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How Long Does Lortab Stay in Your System?

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Mladen Zivkovic / Getty Images

Lortab is a combination drug prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. It combines the opiate hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Lortab) or with aspirin (Lortab ASA). Similar hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination products include Anexsia, Anolor DH, Lorcet, Norco, Vicodin, and Zydone. The main difference between these medications is the amounts of hydrocodone and acetaminophen contained in one dose.

Drugs that contain hydrocodone like Lortab are classified as Schedule II drugs, meaning they are considered to have a high potential for misuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.

While this medication is in your system, you are at risk for drug interactions and overdoses. Knowing how long Lortab is present in the body can help you understand and avoid these risks.

How Long Does Lortab Stay in Your System?

Blood: Up to 24 hours

Urine: Up to three days

Saliva: Up to three days

Hair: Up to 90 days

How Long Does It Take to Feel Effects?

Lortab is taken as an oral tablet, so the drug must first pass through the digestive system before it takes effect. The acetaminophen component of Lortab is absorbed rapidly from the gastrointestinal tract and start having pain-relieving effects within 30 minutes. The hydrocodone in Lortab acts more slowly, but usually begins working within 30 to 60 minutes of ingestion.

The package insert for Lortab suggests that following a 10mg oral dose, the hydrocodone component reaches peak blood concentration levels 1.3 hours after ingestion.

The pain-relieving effects usually last between four and six hours.

How Long Does Lortab Last?

Determining exactly how long Lortab is active or detectable in the body depends on many variables. The acetaminophen in Lortab has a half-life in the blood of about one and a quarter to three hours. This is the time in which half of it is no longer acting in your system. The exact half-life can vary depending on a number of factors, including how well your liver functions.

Hydrocodone is processed by the liver and broken down into metabolites including hydromorphone and norhydrocodone . Approximately 85% of a single dose is eliminated through urine within 24 hours.

Hydrocodone has a half-life of about four hours; it takes five to six half-lives to eliminate most of the drug from your system. That said, hydrocodone can be detected in the urine for up to three days.

If you take a urine drug screen while you are taking Lortab, it is likely to test positive for opiates. Be sure to disclose your medications to the testing laboratory so they can interpret your test accurately.


Lortab will show up on the standard drug screenings that are commonly administered in employment, forensic, and medical settings. It is detectable by urine tests for up to three days after last use, although individual detection windows can vary depending on factors including metabolism and frequency of use.


Blood tests are used less frequently than urine screenings. While the detection windows are much shorter, blood tests may be used in some cases to help confirm an unexpected positive result on a urine test. Blood tests can usually only detect the presence of hydrocodone for up to 24 hours after the last dose.


Hydrocodone is detectable in oral fluid for up to three days after the last dose of Lortab. Like urine tests, saliva tests are fairly non-invasive and inexpensive to administer. However, Lortab can also cause side effects such as dry mouth, which can impact the ability to collect an adequate sample.

As with other substances, the hydrocodone component of Lortab is detectable through a hair follicle test for as long as 90 days. Hair tests are not normally part of a standard drug screen but may be used in some cases to evaluate past drug use.

False Positive Testing

While a useful, simple, and inexpensive tool, immunoassay urine drug screens can return false-positive results. Quinolone antibiotics such as levofloxacin and ofloxacin can cause a false-positive opiate screening.

The consumption of poppy seeds can cause a false positive test result for opiates. While only present in trace amounts, poppy seeds do contain enough codeine and morphine to show up on enzyme immunoassay (EIA) tests that are often used in workplace and medical drug screenings.

Certain medications, including allergy drugs containing diphenhydramine and doxylamine, can also produce false positives for opiates. Tell the testing lab about any medications that you are currently taking or if you have consumed poppy seeds in any form so that they are able to accurately interpret your test results.

Factors That Affect Detection Time

It is important to remember that the above detection windows are just estimates. There are a number of different variables that can influence how long Lortab will remain in your system.

The prescribing information for Lortab suggests that there is not enough research on whether the drug affects the elderly differently.   However, since the drug is excreted primarily by the kidneys and because older adults are more likely to have decreased renal function, this may mean that the drug stays in an older person's system for a longer period of time.


Overall metabolism plays a critical role in determining how long a substance remains in the body. People with faster metabolisms tend to process substances more quickly, while those with slower metabolisms may have slower clearance rates.

Fluid Intake

Because Lortab is excreted primarily by the kidneys, the amount of fluid you take in can impact how quickly the drug is flushed out of your body. It can also impact how detectable substances are by diluting the amount that is in your urine.

Liver and Kidney Function

Hydrocodone and acetaminophen are both processed by the liver and excreted by the kidneys, so decreased hepatic or renal function can extend how long these substances remain in your system.

Dosage and Duration of Use

The amount of Lortab you are taking and how long you have been taking it also plays a major role in how long it can be detected in your body. It takes longer for higher doses to clear your system. If you have been taking Lortab for a while, it may build up in the tissues of your body, making it detectable for a longer period of time.

Other Medications and Substances

Alcohol and other substances can interact with hydrocodone and acetaminophen in Lortab and extend the detection time of these substances. Because your body may be trying to process multiple substances at the same time, it can slow down your body's ability to effectively metabolize and excrete each substance. In particular, drugs that affect the pathway cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) make it more difficult for your body to process and clear hydrocodone.  

How to Get Lortab Out of Your System

There are some reasons why you might want to get Lortab out of your system more quickly, such as if you are planning to switch to different medications or taking another medication containing acetaminophen or hydrocodone. Making sure that you are well hydrated, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise may help improve your body's ability to metabolize and eliminate your medications more efficiently.

The first step to eliminating Lortab from your system is to stop taking it, but you should always talk to your doctor before you take this step.

Symptoms of Overdose

One reason that it is important to know how long Lortab remains in the system is its potential to interact with other drugs. If the pain-killing effects of Lortab wear off, but the drug is still in the system, an overdose is possible if you take more of the drug or another drug containing the same ingredients too soon.

The following are some of the symptoms that can occur with a Lortab overdose:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Spasms of the stomach or intestinal tract
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Limp or weak muscles
  • Liver failure
  • Narrowing or widening of the pupils
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Seizures
  • Slow or stopped heartbeat
  • Stomach and intestinal spasms
  • Blue color of skin, fingernails, lips
  • Loss of consciousness or coma

If You Suspect an Overdose

Seek immediate medical help. Do not make the person vomit unless specifically told to do so by poison control (1-800-222-1222), a health care professional, or 911.

It would be helpful to provide the following information if you can. Don’t delay in calling for help to gather it, however:

  • The person’s age, weight, and health condition(s)
  • Name of the product taken (ingredients and strength, if known)
  • The time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed
  • If the medication was prescribed for the patient

Overdose Treatment

If someone experiencing a suspected Lortab overdose is taken to the emergency room, their vital signs—including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure—will be monitored closely and their symptoms treated as appropriate.

How well the overdose victim recovers will depend on how much of the drug they took and how quickly treatment was administered. The sooner they receive medical help, the better the prognosis. The prompt administration of the opioid-blocking drug naloxone (Narcan) can often reverse the overdose symptoms quite dramatically.

Risk of Drug Interactions

Taking Lortab carries the risk of dangerous interactions with a number of different substances including alcohol and other prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. You must not drink alcohol, take any medication containing alcohol, or use street drugs while you are taking Lortab or you risk life-threatening reactions.

You should carefully review the list of the non-prescription and prescription drugs that you take (preferably with your doctor or pharmacist) to look for acetaminophen or paracetamol on the label.

Interactions With Hydrocodone

Some medications can interact with the hydrocodone in Lortab to produce breathing problems, sedation, or coma. You should avoid benzodiazepines, including Xanax (alprazolam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Klonopin (clonazepam), Diastat (diazepam), Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Restoril (temazepam), Halcion (triazolam), and others. Muscle relaxants, sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and medicines for mental illness or nausea are also some of the drugs that interact with hydrocodone.

Interactions With Other Acetaminophen-Containing Drugs

While acetaminophen is found in over-the-counter products like Tylenol and some OTC cold and flu preparations, it has a narrow safety range. If you take more than 4000 milligrams in a day, you risk irreversible liver damage and even death. Often, people who have experienced this type of liver injury report that they didn't realize how much acetaminophen they were getting in aggregate from a variety of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

Combination drugs like Lortab are now limited to no more than 325mg of acetaminophen per tablet, capsule, or dosage unit to help prevent a dangerous overdose, but you should still take care to avoid any other medications containing acetaminophen while taking Lortab.

