. Methamphetamine’s chemical structure is similar to that of amphetamine, but it has more pronounced effects on the central nervous system. The effects of methamphetamine can last 6 to 8 hours. After the initial “rush,” there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior.
One of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States. Cigarette smoking has been the most popular method of taking nicotine since the beginning of the 20th century. In 1989, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report that concluded that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, such as cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco, are addictive and that nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction. In addition, the report determined that smoking was a major cause of stroke and the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Also known as “narcotic analgesics”. Concern about the abuse of prescription painkillers has risen dramatically in the U.S. Of particular concern is the abuse of pain medications containing opiates, marketed under such brand names as Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Demerol, and Darvon.
Is a tranquilizer about ten times more potent than Valium. The drug is available as a white or olive-green pill and is usually sold in the manufacturer’s bubble packaging. Users crush the pills and snort the powder, sprinkle it on marijuana and smoke it, dissolve it in a drink or inject it. Rohypnol has been used to commit sexual assaults because it renders the victim incapable of resisting, giving it the reputation of a “date-rape” drug.
A person who works to end intolerance, educate others, and supports social equity for a marginalized group.
A person with no/very little connection to the traditional system of gender, and/or someone who sees themselves as existing without gender. Sometimes called gender neutral
A (typically straight and/or cisgender) person who supports and respects members of the LGBTQ community.
A gender expression that has elements of both masculinity and femininity.
A person who has no sexual feelings or desires.
A label assigned at birth by a doctor, based on genitals and chromosomes.
A person who is attracted to people, regardless of their gender and/or sex. Bisexuality is now regarded as a valid, independent sexual identity.
A person whose gender identity, gender expression and biological sex all align. E.g. man, masculine, male.
Little or no capacity to experience sexual attraction until a strong romantic or emotional connection is formed with another individual, most often within a romantic relationship.
Female-to-male transgender or transsexual person; male-to-female transgender or transsexual person.
A common and acceptable term for male homosexuals. It is often used for both genders, as well as for the gay community in general.
The idea that there are only two genders and that every person is one of those two.
The ways you express gender through your actions, dress and demeanor and how those presentations are interpreted based on gender norms. Generally measured on a scale of masculinity and femininity. It is important that we recognize that individuals don’t always express their masculinity/femininity in a manner that is consistent with their biological sex.
How do you feel inside? How do you choose to express yourself in your behavior and personal experience? This is your gender identity. There are more than just two types of gender: Gender diverse, Gender creative, gender non-confirming, and gender queer are just a few terms you can use to describe your identity.
The sense that one is a man or a woman. How you, for yourself, define your gender based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’.
A gender identity label that indicates a person who identifies outside of the gender binary.
Is a social and cultural construct of what constitutes being a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’. Based on the characteristics that a society or culture perceives to be ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’.
A gender identity label often used by people who do not identify with the binary of man/woman; or as an umbrella term for many gender non-conforming or non-binary identities (e.g., agender, bigender, genderfluid).
An outdated medical term used to describe someone who is ‘intersex’.
A person who is emotionally and/or sexually attracted to persons of the opposite sex. Also known as ‘straight’.
Used appropriately, it refers to affectional and/or sexual behavior between people of the same sex. Also known as ‘gay’.
People born with reproductive organs, genitalia and/or sex chromosomes that are not exclusively male nor female, or is considered (by the medical establishment and heterosexist society) to be biologically “ambiguous”.
One of the most common and most preferred terms for female homosexuals.
A commonly used acronym to encompass people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning intersex, or asexual.
Person who experiences sexual, romantic and/or physical attraction to people of all gender/sexual identities or expressions.
A term used throughout the Transgender community for people being accepted as, or able to “pass for,” a member of their self-identified gender identity (regardless of sex assigned at birth) without being identified as trans*. 2 An LGB/queer individual who is believed to be or perceived as straight. This is a controversial term because it often is focusing on the person who is observing or interacting with the individual who is “passing” and puts the power/authority in observer rather than giving that power to the individual.
