The Language

Abstinence – Not using drugs or alcohol.

Addiction – A complex disease of the brain and body, often chronic in nature, involving continued, compulsive use of one or more substances despite serious health and social consequences. Addiction disrupts regions of the brain that are responsible for reward, motivation, learning, judgment, and memory. It damages various body systems as well as families, relationships, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.

Addiction Counselor – A type of addiction treatment provider. Counselors may have different titles and required levels of education and training depending on where they practice. They typically provide group and individual counseling, but are not medical professionals and cannot provide medication needed to treat some forms of addiction and other health conditions.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – A fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Amphetamine – A stimulant drug that acts on the central nervous system (CNS). Amphetamines are medications prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Assessment – An evaluation of a person’s medical, psychological and substance use history, current health status, symptoms of addiction, potential withdrawal syndrome, and related health conditions. This helps to formulate a treatment plan. It should be performed by a qualified health professional.

Barbiturate – A type of CNS depressant sometimes prescribed to promote relaxation and sleep, but more commonly used in surgical procedures and to treat seizure disorders.

Benzodiazepine – A type of CNS depressant sometimes prescribed to relieve anxiety, panic, or acute stress reactions. Some benzodiazepines are prescribed short-term to promote sleep.

Blackout – A drug-related blackout is a phenomenon caused by the intake of any substance or medication in which short-term and long-term memory creation is impaired, therefore causing a complete inability to recall the past.

Buprenorphine – An opioid used to treat opioid addiction, acute pain, and chronic pain. It can be used under the tongue, by injection, as a skin patch, or as an implant.

Cannabidiol (CBD) – A component of the marijuana plant without mind-altering effects that is being studied for possible medical uses.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – A form of psychotherapy that teaches people strategies to identify and correct problematic associations among thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to enhance self-control, stop drug use, and address a range of other problems that often co-occur with them.

Co-morbidity – When two disorders or illnesses occur in the same person. Drug addiction and other mental illnesses or viral infections (HIV, hepatitis) are often co-morbid. Also referred to as co-occurring disorders.

Craving – A powerful, often overwhelming desire to use drugs.

Dependence – A condition that can occur with the regular use of illicit or some prescription drugs, even if taken as prescribed. Dependence is characterized by withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped. A person can be dependent of a substance without being addicted, but dependence sometimes leads to addiction.

Detoxification – Also known as detox, it is a process in which the body rids itself of a drug, or its metabolites. Medically-assisted detoxification may be needed to help mange a person’s withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification alone is not a treatment for substance use disorders, but this is often the first step in a drug treatment program.

Dopamine – A brain chemical, classified as a neurotransmitter, found in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behavior. Dopamine release in reward areas of the brain is caused by all drugs to which people can become addicted.

Drug Abuse – An older diagnostic term that defined use that is unsafe, use that leads a person to fail to fulfill responsibilities or gets them in legal trouble, or use that continues despite causing persistent interpersonal problems. This term is increasingly avoided by professionals because it can perpetuate stigma. Current appropriate terms include: drug use, drug misuse, and addiction.

Drug Court – Hendricks County Drug Court was established in 2011 as a new method to supervise offenders committing crimes related to their serious substance addiction. It incorporates the Ten Key Components and the principles of effective intervention developed by the Department of Justice and is designed to address recidivism, improve public safety, and reduce criminal justice costs of alcohol and drug dependent offenders by providing access to long-term treatment services while under the strict supervision of the court.

Heroin Anonymous (HA) – A fellowship of men and women who have found a better way of life, free from heroin addiction. The only requirement is a desire to stay sober.

Illicit – Illegal or forbidden by law.

Inpatient Treatment – An addiction treatment venue that requires overnight stays, usually in a hospital setting.

Integrated Care – Integrating primary medical care with behavioral health (mental health and substance abuse) care. Physical and behavioral health problems often occur at the same time and health care professionals should consider all conditions at once.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – A kind of treatment service and support program used primarily to treat eating disorders, depression, self harm, and chemical dependency that does not rely on detoxification. IOP operates on a small scale and does not require the intensive residential or partial day services typically offered by the larger, more comprehensive treatment facilities. IOPs are typically three days a week for three hours a day.

Levels of Care – Treatment settings offer varying levels of intensity of services. Examples include crisis services, outpatient, inpatient rehabilitation, and residential. The placement of patients with substance problems into a specific level of care is usually based on an assessment of symptoms, functioning, risk factors, and levels of support.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) – The use of medications in combination with psychosocial therapies to treat substance problems. Research shows that combined treatments often work better than either treatment alone. Although MAT most often refers to an approach for opioid use disorders, it is often recommended for alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs as well. For those addicted to opioids, however, a medication like naltrexone, methadone, or buprenorphine is usually necessary for treatment to be effective.

