When a habitual drunkard or an opium addict consumes his alcohol or let's say opium, he becomes drunk or stoned. If not, he starts acting moody or strange, smashing things, feeling pain in his body, or simply being too lethargic.

In other words, if the least amount of a narcotic in a person's blood, based on the habit that he himself developed, is 3 mg, using 4 miligram makes him stoned/drunk and dropping the level of narcotic to 2 mg makes him [the word].

Both formal and informal ways to describe this state are welcome.

Note (for Persian speakers): The word I'm looking for is خمار.

Edit: Based on the answers given so far I get the impression that there is probably not a single specific word with this description. So I include a continuum here that may be helpful.

[ word ] ------> sober -------> intoxicated

Definition: the state of being a drug user who didn't get his drugs on time, esp. when it refers to being lethargic.

  • +1 for all. I suppose there is no a specific or technical term in English to fit in the continuum although there is one in Persian, so I simply need to describe that with other words describing the mood without necessarily having anything to do with drugs. Thank you.
    – Yuri
    Sep 21, 2016 at 20:17
  • [ word ] ------> sober -------> intoxicated makes no sense to me as a spectrum. Are you looking for sedated? ?
    – TimR
    Sep 21, 2016 at 21:45
  • @TRomano I made that up :) you see on the right side we have under the influence of drugs (intoxicated), and on the left side we have under the influence of no drugs having consumed for an addict [the word].
    – Yuri
    Sep 22, 2016 at 8:31

3 Answers 3


The repeated use of alcohol or drugs can lead to dependence on it. When one stops consuming the drug, one can experience withdrawal symptoms or withdrawal syndrome. (See also drug withdrawal.)

After consuming too much alcohol (not necessarily repeatedly), one can also experience a hangover. (The English Wikipedia article about hangover links to the article خماری in the Persian version of Wikipedia. The Persian Wiktionary article خمار mentions hung over and languid as related words.) The word you are looking for at the end of your example sentence may be languid.


Informally, if an addict can't get the drugs he wants, he's jonesing for them, or he's got a jones for them. (Jones and jonesing are sometimes used just to mean "craving something" now, by extension.)

For example,

Mitch and Mark set out to find a fresh smack connection. They hit Jackson Street and there is no problem finding the drugs that by now they both crave. They aren't sick, just jonesing for a fix.

(Source: A Place for Me: International Street Life to Spiritual Insight, by Colby Chase)


Withdrawal makes the addict initially irritable, i.e. overly sensitive to stimuli, quick to be angered or set off.

  • I upvoted you because your word can be used in this sense although it doesn't imply lethargy at all. On the other hand, I understand there is probably no English word to fit the continuum so I can't expect an English speaker to target it.
    – Yuri
    Sep 21, 2016 at 20:11
  • @Yuri: I understood you to be asking for a word that means the opposite of "lethargy". " ... he starts acting moody or strange, smashing things..."
    – TimR
    Sep 21, 2016 at 21:21
  • You're right but all these can be the after effects of this state and as I mentioned in OP "...feeling pain in his body, or simply being too lethargic." Some might even fall asleep suddenly. Here we simly use an adjective in Persian which can mean all these. A word which kind of means under the influence of no drugs!! Ofcourse to describe a habitual drug user :) The words irritable, languid, sleepy, lethargic, etc don't imply the notion of drug using.
    – Yuri
    Sep 21, 2016 at 21:34
  • Your question was unclear. It seemed you were asking for a word that described a habitual drug user who was going through withdrawal. All three of the answers understood the question to be just that, mine, stangdon's, and Christophe's.
    – TimR
    Sep 21, 2016 at 21:42
  • I know and that's why I upvoted all the answers. As I said if you want to make the meaning of the Persian word in English you need a clause as you yourself put it: the state of "a habitual drug user who was going through withdrawal." I don't think there is any entry in an English dictionary with such a definition but there is one in Persian.
    – Yuri
    Sep 22, 2016 at 8:25

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