A to Z of Addiction Recovery Words, Terms & Phrases
The world of addiction recovery truly has its own language and uses terms, words and phrases that you may not understand.
To help you comprehend some of the more common phrases and words used in addiction recovery, we have compiled a comprehensive A-Z. Think of it as a dictionary for recovery that provides definitions of common terminology used in recovery circles and in addiction treatment.
We hope that this list of addiction recovery terms will help you in your journey.
Recoverlution’s Glossary of Recovery Words & Phrases:
ABC: A tool used in SMART Recovery. This helps identify and dispute irrational beliefs. ABC stands for Activating Event, Beliefs, Consequences.
Abstinence: The complete absence of substance use.
ACOA: Adult Children of Alcoholics. ACA or ACOA is a fellowship of people who grew up in dysfunctional households. ACOAs may have also had a parent/caregiver with an alcohol use disorder.
Addict: A stigmatizing term used to describe those who have substance use disorder.
Addiction: According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease. It involves complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. Those with addiction use substances or engage in behaviours that become compulsive. They often continue despite harmful consequences.
Addiction recovery: The process by which someone experiences recovery from substance use disorder.
Addiction Treatment: Treatment focused on reducing or alleviating symptoms of substance use disorder.
Addictive Personality: A hypothesized set of personality traits that make an individual predisposed to developing addictions. This is not a psychiatric diagnosis.
Alcohol allergy: An intolerance whereby the body cannot break down alcohol efficiently. Consumption of alcohol for those with an alcohol allergy can lead to rashes, severe stomach cramps, itchiness, and swelling.
In addiction recovery terms, alcohol allergy is also commonly used in Alcoholics Anonymous to describe a person's inability to moderate or control alcohol use.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid fellowship of individuals with alcohol use disorder. Individuals are dedicated to abstinence-based recovery through this spiritually-inclined Twelve Step program. Following its Twelve Traditions, AA is non-professional and non-denominational.
Alcohol-free drinks: Drinks that pertain to contain zero alcohol or a minimal amount
Alcoholic: A stigmatising term used to describe a person with alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol recovery: A process through which someone pursues both remissions from alcohol use disorder and cessation from heavy drinking.
Alcohol recovery group: Groups that share a common desire to overcome their alcohol use.
Alcohol rehab: A facility that employs medical professionals to help individuals overcome a problem with alcohol
Alcohol withdrawal: Alcohol withdrawal occurs when an individual abruptly ends or significantly decreases their alcohol consumption. This happens following ongoing, long-term use. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include tremors, nausea, vomiting, delirium tremens, visual and auditory disturbances, headache, and anxiety.
Al-ANON: A mutual support program for individuals whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking.
Anonymind: A free-to-access online service that helps people overcome gambling disorders and move on with their lives. Anonymind offers direct online access to self-help support and to a team of caring professional problem-gambling recovery therapists
Amends: Compensation for a loss. In AA, the concept of making amends is about apologizing to the people an individual has hurt in the past. Additionally, it’s about taking accountability for their actions and mistakes.
Anti-awfulizing: A skill taught in SMART Recovery that is used to put things into a realistic perspective.
AOD: Alcohol and other drugs
AODA: Alcohol and other drug abuse
ATW: A concept used in SMART Recovery that stands for Absolute Thought Warning. These are words spotted in thoughts and beliefs that are absolute, demanding words. They are unachievable and cause distress. These words include should, must, have to, can’t, all, need, always, never, awful, terrible, and horrible.
B - Addiction recovery terms
Basic text: The book Alcoholics Anonymous is often referred to as “the big book.” The foundational book of the AA program outlines the 12 steps, and 12 traditions, and includes personal stories of recovery.
Behavioural addiction: An addiction to a behaviour such as gambling or sex. Those with a behavioural addiction are not addicted to a substance. Rather, they’re addicted to the behaviour or feeling brought about by the relevant action.
Big book: One of the more popular addiction recovery terms used to describe the book Alcoholics Anonymous, also referred to as the “basic text.” The foundational book of the AA program outlines the 12 steps, and 12 traditions, and includes personal stories of recovery.
Binge drinking: Excessive alcohol consumption within a short time frame.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): The percentage of alcohol units in someone’s bloodstream.