Getting Help

Taking Lortab can lead to physical dependence, even if you take your medication as directed. When your body becomes dependent on a drug, you need to continue taking it in order to avoid experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Always talk to your doctor if you want to decrease your dose or stop taking Lortab.

  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

These symptoms can feel like having the flu and usually lasts for about five to seven days. When stopping Lortab, your doctor may want to gradually reduce your dose, a process known as tapering, in order to minimize these symptoms.

If you think you may be dependent or addicted to Lortab or other opioid medications, talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Your doctor can help you stop taking your medication safely, manage your withdrawal symptoms, and find other pain relief options. Inpatient and outpatient services are also available that can help support your long-term recovery.

If you need help finding treatment services in your area, reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-4357 or try their online treatment locator.

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The words we use matter. Caution needs to be taken, especially when the disorders concerned are heavily stigmatized as substance use disorders are.


The absence of substance use. However, there are many different types of abstinence. Abstinence is typically interpreted as complete abstinence, defined below:

  • Continuous abstinence: not consuming the drug of choice during a specified period of time
  • Essentially abstinent: not consuming more than a specified amount of the drug over a period of time
  • Minimal abstinence: achieving a minimal period of recovery during a period of time
  • Point-in-time abstinence: not consuming the drug of choice at a single point in time (e.g., the past 30 days)
  • Complete abstinence: continuous abstinence from all alcohol and other drugs
  • Involuntary abstinence: enforced abstinence due to hospitalization or incarceration

(Stigma Alert) A person who exhibits impaired control over engaging in substance use (or other reward-seeking behavior, such as gambling) despite suffering severe harms caused by such activity.

In experimental research, the word “abuser” was found to increase stigma, which can affect quality of care and act as a barrier to treatment-seeking in individuals suffering from addiction. Instead, many have recommended the use of terms that reflect a disorder (e.g., “substance use disorder”) and the use of “person first” language. Consequently, instead of describing someone as a “drug abuser,” it may be less stigmatizing and more medically accurate to describe them as “a person with, or suffering from, addiction or substance use disorder.”


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; pronounced like the word “act”) is a cognitive-behavioral approach used in the treatment of substance use disorders that is based on the concepts of acceptance, mindfulness, and personal values.


Immediate, short-term medically managed or monitored care, lasting up to 31 days in length. Most addiction treatment programs (e.g., “rehab”) follow an acute care model. Understanding substance use disorder to be a chronic illness, recovery may require ongoing continuing care beyond acute treatment episodes.


(Stigma Alert) A person who exhibits impaired control over engaging in substance use (or other reward-seeking behavior, such as gambling) despite suffering severe harms caused by such activity. While this language is commonly used, in order to help decrease stigma associated with these conditions, it has been recommended to use “person first” language; instead of describing someone as an “addict,” describe them as “a person with, or suffering from, addiction or substance use disorder.”


According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestation. Addiction is characterized by behaviors that include:

  • Impaired control over drug use
  • Compulsive use
  • Continued use despite harm
  • Cravings

Type of non-medically credentialed addiction treatment provider. 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).


A board-certified physician in some specialty (e.g., family medicine, pediatrics, neurology) who has undergone specialized training in addiction diagnosis, treatment, and management, but who does not typically provide addiction-specific psychotherapy, although often provides brief counseling.


A physician who is board-certified as a psychiatrist with specialized training in addiction diagnosis, treatment, and management. Addiction psychiatrists can provide therapy, although most emphasize and prescribe medications and work in collaboration with social workers, psychologists, or counselors who provide psychotherapy.


The practice of sending individuals with substance use disorder to treatment centers or rehabilitation facilities outside of their states of permanent residence.


Any action by a health plan that denies or limits payment for the requested behavioral or medical treatment and services.


A substance that activates a receptor to produce a biological response. The opposite of antagonist (blocking an action), the agonist causes an action.


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.


A liquid that is or contains ethanol or ethyl alcohol produced by the fermentation of sugars. Alcohol acts as a depressant to the central nervous system, producing feelings of relaxation and pleasure, reduced inhibitions, motor impairment, memory loss, slurred speech, and additionally at high doses can cause breathing problems, coma, or death. Alcohol consumption is also connected to increased risk of accidents (e.g., car crashes), risky sexual behavior, violent behavior, suicide, and homicide. Also known as juice, the hard stuff, sauce, suds, or most often by variety or brand name.

Long-term health consequences include: neurological impairment, liver disease, pancreatic disease, cancer (mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast), high blood pressure, stroke, heart problems, weakened immune system, Wernicke’s Encepalopathy, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and fetal alcohol syndrome (in children of users).


(Stigma Alert) A person who exhibits impaired control over engaging in alcohol use despite suffering severe harms caused by such activity.

While this language is commonly used, in order to help decrease stigma associated with these conditions, it has been recommended to use “person first” language; instead of describing someone as an “addict,” describe them as “a person with, or suffering from, addiction or substance use disorder.”


International fellowship for individuals with problematic drinking. Founded in 1935, AA is a nonprofessional, financially self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical organization that is open to all ages, and as the largest mutual-help organization, offers meetings in most locations in North America and most countries around the world.

AA is a 12-step program that revolves around its main text, known as the Big Book (see Mutual-Help Organizations, Peer Support Group)


Recovery support services for adolescents and emerging adults with substance use disorder that engage them in a community of other recovering adolescents in order to capitalize on the same desire for peer acceptance that is known to drive, in part, adolescent motivations for substance use. APGs are grounded in the theory that, if centered around fun activities with peers, recovery will be perceived as more rewarding than substance use.


A problematic pattern of alcohol consumption, characterized by compulsive use of alcohol, impaired control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using. According to the 5 th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association, an alcohol use disorder is present if two or more of the following situations occur within a 12-month period:

  • Drinking more or for a longer period than intended
  • On more than one occasion feeling the need or attempting to cut down or stop drinking
  • Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from the aftereffects of alcohol or thinking about wanting a drink, or having the urge to use alcohol
  • Failing to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities due to drinking
  • Continuing to drink even though it is causing relationship troubles with your family or friends
  • Prioritizing drinking by giving up or cutting back on activities that were important to you or gave you pleasure
  • Drinking before or during situations that are physically dangerous—while driving a car, operating machinery, swimming, or having unsafe sex
  • Continuing to drink even though drinking is making you feel depressed or anxious, is linked to another health problem, or results in having memory blackouts
  • Developing a tolerance for drinking—needing much more than you once did to get the desired effect from alcohol, or not experiencing the same effect when drinking the same amount of alcohol , as characterized by having withdrawal symptoms (trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, a seizure, or sensing things that are not there [hallucinations])

A state of psychological tension in which one is pulled in two different directions: to stay the same or to make changes.


Literally means having no name. In the addiction field, it is closely linked with the concept of confidentiality because people typically prefer not to have their name or addiction status known due to potential stigma and discrimination. The assurance of anonymity can help with help-seeking, as individuals are more inclined to seek help for a stigmatized condition like substance use disorder if they know such help-seeking will be kept completely private.


A substance that interferes with or inhibits the physiological action of another (e.g., blocking the effects of illicit substances).


A legal right for an insured individual, their provider, or an authorized representative to seek relief against a health plan or third party determination to deny or limit payment for requested behavioral or medical treatment and services.


An often binding process for the resolution of disputes outside of court.


A strategy designed to ensure a patient or client reaches the next level of clinical care or becomes connected to a recovery support resource. This typically involves an in-person introduction directly to the next level of care or resource (e.g., a recovery coach takes a patient to their first AA meeting, and introduces them to other members of the meeting or drives them to a clinical appointment). Also known as a “warm hand-off.”

Shown in research to have greater effectiveness than passive referral in increasing patients’ engagement in continuing care and recovery support services. Peer linkages tend to have a higher efficacy than doctor or provider linkages, but clinicians can play a powerful role in creating this peer linkage infrastructure.


An ongoing process used to determine the medical, psychological, and social needs of individuals with substance-related conditions and problems. It can take the form of biological assays (e.g., blood or urine samples), as well as clinical diagnostic interviewing and the completion of self-report measures to determine the presence of a substance use disorder or other psychiatric condition, and other symptoms and challenges with the ultimate goal of developing a fully informed and helpful treatment and recovery plan.


The amount you could be responsible for (in addition to any co-payments, deductibles or coinsurance) if you use an out-of-network provider, which may represent the fee for a particular service that exceeds what the insurance plan allows as the charge for that service.

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A type of medication and class of compounds that are central nervous system depressants causing sedation and sleep. These medications have been replaced largely by benzodiazepines because they are less toxic and benzodiazepines have lower potential for overdose risk. Barbiturates are still sometimes used medically, however, as anticonvulsants (e.g., phenobarbital).


