Glossary Of Addiction Counseling Terms

Treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and regain control of their lives. Mindfulness training, a common component of cognitive behavioral therapy, can help people ride out their cravings without acting on them. Recovery involves rebuilding a life— returning to wellness and becoming a functioning member of society. Every person needs a comprehensive recovery plan that addresses educational needs, job skills, social relationships, and mental and physical health. Therapy may be critical to resolving underlying problems that made escape into substance use so appealing in the first place.

addiction recovery terms

A mutual-help organization or peer support group for people who have been affected by a loved one’s alcohol use disorder. Groups are based on the 12-step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and have attendees share stories and build supportive networks to help one another cope with the difficulties of having a loved one experience an alcohol use disorder. The focus is placed more on changing oneself and one’s patterns of interacting with the addicted loved one, rather than on trying to change the alcohol-addicted person’s behavior directly. Counselors vary across jurisdictions in their titles, their required level of education, and required level of training. Addiction counselors encompass “substance abuse counselors” (SACs), “certified alcohol and substance abuse counselors” (CASACs), and “certified alcohol and drug counselors” (CADCs).


It is an anti-inflammatory, nonsteroidal, analgesic, non-narcotic medication (NSAID). Identify other factors in your life—relationships, work—that can help take the focus off addictive behaviors. Neuroscientist Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., who himself recovered from addiction, outlines five steps.

They can take positive action and will know how to prevent setbacks from leading to relapse. Recovery support resources can be found within recovery organizations at the local, state, and national levels. Today, there are hundreds of such organizations throughout the United States. The groups vary widely in size, membership, and activities – but all provide various types of support to people living with the disease of addiction, including a human touch that connects people with lived experiences who have walked a familiar path. In order to get my life back together, I had to be done with tearing myself apart. This is the essence of step one—to accept and admit powerlessness over my addiction and the breadth and depth of the unmanageability it created in my life.


During detox, all addictive substances are carefully removed from the patient’s body. In this stage, medical professionals navigate a patient through the steps of recovery. First, the patient engages in treatment that addresses the underlying causes of addiction. In addition, individual and group therapy help a person better understand addiction and themselves, and alternative therapies promote holistic wellness, bolstering recovery. The action stage also provides healthy, practical strategies for coping with stress and triggers that help the addicts progress through the maintenance stage without experiencing a relapse. A model of care for substance use disorder that houses affected individuals with others suffering from the same conditions to provide longer-term rehabilitative therapy in a therapeutic socially supportive milieu.

  • The chart below can help you choose words to reduce stigma and use person-first language when talking about addiction.
  • An addiction theory that considers addiction a medical, rather than social issue.
  • Groups are based on the 12-step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and have attendees share stories and build supportive networks to help one another cope with the difficulties of having a loved one experience an alcohol use disorder.
  • The NIH HEAL Initiative also partners with NIDA to fund research within the Consortium on Addiction Recovery Science, a nationwide effort that focuses on research network-building initiatives.
  • They deny that there is a problem, they deny how severe their condition is and they deny that treatment is necessary.

But cravings don’t last forever, and they tend to lessen in intensity over time. Many people believe that they are powerless to change their own addictive behavior, and often it is a belief that keeps people addicted. The evidence shows that every day, people choose to recover from addiction on their own. One way or another, they learn and deploy a set of skills that help them get through the strong cravings and urges of the difficult early stages of recovery. Some of the most helpful strategies for dealing with cravings are summarized in the acronym DEADS.

U – Addiction recovery phrases

A psychoactive substance that increases or arouses physiologic or nervous system activity in the body. A stimulant will typically increase alertness, attention, and energy through a corresponding increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rates. Informally referred to as “uppers” (e.g., cocaine, amphetamine/methamphetamine). A state in which one is not intoxicated or affected by the use of alcohol or drugs. A method of creating a population sample for a research study where individuals who are participating in the study invite people they know to also participate, who then invite people they know, and so on. An approach to drug policy that is a coordinated, comprehensive effort that balances public health & safety in order to create safer, healthier communities, measuring success by the impact of both drug use & drug policies on the public’s health.

