Abstinence– Not using substances.

AA– Alcoholics Anonymous: a self-help group that provides support from those who have lived experience with alcoholism.

Acute Care: Immediate, short-term medically managed or monitored care, lasting up to 31 days in length. Most addiction treatment programs (e.g., “rehab”) follow an acute care model. Understanding substance use disorder to be a chronic illness, recovery may require ongoing continuing care beyond acute treatment episodes.


Basic needs– Basic or daily needs are those needs that everyone requires to live a healthy life. These include things like healthy food, a safe living environment, heat, medical care, and transportation.

Buprenorphine – an opioid agonist/antagonist prescription medication that reduces the effects of physical dependency to opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and craving. The medication can be in the form of a daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin.


Clinical treatment: Substance use disorder treatment conducted by a medical and/or behavioral health professional.

Community Coalition– A community coalition is a group of community members from all walks of life who come together to work on a problem that affects their shared community. Community Coalitions have been formed in many Northern NH regions to address Substance Use Disorder.

Community Health Worker/Recovery Coach (CHW/RC)– A Community Health Worker/Recovery Coach is a frontline public health worker interested in promoting recovery by removing barriers and obstacles to recovery. They are a trusted member of the community and serve as a personal guide and mentor for people seeking recovery.

Complete well-being– Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and the feeling of success in whatever a person thinks is important. It includes having good mental health, satisfaction with your life, a sense of meaning or purpose, and ability to manage stress.

Craving: A powerful desire to use substances.

Collaborative Care is a model of care that includes the provision of mental-health, behavioral-health and substance-use services in primary care.


Dopamine– Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that is found in the brain. It is one of many chemical messengers that the nervous system uses to send messages between nerve cells. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure and our ability to think and plan.


Early recovery: includes the first 90 days of recovery and can last for up to a year.

Evidence-based practice: Evidence-based practice is the objective, balanced, and responsible use of research and available data to influence practice decisions.


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): A condition affecting infants and children, caused by maternal alcohol use.


Genetics– is the study of genes. Your genetics (the genes specific to you) have been passed down to you from many generations. If your parents, grandparents, or other blood relatives have/had genes that supported becoming addicted to substances such as alcohol or drugs, you could have a “genetic disposition” meaning a good chance of sharing those genes. Genes are a risk factor that you cannot control that can make you more or less likely to become addicted to substances such as alcohol or drugs.


Harm reduction– Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies or plans and ideas aimed at reducing the risks or negative consequences associated with substance use such as drugs and alcohol. It is not about giving up substances completely, but about ways to lessen the risk.

Hepatitis C– Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Today, most people become infected with HCV by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. For some people, HCV is a short-term illness, but for 70%–85% of people who become infected with the virus, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic HCV is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, even death. Many people might not be aware of their infection because they are not clinically ill. There is no vaccine for HCV. The best way to prevent HCV infection is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, such as injecting drugs or sharing injection equipment with others.

High-intensity treatment– A substance use treatment plan that uses more resources, such as a longer expected treatment time (in weeks), more group or one-on-one counseling sessions, and more time spent at the treatment center in programs.

HIVHuman Immunodeficiency Virus: HIV is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom), or through sharing injection drug equipment. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.


Illicit: Forbidden by laws or customs.

Inpatient treatment: Residential treatment that provides patients with 24-hour care.

Intake: A formal type of interview that occurs when a person seeks help from a clinical professional .

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): specialized outpatient addiction recovery program that provides more structure and a more intense level of care.

Integrated Care is a general term for any attempt to fully, or partially, blend behavioral health services with general and/or specialty medical services.




Low-intensity treatment– A substance use treatment plan that uses less resources than high-intensity, such as a shorter treatment time (in weeks), fewer one-on-one therapy sessions, and/or less time at the treatment center in programs.


Mandated Reporter– New Hampshire law “mandates” or requires that anyone who suspects that adult and/or child abuse is occurring must report the information. Any person who has reason to suspect that a someone is being abused or neglected must make a report to the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS) or Division of Child, Youth and Families (DCYF) depending on the age of the victim.

MAT– Medication Assisted Treatment: Treatment that uses FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a comprehensive approach to the treatment of Substance Use Disorders.

Medical Detox: Ceasing the use of substances while being monitored by a medical professional for complications.

Methadone– a clinic-based opioid agonist that combines with certain receptors in the brain to reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms as well as block the effect of opioids. It is dispensed daily in liquid form and only in specialty regulated clinics.
Myth- a widely held but false belief or idea.

MOUD- Medication for Opioid Use Disorder

Mutual aid groups: member-led, member-organized, and open to all to participate in, such as AA, NA, Smart Recovery and All Recovery.


NA– Narcotics Anonymous: founded on the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous, these self-help groups are run by “peers”, or those who have experience with Substance Use Disorders and are in long-term recovery.

Naltrexone– a non-addictive opioid antagonist prescription medication that blocks the effects of opioids, such as prescription opioids and heroin. This medication can reduce the risk of relapse and is taken as a daily pill or monthly injection.

Narcan– naloxone (also known as Narcan®) is a medication called an “opioid antagonist” used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose and save lives.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS): caused when a woman consumes drugs or alcohol during her pregnancy. NAS happens when newborns are no longer exposed to the drug after birth, which can cause withdrawal symptoms. Children with a history of NAS are developmentally vulnerable and more likely to have educational challenges in early childhood.

NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit)- This is a nursery in a hospital that provides around-the-clock care to sick or premature babies. It has health care providers who have special training and equipment to give your baby the best possible care.