The foundational text of the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) organization. It outlines the 12 steps and 12 traditions that are at the core of the Narcotics Anonymous program, as well as containing personal stories of active addiction and recovery.


A form of addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in a rewarding non-drug-related behavior – sometimes called a natural reward – despite experiencing negative harmful consequences due to the compulsive behavior (e.g. sex, gambling, food, shopping, internet).


The field of health care concerned with substance use and other mental health disorders.


An interdisciplinary field that integrates knowledge across disciplines to study the behavioral and social aspects of medical conditions and illness.


A class of psychoactive drugs that act as minor tranquilizers producing sedation and muscle relaxation, and sleep; commonly used in the treatment of anxiety, convulsions, and alcohol withdrawal.


The nickname for the basic foundational text of the mutual-help organization, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It outlines the 12 steps that are at the core of the Alcoholics Anonymous program, as well as containing personal stories of alcohol addiction and recovery.


A conceptual understanding of addiction that focuses on the genetic or other biological pre-determinants or risks for developing and/or maintaining a substance use disorder.


2-phase: when consuming alcohol, the body first experiences an energizing or positive effect; this is subsequently followed, with continued consumption, by a depressant or negative effect of alcohol. Therefore, there is a point of diminishing returns (a blood alcohol level between .05-.06%) at which ceasing alcohol consumption will minimize negative consequences. This effect counters cultural myths and often personal beliefs that increasing alcohol consumption will continue to lead to increasing euphoria and energy.


A semisynthetic opioid to control moderate to severe pain and to treat opioid use disorder. Buprenorphine is administered by injection to control pain, is used in the form of a transdermal skin patch to control pain or treat opioid use disorder and is used alone or in combination with naloxone in the form of a dissolvable tablet placed under the tongue or film placed inside the cheek to treat opioid use disorder. Brand names include: Bunavail, Buprenex, Butrans, Subutex, Suboxone, and Zubsolv.


The collaborative process of assessment, planning, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services to facilitate disease management (e.g. connecting individuals to mutual help organizations, peer & family support services and counseling, employment, housing, basic healthcare, childcare, etc.).


Direct United States government funding of religious organizations to provide substance use prevention and treatment.


A bill (or invoice), typically in a standardized form, containing a description of care provided, applicable billing codes and a request for payment, submitted by the provider to the patient’s insurance company (or the plan’s third party administrator).

  • Appealing a Claim: The process to seek reversal of a denied behavioral health or medical claim. Most insurance carriers have their own process and timeline, but are subject to state and federal regulations.

(stigma alert) A reference to a state of a person being abstinent from drugs of misuse. It may also be used in describing urine test results that are not positive for substance use. The term has been viewed as potentially stigmatizing because of its pejorative connotation, with the opposite being “dirty.” Instead, many in the field advocate for use of proper medical terminology such as describing someone as an individual in remission or recovery and describing urine toxicology test results as either negative or positive.


An appeal that involves a “medical-necessity determination” or other issue related to the medical appropriateness of care.


12-Step meetings that are only available to individuals who identify with having a substance use disorder or think that they may have a substance use disorder and want to stop substance use.


A stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant, that activates the reward centers of the brain to produce sensations of extreme happiness and energy, increased mental alertness, hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch, irritability or anxiety, constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, nausea, tremors and muscle twitches, rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure and body temperature. Also known as blow, coke, crack, rock, snow.

Long-term health consequences include: loss of sense of smell, extreme bowel decay, increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis.

Cocaine can be: inhaled (e.g. smoked, or vapors inhaled), snorted, or injected.

  • Long-term health consequences include: dependency, addiction, insomnia, nightmares, liver damage, and seizures.
  • Codeine can be: ingested orally , injected, snorted

(stigma alert) Immoderate emotional or psychological reliance on a partner. Often used with regard to a partner requiring support due to an illness or disease (e.g. substance use disorder).

The term has been viewed as stigmatizing as it tends to pathologize family members’ concern and care for their loved one and may increase their shame.


The intimidation of a victim to compel the individual to act against his or her will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats.


A prevalent type of talk therapy (psychotherapy) that involves working with a professional to increase awareness of inaccurate or negative thinking and behavior and to learn to implement new coping strategies.


Slang term for the abrupt and complete cessation in intake of an addictive substance. It stems from the appearance of goosebumps on the skin often observable in addicted individuals when physiologically withdrawing from a substance.


The Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) is a psychosocial cognitive-behavioral intervention for individuals with alcohol and other drug use disorders that has been adapted for several populations, including adolescents (the Adolescent-Community Reinforcement Approach; A-CRA) and family members of individuals resistant or reluctant to enter treatment (Community Reinforcement and Family Training; CRAFT).


The occurrence of two disorders or illnesses in the same person, also referred to as co-occurring conditions or sometimes dual diagnosis.


Performing an act persistently and repetitively even in the absence of reward or pleasure. Compulsive behavior is often enacted to avoid or reduce the unpleasant experience of negative emotion or physical symptoms (e.g., anxiety, withdrawal from a substance).


The contingency management (CM) approach, sometimes also referred to as motivational incentives, the prize method, or the carrot and stick method. It is based on the principle of operant conditioning – that behavior is shaped by its consequences.

It is comprised of a broad group of behavioral interventions that provide or withhold rewards and negative consequences quickly in response to at least one measurable behavior (e.g., substance use as measured by a drug test, also called a toxicology screen).


Ongoing care of patients suffering from chronic incapacitating illness or disease. Understanding substance use disorder to be a chronic illness, it requires continuing care and ongoing recovery management rather than acute care or treatment delivered in isolated episodes.


This is used most often to describe in with both mental illness & substance use disorder. Personality disorder may also co-exist with psychiatric illness and/or substance use disorders. Also known as comorbidity or dual diagnosis.


A dollar amount that an insured patient is expected to pay at the time of service.


The specific efforts, both behavioral & psychological, utilized to master, tolerate, reduce, or minimize the effects of stressful events.

Two general coping strategies have been distinguished as:

  1. problem solving strategies (active efforts to alleviate stressful circumstances)
  2. emotion focused strategies to regulate the emotional consequences of stressful or potentially stressful events.

A powerful & strong psychological desire to consume a substance or engage in an activity; a symptom of the abnormal brain adaptions (neuroadaptations) that result from addiction. The brain becomes accustomed to the presence of a substance, which when absent, produces a manifest psychological desire to obtain and consume it.


The ability of one drug to prevent the withdrawal symptoms of one’s physical dependence on another.


An individual’s tolerance for one drug results in their lessened response to another, typically in the same class of substances (e.g., alcohol, benzodiazepines), but may be observed across different classes of substances as well (e.g., alcohol, opioids).


Deaths by drug, alcohol, and/or suicide.


A dollar amount a patient must pay before their health insurer will contribute benefit payments.


A severe form of alcohol withdrawal involving sudden & severe mental or nervous system changes resulting in varying degrees of severe mental confusion and hallucinations. Onset typically occurs 24 hours or longer following cessation of alcohol. It is often preceded by physiological tremulousness and sweating following acute cessation in severely alcohol addicted individuals.

  • In a psychological sense: denial describes individuals who deny substance use problems. It is the tendency of addicted individuals to either disavow or distort variables associated with their drinking or drug use in spite of evidence to the contrary. It’s a common misconception that all addicted individuals with substance use disorder are “in denial.” In fact, individuals have various levels of awareness of their substance use problems and readiness to change behavior. Individuals may accurately recognize certain facts concerning their use, such as number of arrests or how often they drink, while at the same time, misperceive the impact that their use has on the individuals around them, their relationships, how they feel about themselves, or the implications of their substance use history.
  • In an insurance sense: denial refers to the refusal of a request for payment or reimbursement of behavioral health or medical treatment services.
    • Denied Claim: Non-payment of a claim for reimbursement of behavioral health or medical services delivered to the insured patient. The insurance company must inform the patient of the non-payment of the claim and explain why the services are not being reimbursed.

    The state in which metabolic status and functioning is maintained through the sustained presence of a drug; manifested as a mental or physical disturbance or withdrawal upon removal of the substance.


    An injection of a medication that is intended to gradually disperse its therapeutic contents into the human body over a number of weeks. In the case of substance use disorders (e.g., opioid or alcohol use disorder), this can reduce problems with medication adherence as medications are more typically taken on a daily schedule and orally. Consequently, depot injections (e.g., naltrexone or buprenorphine) can extend the therapeutic potential of medications where compliance is a concern.