Although addiction tends to cut people off from longtime friends, social support is a significant predictor of recovery. They may know something about the person’s deepest aspirations and voice them as a reminder that can help the person remain on the road to recovery. And they can help plan healthy joint activities to ensure that there are good days. If you or someone you know is seeking substance abuse rehabilitation, it is important to understand the different classifications and categories that insurance companies use to discuss addiction treatment. Whether the term is intensive inpatient treatment or detoxification level of care, you can find it here.


Researchers have studied the experiences of many people who have recovered from substance use and identified key features of the recovery process. One widely used model can be summed up in the acronym CHIME, identifying the key ingredients of recovery. If you’re ready to regain control and start a personalized medication assisted treatment program that works, we’re only a phone call away. The probability of a person to “re-offend” or relapse, use drugs or alcohol when attempting to stay sober. This refers to someone who has been diagnosed with more than one substance addiction.

  • ESH stands for “Experience, Strength and Hope.” This is an inspirational slogan that is expressed during the 12-step program.
  • The term is most often used to indicate the combination of addiction treatment services with mental health treatment services, or on-site pregnancy, parenting, or child-related services.
  • In my second 12-step meeting, someone with nearly 30 years clean stated, “Recovery won’t open the gates of heaven so you can get in, but it will unlock the gates of hell so you can get out.” And that has been my experience.
  • Because recovery involves growth, families need to learn and practice new patterns of interaction.
  • Becoming a contributing member of society typically entails resuming interrupted education and acquiring job skills, but most of all it means finding new life goals and new activities that serve as sources of pleasure—having things to look forward to.

Symptoms that fall under that particular classification should be present for a professional to diagnose someone with a particular disorder. BrightView follows the DMS-5, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose susbstance abuse disorder or SUD. BrightView educates patients on how to identify cravings and triggers, and how to successfully respond to these feelings. The age at which a person develops or acquires or experiences a condition or symptom of a disease such as addiction. Codependency focuses on the excessive partnership in which two people experience. It is typically defined by psychological and emotional attachment, especially when focusing on a partner that is struggling with addiction.

A faith-based approach in conjunction with medication may resonate with one person, whereas someone else may prefer behavioral therapy and a different type of medication for opioid use disorder (at least three are available and effective). While the term recovery can be applied to getting better or improvement related to a wide range of conditions, it is most often used to describe the process of overcoming addiction to alcohol and other drugs. In this context, recovery is generally thought of as becoming abstinent from these substances, but the reality is that recovery extends far beyond abstinence. An intense euphoric feeling experienced by some individuals in early recovery from substance use disorder in which the patient experiences highly positive and optimistic sentiments.

An irreversible syndrome inherited by children exposed to alcohol consumption by the mother during pregnancy. This syndrome is characterized Boston Sober Homes by physical and mental birth defects. This is currently more commonly referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

H – Addiction recovery phrases

While this glossary is intended to provide common understanding of frequently used terms related to recovery, substance use, and treatment programs, it is not exhaustive. Recovery is a different experience for everyone and some people may find that their road to sobriety is more difficult than they imagined. However, anyone can be successful in leaving their addictive habits behind if they are committed to their plan and follow the guidelines set out by their treatment program. There is no one secret to being successful in recovery but always managing your addiction and treating it as a lifelong illness is one of the best ways to remain sober.

addiction recovery terms

As part of a larger treatment plan, peer providers offer valuable guidance and connection to individuals in recovery through the process of sharing their own experiences in recovery from substance use disorder. Healthcare legislation enacted on March 23, 2010, making substance use disorders one of the ten elements of essential health benefits in the United States. It requires that Medicaid and all insurance plans sold on the Health Insurance Exchange provide services for substance use disorder treatment at the same level as other medical procedures. Commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act, ACA, or “Obamacare” after US president, Barack Obama, under whose government the law was formulated and enacted.

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