Substance Abuse Terminology for Families
Anyone with an alcoholic or drug addict in their life can attest to the serious pain these diseases can inflict. For the loved ones of an addict, the world of substance abuse and rehabilitation can be very disorienting. If you're the parent or friend of an addict here are some terms you should know that will help you understand the rehab process.
Delirium Tremens - Sometimes called, "the shakes" or "DT's", this is the physical manifestation of alcohol withdrawal.
Detox - This term describes the process of removing substances from an addict’s body. It may be facilitated by other drugs, which are administered under a doctor's care, to ease the physical side effects.
Inpatient Program - Any rehabilitation center where patients stay for a set period of time without going home.
Methadone - This long acting synthetic opiate is used to help stabilize heroin addicts during their recovery. While it doesn't provide the same high as heroin, this substance also has addictive properties.
Outpatient Program - Any alcohol or drug abuse recovery center that allows patients to meet regularly with counselors, but return to their homes at night.
Tolerance - Many longtime drug abusers require larger and larger amounts of their chosen drug to get the same high they had when they first started using. As their tolerance for the drug increases, their problems normally get worse.
Twelve Steps - Any recovery program that requires patients to complete the Twelve Steps to recovery outlined in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.
Schedule One Narcotic - This is how the Federal Government classifies drugs with no known medical use. For laymen, this distinction can be confusing because opiates in prescription pain killers are not Schedule One, but opiates in heroin are Schedule One drugs.