Common Intervention Terms

Common Intervention Terms

There are some common intervention terms that apply to different types of interventions for substance abuse and addiction. In the following list, you will find many such terms. Most of them are from DSM-IV-TR – or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition, Text Revision penned by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) in 2000.

These definitions are properly attributed and presented in this text. The common intervention terms that you will most probably come across while researching the topic include:

  • Abstinence – Refraining from using drugs and alcohol
  • Acetaminophens – Pain relief medications like Tylenol that are commonly prescribed for use in the treatment of headaches and muscle aches, among other types of pain conditions
  • ACOA – A support group that mostly involves adults who have parents with an alcohol use disorder
  • Addict – A highly stigmatizing slang term that is used to describe people with addiction
  • Addiction – The repeat of certain activities that continue causing harm to the substance user and others around them
  • Addiction Assessment – Testing and evaluation designed to determine the presence of (and severity of) a chemical dependency in clients; it typically considers family, physical, sociological, and psychological factors, among others
  • Addiction Treatment – Rehabilitation for substance abuse designed to reduce the addictive disorder
  • Addictive Personality – A trait or traits that tend to develop as a result of continuous drug and alcohol use
  • Adverse Reaction – The detrimental reaction that one might have as a result of abusing drugs or alcohol contrary to their reaction they desired
  • Affinity – The strength and potency a drug might have, which allows the drug to bind to certain brain and CNS receptors
  • Age at Onset – Your age when you started engaging in addictive behavior and one of the primary factors considered during addiction assessment
  • Agonist – Any drug that works to activate any brain receptor
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – The voluntary program that is dedicated to helping people with an alcohol use disorder find full recovery and ongoing sobriety
  • Alkaloids – The organic compounds produced from plants that act as the primary active ingredients in most addictive substances
  • Amphetamine – A largely behavioral stimulant that is also referred to as pep pills on the street and among its users
  • Analgesic – A type of medication that works in the treatment of pain
  • Antagonist – Any substance that might work to nullify the effects of another substance; one that will not elicit any response from the latter
  • AOD – Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • AODA – Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
  • Aspirin – A common and popular anti-inflammatory substance that is also used in managing pain
  • Barbiturate – A class of highly sedating and hypnotic drugs
  • Benzodiazepine – A class of depressant drugs that are commonly used for inducing sleep, preventing seizures, producing sedation, relieving muscle spasms and anxiety, among other adverse conditions
  • Bioavailability – The ability of a drug to get into the body
  • Biofeedback – The use of signals to control all physiological processes, particularly those which are usually involuntary
  • Blood Alcohol Level or Concentration – The level of concentration of alcohol inside the bloodstream; it is typically expressed and denoted as a certain percentage by total weight
  • Buprenorphine – The semi-synthetic opioid that is created from Baine; it is typically prescribed as a pain relief medication; a good example is Buprenex
  • Caffeine – An alkaloid drug that both acts as a stimulant and a diuretic and is found in tea, coffee, and other drinks
  • Carcinogen – Any chemical agent that can cause cancer
  • Causal Factors – The different antecedent conditions that tend to lead to chemical dependency problems, such as genetics, environment, and conditioning
  • Ceiling Effect – What happens when you increase the dosage of a drug beyond its maximum levels of effects such that you do not experience any other differences
  • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (or CSAT) – A center that is dedicated to promoting substance abuse and addiction treatment services in communities
  • Central Nervous System (or CNS) – The system that includes the spinal cord and the brain
  • Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor (or CCDC) – Experts who are trained to manage clients with a chemical dependency so that they recover fully from their addiction
  • Cirrhosis – Chronic liver disease
  • Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (or COWS) – Scale that is applied in determining the severity of an opioid withdrawal
  • Codeine – A pain-relief sedative agent that contains opium
  • Codependence – The suffering that friends and members of a family who have an addict in their life experience due to the adverse effects of the addiction
  • Cold Turkey – Quitting a drug abruptly by choice to be able to stop using it in the long term
  • Compulsion – Any physical behavior that you repeat involuntarily, which might prove harmful and detrimental, such as addiction
  • Conditioning – Any behavioral change that arises from associations and links between events
  • Craving – A strong and powerful desire and/or urge to use drugs and/or alcohol; it is one of the symptoms that arise from the abnormal brain adaptions resulting from an ongoing addiction
  • Crisis Intervention – Any action that is taken when the addict’s coping resources start posing a danger to family or individual functioning
  • Cross-Dependence – Ability of one substance to prevent you from suffering withdrawal symptoms as a result of being dependent on another
  • Cross-Tolerance – A Condition that happens when your tolerance for one drug leads to the lessened response of another
  • D.O.C. – Drug of choice
  • Denial – Failure to realize or admit that you are addicted or to accept and recognize the harm that your addiction causes or can cause