Alcohol/Drug Addiction Definitions
The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends
of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in
order to solve their common problems. The only requirement for
membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative
1. Someone who as the result of their alcohol consumption, either
excessive or habitual, suffers or has suffered physical, psychological,
emotional, social or occupational harm.
2. Someone who demonstrates a continuous or periodic impaired control
over drinking; preoccupation with alcohol; and use of alcohol despite
adverse consequences and distortions in thinking, most notably
One of the earliest forms of addiction treatment in the United
States, AA developed the 12-step approach to assisting recovery
from alcohol addiction (alcoholism). Several other anonymous
groups have adapted the 12-step approach to help people recover
from addiction to other drugs (e.g., Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine
Anonymous, Pot Smokers Anonymous).
A chronic disorder characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated
excessive use of alcoholic beverages, development of withdrawal
symptoms on reducing or ceasing alcohol intake, morbidity that
may include cirrhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to
function socially and vocationally. Currently believed by many
to be a disease with strong genetic links.
1. Physical addiction to a drug or substance, such as alcohol or
heroine, that results in biological changes (including withdrawl)
if discontinued suddenly.
2. Any condition resulting from dependency on or abuse of a psychoactive
substance as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-Revised, (DSM-IV-R), or subsequent
revisions, published by the American Psychiatric Association.
A set of maladaptive, compulsive behaviors learned by family members
in order to survive in a family which is experiencing great emotional
pain and stress associated with an alcoholic or drug addicted
The process of withdrawing a person from any addictive substance.
Detoxification occurs naturally when the addict cannot get his
or her drug, and under these circumstances. The detoxification
process can be both uncomfortable and dangerous, but under hospital
supervision, detoxifcation is controlled and safe. Detoxifcation
precedes rehabiltation treatment.
A general term used to refer to any departure from health in which
a patient suffers. It can be defined as disorder of bodily function
or destructive processes in organs, organs’ systems or
in an organism with recognizable signs and symptoms, and in many
cases a known cause. The words disease, illness and sickness
are used often interchangeably but are not synonymous. Rather,
whereas disease relates to a physiological or psychological dysfunction,
an illness is the subjective state of a patient who feels unwell
and sickness encompasses a state of social dysfunction, such
as the role that the individual assumes when ill.
1. Someone who is physiologically dependent on a drug where the
abrupt deprivation of the drug produces withdrawal symptoms.
2. Junky, Junkie. 3. Someone addicted to narcotics.
A special court given the responsibility of select felony and misdemeanor
cases involving non-violent drug-using offenders. The program
includes frequent random drug testing, judicial and probation
supervision, drug treatment counseling, educational and vocational
opportunities, and the use of sanctions and incentives.
A residence for those who have completed treatment at a rehabilitation
facility but are not yet ready to return to their community. They
need daily support to assist them in the restructuring of their
lives. Often, this includes assistance in getting a job and gradually
living more independently.
Those who are needy and poor, or those who have not sufficient
property to furnish a living nor anyone able to support them to
whom they are entitled to look for support.
The Incredibly Short Memories we have that let us repeat old mistakes
and get the same old results; it's the I Sponsor Myself's,
the old ego telling us that we don't need help. Its all the I, Self
and Me's that keep haunting us if we don't take action in the form
of the 12 steps.
Similar to a halfway house but with stronger emphasize on a permanent
recovery plan. This usually involves participation in a 12 step
or Narcotics Anonymous. Residents are expected to attend daily
AA meeting, get a sponsor, work the 12 steps and become involved.
1. Habitual soberness or temperance as to the use of spirituous
liquors; as, a man of sobriety. 2. Habitual freedom from enthusiasm,
inordinate passion, or overheated imagination; calmness; coolness;
gravity; seriousness; as, the sobriety of riper years. 3. State of
mental clarity obtained through abstinence from alcohol and other
The taking of alcohol or other drugs at dosages that place a person's
social, economic, psychological and physical welfare in potential
hazard, or endanger public health, morals, safety or welfare, or
a combination thereof. Also called chemical dependency.
Residential facilities, usually non-medical, providing for the care,
treatment or rehabilitation of drug users, including alcohol users.
Non-medical residential program providing training for living in
a setting of greater independence. The primary focus is on teaching
functional skills and compensating for abilities that cannot be
See Halfway Houses and Recovery