C - Addiction recovery phrases
Case Management: A healthcare process in which a professional helps a patient or client develop a plan that coordinates and integrates support services. These are services the patient/client needs to reach their physical, mental, and emotional recovery goals.
CBA: A tool used in SMART Recovery that stands for Cost Benefit Analysis. This is used to determine motivational directions.
Central Nervous System (CNS): The system within the body is made up of the brain and spinal cord. It controls thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and actions.
Carry the message: A concept found in the 12th step of AA. The intent of the 12th step is for AA members to take what they have learned and carry the message to others in recovery.
Chemsex: The consumption of drugs to enhance sexual activity.
Clean: A Stigmatising term used to describe a person who has ceased substance use, having previously been addicted.
Clean time: A term used to describe the amount of time a person has been continually abstinent from substances. “Clean time” is celebrated in 12 Step fellowships such as CA and NA
Closed meetings: AA meetings that are only open to members, or those who desire to quit their alcohol use.
Cocaine Anonymous: A 12-step group that provides meetings and a programme for those who desire to end cocaine use.
Codependence: Excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner that is to a person's detriment. This can be a partner who requires support due to illness or addiction. Codependency can manifest in many different ways in intimate relationships
Source: Oxford Languages
Cold Turkey: One of the addiction recovery slang terms used to describe the abrupt and complete cessation of taking a drugs
Source: Oxford Languages
Comorbidity: Two disorders or illnesses within the same person. Also referred to as dual diagnosis.
Compulsion: A strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act. This can often be an act that is irrational or contrary to one's will.
Compulsive gambling: The uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite negative consequences.
Conditioning: A change in behaviour resulting from an association between events.
Co-occurring disorders: Most often used to describe two illnesses or disorders within one person. Examples would be depression, anxiety or bipolar and addiction. Also referred to as comorbidity or dual diagnosis.
Coping strategies: Efforts used to manage stressful events and difficult thoughts and emotions.
Crack: Crack is the solid form of cocaine and is therefore administered either intravenously or by smoking from a crack pipe. Crack is stronger and more addictive than cocaine as it is condensed
Craving: A powerful and strong desire/urge for alcohol or a substance. A symptom of the abnormal brain adaptions that result from addiction.
Crisis Intervention: A time-limited intervention with a specific psychotherapeutic approach. The purpose is to immediately stabilise those in crisis.
Cross-Dependence: When one drug can suppress the withdrawal symptoms resulting from discontinued use of another drug
Cross-Tolerance: A phenomenon that occurs when tolerance to the effects of a certain drug produces tolerance to another drug.
Cross-Addiction: When a person has two or more addictive behaviours.
Clean: One of the stigmatizing addiction recovery terms used to describe an individual who is sober.
CSBD: Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder. This is characterised by a persistent failure to control intense and recurrent sexual impulses, urges, and/or thoughts. It results in repetitive sexual behaviour that causes a marked impairment in important areas of functioning. This disorder can affect both men and women alike.
D - Addiction recovery phrases
Darknet (Dark web): A computer network with restricted access that is used chiefly for illegal peer-to-peer file sharing. Users here conduct illegal transactions like buying and selling drugs.
Source: Oxford Languages; https://www.renaissancerecovery.com/dark-web-drug-addiction/
Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT): An evidence-based psychotherapy that focuses on skills training. It includes mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance.
DIBs: A concept used in SMART Recovery that stands for Disputing Irrational Beliefs.
D.O.C.: Drug of choice.
Denial: When someone with an addiction is unable to see the effects of their use on themselves, their loved ones, and their life as a whole. Delusional thinking is a common symptom of addiction
Dependence: The presence of withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using a drug.
Depressants: Drugs that act on the Central Nervous System and slow down the brain and body
Depression: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression, also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. It can affect activities such as sleeping, eating, or working. Symptoms may include but are not limited to:
- Continuous feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling "slowed down"
- Feelings of hopelessness, irritability, restlessness, worthlessness, or helplessness
Detoxification (Detox): A medical process focused on treating symptoms of withdrawal comfortably and safely.
Disease Model: A framework in which addiction is identified as a disease.
Disease: A particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of all or part of an organism. It is not immediately due to any external injury. Medical conditions that are associated with specific signs and symptoms.
