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Addiction Glossary

Substance use can lead to abuse. This addiction glossary may help you decide if you or a loved one needs to seek help. It offers background on common substances and topics related to addiction.

The disease of addiction has physical, social, mental and emotional manifestations. It is a chronic disease that is progressive if not treated and, like other chronic diseases, it can be relapsing. The reality is that recovery is possible. You do not have to struggle alone. Substance abuse treatment, support groups and 12-Step practices are resources for sobriety and life balance.

This addiction glossary offers basic background on the chemical substances that can lead to addiction, as well as information about dual diagnoses, including mental disorders and maladaptive family behaviors that are often found with chemical dependency. You will be provided with information about alcohol, drug use and interactions.

Substances of abuse include over-the-counter medicines, psychotropic prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. The rapid explosion of prescription drug abuse affects every age group and includes young adults, older adults and those with chronic pain.

Addiction draws the individual and the family into its sphere. The more you know about the disease of substance abuse, the better you can understand how you, your loved one and others close to you are affected by it as well as what the elements of relapse prevention and recovery are for every family member.