    Psychoactive substance that decreases levels of physiological or nervous system activity in the body decreasing alertness, attention, and energy through decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rates. Informally referred to as “downers” (e.g., alcohol; benzodiazepines, barbiturate).


    A synthetic analog of an illegal drug, devised to circumvent drug laws through changes to chemical compounds.


    The use of punishment as a threat to deter people from committing offences. Often contrasted with retributivism, which holds that punishment is a necessary consequence of a crime and should be calculated based on the gravity of the wrong done. A foundational concept of the United States “war on drugs.”


    Short for “detoxification,” it is the medical process focused on treating the physical effects of withdrawal from substance use and comfortably achieving metabolic stabilization; a prelude to longer-term treatment and recovery.


    An empirically supported psychosocial treatment for borderline personality disorder, that utilizes a skills-based approach to teach mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Though designed to treat borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is increasingly being used in the context of substance use disorder treatment.


    (stigma alert) A reference to a urine test that is positive for substance use. A person still using substances. This term is viewed as stigmatizing because of its pejorative connotation. Instead, it is recommended to use proper medical terminology such as an individual having positive test results or currently to exhibit symptoms of substance use disorder.


    A particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function, that affects part or all of an organism. It is characterized by specific signs and symptoms, generally serving as an evolutionary disadvantage.


    Classifies addiction as a disease. There are several “disease models,” but addiction is widely considered a complex disease with biological, neurobiological, genetic, and environmental influences among clinical scientists.


    (stigma alert) A slang term used to reference withdrawal symptoms from opioids, such as heroin. It is preferable to use more accurate terminology such as suffering from withdrawal.

    (stigma alert) Drug can mean either a “medication” or a “non-medically used psychoactive substance.” The term drug has a stigma alert due to the ambiguity of the term. This ambiguity may create a barrier to accessing prescription (psychoactive) medications in cases where their use IS medically appropriate. Many advocate instead to use “medication” or “non-medically used psychoactive substances” to decrease stigma and communicate with greater specificity.


    (stigma alert) A term sometimes used to describe an array of problems resulting from intensive use of psychoactive substances. It has also been used as a diagnostic label. According to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), “substance abuse” is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:

    1. Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (such as repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; or neglect of children or household).
    2. Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (such as driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)
    3. Recurrent substance-related legal problems (such as arrests for substance related disorderly conduct)
    4. Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (for example, arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication and physical fights).

    Substances can belong to one or more drug categories or classes. A drug class is a group of substances that while not identical, share certain similarities such as chemical structure, elicited effects, or intended usage.

    Three common classes of commonly medications and non-medically used psychoactive substance include:

      (e.g. oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, morphine, heroin) (diazepam, clonazepam, alcohol) (dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, cocaine)

    In the United States, drugs are classified into 5 groups known as ‘schedules.’ These 5 schedules determine the medical and legal status of a substance.


    Drug courts are problem-solving courts that operate under a specialized model in which the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social service, and treatment communities work together to help non-violent offenders find restoration in recovery and become productive citizens. With an emphasis on rehabilitation and treatment, drug courts serve only a fraction of the estimated 1.2 million individuals suffering from Substance Use Disorder in the United States criminal justice system.

    Learn more about:


    Reoccurring dreams that occur during the recovery process from substance use disorder that concern depictions of substance use, often vivid in nature, and frequently involving a relapse scenario. These dreams decrease in frequency with time in recovery from substance use disorder.


    Government guidelines on the control and regulation of alcohol and other drugs considered dangerous, particularly those with addictive qualities. Policies address both demand-side and supply-side considerations. This includes the attributable harm/hazards ratings of different drugs (“scheduling”), criminal penalties for illegal sale, distribution, and use, as well as prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery.


    (stigma alert) Originating in the 1970’s book, The Dry Drunk Syndrome, by R.J. Solberg, the term is defined as the presence of actions and attitudes that characterize the individual with the alcohol use disorder prior to recovery.

    Widely adopted by the Alcoholics Anonymous and peer support communities, this term identifies individuals who no longer utilize alcohol, but continue to behave dysfunction-ally (e.g. express rage/anger, intense fear), or regress in personal growth or within their recovery program.

    DIAGNOSTIC & STATISTICAL MANUAL OF MENTAL DISORDERSFifth Edition: The 2013 update to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) classification and diagnostic tool. In the United States, the DSM-5 serves as a universal authority for psychiatric diagnosis.


    Describes patients with both mental illness and substance use disorder. Personality disorder may also co-exist with psychiatric illness and/or substance use disorders. Also known as comorbidity or co-occuring disorders.


    The tendency of one addiction to predispose an individual to another type or form of addiction.


    The first year of remission from a substance use disorder.

    • Long-term health consequences include: damage to serotonin neurons
    • Ecstasy can be: ingested orally, snorted

    Voluntary work-based intervention programs offered by employers to support employees in management of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as: substance use, stress, grief, family problems, trauma, and psychological disorders. While services may vary, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide employees with free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services.


    (stigma alert) Actions that typically involve removing or diminishing the naturally occurring negative consequences resulting from substance use, increasing the likelihood of disease progression. Term has a stigma alert, due to the inference of judgement and blame typically of the concerned loved-one.

      1. Ambulatory patient services (outpatient services)
      2. Emergency services
      3. Hospitalization
      4. Maternity and newborn care
      5. Mental health and substance use disorder treatment
      6. Prescription drugs
      7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
      8. Laboratory services
      9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
      10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

      Patient care informed through the integration of clinical expertise and best available clinical evidence from systematic research.


      Specific conditions, services, treatments or treatment settings for which a health insurance plan will not provide coverage.


      A potent opioid synthetically produced in laboratories, that activates the reward centers of the brain to produce sensations of euphoria and provide pain relief. Side effects have included alterations in consciousness, sensations of heaviness, decreases in mental function, constipation, anxiety, changes in mood and appetite, nausea, dry mouth, intense itching, constricted pupils, and increased body temperature. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and is available in legal prescription form, and increasingly, in illegal illicit forms. Also known as Apache, China Girl, or Jackpot.

      Long-term health consequences (most often through injection use) include: insomnia, infection of the heart lining and valves, collapsed veins, loss of sense of smell, abscesses, constipation, liver or kidney disease, pneumonia, sexual dysfunction (men), irregular menstrual cycles (women), increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis, coma or death.

      Fentanyl can be:

      • In prescription form: injected, worn as a transdermal patch, or ingested through lozenges
      • In non-prescription illicit form: ingested (eaten), snorted, injected

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


      1 year without substance use disorder symptoms (except craving).

      • Long-term health consequences include: dependency, respiratory failure, weakened muscles, memory loss
      • Gabapentin can be: ingested orally (immediate or extended-release, liquid or tablets)

      The gateway hypothesis postulates that use of a certain drug increases the risk for the subsequent use of more potent and addictive or harmful drugs. For instance, marijuana is sometimes referred to as a “gateway drug” because its use has been shown to increase the risk for the use of other drugs. This does not mean that the use of marijuana will inevitably lead to the use of other drugs; only that it is associated with an increased risk.

      The exact mechanism by which this risk is conferred is not clear; it could be direct (i.e., through changes in the brain) or indirect through exposure to marijuana-using friends who are also using other drugs and who may introduce the person to these other drugs, or both.


      A cognitive-affective state that emerges in humans when one perceives a personal wrong-doing; it can be adaptive and helpful in increasing the likelihood that behavior remains consistent with one’s values.


      A substance that induces hallucinations (i.e. visions, sounds, smells, tastes, or sensations) that do not actually exist. Common examples include LSD (“acid”) and psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”). Cannabis/marijuana in high doses also can act as a hallucinogen.


      Policies, programs and practices that aim to reduce the harms associated with the use of alcohol or other drugs.

      The defining features include a focus on the prevention of harm, rather than on the prevention of substance use itself, with attention and focus on the individual’s active substance use (e.g., a clean needle exchange program can reduce rates of transmission of hepatitis C, HIV, or other infectious disease for individuals suffering from heroin use disorder).


      A drug made from the opium poppy plant, that activates the reward centers of the brain to produce sensations of euphoria. Heroin can also produce alterations in consciousness, sensations of heaviness, decreases in mental function, nausea, dry mouth, intense itching, increased body temperature, coma or death. Also known as smack, hell dust, H.

      Long-term health consequences (most often related to injection use) include: insomnia, infection of the heart lining and valves, collapsed veins, loss of sense of smell, abscesses, constipation, liver or kidney disease, pneumonia, sexual dysfunction (men), irregular menstrual cycles (women), increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis.

