The problem of addiction has been in society for many centuries, but it is now that it has become a serious problem.

With people of all age groups suffering from addiction, it has become one of the modern pandemics of 21st society.

If we go by the definition, addiction is the inability to stop using substances or engaging in a behavior, thereby causing psychological and physical harm.

Some of the experts also use the term Dependence to define addiction. It means that people are dependent on a particular substance for their normal day-to-day activity.

Addiction is certainly quite known among people, but they only know a few terms to have a basic understanding of it.

Unfortunately, most people still lack the knowledge of some of the most common terminology used in addiction.

This is the reason why we are here today.

In this article, we will bring forth some of the most common addiction terminologies that you might hear for the first time despite being commonly used.

Addiction Terminology You Need To Be Familiar With

Dependence, Tolerance, and Addiction.

If you think that these terms are difficult to pin down (well, they are), we should know that there are other terms as well that you need to be aware of.

The lack of knowledge among the people makes them see Addiction and Dependence as the same term that can be used interchangeably.

So, without making you wait any further, let’s jump on the addiction terminology.

1. Abstinence

This is the term used to define the absence of substance. This term is mostly used when a person is trying to maintain distance from the substance or going through an addiction recovery program.

Although abstinence means the absence of substances, it can be further divided into many categories.

  • Minimal Abstinence: Achieving a minimal period of recovery.
  • Complete Abstinence: Complete abstinence from all substance use.
  • Involuntary Abstinence: Enforced abstinence due to treatment.
  • Continuous Abstinence: Not using drugs of choice while recovering.
  • Point-In-Time Abstinence: Not consuming substance of choice at a single point of time.

2. Medical Detox

Medical detox is the process of removing toxins from the body. This process involves the patients keeping away from all the substances and treating the withdrawal symptoms with medicine.

Medical detox is the first step towards addiction treatment. You can even say that detoxification prepares you for the treatment program. To know more about medical detox, view the website.

3. Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is a term used for continuous drinking without any reason. You can even define it as excessive alcohol consumption within a short period of time.

Binge drinking usually happens when you are in a social setting where you need to have a few drinks to fit in.

However, it is also related to:

  • An outburst of unstable emotions.
  • Losing loved ones.

4. Intervention

An intervention involves an organized attempt of the family members and friends to confront the person suffering from addiction and tell them about the consequences.

The interventions allow the family members to tell the person what they feel about them and their addiction and how their addiction is damaging the family relationship.

If everything goes smoothly, the person is convinced to go through the addiction treatment program at the end of the intervention.

5. Agonist

Perhaps, this is the first term in the list that you are hearing for the first time.

An agonist is a term used for a substance that activates your brain receptors to produce biological responses—the exact opposite of the antagonist.

While the antagonist blocks all the action, an agonist stimulates your body to take action.

6. Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey is a slang term used in addiction. It refers to the abrupt cessation of addiction, resulting in unpleasant behavior.

The method to deal with the Cold Turney is gradually easing the process of removing the substance from the body through reduction over time using replacement medication.

7. Contingency Management

The Contingency management approach sometimes refers to motivation incentives. It is a price method that is used to reduce pain and suffering while treating addiction.

Contingency management comprises a broad group of behavioral therapies. The aim of these therapies is to motivate the patient with motivational incentives.

8. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy is mostly used to treat personality disorders. It utilizes the skills-based approach to teach mindfulness, emotion regulation, and how to navigate stress.

Due to the behavioral effect of addiction, dialectical behavioral therapy has become one of the core therapies used in treating addiction.

9. Hallucinogen

Hallucinogens are the drugs that let people hallucinate about their desires and fantasies. These are mostly used as party drugs and are offered to younger adults.

Although addiction to these kinds of drugs is less, a few people can develop a dependence on hallucinogens.

Physical addiction to this drug can be marked by the fact that it is needed more to achieve the same level of HIGH that the person has achieved in the initial stage.

10. Opioids

Opioids are generally prescribed medications that are used to treat chronic pain. It works by numbing your pain receptors and stimulating your brain to release feel-good hormones. It is because of these features opioids are often used for addiction.

Doctors are aware of its addictive properties. This is the reason why no doctors ask their patients to continue with painkillers for more than 14 days.

The Bottom Line

Remember, the importance of this definition is not to memorize them. But to understand them so that you can communicate with your doctors and addiction treatment centers clearly and effectively.

Without a common understanding of these terms, we may misunderstand what the professionals ask us to do or what addiction phase we are going through.