Opioid- A family of drugs used therapeutically to treat pain, that also produce a sensation of euphoria (a “high”) and are naturally derived from the opium poppy plant (e.g., morphine and opium) or synthetically or semi-synthetically produced in a lab to act like an opiate (e.g., methadone and oxycodone). Chronic repeated use of opioids can lead to tolerance, physical dependence and addiction.

Outpatient treatment– Clients live at home while attending a treatment program by a treatment facility.

Overdose- A drug overdose is taking too much of a substance, whether it’s prescription, over-the-counter, legal, or illegal. Drug overdoses may be accidental or intentional and can lead to serious medical complications, including death. The severity of a drug overdose depends on the drug, the amount taken, and the physical and medical history of the person who overdosed.

Over-the-Counter Medications- Medications directly obtainable in a pharmacy or store by a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare provider.

Oxycodone- An opioid semi-synthetically produced for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, that activates the reward centers of the brain to provide pain relief. Side effects include constipation, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, sleepiness, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, itching, headache, blurred vision, dry mouth, sweating, changes in heart rate, and trouble breathing. Oxycodone is more likely to cause side effects of dizziness and drowsiness, as well as fatigue, headaches, and feelings of euphoria than Hydrocodone. Also known as OxyCotin or Percocet.


Peer Recovery Coach– A person who is in recovery from Substance Use Disorder and has been trained as a recovery coach. Recovery coaches have specialized training that teaches them how to support individuals who want to move into recovery.

Peer Supports– Peer support workers are people who have been successful in the recovery process who help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help others become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process.

Personal growth: A process of recognition and continued development to reach full potential.

Person-first language: Language to describe what a person “has”, rather than what a person “is”. Example: Person with Substance Use Disorder.

Prenatal: During pregnancy and before birth

Prenatal substance exposure: Fetal exposure to maternal drug and/or alcohol use.

Prevention– Prevention includes working to educate and support youth, individuals, and communities to prevent the use and misuse of substances to reduce the development of substance use disorders. Misuse of substances such as drugs and alcohol can cause overdoses, accidents, life problems, health problems, and death. These substances keep people from having healthy, happy lives. Treatment works, but the best protection from the dangers of substances is to not start in the first place.

Postpartum: After pregnancy and birth.

Psychostimulants- a class of drugs that cause a sense of well-being, can decrease fatigue and depression, and increase the desire to eat. When taken incorrectly, they can also cause mood changes and trouble sleeping. These drugs can be prescribed legally through a provider and include: Benzedrine, Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin. When taken illegally, there is a high rate of addiction and possible overdose as some pills may be laced with fentanyl or Xylazine.

PWID– Person Who Injects Drugs.



Recovery– Recovery from addiction or Substance Use Disorder is a process of change in which individuals improve their health and wellness to live a self-directed life to reach their full potential. Someone in recovery has learned new ways of dealing with challenges and is making positive changes in their health, social activities, and values.

Recovery pathways: the person-driven processes of initiating and sustaining hope and recovery.

Recovery capital: The breadth and depth of internal and external resources that can be drawn upon to initiate and sustain recovery.

Reducing risk– Reducing risk is the result of “Harm Reduction.” Example: reducing risk is about using clean needles to reduce the risk of HIV and Hepatitis C infections, even if the person is still injecting substances.

Relapse: A minor setback of continued use.

Relapse prevention: Advanced planning and the use available resources to prevent relapse.

Residential treatment– clinical treatment provided in a “residential setting” where clients stay and live while they get therapy and work on their recovery.

Risk factors: Internal and external factors that increase a person’s risk.


Sobriety– Sobriety means different things to different people. It can mean simply that a person is not intoxicated or drunk. It can also mean not using substances at all.

SSPSyringe Service Program: SSPs are community-based prevention programs. SSP services can include connection to Substance Use Disorder treatment; access to clean injection equipment and disposal of used injection equipment; and consultation or connection to care for wounds or other health needs.

SUDSubstance Use Disorder: a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine also are considered drugs.

Stigma– Stigma means “a mark of shame or disgrace”. Stigma often causes the reaction that the general public can have towards people with Substance Use Disorder or mental illness, thinking that their illness makes them less than, dangerous, or of low intelligence. Stigma also affects what people who have a Substance Use Disorder or mental illness think about themselves, causing them to have lower self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. This is called self-stigma. Stigma prevents people from sharing their illness and seeking treatment.

Stimulants- referred to as “uppers,” stimulants can produce exhilaration, long-term wakefulness, and loss of appetite. Many are prescribed to children to treat ADHD and can include: Adderall and Ritalin. Misuse can lead to anger, paranoia, heart, nerve, and stomach problems, and even overdose.

Syringe Services– Syringe services programs (SSPs) are prevention programs based within a community, that can provide a range of services, including connection to substance use disorder treatment; getting sterile syringes; disposal of used syringes; and vaccination, testing, and connections to care and treatment for infectious diseases.


Trigger: A behavior, stressor, person, place or thing that causes an urge to use substances.




Whole-person Care – Care that includes physical health, mental health, oral health, all health.

Withdrawal: An unpleasant feeling of the body and brain caused by ceasing the use of substances, also known as the detox process.


Xylazine- an animal sedative not approved for human consumption. Used as a cutting agent for illegal substances, it is consumed, inhaled, smoked, snorted, or injected. Xylazine can increase the risk of fatal overdoses when mixed with opioids and cannot be reversed by Naloxone.




12-step program– The 12-Step program was first developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 steps were created as a guide to overcoming addiction to alcohol. This model has been used by many other “12-step” programs from substance use to eating disorders.