      Heroin can be: inhaled (e.g. smoked), snorted, or injected.


      A supreme deity or being, a malleable conception of God, or a “power greater than ourselves,” popularized by the recovery mutual-help organization, Alcoholics Anonymous.

      • Long-term health consequences include: dependency, addiction
      • Hydrocodone can be: ingested orally (often in syrup form), injected, snorted

      A naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in plants in the Apocynaceae family (NMDA receptor antagonist). Known to have psychedelic or dissociative properties, Ibogaine is not approved for treatment of substance use disorder in the United States due to lack of proper testing with regard to toxicology, and both the safety and effectiveness of the substance are largely unknown.


      The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) is a coding of diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or diseases, as classified by the World Health Organization (WHO). The code set allows more than 14,400 different codes, including those pertaining to alcohol and other drug-related illness, and permits the tracking of many new diagnoses.

      Substances that produce chemical vapors that are inhaled to induce a psychoactive or mind-altering effect. There are four general categories of inhalants — volatile solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrites.


      Substances that produce chemical vapors that are inhaled to induce a psychoactive or mind-altering effect. There are four general categories of inhalants — volatile solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrites.


      Admission to a hospital or facility for treatment that requires at least one overnight stay and typically requires medical management. (see residential treatment)


      An approach characterized by a high degree of collaboration and communication among health professionals, with sharing of information among team members related to patient care and the establishment of a comprehensive treatment plan to address the physical, psychological and social needs of the patient.

      The inter-professional health care team can include a diverse group of members (e.g., physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals), depending on patient needs.


      Treatment programs that work to treat substance use disorder alongside other co-occuring mental, physical, emotional or social considerations, recognizing how the presence of each can be a risk factor for relapse to either. 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.


      A time limited, intensive, non-residential clinical treatment that often involves participation in several hours of clinical services several days per week. It is a step below partial hospitalization in intensity.

      1. A procedure of varying duration typically conducted by a clinician and implemented to stimulate, facilitate, and induce changes in signs, symptoms, or behavior.
      2. A meeting of an individual with an identifiable substance-related problem with family or other significant others held to directly address the problems being caused by the individuals’ substance use and typically involves expression of care, concern, and explicit demands for behavioral change or the receipt of addiction treatment. Typically conducted when other attempts to influence change have failed. Also known as the Johnson Intervention.

      A chronic memory disorder associated with amnesia, caused by a severe deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B-1), most commonly associated with severe alcohol use disorder. Also known as Korsakoff’s Psychosis. (See Wernicke’s Encephalopathy; Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome)


      (stigma alert) A non-technical term, also referred to as a “slip”. It implies a short-term resumption of substance use or heavy/hazardous use (e.g., for a night or a day) that is followed by a return to the original goal of moderate use or abstinence.

      This term has a stigma alert due to the term’s potentially moral meanings rooted in morality and religion (e.g. lapse in grace), and implied “accidental” manifestation (e.g. lapse in judgement). Many advocate instead to use the terms “resumed,” or “experienced a recurrence” of substance use or substance use disorder symptoms.


      Various levels of treatment intensity ranging from weekly outpatient therapy to more intensive medically monitored or medically managed hospitalization. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) have constructed a detailed assessment process based on specific criteria that can provide clinicians with a holistic approach to individualized assessment and placement to the most appropriate level of care along with outcome-driven treatment plans that focus on individualized needs.


      5 years of continued remission; the point at which the risk of meeting criteria for a substance use disorder in the following year is no greater than that of the general population.


      The systematic unjust or prejudicial treatment of individuals or a group of individuals with, or in recovery, from a substance use disorder.

      Examples of addiction-related macro discriminations include: left a recovery or addiction treatment program due to unfair treatment, difficulties getting health insurance or coverage, denied housing, food stamps, the right to vote, or a loan, could not get a job, was fired from your job, or could not get promoted at your job, unfair treatment by police, inadequate medical treatment.


      The amount of a medication administered to preserve a desired level of the medication in the blood.


      Treatment required through a drug court or as a condition of pretrial release, probation, or parole.


      The leaves, flowers, stems and seeds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, containing the active ingredient of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that can produce altered senses and perceptions of time, changes in mood and appetite, pain relief, impaired body movement, impaired problem-solving and memory, and at high doses, hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis. Also known as weed, pot, hashish, hash, ganga, herb, grass, 420, Mary Jane.

      Marijuana can be: inhaled (e.g. smoked, vaporized), ingested (e.g. edibles)


      Implemented over the course of several months, the Matrix model is a highly-structured outpatient method generally used to treat stimulant-based substance use disorders (methamphetamines, cocaine, etc.). This model of treatment focuses on the patient working within a variety of group settings (i.e. family education groups, social support groups, early recovery skills groups, relapse prevention groups, 12-step groups, etc.).


      Measurement-based practice is a framework in which validated (evidence-based) symptom rating scales and screening tools are routinely used in clinical practice to inform treatment decisions and adjustments.

      Scales and tools look to screen for and diagnose substance use disorder, measure severity, and monitor disease progression or improvement at every point of care, akin to the management of other chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

      (Kelly JF, Mee-Lee D. Quality, accountability, and effectiveness in addiction treatment: The measurement-based practice model. In: Danovitch I, Mooney L, editors. The assessment and treatment of addiction: Best practices and new frontiers. In press.)


      An addiction theory that considers addiction a medical, rather than social issue.


      Health care services that are clinically indicated for the diagnosis and/or treatment of a medical or behavioral health condition.

      • Medical Necessity Appeal:An appeal filed when the health plan has denied payment or reimbursement for level of care or service based on a “lack of medically necessity.” Synonymous with clinical utilization management appeals.

      Detoxification in a medical setting, often with use of medications to support initial withdrawal and stabilization following cessation of alcohol or other drugs.


      (stigma alert) Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), including opioid treatment programs (OTPs), combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders (see agonist; antagonist).

      This term has been issued a Stigma Alert, as the term may not fully appreciate research that has shown that with or without psychosocial support, medications are effective treatments for addiction – hence, the term “assisted” may undervalue the role of the medication. In addition, this term may create a double standard for substance use disorder treatment, as no other medications used to treat other health conditions are referred to as ‘assisted’ treatment. Many advocate instead to simple state “medications for addiction treatment.”


      A synthetic opioid medication used to reduce withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal symptoms and is often used as a mid- to long-term opioid use disorder medication for helping stabilize and facilitate recovery among those suffering from opioid use disorders.


      A stimulant drug synthetically produced, that activates the reward centers of the brain to produce sensations of euphoria, increased wakefulness and physical activity, decreased appetite, faster breathing, rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure and body temperature. Also known as meth, ice, crystal meth, speed, crank.

      Long-term health consequences include: Extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (e.g. meth mouth, skin sores from intense itching, anxiety, confusion, sleeping problems, paranoia, hallucinations, increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis.

      Methamphetamines can be: inhaled (e.g. smoked), swallowed as a pill, snorted, or injected.


      The minor personal slights perceived to occur among people with, or in recovery from, a substance use disorder.

      Examples of addiction-related micro discriminations include: avoided or ignored by people, people assuming you will relapse, people saying you look like an alcoholic or addict, treated less favorably, held to a higher standard, disrespected, perceived as dangerous, treated like a criminal, accused of being dishonest, reject by family or friends


      Training of techniques in mindfulness meditation, or the ability to be present in the here and now, in order to target depression, stress, negative emotions, and cravings in the prevention of relapse for individuals with addiction. It is often combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy.


      According to HHS , moderate drinking is per day no more than 1 alcoholic drink for women and no more than 2 alcoholic drinks for men.

      • Long-term health consequences include: dependency, addiction
      • Morphine can be: ingested orally , injected

      Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is an intervention based on Motivational Interviewing approaches and practices.

      Unique to Motivational Enhancement Therapies is the use of clinically relevant patient reported assessment data that is summarized and subsequently fed back to the patient in an Motivational Interviewing (MI), client-centered, counseling style in order to enhance motivation for change.


      A clinical approach that helps people with mental health and substance use disorders and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and asthma make positive behavioral changes to support better health by helping them to explore and resolve ambivalence about changes.

      The approach upholds four principles:

      1. expressing empathy and avoiding arguing
      2. developing discrepancy
      3. rolling with resistance
      4. supporting self-efficacy (client’s belief s/he can successfully make a change)

      This is non-directive approach to counseling that attempts to help patients resolve ambivalence about changing substance use and mobilize motivation and action toward healthier change.


      Also known as self-help groups, peer support groups, and mutual aid, mutual help organizations are for the most part peer run volunteer organizations that focus on socially supportive communication and exchange of addiction and recovery experiences and skills.

