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Topic 3 – Current Terminology

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Not consuming the substance of choice

Any behaviour characterized by loss of control of amount or frequency of use, a compulsion to use, cravings, and continuing to use despite negative consequences.

A medical specialization that includes managing detoxification and stabilization, opiate replacement therapy, psychiatric concerns, physical health, pain management and counseling.

Concurrent disorders is a term used to refer to co-occurring problematic substance use and mental health issues. Addressing both together is optimal as lack of treatment of one often negatively affects the presentation of the other.

Most severe form of alcohol withdrawal causing sudden and severe problems in the brain (i.e. extreme confusion) and nervous system (i.e. seizures). Heavy drinkers are at risk of DTs if they suddenly stop

The process of safely withdrawing from substances where there are immediate bodily effects in no longer using the substance, as well as the removal of toxins left in the body by the substance.

The use of certain substances can sometimes cause psychotic symptoms to appear. This can include hallucinations, delusions, memory loss and confusion.

The favoured, or preferred substance for an individual which can change over time and is often based on availability.

Harm reduction involves a range of support services and strategies to enhance the knowledge, skills, resources, and supports for individuals, families and communities to be safer and healthier. These programs meet people where they are at with the goal of engaging them in health care services. It is important to consider that some cultures do not view continued problematic use as sustainable. From the perspective of the Wellness Wheel, some groups may feel that only abstinence will allow for balance in all domains of health. Harm reduction will be covered in more detail in a subsequent module.

Also known as Narcan, Naloxone is an antidote used to reverse opioid overdoses available as a nasal spray or muscular injection. This reversal is temporary and can wear off. Some overdoses will require more than one dose. For more information on Naloxone: http://towardtheheart.com/naloxone/

Opiate Replacement Therapy is the use of long acting prescription opioids to replace illicit opioid use. These medications include:

  1. Methadose (a more concentrated formulation of the previously prescribed Methadone),
  2. Suboxone, and,

As of September 2016, this includes prescription heroin for individuals who have not responded to other opiate replacement treatments.

A drug overdose is the accidental or intentional use of a drug or medicine in an amount that is higher than is normally used.├óÔé¼┬Ø (Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/drug+overdose) Overdose can occur when people are unaware or misinformed of what substance they are taking.

The action of stopping something from happening or arising. Prevention programs aim to educate about and discourage youth from engaging in harmful substance use.

The process of participating in a group or program providing treatment and support for problematic substance use issues. Also refers to the time after treatment when an individual continues to maintain the new behaviours learned in treatment.

A return to previous behaviour, ie: drinking again after a period of abstinence. A relapse is an expected part of the recovery process in substance use treatment. Usually there are warning signs that start long before the relapse. It is possible to identify these warning signs and take action to prevent a relapse.

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Strategies used to manage stress and triggers that may lead to a relapse.

Stigma refers to negative attitudes (prejudice) and negative behaviour (discrimination) toward people with substance use and mental health problems. It is important to note that some cultures experience substance use-related stigma and that even within substance using populations, certain substances are more stigmatized than others, ie: crack cocaine is more stigmatized than powder cocaine, non beverage alcohol is more stigmatized than beverage alcohol, sniffing (or huffing) solvents is more stigmatized than other substance use, etc.

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A process in which the body adjusts to the substance and requires more to get the same effect.

The practice of including trauma awareness in all of the work done in social services. This includes giving individuals choice, being trustworthy, and working from and building on preexisting strengths and skills.

Any form of stimuli that results in a craving or urge to engage in problematic substance use. It is important to consider the effects of systemic abuse and intergenerational trauma when assessing vulnerability to and etiology of triggers.

This test analyzes urine from individuals for recent use of drugs. UDS’s are a common component of Opiate Replacement Therapy.

A rebound effect when the body attempts to return to normal after suddenly ceasing use of a substance.

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