Glossary of Addiction Terms

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Dependence on substances or activities harmful to health or psychological balance.


Abuse in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Disease caused by the abuse of alcoholic beverages can be acute, such as drunkenness, or chronic.


Said of a person: Having an addiction to something or someone. Also used as a noun.


Analgesics or analgesics are those drugs capable of suppressing or relieving painful sensations.


An eating disorder that causes people to weigh less than what is considered healthy for their age and height, usually by excessive weight loss. Definition from MedlinePlus

Addictive Behavior

behavior that provokes the imperious need to be repeated, despite the evident psychic and physical damage it generates both at a personal level and on third parties.

Addictive Substances

substance of natural or artificial origin that acts on the Central Nervous System and whose use can stimulate or inhibit functions can be considered an addictive substance.



treatment that consists in the use of a system of sensors that allow the patient to monitor in real-time different physiological parameters that provide information about the work of his organism.


An eating disorder in which a person has regular episodes of eating a large amount of food (binge-eating) during which he/she feels a loss of control over his/her eating.

Bulimia nervosa

An eating disorder characterized by repeated episodes of excessive food intake in a short period of time. This is coupled with an excessive preoccupation with weight control, which may lead to the use of methods to control weight gain.


A participatory model or approach to health and disease that postulates that biological, psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural factors play a significant role in human activity in the context of disease or disability.


is defined in the classification of the Mental Disorders Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a disorder of eating behavior and food intake.

Body image distortion (Body Dysmorphic Disorder)

Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental illness in which one cannot stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in appearance, a defect that seems minor or that cannot be seen by others.



psychological disorder in which someone manifests an excessive, and often inappropriate, preoccupation with the problems of another person or a group.


A highly addictive drug made from coca leaves, a plant that grows in South America. Some people use this illegal substance to get high.


A type of psychotherapy that helps patients modify behaviors (behaviors), thoughts, and feelings related to specific situations.


The meaning of the term cognitive is related to the process of acquiring knowledge (cognition) through information received from the environment and learning.

Chronic disease

An illness or condition that usually lasts 3 months or more, and may worsen over time. Chronic illnesses almost always occur in older adults and are often controlled, but not cured.


Dysfunctional environment

A disorder in the functioning of something or its function.

Drug addiction

chronic disease characterized by compulsive and uncontrollable drug seeking and use, despite adverse consequences.


A mental state characterized by permanent feelings of sadness, despair, loss of energy, and difficulty in coping or coping with normal daily life. Other symptoms of depression include feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, dissatisfaction or disinterest in activities, changes in eating or sleeping habits, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Drug dependence

Understood as the habit of drug use, with phenomena of tolerance and dependence, with the predominance of drug-seeking behaviors over other important priorities and even knowing that it can cause mental or physical harm to the individual.


Therapeutic process aimed at interrupting the physical dependence produced by the consumption of a psychoactive substance exogenous to the organism, as well as preventing and mitigating the withdrawal symptoms secondary to such interruption.


Substance or medicinal preparation having a stimulant, depressant, narcotic or hallucinogenic effect.


A disorder that affects the functioning of the body and sometimes produces specific signs and symptoms.


Emotional illnesses

Patterns of thought and behavior that alter a person’s functioning and psychological balance.

We must start from the idea that a disorder is nothing more than a set of symptoms, in this case affecting emotional well-being.

Eating Disorders (ED)

Serious medical conditions with a biological influence that are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behaviors.



A potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic.



Addictive drug obtained from morphine, in the form of a bitter white powder, with sedative and narcotic properties.



Injury or death resulting from swallowing, inhaling, touching, or injecting various drugs, chemicals, poisons, or gases. Many substances, such as drugs and carbon monoxide, are poisonous only in high concentrations or doses.


refers to the attitude of paying attention to the subject’s internal processes, i.e., the subject’s ability to focus attention on his or her own perceptions, concerns, sensations, and thoughts.

Introspection, as an act of self-awareness, allows the subject to analyze himself and reflect on his actions, behaviors, learning processes, or emotions in the face of certain circumstances.

Involuntary commitment

A treatment program that takes place in a residential facility where individuals must remain on-site for the duration of the program.

Initial assessment

The first assessment is diagnostic in nature and is carried out at the beginning of a learning program, such as at the start of the school year. It is a process that allows one to evaluate the educational activity and to know where the previously established objectives have advanced, regressed, or stagnated, as well as their causes, in order to intervene in their improvement.



Income, gain, profit, benefit, or advantage obtained from a certain thing or activity.



A powerful and highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It is a white crystalline, odorless, bitter-tasting powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol.

Marijuana (cannabis)

Dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. The plant contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – a chemical that causes mental alterations – and other similar compounds.

Multidisciplinary approach

Combines or involves several academic disciplines or professional specializations in the same field or puts them to work together to solve a problem.

Mental illness

Conditions that impact your thinking, feelings, mood, and behavior. They can be occasional or long-lasting (chronic). They can affect your ability to relate to others and function every day.


Obsessive-compulsive behavior

A mental condition in which thoughts (obsessions) and rituals (compulsions) are presented over and over again. These interfere with your life, but you cannot control or stop them.



A fundamental branch of medicine that deals with the study of diseases. Its main objective is to understand the causes (etiology), the mechanisms of development (pathogenesis), the structural changes in the tissues and organs of the body (morphological alterations), and the effects of these diseases (clinical manifestations).

Pathological gambling

A disease characterized by a chronic and progressive failure to resist the impulse to gamble with money.


An adjective that indicates that something belongs to or is related to physiology. This word indicates, therefore, that something is related to the biological functioning of living beings.

personalized approach

an educational approach that aims to match learning to each student’s strengths, needs, abilities, and interests. Each student receives a learning plan based on what he or she knows and how the student learns best.

physical dependence

A condition that manifests itself when a person taking a drug for a long time shows unpleasant physical symptoms if the drug is suddenly stopped or ingested in smaller doses.

psychological dependence

Irresistible desire or craving to repeat the administration of a drug to obtain the experience of its pleasurable, pleasurable, evasive effects or both to avoid the psychological discomfort felt in its absence.

Post-treatment support

Care is provided to improve the quality of life of persons suffering from an illness or disease by preventing or treating, as early as possible, the symptoms of the disease and the side effects caused by the treatment.


Support group

A group of people who meet periodically to help each other cope with a problem that disrupts their daily lives by sharing their experiences. This problem is common to all the members of the group.

Substance dependence

chemical dependency, drug addiction, toxicophilia. Includes psychic dependence accompanied, or not, by physiological dependence on a drug.



Substance, object, or agent that initiates or stimulates an action.



any subject who acts without limits, without guidance, that is, who does not allow himself to be governed. In the affective and emotional sense