Used as an umbrella term to describe individuals who don’t identify as straight. Also used to describe people who have a non-normative gender identity, or as a political affiliation. Due to its historical use as a derogatory term, it is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBTQ community. The term “queer” can often be use interchangeably with LGBTQ (e.g., “queer folks” instead of “LGBTQ folks”). For many GLBT persons, the term ‘queer’ has negative connotations, however, many GLBT persons have ‘reclaimed’ it as a symbol of pride. It is sometimes recommended that non-GLBT people do not use this term.
An individual who or time when someone is unsure about or exploring their own sexual orientation or gender identity.
A symbol celebrating the uniqueness and diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community. San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker designed a flag for the city’s Gay Freedom celebrations in 1978. It has six stripes, each a different color, ranging from purple to red, used to symbolize equality and diversity among all people. Sometimes a black stripe is added to the bottom to honor those who have died from AIDS.
How a person identifies with their sexual orientation. Eg. “I identify myself as straight/gay”. This may not necessarily align with the person’s sexual expression or sexual orientation.
Your sexual orientation is who you are emotionally, mentally and physically attracted to based on their sex/gender in relation to your own. This may be same-sex orientation, male-female orientation or a bisexual orientation (all sexes).
The way you like/do not like to be sexually intimate. This is not to be confused with sexual orientation.
A central feature of being human that is extremely individualized. It includes sexual feelings, thoughts, attractions, preferences and sometimes behavior.
This term is a shortening of the terms ‘transgender’ and ‘transexual’.
A term used by many older transgender people to describe themselves. The term often refers to transgender people who have physically transitioned to their choice of gender.
Someone whose gender identity differs from their biological sex assigned at birth. Transgender people may identify as ‘men’ or ‘women’ or decide that neither label fits them. In order to express their chosen gender, transgender people may transition from the gender that they were given at birth (biological sex).
In order to express their chosen gender, someone who is transgender may ‘transition’ from the sex that they were assigned at birth (biological sex) with the help of medications or surgery. This process is referred to as ‘transitioning’.
A person who was assigned a female sex at birth but identifies as a man.
Someone who adopts the dress, and sometimes behavior, typical of the ‘opposite’ gender for a variety of reasons including emotional and/or sexual pleasure.
A person who was assigned a male sex at birth but identifies as a woman.
Is an umbrella term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders.
Not having sex with anyone.
Ending a pregnancy
The most advanced stage of HIV.
Sexual assault by someone the victim knows.
The age at which state law considers a person old enough to decide to have sex with someone.
Sex in which an insertive organ or toy goes in the anus.
Oral sex on an anus.
A medicine that fights viruses. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a treatment for HIV patients that can help them stay healthy, and lower their chances of giving HIV to someone else
A combination of medicines that works to keep people living with HIV healthy by lowering the amount of the virus in their bodies.
Having no signs or symptoms. Many STDs are asymptomatic in their early stages.
Inflammation of the vulva/vagina (vaginitis) caused by a change in the balance of vaginal bacteria. It’s not an STD. Things like douching or having sex with a new partner can lead to BV.
A slang expression that uses baseball to describe how far two people have gone sexually. Typically, first base refers to kissing, second based refers to touching above the waist, sloppy second refers to touching above the waist with the mouth, third base refers to touching each other’s genitals or oral sex and fourth base or a home run refers to vaginal sex. Depending on where a person lives, the bases may be defined differently from that.
Attitudes and feelings that a person has about their body and appearance.
Something that prevents pregnancy.
Bondage, Discipline/Domination, Submission/Sadism, Masochism, covers a variety of sexual practices.
The two glands on the chest. Considered sex organs because they’re often sexually sensitive and may inspire sexual desire. Like mammary glands in other mammals, they produce milk during and after pregnancy.
A very common STD that’s caused by a bacteria and can be cured with antibiotics. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility and arthritis.
