Terms Dictionary

Navigating services and understanding technical terms can be challenging for most people looking to find help for themselves or a loved one.  The list below is not exhaustive, but rather a starting point to better understand common terms and concepts around recovery, trafficking, and reentry.

Commonly Used Terms


Characterized as a brain disease, a chronic dependency on the use of drugs and/or alcohol which most often leads to self-destructive behaviors.


A comprehensive evaluation of the type, amount, and frequency of a patient’s substance use. This may include a physical and mental exam, inquiry of medical history, and review of contributing social factors. A detailed treatment plan outlining level of care follows.


The provision of assistance and guidance in an individual or group setting presided over by but not limited to a professional to aid in resolving personal, social or psychological problems and difficulties.


The elimination of a substance from the body, most commonly drugs or alcohol. Detox programs can be inpatient or outpatient, are medically supervised and provide ways of easing the mental and physical pain of withdrawing from a substance.

Inpatient Treatment

A form of treatment conducted through an extended stay at a medical care facility. Most common for patients with more severe substance use disorders and withdrawal symptoms that need to be monitored.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

A treatment option that involves up to 20 hours weekly of regularly scheduled sessions of structured addiction treatment and mental health counseling but allows for an individual to attend school or work.

Outpatient Treatment

A form of treatment conducted outside of a medical care facility. Most common for patients with less severe substance use disorders or as a follow-up treatment after inpatient services. 

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

The use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole patient’ approach to the treatment of substance abuse disorders.

Recovery Housing (Recovery Residence)

Recovery Housing refers to independent, residence-run or staff-managed living environments which initiate, support and sustain individuals recovering from substance abuse by offering a wide range of clinical services. There are four different levels of recovery residences.

  •  Level 1 – Peer to Peer (Democratically run with no external supervision, residents are given the ability to determine which arrangements will most effectively meet their needs) 
  • Level 2 – Monitored Recovery Housing (Also known as sober living homes, they are staff monitored by a House Manager or Senior Resident. The environment is structured with support services)
  • Level 3 – Professional Supervised Recovery Housing (A high level of structure and stability is provided and an organizational hierarchy provides administrative oversight for service providers)
  • Level 4 – Medication Assisted Recovery Housing ( The most structured and supervised level, facilities are run by licensed and certified treatment staff that are on-site)

Residental Treatment Programs (Rehab)

Also known as rehab, this program is a live-in health care facility providing therapy for substance abuse, mental illness and other behavioral problems and are designed to address a full array of treatment services.


A collection of both physical and emotional symptoms that occur after the discontinued use of drugs or alcohol in which the body had become dependent. Symptoms severity can vary from mild, severe and life-threatening.

Defining primary areas of care

Addiction Recovery

Addiction Recovery is a broad term used to define the process of an individual overcoming a “Substance Use Disorder” to reach greater mental, physical, and spiritual health. Abstinence from specific substances, though usually necessary, is not the completion of recovery.  In order for an individual to experience recovery they will need systems of care, the removal of barriers, the engagement of healthy and helpful ongoing processes, and the opportunity to reengage fully within the community.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking involves the recruitment, harboring or transporting of people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception, or coercion and forced to work against their will. Trafficking comes in many forms – including but not limited to forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude, compelling victims to commit sex acts resulting in the creation of pornography, providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, the extraction of organs or tissues, and surrogacy.

Incarceration Reentry

Incarceration reentry is a term used to refer to the process of individuals being released from State or Federal prison, whether supervised or unsupervised release, as they transition back to the community – including finding housing, employment, and transportation.