Doctor Shopping: Seeing multiple doctors in order to obtain multiple prescriptions.
Dopamine: A neurotransmitter that is naturally produced in the brain. It is often referred to as the “feel-good” hormone. Dopamine has an important role when it comes to understanding addiction and treating it.
Downers: A slang term for depressants and sedatives. Substances that depress the brain and CNS.
Drama therapy: An evidenced-based therapy incorporating drama and therapy to resolve trauma
Drumming therapy: A therapy involving a drumming circle that promotes connection and healing for hard-to-reach patients in and out of rehab
Drug Diversion: The act of transferring legal prescription drugs to individuals or markets for whom they were not prescribed. Drug diversion is also used to describe when a person diverts the course of administration from other than prescribed.
Drug Tolerance: Reduced reaction to a substance following its repeated use. The brain develops tolerance to certain substances such as alcohol or prescription opioids
Drug rehab: A facility that assists individuals to detox and rehabilitating from drug addiction with professional support and treatment
DUI: Driving under the influence.
DWI: Driving while intoxicated.
Dysphoria: A profound state of unease or dissatisfaction.
E - Addiction recovery phrases
EFT therapy - EFT Tapping therapy is a treatment you can learn from a practitioner that can help to reduce stress levels and anxiety. EFT works on the same principles as acupuncture as a form of acupressure and can be helpful to a person in recovery.
Enabling: Actions that typically involve removing or diminishing the naturally occurring negative consequences resulting from substance use. This increases the likelihood of disease progression.
Enabler: Someone whose behaviour allows a loved one to continue self-destructive patterns of behaviour. Enabling is common in alcoholism and in addiction
Euphoria: The experience (or effect) of pleasure or excitement and intense feelings of happiness. Some substances produce a euphoric effect.
Euphoric recall: Euphoric recall is when a person affected by a substance use disorder recalls the “good times” associated with substance use and subconsciously negates to recall of the consequences.
Evidence-based Treatment: Any therapy that has shown to be effective in peer-reviewed scientific experiments.
F - Addiction recovery phrases
Facilitator - A person who is trained to facilitate SMART Recovery meetings. They apply the programme of recovery to their lives and show others how to do this.
Family programme - Programmes designed to help family members and loved ones of those with addiction. They help family members heal and experience their own recovery journeys.
Family illness (disease of addiction) - Addiction is referred to as a family illness. It affects the entire family system as a whole and all members within it.
Fentanyl - A powerful synthetic opioid. It is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.
Family intervention - A meeting, often facilitated by a professional, during which family members and loved ones of an individual with addiction confront the individual and persuade them to enter treatment.
Family support groups - Support groups centred on supporting family members and loved ones of those with addiction. One example is Al-Anon.
Functioning alcoholic - One of the addiction recovery slang terms used to describe a person who suffers from alcohol addiction but is able to function occupationally.
G - Addiction recovery phrases
Gambling addiction - Repetitive gambling behaviour despite harm and negative consequences. Also known as problem gambling, pathological gambling, or compulsive gambling.
Gamblers Anonymous - A 12-step peer support group for those who struggle with problem gambling and have the desire to end the behaviour.
Gambling addiction treatment - Treatment efforts centred on reducing or alleviating symptoms of problem gambling.
H - Addiction recovery phrases
Habit: A routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.
Hallucinogen: A drug that causes hallucinations, such as LSD.
Source: Oxford Languages
Harm Reduction: Strategies aimed at reducing substance use as well as negative consequences associated with substance use.
Heroin: A highly addictive narcotic derived from morphine.
Source: Oxford Languages
Holistic: An approach characterised by the treatment of the whole person. It takes into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.
Source: Oxford Languages
I - Addiction recovery terms
Illegal/Illicit Drugs: Drugs that are illegal to produce, sell, and use.
Impulsivity: The inability to inhibit behavioural impulses and thoughts.
Inpatient treatment: A residential treatment programme that provides highly structured 24-hour care. It is usually run by a team of mental health professionals.
Intervention: A meeting of an individual with a substance use problem with family or other loved ones held to address the problems being caused by the individual’s substance use and typically involves expression of care, concern, and explicit demands for behavioural change or the receipt of addiction treatment.