      Mutual help organizations include such organizations as:

      • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
      • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
      • Marijuana Anonymous (MA)
      • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
      • Smart Recovery
      • All Recovery Groups
      • Celebrate Recovery
      • LifeRing
      • Women For Sobriety
      • Other online forums.

      For family members and friends mutual help organizations include:

      • Al-Anon
      • Nar-Anon
      • Learn2Cope
      • Other online forums.

      An opioid antagonist, similar to Naltrexone, that works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, thereby blocking the effects of opioid agonists (e.g., heroin, morphine). Naloxone has poor bio-availability when taken sublingually. Naloxone has a high affinity to the mu opioid receptor, yet not as high of an affinity as buprenorphine, at the mu receptor. Brand name: Narcan.


      An opioid antagonist, works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, without activating them, therefore blocking the effects of opioids (e.g., heroin, morphine). Naltrexone has a high affinity to the Mu opioid receptor, but not as high as buprenorphine.


      Nar-Anon is a mutual help organization or peer support group for people who have been affected by a loved one’s drug use disorder. Groups are based on 12-step principles and practices and have attendees share stories and build supportive networks to help cope with the difficulties of having a loved one with a drug use disorder.


      Originally, narcotic referred to psychoactive compounds with sleep inducing properties (typically opioids such as heroin). In moderate doses, narcotics will dull the senses, relieve pain, and induce sleep. In large doses, narcotics will cause stupor, coma, and death.

      Today however, narcotic is often used in a legal context, where narcotic is used generally to refer to illegal or illicit substances.


      Born out of the principles, practices, and structure of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous is an international fellowship for individuals with problematic drug use. NA is a nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical organization that is open to all ages, offering meetings in over 100 countries. NA is a 12-step program that revolves around its main text, known as the Basic Text.


      A common recovery pathway in which remission from substance use disorder is achieved without the support or services of professional or non-professional intervention. Also known as self-managed recovery.


      A post-natal withdrawal syndrome inherited by children exposed to substances, most often opioids, during pregnancy. Babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome are more likely to suffer from low birthweight, breathing problems, feeding problems, seizures, or birth defects.

      • In Network: The group of physicians, hospitals and other medical care professionals that a managed care plan has contracted with to deliver medical and/or behavioral health services to its members.
      • Out-of-Network: Physicians, hospitals, facilities and other health care providers that are not contracted with the plan or insurer to provide health care services at discounted rates. Depending on an individual’s plan, expenses incurred by services provided by out-of-plan health care professionals may not be covered or may be only partially covered.

      Brain chemicals (e.g. dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, GABA, etc.) that communicate information throughout the body by transmitting signals from one neuron to the next across synapses. Imbalances in key neurotransmitters and neurotransmission can create cravings and mood instability.


      A toxic colorless or yellowish oily liquid that is the chief active constituent of tobacco. It acts as a stimulant in small doses, but in larger amounts blocks the action of autonomic nerve and skeletal muscle cells acting as a depressant.

      NIMBY (“Not In My Backyard”)

      A characterization of opposition by residents to a proposed development within their local area, such as for addiction treatment centers or harm reduction programs. It often correlates with strong fears of increased crime, poverty, drug use, or community degradation. The term tends to carry the connotation that residents would tolerate or even support the new development, if it was not proposed in such close proximity to themselves (i.e., “Not In My Back Yard” or NIMBY).


      The number needed to treat (NNT) is the average number of people who need to be treated to achieve one additional good outcome. The ideal number need to treat is 1, where everyone in the treatment group improves when no one in the control group improves. The higher the NNT, the less effective is the treatment.


      12 Step meetings that can be attended by anyone (those who identify with a substance use disorder, as well as those who do not). Intended to educate the public and concerned significant others about the nature and scope of 12-step meetings.


      A drug derived directly from the natural opium poppy plant (see opioid).


      A family of drugs used therapeutically to treat pain, that also produce a sensation of euphoria (a “high”) and are naturally derived from the opium poppy plant (e.g., morphine and opium) or synthetically or semi-synthetically produced in a lab to act like an opiate (e.g., methadone and oxycodone). Chronic repeated use of opioids can lead to tolerance, physical dependence and addiction.


      (stigma alert) An outdated term for use of medications to treat opioid use disorder symptoms and craving, also referred to as “opioid substitution therapy”, “opioid maintenance therapy”, or “mediation assisted therapy”.

      When used, this term could imply that one is simply swapping one addiction for another, replacing an illegal opioid, such as heroin, with a longer acting but less euphoric opioid. Research has shown that with or without psychosocial support, opioid agonist and antagonist medications are effective treatments for opioid use disorder. In addition, this term may create a double standard for substance use disorder treatment, as no other medications used to treat other health conditions are referred to as “replacements.” Many advocate instead to use the term “medications for addiction treatment.”


      A theory of motivation and emotion used as a model for drug addiction, that postulates that emotions are pairs of opposites. When one emotion is experienced, the other is suppressed (e.g. an individual experiences purely pleasurable effects from a drug, but once the drug is no longer active, the individual experiences only negative effects. Overtime, the purely pleasurable effects of the drug wear off from repeated exposure, and the individual takes the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms).


      A professionally delivered substance use disorder treatment modality that requires daily to weekly attendance at a clinic or facility, allowing the patient to return home or to other living arrangements during non-treatment hours.


      Medications directly obtainable in a pharmacy by a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare provider.


      Oxford Houses are a type of self-sustaining recovery residence, first developed in 1975. They are non-professional, and require that residents are abstinent from alcohol and other drugs. While they are not affiliated with 12-step mutual-help organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, members are traditionally encouraged – though not mandated – to attend meetings. Members pay rent, and can stay there as long as needed, provided they follow house rules. While there is a manual that lays the initial groundwork for a new Oxford House to aid in quality control, decisions around consequences for individuals who break rules are up to the other house members. House leadership positions are limited to 6 months so that members all have a chance to be decision makers.

      • Long-term health consequences include: dependency, addiction
      • Oxycodone can be: oral (immediate and controlled release formulations), injected, snorted

      Effects or reactions to a substance that are opposite to the substance’s normal expected effect or outcome (e.g., feeling pain from a pain relief medication).


      The state or condition of being equal, especially regarding status, pay, or coverage.

      Under the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, both private and public insurers are obligated to provide comprehensive and equitable coverage for substance use disorder and mental health treatment and services. The Parity Act requires standards for substance use and mental health benefits to be comparable to – and no more restrictive than – the standards for other medical conditions.


      A time-limited, intensive, clinical service that is often medically monitored but is a step in intensity below inpatient hospitalization. A patient may participate in clinical services all day long for days to weeks but resides at home. Definitions of levels of care may vary by state.


      An attempt by a clinician or service worker to connect a patient with substance use disorder to another service.

      Shown in research to be less effective than “assertive linkages” (which actively link a patient through personal contact with the service) in increasing patients’ engagement in continuing care and recovery support services.


      How well patients are equipped to take an active role in their addiction related care, and to use the primary care services available to them, are unclear. More specifically defined as “understanding one’s role in the care process and having the knowledge, skill, and confidence to manage one’s health and health care.”


      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.


      Also known as mutual help organizations, peer support groups are structured non-clinical relationships, in which individuals participate in activities that engage, educate, and support patients recovering from substance use disorder. Peer to peer groups include such organizations as: AA, NA, Smart Recovery, All Recovery groups, LIfeRing, Women for Sobriety, and online forums.

      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.

      Peer support groups include such organizations as:

      • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
      • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
      • Marijuana Anonymous (MA)
      • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
      • Smart Recovery
      • All Recovery Groups
      • Celebrate Recovery
      • LifeRing
      • Women For Sobriety
      • Other online forums.

      For family members and friends peer support groups include:

      • Al-Anon
      • Nar-Anon
      • Learn2Cope
      • Other online forums.

      A linguistic prescription structuring sentences to name the person first and the condition or disease from which they suffer, second. It is recommended to use “person first” language; instead of describing someone as an “addict”, for instance, to describe them as a person with, or suffering from, addiction or a substance use disorder. Person-first language articulates that the disease is a secondary attribute and not the primary characteristic of the individual’s identity.


      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.


      Medical treatment by means of medications.


      (stigma alert) This term may be stigmatizing when used to describe tolerance and withdrawal, as the term implies true dependence. However, this term does not meet the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) diagnostic criteria for dependence, which would include at lease one psychological component.


      A state agency that monitors physicians, residents and medical students who have substance use disorders, and psychiatric disorders, with the purpose to allow doctors to practice medicine while going through rehabilitation, while also protecting patients and maintaining a safe standard of care.


