Substance Abuse Terms
Different Types of Treatment Defined for People Seeking Recovery from Substance Abuse
Al-Anon: A 12-step self-help organization to aid the friends and the relatives of alcoholics.
Alcoholics Anonymous: A program of 12 steps to sobriety that are studied and practiced by individuals who wish to stop drinking because of the negative effects of alcohol in their lives. Anonymity about their personal recovery is generally maintained except to others in the program.
Continuum of Care: The full array of alcohol and drug abuse services responsive to the unique needs of clients throughout the course of treatment and recovery.
Counseling: A process involving a therapeutic relationship between a client who is asking for help and a counselor or therapist trained to provide that help.
Detoxification: The process of safely removing addictive substances from the body. Medically-assisted stabilization, also called detoxification, aims to reduce discomfort and potential physical harm for individuals who are experiencing withdrawal. The stabilization process often requires the assistance of medical professionals and may involve the use of pharmaceutical therapies to guide people safely through withdrawal. Stabilization is an important and often necessary prerequisite to effective acute addiction treatment, but it does not itself constitute treatment.
Group Therapy: The use of several clients in a group setting to help one another break the isolation of addiction, increase knowledge, and practice recovery skills. There are different types of group therapy; facilitated, peer, 12-step, educational, topic-specific, and targeted.
Half-way House or Transitional Housing: A residential treatment facility where the addict is allowed to work and have outside contacts while enrolled in a treatment program.
Inpatient Treatment: An addiction treatment venue that requires overnight stays usually in a hospital setting that focuses on detoxification, therapy, and education; usually seven to 30 days but can be much longer.
Intensive Outpatient Therapy (IOP): A kind of treatment service and support program used primarily to treat eating disorders, depression, self-harm and chemical dependency that does not rely on detoxification. It consists of regularly scheduled sessions of structured addiction treatment and mental health counseling.
Nar-Anon: Known officially as “Nar-Anon Family Groups,” is a 12-step program for friends and family members of those who are affected by someone else’s addiction.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA): A 12-step self-help program created in 1947 and developed along the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous but focusing on people addicted to drugs.
Outpatient Therapy: An addiction treatment venue where the patient does not have to stay overnight. The services are offered in an office or clinic setting. Intensive outpatient addiction treatment services are offered more frequently—typically, on a daily basis—than traditional outpatient services and are designed for patients who need more regular contact with health care providers.
Residential Treatment: An addiction treatment venue where patients live away from home, typically for several weeks or months, in a facility that provides treatment but not hospital care. There may be limited physician or psychologist services available at such programs.