Intoxication: The condition of having physical or mental control markedly diminished by the effects of alcohol or drugs.
Inventory: Make a complete list of. The foundation of Step 4 in the 12-step programme entails making taking a moral inventory of oneself.
Source: Oxford Languages
LGBTQ + recovery : A community of people in addiction recovery who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or other
Legal Drugs: Drugs that can be purchased over the counter or with a prescription.
Maintenance dose: The amount of a medication administered to preserve the desired level of the medication in the blood.
Medical Model: A model that characterises addiction as a disease with biological, neurological, genetic, and environmental sources of origin.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): The use of medications in combination with counselling and behavioural therapies. MAT can be effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders and can help people sustain recovery.
Metabolism (of drugs): The chemical and physical reactions carried out by the body to prepare for a drug’s execution.
Methadone: A synthetically produced, long-acting opiate used to reduce withdrawal. It is often used as a medication for helping stabilise and facilitate recovery among those suffering from opioid use disorders.
Microdosing: Taking very low doses of a substance, usually a psychedelic drug.
Monotherapy: When one drug is used to treat a particular disorder.
Morphine: An analgesic and narcotic drug obtained from opium. It is used medicinally to relieve pain.
Source: Oxford Languages
Motivational interviewing: A clinical approach that helps people make positive behavioural changes. It helps them to explore and resolve ambivalence about change.
Mutual aid organisations: Peer-led organisations designed to help individuals with substance use disorders and other addiction-related problems. Also referred to as peer support groups.
N - Addiction recovery terms
Naloxone: A synthetic drug, similar to morphine, which blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system. It can reverse overdose from opioids. Sold commonly under the brand name Narcan.
Source: Oxford Languages
Naltrexone: A medication primarily used to manage alcohol or opioid use disorder by reducing cravings and blocking the action of opiates.
Narcan: A medication used to reverse overdose from opioids. Naloxone.
Narcotic: A drug that produces sleep/drowsiness. It also relieves pain while being potentially dependence-producing.
Naturopath: A person who treats individuals by using naturopathic approaches.
Naturopathic medicine: A system of alternative medicine based on the theory that diseases can be successfully treated or prevented without the use of drugs. Some techniques utilised explore diet, exercise, and massage. Naturopathic medicine can help with any number of ailments including but not excluded to chronic pain, menopause, anxiety, depression, digestive issues and drug and alcohol cravings
Source: Oxford Languages
Nicotine: A naturally occurring stimulant and the chief active principle of tobacco.
O - Addiction recovery phrases
Obsession: A mental behaviour one repeats involuntarily that can be harmful (such as needing to engage in use).
Open meetings: Meetings open to individuals outside of AA, including those who do not have alcohol use disorder. Meetings are open to family members, loved ones, and general observers.
Opiate: An opiate drug is derived directly from the natural opium poppy plant. Opiates are highly addictive and notoriously difficult to withdraw from
Opioids: Substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. Medically they are primarily used for pain relief, including anaesthesia.
Opium: Addictive drug prepared from the juice of the opium poppy. It is used as a narcotic and in medicine as an analgesic.
Source: Oxford Languages
One-to-one therapy: Individual therapy involves only two people: the therapist and the client. CBT, EMDR and DBT are just a few of the therapies that can be delivered during individual therapy
Online meetings: Peer support meetings that are held virtually online.
Outpatient treatment: Any therapy services offered when the client is not admitted to a hospital or residential program.
Online recovery tools: Resources available online to help those in recovery from addiction. These can also help those struggling with active addiction.
Online recovery community: Online platforms, groups, forums, and communities designed to help those struggling with substance use disorders. They also help the loved ones of those struggling with addiction.
Overdose: The ingestion or application of a drug or other substance in quantities much greater than are recommended. This can be either intentional or accidental. Overdoses can lead to harmful consequences including death.
Over-the-Counter Drugs: Legally produced drugs that can be purchased in a store without a prescription.
Oxford houses Any house operating under the "Oxford House Model." A community-based approach to addiction recovery, which provides an independent, supportive, and sober living environment.
Oxycodone: A semi-synthetic narcotic analgesic used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is similar to morphine in its effects.