      The degree of concentration of the psychoactive ingredient of a substance.


      Confirmation of coverage by the insurance company for a service or product before receiving the service or product from the medical provider. This is also known as prior authorization.


      (stigma alert) The use of a medication without a prescription or usage of a drug in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience or euphoric feeling elicited. This term is used interchangeably with “non-medically used psychoactive substance” or “prescription drug abuse”. This term has a stigma alert as the word “misuse” is thought by some people as an expression of negative judgement. Instead, use clear, unambiguous, non-stigmatizing terminology such as “non-medical use of a psychoactive substance.”


      Medications available to consumers only with a specific written authorization from a healthcare provider.


      A contradictory scenario whereby the majority of cases of substance-related harm come from a population at low or moderate risk of addiction, while only a minority of cases come from the population who are at high risk of substance-related harm.

      Taking alcohol use as an example, an alcohol “prevention paradox” would be a case where low-risk drinkers would also require some kind of prevention/intervention to prevent overall harm in the population, despite the fact the incidence of risk is much lower in this group relative to the heavy drinking population.


      A medical insurance term that requires patients and clinicians to seek approval from insurance providers before implementing a treatment service.


      Proposed by Richard Jessor in 1991, Problem Behavior Theory is a conceptual framework that examines factors leading to adolescent substance use. The theory proposes that behavior is tied to goals, and adolescent substance use results when a teen holds goals and values that are unconventional or do not align with typical social values of society.


      A form of talk therapy that focuses on the psychological developmental histories and internal unconscious processes (e.g. needs, urges, desires) in the patients psyche that may present outwardly in a patient’s behavior. A major goal is to help the patient gain insight into these implicit processes to help resolve internal conflict and behavioral problems.


      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.


      A negative consequence occurring following a behavior with the intention of decreasing the frequency of the behavior. It can take the form of “positive punishment” (e.g., the application of an adverse condition such as a mild electric shock) or “negative punishment” (e.g., the withdrawal of a privilege; “Time out” or “being grounded” is a good example of negative punishment for children).


      Non-pharmacological treatments, or “talk therapies,” such as those contained in counseling and psychotherapy. These types of treatments tend to help people attain and maintain motivation to change addictive behaviors (e.g., Motivational interviewing/Motivational enhancement therapy), teach skills to help prevent recurrence of substance use (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT)), and link patients to community-based resources to help sustain remission and enhance recovery over time (e.g., Twelve-Step Facilitation).

      They can also involve significant others such as a marriage or domestic partner (e.g., behavioral couples therapy) or one or more family members (e.g., family therapy) in an attempt to help attain and sustain remission from a substance use disorder.


      Anesthesia assisted detoxification; injection of high doses of an opiate antagonist.


      The process of improved physical, psychological, and social well-being and health after having suffered from a substance use disorder.


      The resources (social, physical, human and cultural), which are necessary to begin and maintain recovery from substance use disorder.


      Typically a non-clinical peer support specialist or “peer mentor” operating within a community organization (e.g., a Recovery Community Center) or a clinical organization (e.g., treatment program or hospital) and can therefore be a paid or volunteer position. Recovery coaches are most often in recovery themselves and therefore offer the lived experience of active addiction and successful recovery. They focus on helping individuals to set & achieve goals important to recovery. They do not offer primary treatment for addiction, do not diagnose, & generally, are not associated with any specific method or pathway to recovery, supporting instead an array of recovery pathways.


      A center or hub that organizes recovery networks regionally and nationally to facilitate supportive relationships between individuals in recovery as well as family and friends of people in recovery. Centers may provide advocacy training, peer support organization meetings, social activities, job linkage, and other community based services.


      An independent, non-profit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder.


      A coordinated network of community based services that involve a strengths-based and personalized approach to recovery and increases in quality of life.


      The percentage of addicted persons undergoing treatment, who achieve abstinence or remission following treatment in some stated time period (e.g., in the year following discharge from treatment) Sometimes referred to as “success rate”.


      An alcohol- and drug-free living facility for individuals recovering from alcohol or other drug use disorders that often serves as an interim living environment between detoxification experiences or residential treatment and mainstream society. Also known as Sober Houses, Sober Living Houses (SLHs), Sober Living Homes, or Sober Living Environments.


      Various specific protein molecules located in the surface membranes of cells & organelles to which complementary molecules may become bound (e.g. hormones, neurotransmitters, antigens, or antibodies).


      A clinical linkage strategy designed to enhance engagement with another clinical service, provider, or recovery support service (see also: assertive linkage).


      The application or withdrawal of a stimulus or condition with the goal of increasing the frequency of a behavior. Positive reinforcement uses the application of a reward following the behavior to increase behavior; negative reinforcement uses the withdrawal of a negative stimulus or condition to increase the frequency of behavior.


      (stigma alert) Relapse often indicates a recurrence of substance use. More technically, it would indicate the recurrence and reinstatement of a substance use disorder and would require an individual to be in remission prior to the occurrence of a relapse.

      The highest risk for recurrence of substance use disorder symptoms occurs during the first 90 days following the initial intervention. The risk for recurrence of symptoms decreases after 90 days. This indicates that individuals attempting to recover from substance use disorder need the most intensive support during this first 3-month period, as individuals are experiencing substantial physiological, psychological, and social changes during this early recovery phase. There is typically a greater sensitivity to stress and lowered sensitivity to reward that makes continued recovery challenging.

      This term has a stigma alert, as it can imply a moral failing for some people. Instead it may be preferable to use morally neutral terms such as “resumed,” or experienced a “recurrence” of symptoms.


      Relapse Prevention is a skills-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment approach that requires patients and their clinicians to identify situations that place the person at greater risk for relapse – both internal experiences (e.g., positive thoughts related to substance use or negative thoughts related to sobriety that arise without effort, called “automatic thoughts”) and external cues (e.g., exposure to people that the person associates with prior substance use).


      The complete absence of symptoms or the presence of symptoms but below a specified threshold. An individual is considered to “in remission” if they once met criteria for a substance use disorder, but have not surpassed the threshold number of criteria within the past year or longer.

      Long-term recovery from a substance use disorder is considered by many to occur after 5 years, at which time the likelihood of meeting criteria for substance use disorder in the following year is no greater than that of the general population.


      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. Also known sometimes as in-patient treatment, although more technically, is medically managed or monitored whereas residential treatment does not have to be.


      Respondent-driven sampling is a method for creating a population sample for a research study that combines “snowball sampling” (where individuals refer people they know to the study, who then refer people they know, and so on), with mathematical models that weight the sample based on certain characteristics to help compensate for the sample not being collected at random.


      Attributes (e.g., genetics), characteristics (e.g., impulsivity) or exposures (e.g., to prescription opioids) that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or injury.


      An evidence-based method used to detect, reduce, and prevent problematic substance use and substance use disorder.

      • SCREENING –An assessment – usually brief such as a paper and pencil self-report measures or a biological assay (e.g., urine/blood) – to help detect risky or harmful substance use. This is often conducted by healthcare professionals using standardized screening tools in a specific clinic or other setting.
      • BRIEF INTERVENTION –A short conversation or counseling session in which healthcare providers typically offer feedback and advice in order to motivate individuals identified as at-risk for substance-related harm to become more aware of the risk and to reduce or eliminate substance use or to seek treatment.
      • REFERRAL TO TREATMENT –The 3rd and final stage in the SBIRT model, when a healthcare provider formally refers a patient identified as having or is at-risk for substance use disorder to additional services such as brief therapy or longer-term treatment.

      Opioids derived from a combination of the opium poppy and synthetically man-made analogues.


      A painful, negative emotion, which can be caused or exacerbated by conduct that violates personal values. Can also stem from deeply held beliefs that one is somehow flawed and unworthy of love, support, and connection, leading to increased odds of isolation.

      (stigma alert) A non-technical term, also referred to as a “lapse”. It is used to imply a short-term resumption of substance use or heavy/hazardous use (e.g., for a night or a day) that is followed by a return to the original goal of moderate use or abstinence.

      This term has a stigma alert as some people believe the term implies culpability and implied “accidental” manifestation. Instead it may be preferable to use terms such as “resumed,” or experienced a “recurrence” of substance use or substance use disorder symptoms.


      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.


      A state in which one is not intoxicated or affected by the use of alcohol or drugs.


      The quality or state of being sober.


      Detoxification in an organized residential setting to deliver non-medical support to achieve initial recovery from the effects of alcohol or another drug. Staff provide safe, twenty-four-hour monitoring, observation, and support in a supervised environment for patients.