Sex organ whose only known purpose is sexual pleasure. The clitoris swells with blood during sexual excitement. The outer part of the clitoris is located at the top/front of the vulva, right next to urethra (hole you pee out of). The inner part of the clitoris, which is much larger, includes a shaft and two crura (roots or legs) of tissue that extend up to five inches into the body on both sides of the vagina to attach to the pubic bone.
Forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do, often with threats or emotional manipulation.
When a person agrees to a certain action or behavior. A person, in order to consent, must have the capacity to consent, which means they are not mentally disabled, under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are of legal age to be able to consent.
Oral sex using the mouth to stimulate the clitoris, vulva, and vagina.
A thin, square piece of latex that helps prevent the spread of STDs when placed over the vulva or anus during oral sex.
Body rubbing with clothes on.
Any area of the body that’s sensitive to sensual touch, or feels sexual.
Oral sex on a penis. Also called a “blow job.”
A polyurethane pouch that goes inside the vagina or anus for pregnancy and/or STD prevention. Female condoms are sometimes called internal condoms or referred to by their brand name, FC2 Female Condom®.
Kissing, rubbing, stroking, and/or touching that leads to sex. Foreplay can prolong and/or increase sexual excitement and pleasure.
A tube of skin that covers and protects the glans (head) of the penis, and rolls back when the penis becomes erect. A circumcised penis has had the foreskin removed.
An area inside the vagina that’s highly sensitive to touch, along the upper wall of the vagina. Stimulation of the G spot can lead to intense sexual arousal and orgasm for some people.
A common STD in the area of the anus, cervix, penis, vagina, or vulva. Very often there are no symptoms, while the most common symptom is a cluster of blistery sores. Since it’s a virus, there is no cure, but there is treatment available.
Soft, flesh-colored growths on or near the penis/vulva, caused by some types of HPV (human papilloma virus). They are usually painless, but may itch.
A bacterial STD that’s easy to treat, but if left untreated can lead to infertility, arthritis, and heart problems. Often has no symptoms.
A viral infection that can be sexually transmitted. It can lead to dangerous liver problems in some people.
A common STD caused by two different but similar viruses: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both kinds can make blistery sores show up on and around the genitals or mouth.
A chronic virus that breaks down the immune system. Can lead to AIDS if not treated.
The most common STD. Some types of HPV may cause genital warts. Others may cause cancer of the anus, cervix, penis, throat, or vulva. Most of the time HPV is harmless and goes away on its own.
One type of the herpes virus. HSV-1 typically infects the mouth, causing cold sores. More rarely, HSV-1 can infect the genitals. HSV-1 is extremely common and may not always be transmitted sexually, as skin-to-skin contact is all that’s needed to pass it on.
One type of the herpes virus. HSV-2 typically infects the genitals, causing clusters of sores. More rarely, HSV-2 can infect the mouth. It’s generally passed by sexual skin-to-skin contact.
The closeness you feel when you share your private and personal self with someone else.
A pattern of emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse in the context of an intimate relationship. Also called “domestic violence,” “partner abuse,” “relationship abuse,” and “dating violence.”
Joy is a big, beautiful, happy feeling. There are a lot of ways to feel joy. Part of sex is feeling joy and pleasure. When you are younger, you can feel this joy and pleasure on your own, in your own body. As you get older, you might also decide to share those feelings with someone who deserves your trust.
Justice is like fairness, only bigger. Justice means working together so that everyone can share in the good and the hard parts of living. Justice means that every person and every body matters.
Feeling of sexual desire.
A water-based, silicone-based, or oil-based product used to increase slipperiness and reduce friction during sex.
The 2 organs that store and release eggs. Ovaries also produce hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
An infection in the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries that can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pain. It’s often caused by untreated STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia.
A reproductive and sex organ that’s made of spongy tissue. The spongy tissue fills with blood during sexual excitement, a process known as erection (getting hard). Urine and semen pass through the penis.