Methadone – A long-acting opioid agonist medication used for the treatment of opioid addiction and pain. Methadone used for opioid addiction can only be dispensed by opioid treatment programs certified by SAMHSA and approved by the designated state authority. For most cases of severe or long-term opioid addiction, it is considered the treatment of choice.

Naloxone – An opioid antagonist medication approved by the FDA to reverse an opioid overdose. It displaces opioid drugs (such as morphine or heroin) from their receptor and prevents further opioid receptor activation.

Naltrexone – A long-acting opioid antagonist medication that prevents receptors from being activated by other opioids. Naltrexone is used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders.

Narcan – The first and only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) – A nonprofit fellowship of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. They are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using.

Outpatient (OP) Treatment – An addiction treatment venue where the patient does not have to stay overnight. The services are offered in an office or clinic setting. The Willow Center is an outpatient treatment center.

Overdose – An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of a drug to produce a life-threatening reaction or death.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) – A structured program of outpatient psychiatric services as an alternative to inpatient psychiatric care. It is more intense than care received at a doctor’s or therapist’s office. This treatment is provided during the day and doesn’t require an overnight stay.

Prescription Drug Misuse – The use of a medication in ways or amounts other than intended by a doctor, by someone other than for whom the medication is prescribed, or for the experience or feeling the medication causes. This term is used interchangeably with “nonmedical” use, a term employed by many national drug use surveys.

Psychosocial Therapy – Psychosocial therapy includes specific types of individual, couples, family, and group therapies that have been shown to help individuals enhance their coping skills, navigate high-risk situations, avoid triggers to use substances, control cravings, cope with lapses, enhance their motivation to change behavior, encourage attendance at self-help meetings, or alter environments to reduce pressures to use. Psychosocial therapies are provided by highly trained clinical professionals.

Recovery – A process of change through which people with substance use disorders improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.

Recovery Works Program – An Indiana state program designed to provide support services to those without insurance coverage who are involved with the criminal justice system. It is dedicated to increasing the availability of mental health treatment and recovery services in the community for those who may otherwise face incarceration. Recovery Works focuses on pre-incarceration diversion services and post-incarceration re-entry services.

Rehabilitation – Commonly abbreviated as rehab, it is a term used in reference to changing behaviors of individuals with the disease of addiction to achieve abstinence and encourage other socially acceptable behaviors. There is no standard definition for rehabilitation, and it is important to ensure that evidence-based addiction treatment is offered.

Relapse – A return to a state of illness after a period of being healthy, “disease-free,” without symptoms, or in a state of remission. In drug addiction, relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop.

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) – An addiction treatment venue where patients live away from home, typically for several weeks or months, in a facility that provides treatment but not hospital care. There may be limited physician or psychologist services available at such programs.

Risk Factors – A biological, psychological, or environmental influence that can increase one’s chance of having a disease such as addiction. Examples include inheriting genes associated with addiction, a family history of addiction, exposure to physical or sexual abuse or other trauma, certain personality traits, and co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Self-Medication – The use of a substance to lessen the negative effects of stress, anxiety, or other mental disorders without the guidance of a health care provider. Self-medication may lead to addiction and other drug or alcohol-related problems.

Stabilization – The process of safely removing addictive substances from the body. Medically-assisted stabilization, also called detoxification, aims to reduce discomfort and potential physical harm for individuals who are experiencing withdrawal.

Stages of Change – A model which identifies a series of five stages through which people progress as they change behavior. It is often used to understand behavior change related to substance use. The five stages include: Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, and Maintenance.

Stigma – A set of negative attitudes and beliefs that motivate people to fear and discriminate against other people. Many people often attach a stigma to addiction because they do not understand that it is a disorder. This fuels myths and misconceptions and can influence choices pertaining to seeking treatment.

Substance Abuse – This refers to a less serious drug or alcohol use disorder in which substance use causes distress and problems but has not progressed to addiction.

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) – A medical illness caused by disordered use of a substance or substances. It is characterized by clinically significant impairments in health, social function, and impaired control over substance use. A SUD can range from mild to severe.

Therapy – A general term used to mean psychosocial therapy, excluding pharmaceutical therapy.

Tolerance – A condition in which higher doses of a drug are required to achieve the desired effect.

Treatment – A general term used to mean psychosocial therapy that involves individuals, couples, family, or group counseling or psychoeducation involving coping skills training.

Withdrawal – Symptoms that can occur after long-term use of a drug is reduced or stopped. These symptoms occur if tolerance to a substance has occurred and vary according to the substance. Withdrawal symptoms can lead a person to use the substance again.

Vivitrol – A non-addictive, once-monthly treatment of naltrexone proven to prevent relapse in opioid dependent patients when used with counseling following detoxification. Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain to allow for work with the psychological aspects of counseling.