Key Terms

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See Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

Harm Reduction

Interventions and strategies aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with substance use.

Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT)

Medications for Addiction Treatment, or MAT, is the use of medication, along with therapy and other behavioral health interventions, to support the treatment of alcohol and/or drugs, including withdrawal, cravings and relapse prevention.


An overdose occurs when alcohol and/or other drugs in the bloodstream impact the brain and body and result in the shutting down of basic life-support functions such as breathing, heart rate, and temperature control.

Peer Support

Support from individuals with lived experience who have been successful in the recovery process who help others experiencing similar situations.


Activities, strategies, and interventions that educate and support individuals and communities to prevent the use and misuse of substances and the development of Substance Use Disorders.


The process of change through which people improve their health and wellness by successfully managing their Substance Use Disorder. Recovery is not strictly sustained abstinence from substances (sobriety).

Recovery Support Services

Additional support after someone has completed their Substance Use Disorder Treatment.

Substance Abuse Service Helpline (SASH)

Toll-free helpline 1 (844) 804-7500 that helps individuals access specialty Substance Use Disorder services and is available 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week.


Negative stereotype, attitudes, and/or association.


Alcohol and/or other drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, and prescription drugs.

Substance Use

The term “substance use” refers to the use of substances such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin,
and prescription drugs.

Substance Use Disorder
(also known as Addiction)

A chronic brain condition that happens when regular use of alcohol and/or drugs causes harmful and self-destructive behavior.


Substance Use Disorder treatment is designed to help individuals stop or reduce harmful substance misuse, improve their health and social function, and manage their risk for relapse.

County of los angeles California Public Health