Medicine that helps prevent HIV (or other infections) if started within a few days after being exposed.
A brand of emergency contraception pill made from levonorgestrel, the same kind of hormone found in birth control pills. Available over the counter to anyone of any age or gender in the US.
Slang for pre-ejaculate, the liquid that oozes out of the penis during sexual excitement before ejaculation. Sometimes, for some people, it has a small amount of sperm in it.
A medicine taken daily to reduce the risk of getting HIV.
The first stage of a syphilis infection, during which an open sore called a chancre develops.
A device or treatment used to prevent infection, like a condom.
The time between childhood and adulthood when people mature physically and sexually. Puberty is marked by changes such as breast development and menstruation or hair growth and ejaculation.
The consensual use of domination and/or pain for sexual stimulation in sex. The “sadist” dominates/inflicts pain. The “masochist” is submissive/receives pain.
A previously agreed upon word or phrase that means a partner is no longer enjoying an activity during and it must stop.
Ways in which people reduce the risk of getting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. A more precise term than “safe sex,” because no sex act is completely safe from the possibility of passing a sexually transmitted infection.
A sac of skin, divided into 2 parts, that holds the testicles.
The second stage of the infection, during which a rash and fever develop.
Many people are sexually active but limit what they do to avoid STD/STIs and/or pregnancy or because they do not feel ready to do some sexual things. Someone who chooses to be selectively abstinent might have some kinds of sex but not others. Someone who practices selective abstinence may or may not run the risk of contracting an STD/STI and/or having an unwanted pregnancy, depending on the activities in which he or she does.
A label assigned at birth of female, male, or sometimes intersex. Also, the act of vaginal, anal, or manual (using hands) intercourse, or oral-genital stimulation, with a partner.
Unwanted sexual advances from someone. Includes suggestive gestures, language, or touching.
Enjoying emotional, physical, and social well-being in regard to one’s sexuality, including free and responsible sexual expression that enriches one’s life. (Sexual health is not only the absence of sexual dysfunction or disease.)
Usually, sex that includes penetration of the vagina with a penis. Can also describe penetration of the anus with a penis.
A skin condition caused by reactivation of a varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection, usually acquired in childhood, when it appears as chicken pox. It consists of painful, inflammatory blisters on the skin that follow the path of individual peripheral nerves. The blisters generally dry and scab, leaving minor scarring. Standard treatment is with famciclovir or acyclovir.
Legally, sexual contact between an adult and anyone who is below the age of consent, whether or not the contact is voluntary.
An infection that’s passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or sexual skin-to-skin contact. More accurately called sexually transmitted infection.
An Infection that’s passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or sexual skin-to-skin contact. Commonly known as sexually transmitted disease.
A bacterial sexually transmitted infection that is easily cured with antibiotics, but can cause permanent damage if left untreated.
The third phase of the infection during which organ damage and failure occur.
An infection with a flagellated protozoan, Trichomonas vaginalis. When symptomatic, the infection results in vaginitis in women and urethritis in men. Many infected persons, however, remain asymptomatic.
When you trust someone, it means you feel safe and comfortable with that person. Trusting people means knowing you can count on them. It takes time to learn who you can trust. You can also trust yourself. Some of us know what this feels like and some of us have to learn. Nobody knows more about you than you do.
A small tube where pee comes out.
The vulva is made of folds of skin called labia, and protects three other parts- the clitoris, vagina, and urethra.
The stretchy passage that connects the vulva with the cervix and uterus. It’s where menstrual comes out of the body, a baby comes out of the body through childbirth, and/or one place sexual penetration (by a penis, finger, sex toy, etc.) can happen. During menstruation, it’s where tampons or menstrual cups are placed.
Having never had sex. May mean different things to different people. For example, many people think you “lose your virginity” when you have vaginal sex. Others think that you lose your virginity if you have other kinds of sexual activity, like oral sex or anal sex.