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Substance Use Disorder Terminology – Part 2

Substance Use Disorder Terminology – Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of our Substance Use Disorder Glossary of Terms. As past posts have stated, when it comes to substance use disorders, treatment, and recovery, we are most effective when we can speak and understand the same language. Going forward, challenge yourself to nestle the following terms into your vocabulary.


Webster’s Dictionary defines stigma as: “a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something”. Substance use disorder – and recovery itself! – is still wrapped in societal stigma. Using stigmatizing language like “addict”, “junkie”, and “druggie” (the list goes on and on) only further isolates those with substance use disorder, even after they made their way into recovery! The blanket of stigma surrounding addiction and recovery can and will be lifted when the issue is humanized. By telling positive stories of recovery and referring to oneself as “a person [woman, man, etc.] in recovery”, we can immediately begin to shift public perception and smash stigma!

Recovery Community Organization (RCO)

RCO’s are independent, non-profit organizations led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. These recovery centers and unique, local establishments host all kinds of recovery meetings, open mic nights, giant recovery rallies, and more. Since I am writing from Maine, I will give a shoutout to my local RCO, the Portland Recovery Community Center (PRCC). This center, like many similar centers across the country, welcomes hundreds of people each month who are in and seeking recovery. The main goal of PRCC is to provide a platform on which any member can cultivate their visions, including starting an annual rally, establishing a new meeting for a specific demographic (moms in recovery, veterans in recovery, students in recovery, etc.). RCO’s are a vital part of every recovery community!

Recovery Advocacy

Advocacy is “public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.” So, recovery advocacy refers to actions taken to develop pro-recovery social policies and programs. Recovery advocacy activities include: 1) portraying alcoholism and addictions as problems for which there are viable and varied recovery solutions, 2) providing living role models that illustrate the diversity of those recovery solutions, 3) countering any attempt to dehumanize and stigmatize those with AOD problems, 4) enhancing the variety, availability, and quality of local/regional addiction treatment and recovery support services, 5) removing environmental barriers to recovery, including the promotion of laws and social policies that reduce AOD problems and support recovery for those afflicted with AOD problems, and 6) enhancing the viability and strength of indigenous communities of recovery. Source

New Recovery Advocacy Movement

This movement is a collection of efforts by grassroots organizations of recovered/recovering people and their families whose goals are to 1) provide an unequivocal message of hope about the potential of long-term recovery from behavioral health disorders, and 2) to advocate for public policies and programs that help initiate and sustain such recoveries. Source

The core strategies of the New Recovery Advocacy Movement are:

  • Recovery Representation
  • Recovery Needs Assessment
  • Recovery Education
  • Recovery Resource Development
  • Policy (Rights) Advocacy
  • Recovery Celebration
  • Recovery Research

Young People in Recovery is a fantastic manifestation of the New Recovery Advocacy Movement.

Academically Focused Aftercare™

Unique to the Life of Purpose Treatment model, Academically Focused Aftercare™ can be accessed either as a step-down intensive outpatient treatment or as a stand-alone program. The platform includes weekly individual meetings between client, therapist, and academically-focused case manager, and group meetings with other clients. This specific aspect of treatment focuses on challenges college students face in early recovery by offering accessible solutions to such challenges.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

This counseling approach is goal-oriented, client-centered and focuses on resolving ambivalence felt by a client. MI is non-judgmental, non-confrontational, and non-adversarial. Rather, the technique focuses on the strengths of the client and their ability to meet their personal goals with accessible action. This match-up is naturally empowering.










Bryn Gallagher
Blog Contributor

Life of Purpose Treatment
3848 FAU Boulevard, Suite 100
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Admissions: 1.888.PURPOSE

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