P - Recovery terms
Painkillers: A drug or medicine for relieving pain. Some prescription strength and over-the-counter painkillers that contain opioids can lead to addiction and dependence
Source: Oxford Languages
Pathological gambling: The uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite negative consequences. Also known as compulsive gambling or problem gambling
Peer support groups: Non-clinical groups in which individuals participate in conversations and activities that engage, educate, and support those struggling with and recovering from addiction. Examples include SMART Recovery and AA.
Person-first language: Language that names the person first and the condition or disease from which they suffer, second.
Physical Dependence: A slang term used to describe the action of tolerance and withdrawal for someone engaging in substance use.
Pink cloud: A stage in early recovery from addiction. This state involves feelings of excitement, confidence about recovery, euphoria, and elation.
Placebo: A substance with no pharmacological elements that may elicit a reaction because of a patient’s mindset.
Polysubstance Abuse: Using more than one substance.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS): Withdrawal symptoms that continue after the initial acute withdrawal from substances. PAWS symptoms can last for months or even years in cases of chronic substance use
Precipitated Withdrawal Syndrome: Withdrawal symptoms caused by medications or MAT used in substance use treatment, rather than abstinence from a drug of choice.
Prescription Drugs: Legally produced drugs that require a prescription from a medical provider.
Prescription drug misuse: Using a prescription medication in a way other than it was prescribed. Additionally, this can include using illegally obtained prescription drugs.
Procrastination: Procrastination is the act of consciously delaying addressing or doing something that is weighing on your mind
Protective factors: Factors that reduce the risk of an individual developing a substance use disorder.
R - Recovery phrases
Rapid Detox: Anesthesia-assisted detoxification from substances such as opiates.
Recovery Rates: The percentage of people in recovery from addiction.
Recovery: The process of improved physical, psychological, and social well-being and health after having suffered from a substance use disorder.
Recovery coach: Those who provide strengths-based support for people with addictions or in recovery. They work with those who have active addictions, as well as those in recovery. Also referred to as a sober coach.
Recovery community: A fellowship of individuals who are involved in addiction recovery. They focus on the needs of individuals, families, and communities seeking or in recovery from addiction.
Recovery groups: Voluntary associations of people who share a common desire to overcome their drug addiction.
Recovery meetings: Meetings that are held for persons in addiction recovery by persons in addiction recovery.
Recovery triangle: A symbol in AA used to represent the three parts of the programme - recovery, unity, and service.
Recovery keyrings: Keyrings that are awarded to persons in addiction recovery for achieving sobriety time
Relapse Prevention: A cognitive-behavioural approach to relapse with the goal of identifying and preventing high-risk situations, such as substance use, for those in recovery.
Relapse: A deterioration in someone's state of health after a temporary improvement. For example, when someone engages in substance use after a period of abstinence is considered a relapse.
Source: Oxford Languages
Recovery and sobriety quotes: Quotes taken and shared to inspire and motivate others in recovery
Rehab: A term used to describe a drug and alcohol treatment facility where a person can undergo rehabilitation for an addiction
Rehabilitation: The process by which a person recovers from an illness
Residential Treatment: A live-in health care facility providing therapy and round-the-clock support for those struggling with substance use disorders. Also referred to as rehab.
Resentment: Resentment is a negative sentiment that is refelt over time and is considered a trigger for relapse for a person in recovery
Risk factors: Factors that increase the risk of someone developing a substance use disorder.
Route of administration: The route by which an individual ingests substances.
S - Recovery terms
Screening: Measurement tool used to determine the extent of one’s addiction.
Self-Help Group: Also known as mutual aid groups or peer support groups. Peer-led organizations are designed to help individuals with substance use disorders and other addiction-related problems.
Sexual addiction: Excessive sexual thoughts, desires, urges or behaviours that can’t be controlled. They cause distress and harm to relationships, finances, and other aspects of life.
SMART Recovery: A nationwide, nonprofit organisation that offers free support groups to individuals who desire to gain independence from any type of addictive behaviour. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training.
Sober: One of the more popular addiction recovery terms used to describe someone who refrains from alcohol use and substances.
Sober coach: Those who provide strengths-based support for people with addictions or in recovery. They work with those who have active addictions, as well as those in recovery. Also referred to as recovery coach.
Sobriety: The state of being sober.