      Social detoxification is characterized by an emphasis on peer and social support for patients whose intoxication or withdrawal signs and symptoms require twenty-four-hour structure and support but do not require medically managed inpatient detoxification. (see detox)


      Businesses that help solve social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or environment. Profits stem from selling goods and services in the open market, but profits are then reinvested back into the business or the local community. This model has started to be used in addiction recovery settings.


      A volunteer who is currently practicing the 12-step program of recovery espoused by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other 12-step mutual-help organizations (e.g., Narcotics Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous) and who helps newer AA members by providing support, encouragement, & guidance to promote sustained long-term recovery.


      From the Transtheoretical Model (TTM). The stages of change model is an integrative, biopsychosocial model used to conceptualize the process of intentional behavior change. It emerged from research that found individuals move through a series of stages when modifying behavior. Developed by Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983; Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992, the five stages of change are: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. A sixth stage of relapse has also been suggested that occurs for many in the process of behavioral change before eventually reaching remission and recovery.

      • PRE-CONTEMPLATION –1 st stage of the transtheoretical stage of change model Used to describe an individual who does not yet acknowledge an objectively observable substance-related problem (see also denial), and has no intention of changing behavior.
      • CONTEMPLATION – the 2 nd stage in the transtheoretical “Stages of Change” model. It refers to acknowledging that there is a problem related to substance use/activity, but the individual is not yet ready or sure of wanting to make a change.
      • PREPARATION – the 3 rd stage of the transtheoretical “Stages of Change” model signifying someone who has made a decision to change and is getting ready to do so.
      • ACTION – Changing behavior; the 4 th stage of the “Stages of Change” transtheoretical behavioral change model. This stage marks the process or state of doing something, or getting something done, especially for a particular purpose: the exertion of power or energy.
      • MAINTENANCE – The 5 th stage of the transtheoretical “Stages of Change” model. This stage marks the continuous process of maintaining or preserving abstinence, remission, or recovery. A type of treatment used to sustain a level of stability and health (e.g., methadone maintenance treatment for opioid use disorder).

      An attribute, behavior, or condition that is socially discrediting. Known to decrease treatment seeking behaviors in individuals with substance use disorders.


      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).


      Approved by the FDA in 2002 as a medication treatment for opioid dependence, Suboxone contains the active ingredients of buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone. The mixture of agonist and antagonist is intended to reduce craving while preventing misuse of the medication.


      (stigma alert) A term sometimes used to describe an array of problems resulting from intensive use of psychoactive substances. It has also been used as a diagnostic label. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), “substance abuse” is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:

      1. Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (such as repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; or neglect of children or household).
      2. Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (such as driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)
      3. Recurrent substance-related legal problems (such as arrests for substance related disorderly conduct)
      4. Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (for example, arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication and physical fights).

      A term used synonymously with “addiction” but sometimes also used to distinguish physiological dependence from the syndrome of addiction/substance use disorder. It was used in prior iterations of the DSM to signify the latter.

      According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), substance dependence is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring any time in the same 12-month period:

      1. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
        • A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or the desired effect or
        • Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
      2. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
        • The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance or
        • The same (or closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      3. The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended.
      4. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.
      5. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects.
      6. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.
      7. The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (for example, current cocaine use despite recognition of cocaine-induced depression or continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption).

      (stigma alert) The use of a substance for unintended or intended purposes in improper amounts or doses. Term has a stigma alert, as some people believe it implies negative judgement and blame. Instead, many recommend using the terms “substance use” or “non-medical use.”


      The clinical term describing a syndrome consisting of a coherent set of signs and symptoms that cause significant distress and or impairment during the same 12-month period.


      Someone who once met diagnostic criteria for an alcohol or other drug use disorder, and then no longer meets the threshold for the disorder for at least 1 year.


      Doses are individualized and only administered on the appearance of early symptoms.


      A group of signs and symptoms that appear together and characterize a disease or medical condition.


      An effect caused by the interaction of two or more substances that magnifies the effect to be greater than the sum of each substance’s individual effects.


      Made synthetically or entirely from chemicals, and not made as a derivative of the original substance or plant (e.g. the opium poppy, marijuana plant, etc.) Examples of synthetic drugs include: carfentanil/carfentanyl, sufentanil, fentanyl, spice, bath salts, & herbal incense.


      Synthetic compounds produced in laboratories to mimic the effects of the active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While the intention of these compounds are to mimic the effects of marijuana, this is not always achieved. As one strain of synthetic marijuana is banned and made illegal, new compound combinations are created to avoid regulation. The result is the ongoing creation of compounds that are structurally more and more different from the natural THC found in marijuana, increasing the potential risks associated. Side effects have included vomiting, sweating, seizures, body spasms, rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, severe paranoia and hallucinations. Also known as K2, spice.

      Long-term health consequences are unknown.

      K2 can be: inhaled (e.g. smoked, vaporized), ingested (e.g. edibles)


      A practice in pharmacotherapy of lowering the dose of medication incrementally over time to help prevent or reduce any adverse experiences as the patients’ body makes adjustments and adapts to lower and lower doses.


      A derisory term describing a member of a 12-step program who makes romantic advances toward new, or newer, members of those organizations, who typically have less than one year of recovery.


      The progressive or gradual increase in drug dosage to reach an optimal therapeutic outcome.


      A normal neurobiological adaptation process characterized by the brain’s attempt to accommodate abnormally high exposure to a drug. Tolerance results in a need to increase the dosage of a drug overtime to obtain the same original effect obtained at a lower dose. A state in which a substance produces a diminishing biological or behavioral response (e.g. an increasingly higher dosage is needed to produce the same euphoric effect experienced initially).


      A controversial approach to promotion of behavioral change through love or affectionate concern expressed in a stern or unsentimental manner (as through discipline).

      First used in 1976, the term “tough love” was not applied to the addiction model until the 1980s, when David and Phyllis York wrote an influential book about the addiction and rehabilitation of their daughter entitled Toughlove. In the book, the authors outline a view of rehabilitation techniques parents should use with their addicted children that relies on consequences ranging from mild to severe such as: take legal custody of the children of the individual with substance use disorder, refusal to provide financial assistance, asking the individual to leave the home, or refusing to provide bail money or legal assistance.

      The logic behind the “tough love” approach is founded in the belief that the parent is in control of the household, and the child is in control of their behavior. If the child does not accept the rules of the house, the child is not allowed to stay in the house. When faced with the choice of being asked to leave the house, the ideal outcome would be that the child would choose sobriety.

      Today a balance in the implementation of the tough love concept as a practice is suggested, and individuals should seek professional help rather than trying to produce results by themselves.


      The management and care of a patient to combat a disease or disorder. Can take the form of medicines, procedures, or counseling and psychotherapy. .

      • Quantitative Treatment Limitation (QTL) Limits based on frequency of treatment, number of visits, days of coverage or days in a waiting period. A limitation that is expressed numerically, such as an annual limit of 50 outpatient visits.
      • Non-Quantitative Treatment Limitation (NQTL) Any non-financial treatment limitation imposed by a health plan that limits the scope or duration of treatment (i.e. pre-authorization, medical necessity, utilization review, exclusions, etc.).

      A specific stimulus that sets off a memory or flashback, transporting the individual back to a feeling, experience, or event which may increase susceptibility to psychological or physical symptom recurrence and reinstatement of substance use disorder.


      An evidence-based clinical approach to substance use disorder treatment that is grounded in the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) with the two primary goals of motivating the patient to develop a desire to cease using substances and to also acknowledge the need for active participation in community-based 12-step mutual help organizations such as AA and NA as a means of maintaining recovery over the long-term.


      A derisory term used to describe individuals in Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) or other 12-step programs, who practice step one and portions of the 12 th step of the 12-step program (i.e., remain abstinent and carry the message of recovery to other individuals suffering from addiction) but do not practice any other steps or principles of the 12-step program.


      Neurological symptoms caused by biochemical lesions of the central nervous system after exhaustion of thiamine (vitamin B-1), most commonly associated with alcohol use disorder. (See Korsakoff Syndrome; Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome).


      The co-occurrence of Wernicke’s Encephalopathy simultaneously with Korsakoff syndrome. Also known as wet-brain. Encephalopathy typically precedes Korsakoff’s Psychosis and can be prevented via administration of vitamin B-1 (Thiamin); if missed, onset results in permanent neurological damage. (See Korsakoff Syndrome; Wernicke’s Encephalopathy).


      Physical, cognitive, and affective symptoms that occur after chronic use of a drug is reduced abruptly or stopped among individuals who have developed tolerance to a drug.

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