Home Definition of Terms

Definition of Terms

The following definitions were used in determining the services that each organization provides.

Service Category



Addiction is a primary, chronic disease, characterized by impaired control over the use of a psychoactive substance and/or behaviour. Clinically, the manifestations occur along biological, psychological, sociological and spiritual dimensions. Common features are change in mood, relief from negative emotions, provision of pleasure, preoccupation with the use of substance(s) or ritualistic behaviour(s); and continued use of the substance(s) and/or engagement in behaviour(s) despite adverse physical, psychological and/or social consequences. Like other chronic diseases, it can be progressive, relapsing and fatal. (Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine)

Detox – residential withdrawal management

A structured, scheduled program of addictions treatment and/or rehabilitation activities provided For clients whose biomedical, emotional and/or behavioural problems are severe enough to require individualized medical/ psychiatric care, while the client resides in-house. The treatment and/or rehabilitation is intended to assist the individual in stabilizing and managing his/her medical/ psychiatric problems, while also addressing the addiction problem per se, or to allow for referral to appropriate substance abuse/gambling treatment. In addition to the scheduled program of addictions treatment and rehabilitation activities clients have 24 hour access to support and the residential treatment milieu.

Detox – social/non-medical or home-outpatient

Provides non-medical detoxification services. Many social detox beds are designated solely for overnight detoxification. Overnight beds are not generally combined with an addiction treatment strategy.

Mutual Aid or Support Group

Mutual Aid is the act of lending support and/or assistance to another/others. When addressing addiction or addictive behaviour, mutual aid most commonly refers to a group of people drawn together by sharing a common addiction, i.e., alcohol, illicit drugs, sex, overeating, etc. Group members offer support, suggestions and optimism to one another as they strive to overcome active addiction.

Outpatient Treatment

Treatment provided on a non-residential basis, usually in regularly scheduled session. Less than 9 or more hours of service per weeks (6 for adolescents) for recovery or motivational enhancement therapies and strategies. (ASAM)

Community medical/psychiatric treatment

Outpatient addiction-related treatment provided by a medical or psychiatric professional.

Residential medical/psychiatric treatment

Addiction treatment that is provided within a medical environment (e.g., hospital, nursing home), and which provides supervised accommodations for clients during the treatment.

Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient

Twenty-four hour nursing care and daily physician care for severe, unstable problems in acute intoxication and/or withdrawal potential, biomedical conditions and complications, or emotional, behavioral or cognitive conditions and complications. A counselor is generally available sixteen hours per day. (ASAM)

Residential supportive or stabilization

Housing that assists residents in establishing independent living in the community. Residents are provided with various types of support to increase their chance of success. Support services may include rental subsidies and/or support from community workers in goal setting and developing skills such as cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, money management and social skills. (ASAM)

Residential treatment (non-medical)

Addiction treatment that is provided in a non-medical environment (i.e., not in a hospital or other medical institution), which provides supervised accommodations for clients during treatment.