Sobriety Birthday: Also referred to as sober date. It is the day associated with starting recovery.
Sobriety chips: Also referred to as sobriety coins or sobriety tokens. Chips are given in AA or other twelve-step programmes to mark a member's length of sobriety.
Sober party: An alcohol-free party
Slamsex: Sexualised intravenous drug use. Drugs that are used intravenously to facilitate and enhance sexual activity
Sponsor: A recovery sponsor is Someone who has worked through a twelve-step programme, maintained sobriety, and mentors others on their recovery journeys.
Sober holiday - A no-alcohol holiday that is arranged for sober people to attend together. It is not centred around drinking alcohol.
Spiritual awakening: A newfound awareness of a spiritual reality.
Spirituality: The broad concept of a belief in something beyond the self. Spirituality is a concept and way of life that has proven effective in treating addiction
Stages of change of model: Also known as the transtheoretical model. A model that describes the stages people go through as they change their behaviour. The stages are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Some professionals include relapse as a stage of change.
Stigma: The disapproval of, or discrimination against, an individual or group based on perceived characteristics that serve to distinguish them from other members of society.
Straight-Edge: One of the addiction recovery slang terms used to describe those who refrain from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and sex.
Suboxone: A prescription medication used to treat opioid addiction that is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Substance Use: The continued use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs with negative consequences.
Subbies: One of the more popular addiction recovery terms used to describe the medication is Suboxone.
Support groups: Peer-led organisations designed to help individuals with substance use disorders and other addiction-related problems. Also referred to as mutual aid groups and peer recovery groups.
Surrender: To surrender in recovery is to stop trying to control people, situations, circumstances, substances and outcomes
T - Recovery phrases
Therapeutic Community: A form of long-term residential treatment for substance use disorders. A therapeutic community serves to integrate newly sober people back into society with assistance and support.
Therapeutic Dependence: Patients’ tendency to demonstrate drug-seeking behaviours because they fear withdrawal symptoms.
Therapy Group: A group typically consisting of 6 to 12 clients who meet regularly with one or two group therapists.
TikTok Brain: A phrase coined for the impact TikTok addiction has on the brain, impacting working memory and attention span, whilst increasing anxiety and depression
Tolerance: The physical effect of repeated use of a drug, in which the substance loses its effect over time. This does not necessarily equal addiction.
Toxicity: A diverse array of adverse effects which are brought about through drug use at either therapeutic or non-therapeutic doses.
Trauma: Trauma is a person's perception of an event or circumstance resulting in them suffering long-term physical, emotional, and/or life-threatening harm.
Trigger: An emotional, environmental or social situation that drags up memories of drug or alcohol use.
Twelve-step programme: Mutual aid programmes supporting recovery from addiction use the term twelve-step programme to describe the programme of Alcoholics Anonymous. The AA programme was developed in the 1930s to help its members overcome alcohol use disorder. Additionally, other 12-step groups such as Cocaine and Narcotics Anonymous exist to help individuals with substance use disorders other than alcohol.
U - Addiction recovery phrases
Ups or Uppers: A slang term used to refer to substances that are stimulants. These increase mood, alertness, and energy. Examples are cocaine and methamphetamine.
Urges: Feelings of intense desire for something specific.
W - Addiction recovery phrases
Washing machine head: A term used to describe a tormented or busy mind once substances have been ceased
White Knuckling: A term used to describe a person who is struggling to maintain their recovery and just clinging on
Withdrawal: The abrupt decrease in or removal of one’s regular dosage of a psychoactive substance.
Withdrawal timeline: A timeline detailing withdrawal symptoms and their severity from substances such as cannabis, opioids and alcohol.
Withdrawal syndrome: A collective of withdrawal symptoms a person experiences when withdrawing from a substance
Wellness: The state of feeling well in mind, body and spirit.
Getting familiar with recovery
If you are new to addiction recovery, you will hear many terms and phrases that can cause confusion and misunderstanding. The longer you are in recovery, the more you will come to understand the common language used within the recovery world.
You can access free online recovery tools, recovery meetings and more within the supportive environment of our Community Hub which is completely free to join. You can also learn more about addiction by browsing through our free evidence-based articles within our Knowledge hub.
Authors: Sammi H/Thurga S